Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fatback Fever

I know it's nearing the end of the snow biking season but I've started the wheels in motion to join the fat bike club. It turns out there is a local shop that carries the Fatback and when I stopped in yesterday to chat them up, I left with a demo bike to try out. I had been surveying the fat bike landscape, asking questions of one of Alaska's hard core snow bikers and the trail was leading to the Fatback offered by Speedway Cycles in Anchorage Alaska.

It's one thing to have people rave about a particular bike but quite another to get out on it and see for yourself. I was expecting a nice bike and wasn't at all disappointed but didn't quite understand how nice this bike really is. After easily rolling over a bunch of (presumably unridable) snow piles at the local school and some impromptu singletrack where dog walkers had beat a path through a little wooded chunk of no man's land, I decided to head for home. There aren't a lot of hills in my neighborhood but there are a few short ones and heading up one I was mentally preparing for the slog up it. The bike didn't have clip less pedals and I had been too lazy to swap them out so I was expecting hill would be even more challenging with half my pedal stroke unavailable to me.

Turns out the bike is quite the snappy climber and I was cresting the hill still waiting for the hard part to start.

With the fever raging there was only one thing to do: take action to get my own Fatback. It will take a while to pull all the pieces together and I may end up missing this snow biking season but boy will I be ready next year!


  1. WD ~~~~ You drank the Kool-aid!!!
    WATCHOUT NOW!!! ;))

    In all seriousness man, good for you!!!

    The Fat bike isn't really all hype. Whatever flavor one picks, it's the go everywhere, do everything bike!
    Just so you know, you don't need snow to enjoy the Fattie!! ;))

    Peace, Joboo

  2. Fatback, Pugsley, Mukluk, 907...they all get the job done. You won't regret it, and it's likely you'll have more fun on a bike than you ever knew was possible.

  3. They all get the job done, but they don't all ride the same. As a Pugsley rider who made the switch to a Fatback, I definitely recommend being choosy.

  4. Joboo - It's some good Kool-aid and I know it will spend some time in the dirt not just the snow.

    Doug - I had very big fun with the demo and looking forward the possibilities.

    T - Choosy motherf$%^rs choose Fatback! Thanks for sharing your insights and answering our questions. I'll look forward to the next time we hit the trail together; I think it's your turn to head this way...

  5. Wow, that is some beautiful beast!

  6. Wheel, I just might show up one of these days. By the way, my new Fatback hit singletrack for the first time last night. Wow. Not even close.

    I don't want to trash other bikes. I rode a Pugs for four years and loved it. Fat bikes are fun as hell, and that's all there is to it.

    But I've never cornered at speed on a snow bike like I did last night.

  7. Badger - It looks like a beast but I should be able to get it to around 25 lbs or less so it's pretty svelt; I haven't completed spec'ing it out but folks are getting them down around 22 lbs (with more $ than I plan to spend...

    T - Welcome mat is out! Thanks for the singletrack report except it only serves to fuel my impatience. Having lived in Alaska, I'm familiar with AK's 'island time' but the LBS indicated they tend to be able to move things along pretty quick particularly since they will do the build and only need the frame and wheel parts to get moving on it. Can't wait to take delivery!

  8. Isn't "Fatback Fever" a Ted Nugent song? Maybe I'm confusing it with something else....

  9. I'm jonesing so bad for a big wheeled winter ride. Someday, I will join the rest of you. But until that glorious day, I will slog along without it.

  10. I have to say that I absolutely love my Pugsley, but now wish I would have waited. The Fatback and Mukluk are awesome bikes and at 25 lbs. the Fatback is about 10 lbs lighter than my Pugsley. I also have issues with how the Pugs handles on single track. Everything I've read about the Fatback says its handling is much more responsive than other fat bikes.

    I'm excited to see the build specs for your Fatback.

  11. Snakebite - I don't want to know...

    yam - I jonesed for quite a while and then test rode one and it won't let go

    Vito - Any fat bike makes the snow much more fun but I am glad others blazed the trail for me.