In the varied and ever-changing garden of bicycles, it seems that the fat bike corner is the latest area of flourishing growth, producing new ideas and iterations at a rapid pace. Two longtime mountain bike innovators—Aaron Joppe, former owner of Slingshot, and John Muenzenmeyer, former owner of Nukeproof—have been drawn into this bloom and are making interesting contributions with their relatively new company, 616 Fabrication.
The company name comes from the area code of western Michigan where they manufacture frames, forks and hubs at their own facility. They offer frames for fat bike, cyclocross and mountain builds, all made in high-end steel. Artistic touches, such as laser-cut seatstay bridges and custom-etched ID plates, further set these creations apart from the average mass-produced models, as does a classic paint job.
The first thing I and other staffers noticed about the Fat frame is its relatively steep 72 head tube angle. It also sports short-for-a-fat-bike 17.5-inch chainstays. Hub spacing is 135mm front and 170mm rear. It’s designed to ride light and nimbly over sand, snow and rock. Custom geometry is available to suit anyone’s taste, but for our tight turns and four seasons, the stock numbers suited me just fine.Tweet Print
45NRTH’s Dillinger tires have been a big hit with anyone looking for more traction than what the big rubber can give on its own. Now available in a 5-inch size, the new Dillinger 5 has a 120dpi bead and 45NRTH‘s new two-piece concave stud design that actually sharpens as it wears.
The tread pattern is slightly revised from the still available Dillinger 4 (26×4.0) and like it’s “smaller” sibling, will be available in a studdless version as well. Ultimate traction doesn’t come cheap though: The studded version will sell for $250, studless for $175.Tweet Print
News today from Frostbike and our friends over at Fat-bike.com: Surly is introducing a new fat bike dubbed the Ice Cream Truck. The steel frame (‘natch) is built around a symmetric 190mm rear hub spacing to clear the largest of tires. The rear dropout is the same convertible unit seen on the Instigator 2.0 that can run a QR, thru-axle or singlespeed. The bottom bracket shell is 100mm press fit.
More details to come. Guess this blog post from Surly back in January was a pretty good tease.
Surly also posted this on its blog today, alluding to an all-new Karate Monkey. Stay tuned.Tweet Print
Borealis is making waves with its super light carbon fiber fat bikes. I’m guessing this video is going to make some waves too.Tweet Print
Spotted on the Origin 8 Facebook page.
The Arrowhead Ultra 135, the coldest bike race in the Lower 48, begins one week from today in International Falls, Minnesota. Traversing the 135-mile Arrowhead Trail, it promises promises near-Arctic conditions and nearly always delivers. To finish, let alone win, is a triumph of man and machine over nature. Salsa Cycles‘ Mike “Kid” Riemer has put together this wonderful tribute to an event that is close to his heart.Tweet Print
Think you’re tough for riding through the winter? Check out this documentary about the 2001 Iditasport adventure race along the Iditarod Trail on foot, ski or bike. Covering up to 1,100 miles across Alaska in the winter could be life-changing or deadly, depending on how it goes. Watch for endurance race legend Mike Curiak on what appears to be an early version of a home-grown fat bike. I’m sure the bikes ridden these days look a lot different!Tweet Print
I have gotten fat this winter, and I couldn’t be happier.
Just before Christmas this neon dream of American-made aluminum showed up from the Khaki Santa (aka the delivery guy) and made my riding bright.
Fatback was built exclusively around fat bikes, and it has kept this decidedly American sport homegrown by partnering with Zen Fabrication in Portland to build all its aluminum frames here in the U.S. of A. It’s built from 6000-series aluminum with an oversized headtube, three sets of bottle cage mounts, an S3 direct mount front derailleur mount and a 31.6 seatpost diameter.Tweet Print
Photos by Griff Wigley
The Midwest Fat Bike Access & Grooming Workshop was held on January 9 and 10 in Cable, Wisconsin. This gathering brought together over 70 advocates from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin devoted to improving off-road cycling and fat biking in winter. The event was sponsored by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) and hosted by Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC), International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), and the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA).Tweet Print
Chapter Five is the final chapter in the “Cold Rolled” series and showcases the fast and fun riding potential of a maintained snow singletrack trail.
Marquette’s Noquemanon Trails Network has nearly perfected equipment and techniques used to launch its Snow Bike Route (SBR), a 15-mile winter singletrack developed for fat tire bikes. The fast narrow trail features flowy terrain, steep descents and large bermed turns. It’s believed to be the first trail of its kind—but more importantly, it’s pretty fun.Tweet Print