Dirt Rag Magazine

Inside Line: Advocate Cycles launches Watchman fat bike


We had our first introduction with Advocate Cycles earlier this year when the new brand brought its Hayduke model to the Sea Otter Classic. This week the company announced its second model, the steel Watchman fat bike frame.

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Just like the Hayduke, the new Watchman is built from Reynolds 725 steel with an original Portage swinger dropout design that allows it to be outfitted as a geared or singlespeed bike with thru-axles or quick release hubs.

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While most fat bikes have moved to 190mm rear axles, the Watchman sticks with the 170mm spacing. It may be limited to 26×4.5 tires instead of some of the largest treads, but it more closely aligns with the bike’s more aggressive nature. The frame also features a press fit bottom bracket shell, three sets of bottle cage mounts on most sizes, and internal dropper post routing.

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Both the Hayduke and Watchman frames will sell for $750 when they go on sale, but Advocate Cycles is offering each with a discount through its crowdfunding effort to stock brick and mortar dealers. Complete bike models will also be available with Rockshox Bluto forks, GX1 drivetrains and tubeless wheels. Both models will also soon be available in “Titan” 3/2.5 titanium versions later this year for $1,950.

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Advocate Cycles is incorporated in Minnesota as a Specific Benefit Corporation. A hybrid of a standard company and a non-profit, these businesses must declare a legally-binding social purpose, and report its efforts to the state. To this end, Advocate Cycles has pledged to donate 100 percent of its after-tax profits to non-profit cycling advocacy organizations such as the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), People for Bikes and Adventure Cycling Association.

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Because of this arrangement the company has no profit motives to seek outside investors, so it is using the crowdfunding effort to get off the ground. The initial $10,000 goal is close to being reached after only a few days, and the company has set out additional $30,000 goals to build a new website and a $50,000 goal to begin work on a third model.

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