Specialized Fatboy

Fat Bike News

Riding Impressions

So we took one out for a ride and instead of just tooling around the easy Copper Mountain resort terrain, we loaded it up on the ski lift to descend 1800 feet on intermediate singletrack trails. As we started descending, a permagrin settled on our face as we felt like a kid on a Tonka truck bike. But the bike wasn’t slow and lumbering at all. Turn in and steering were good as we railed the first few berms. The tires had a strange sound and sensation to them but traction was excellent. Loose corners were not really that loose and rocks did not impede or alter our forward progress. The pressure on these 4.8 in tires was set at around 6 psi and although that sounds ridiculously low for normal 2.1 mountain bike tires, these worked just fine for the Fatboy with its 4.8 inch tires and 90 mm rims.

On loose and rocky terrain, the Fatboy felt comfortable. The bike felt like it had two inches of travel as it absorbed rocks and ruts. Where it excelled was in loose, rocky and off-camber corners. The bike was more sure-footed than any other bike we tried during the week as it was difficult to break traction as we carved through corners.

The bike felt light and relatively agile and was actually easy to turn surprisingly. Aided by the aluminum frame and the carbon fork, the bike was quite easy to maneuver. Geometry felt spot on and we actually wanted to try this bike with a dropper post since it was a pretty able descender.


The rear end is quite wide and we hit our heel on seatstay sometimes. Also as the speeds got higher and the hits more frequent, the relative comfort of the Fatboy quickly diminished. It reminded us that it’s still a hardtail as our back started to hurt.

What’s Ahead

We are quite pleased to see quite a diversion from Specialized. This bike is not a racing bike but rather a utility bike or just a fun bike. Our test bike came with Surly tires but Specialized Ground Control tires are coming soon. There will be two flavors of this bike called he Fatboy and Fatboy Expert. Pricing has not yet been determined but will be announced very soon.

It was truly a hit around a sea of good new Specialized bikes. Journalists couldn’t stop talking about it as one tester hucked it down a six foot drop and another kept Ned Overend at bay, holding the lead for three laps in a punchy short track race featuring all kinds of ultralight racing bikes.

Continue to page 4 for the full photo gallery »

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • Tom says:

    Looks sweet, how many thousands will it cost?

  • Don says:

    Looks like another overpriced fat bike.

  • duggus says:

    Some weights would have been cool. Not much new here but still pretty nice to see a bike spec’d with a stock carbon fork for (what I’ve heard rumored) the price of other fat bikes that don’t come with a carbon fork. Another tire option and rims… so this is nice news.

  • DirtBiker says:

    Looks like the space between motorcycles and MTB’s is continuing to close … I could take the motor out of my 125 and have this … pretty much!

  • EMathy says:

    If you can’t innovate, copy. What are we supposed to be excited about, again?

  • Jim says:

    Mike Sinyard took a Fisher/Ritchey mtb over to Japan and told Giant (?) make me some of these. Specialized was built on copying. I own a couple Specialized bikes so I don’t hold it against them too much

    • JYC says:

      What means “copying”?
      Is taking an existing concept, putting some know-how and expertise behind with the objective to make it better, an act of “Copying” or “Plagiarism”?
      Personally, if it’s improving our trail/ride experience, I have nothing against that…

  • Shawnny says:

    I’ll pass!

  • gerald says:

    Now that Specialized has entered this niche market, reminds me of the big corporate breweries buying up the craft beer makers. Shame.

  • Surlyjeff says:

    Big brand surly copies , just great. Soo original

  • roger says:

    It’s not a 29er?

  • RobB says:

    I will stick with my FatBack! An original and not a copy!

  • junyr73 says:

    Who cares if it’s an “original” or a “copy”. Ride what you ride and and let others ride theirs. The point is that everyone that wants to gets a choice to have their own fun with the equipment of their choosing.

  • Tudor says:

    Does anyone know what size the bike pictued is?

  • Peter says:

    Awesome looking!!! Looks like the old observe trials bikes from years ago.Lots of fun!!!

  • 26? 29? Just ride says:

    Variety is what life is all about. niche going mainstream just means that the consumer gets more choice on bikes and kit surely that can’t be bad it shouldn’t matter whether your bike says trek , spesh or surly on the front if it makes you smile , who gives a fudge . Come on when we ride these things it should be about ridin not branding x

  • iride says:

    the fat bike mania is here so all the heavy hitters will be riding them , who cares , just wait a year when the fad is over and they will be a dime a dozen on kijiji . remember the pogo stick

  • Fatty says:

    I just got my Fatboy, this bike is awesome! its fast, nimble and fun to ride.

    Check it out 2014 Specialized Fatboy!

  • bigfoot jr says:


  • Tommy says:

    Will the guys with the green bike in picture five start writing articles he looks like my kind of biker. That being said I find the fatboy to be really ugly. I’m looking forward to the ice cream truck. But this is one of the better articles on mtbr lately.

  • singletrackmack says:

    Great add. Would be nice to see pics of the actual trail conditions you rode in rather than taking pics of the bike plopped in snow that’s too deep for any bike to ride in. I live in Tahoe and have been riding my 25 year old steel rigid in snow with $15 2.5″ tires for years. Lately I’ve been seeing these 2k to 5k fatty bikes out in the snow and have yet to see one ride in snow conditions that my 27lb steel worth about $200 can’t ride in.

  • Gary Edwards says:

    Have you had any problems with the bike creaking? I bought a Fat Boy in April. Love the bike! But it has developed a creak that even after sending the bike back to specialized….it still creaks. Just trying to see if this is common with this bike.
    Thanks Gary

  • Kyrke says:


    Great review. I just picked up a Fatboy and am taking it out on the trails today. What I’m interested in knowing is if anyone has recommendations for 29er wheels that would fit the 190mm rear dropouts. I’ve done some searching and can’t seem to find any wheels.


  • brian says:

    On my fatboy found the creaking was caused by uneven wear in the freehub LBS replaced it on warranty.love the bike in snow and dirt,haven’t rode my 29 fat stumpy in months.upgraded my samox cranks to raceface cinch turbine with30mmX175mm crankcrankpost and am really happy with performance.Coolest mtb bike I’ve owned in 30 yrs of riding this Pa.Rockheap we call Mt. Penn. If your thinking about riding fat you should testride the fatboy,it’s worth the time.

  • shawn bertagnole says:

    I am planning on buying a fatboy this season I work with a club call the Mountaineers here in Seattle and we own a ski lodge in the Cascades, meanylodge.org. I do not ski any longer and am hoping to attract snow bikes up there and lead tours of the area. We have very wet heavy snow here in Seattle so the biggest tires are a MUST have. This bike, or the Moonlander are pretty much it for off the shelf. But less weight and my required twist grip shifting for big mitten use might make this the best choice.

    • tomas Denizard says:

      Hola tengo una bicicleta moogose brutus 26×4″ cuato cuesta las piña para aserla de cambios atras y freno de disco alanta

  • John Palladini says:

    Well i have a Gary Fisher MTB and swore that i would not be buying another BIKE! Well i got on a FATBOY, my world has changed now! My friend got one and all i could say when i saw it was WOW i wanna ride it! Wrong thing to do, now a few months later i went to a bike shop and they let me test drive them all, what a drug this thing is! All i can say i do believe i can ride this in replace of my other bikes! cant wait to OWN one!

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