Feature: Fat Biking = Fun In The Snow

Fat Bike
Feature: Fat Biking = Fun In The Snow Gallery
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Preparing to Ride

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Ready to Start

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Bikes Ready

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Racers Ready

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Lap 1 Start

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And They Are Off

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Battle Begins

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Battling the Locals

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Pulling Away Early

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Early Leader

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Doing it the Hard Way

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Blazing (thru) Aspen

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No Fancy Number Plates Here

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Mtbr Ad Man Mark Gouge

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Good Spot for Fat Biking

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Tight Racing

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Neck and Neck Racing

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Rolling Through Downtown CB

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In the Aspen

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Crash Viewpoint

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Endo View from GoPro

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More Endo View

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Long Descent

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Heading Out For a Lap

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Team Mtbr Takes 3rd

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Solo Winner Chad Melis

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REEB Cycles Fat Bike

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REEB Cycles Fat Bike

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Front End

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Rear End of Drivetrain

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Bottom Bracket

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4.7 Surly Big Fat Larry Tire

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Read End Closer Look

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Tight Chainstay Clearance

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Non Drive Side View

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Mechanical Disc Brakes

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Head Tube

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Headbadge

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Clown Shoe Wheel

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Tread Pattern

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Race Ready Rig

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The Twenty2 Bully

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2013 FB Race Results

Like the rest of the REEB line, our demo bike frame was constructed from Platinum OX steel tubing that’s hand-made and hand-welded in Colorado. A clear coat finish peppered with a hint of black yields a subtle copper frame color in the sunlight. The fork was a White Brothers Snow Pack with carbon legs.

Breaking is provided via an Avid BB7 MTN mechanical disc set-up. Paragon provides the head tube, bottom bracket and drop-outs. The flip-flop drop-out means the bike can be run with a singlespeed belt drive or with a derailleur hanger and gears, as ours had. In this case the drivetrain blended SRAM X9 rear derailleur with a single-ring FSA crank. Wheels were Surly Clown Shoes mated to 4.7-inch Surly Big Fat Larry tires. (You can also get the Larry in a 4.8, but as you can see from the photos, 4.7 was as wide as this frame would allow.) Retail price as spec’d, $3700. Frame only is $1500. Claimed weight was 32 pounds, though we didn’t have a scale on hand to verify that.

Having only ridden one fat bike in my life, it’s tough to be too complimentary or too critical. But for whatever it’s worth, this REEB snow steed tracked and handled extremely well (read: I never crashed, though my teammates did). It’s also cool that it’s a true Made in the USA machine.

“Our goal with this bike and all our bikes is to work with local providers as much as possible,” explained Melis. “Everything is made in the U.S., and a lot of the parts and materials come from right here in Colorado. It’s also worth noting that all our bikes have a slacker 68.75mm head tube angle, so they have a little more of an all-mountain feel.”

One feature unique to the fat bike, though, is more slope in the top tube angle. “That way if your feet sink into trail but your bike is still floating in the snow, you wont crush your crotch on the frame,” added Melis.

Fortunately, Team Mtbr escaped the Crested Butte race without any mangled man parts. Instead, it was a grin-inducing 90-minute affair that ended as all good bike races should, with a cold beer in hand and a good story to tell. Yes indeed, fat biking equals fun.

Learn more about Fat Bikes in the huge Mtbr Fat Bike Forum.

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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  • brian howard says:

    I tried biking once. I have to say i was not impressed and it was not that great of a time. I think i will stick to speed-walking

  • blowee says:

    I am not pretty sure how interesting and the degree of enjoyment the fatso tire bike will give to the rider but as we can see from the faces of participants in the photos presented above, enjoyment is really obvious.

  • Thesilversurfer says:

    I ride all year round on my fatback custom fat bike including bike packing and winter races. It’s addictive. These bike are really getting popular. Go rent one and see what I mean. Great Article by the way.

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