Dirt Rag Magazine

NAHBS 2013 – Fat bikes gallery, part 2

The 2013 North American Handemade Bicycle Show was the Year of the Fat. More than a dozen builders had fat bikes, both 26 and 29+, in their booths. Here’s part two of our sampling. You can read part one here.

REEB

Reeb Cycles is an offshoot of Oskar Blues Brewing Company from nearby Lyons, Colorado. (Spell it backwards and you’ll get it).

Guaranteed to attract a whole lot of attention is the REEBdonkadonk (yes, that’s what it’s called) fat bike is made from True Temper OX Platnium tubing with Paragon Machine Works dropouts for the Gates Carbon belt drive. The 44mm headtube and 170mm rear spacing are standard on all models, and it’s built around a 100mm rim, 4.7 tires and a o1x or singlespeed drivetrain.

 

Engin

Engin Cycles from Philadelphia built this 29+ tandem for the owner of Paragon Machine Works, and naturally it includes several of the company’s own compoenents, including a prototype chainstay yoke, thru-axle fork dropouts, and thru-axle rear dropouts with a Shimano direct mount derailleur hanger.

Though not meant for airline travel, the steel frame includes three S&S couplers to allow it to be packed and shipped in two standard bike boxes instead of a giant tandem box.

For such a big bike, it was naturally outfitted with Shimano Saint downhill components, including a 150mm rear hub.

 

Funk

This was the first fat bike I’ve seen set up “moto style” with a 29×3.0 wheel and tire up front and a 26×3.8 in the rear. I was told that it was built around either wheel and tire size, and the bottom bracket height was chosen to fall into an accepted range with either wheels installed. The fork is a stock Surly Krampus model.

The full titanium model will be available soon, and though they have no plans to create a fat bike version of the La Ruta soft-tail, they said if someone came to them with money in hand they would consider it…

38 Frameworks

A sister brand to Funk, 38 Frameworks is named for Colorado being the 38th state admitted to the Union. While Funk builds all types of bikes, 38 Frameworks specializes in fat. The Hogback carbon fiber fat bike has an outrageous glitter clear coat with an alternating pattern, room for any tires currently on the market, and weighs in a just 25 pounds.

And if you’re thinking to yourself “hey, Shimano doesn’t make a fat bike crankset,” well they don’t. This one has been modified by cutting the spindle and inserting a smaller section in a sleeve fashion, then welding it back together. Want one? They’re available for sale to retrofit to your fat bike.

 

They performed the same mod on this SRAM XO crankset for this aluminum Jackalope model. Seen here is the Primary Mount Technology front derailleur mount.

Both bikes feature Carver carbon fiber fat forks. Both frames are USA-made, with a retail price of $2,400 for the carbon bike, $1,200 for the aluminum version.

 

Twenty2

Not satisfied with the “tractor-like” ride of current fatbikes on the market, Twenty2 Cycles wanted to create a more performance-oriented fat bike that was more fun to ride on traditional mountain bike trails.

 

Vibe Cycles

Last year Vibe displayed what was then the first carbon fiber fat bike I had seen, while this year they went with a more traditional steel frame. Traditional on the inside, at least, as the outside, including the rims, have been copper plated. The frame has a protective clearcoat, but the rims do not, because they told me they wanted to see what would happen as the copper oxidized over time.

 

 

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