Editor’s Note: This article is part of the Mtbr Ultimate Guide to winter mountain biking, fat bikes, gear, apparel and trainers. In the first two months of 2016, we are taking a deep dive into all manner of cold weather mountain bike gear, with round-ups and reviews of fat bikes, tires, wheels, apparel, trainers and more. To see all the articles, head over to our Winter Guide Hub Page and be sure to check out part 1 and part 2 of our Hottest Fat Bikes Round-Up.
The Fatback Corvus is the brainchild of fat bike original gangster Greg Matyas from Alaska. The frame is unidirectional carbon fiber creation with room for up to 4.8” tires. The 460mm keep the bike stable, but not sluggish. Other highlights include a SRAM GX1 drivetrain and Avid BB7 mechanical brakes. If you want to spend more, the model range rises up to $6675, and includes such enticing add-ons as a Lauf suspension and Schwalbe Jumbo Jims 4.8” tires. Head tube angle on all the bikes is 69.5, maintaining a responsive and maneuverable feel. | Price: $2975 | More info at fatbackbikes.com
KHS 4 Season 5000
The 4 Season 5000 gets top-of-the-line spec at a price where some brands are just getting started. Frame and fork are carbon fiber with internal cable routing. The 2×10 drivetrain means you’ll never run out of gear. Girthy 4.8” tires float in sand and snow. Head angle is nimble 68.5 degree, with a fairly steep seat angle of 73.5. Chainstays are a lengthy 462mm to improve stability and provide ample tire clearance. Finished in matte black with no decals, this bike is a stealthy looker. Thick, shaped carbon frame tubes deliver a stiff but light frame ready to take on year round riding. And there are five models to suit just about any budget. | Price: $3299 | More info at khsbicycles.com
Moots 4 Frost Hammer
When you’re done trying different bikes, it may be time for a custom Moots. The heart of the bike is its titanium frame. And while $3975 is a steep price, we’re likely talking about a 10-year investment here. Head angle and seat angle are fairly steep at 69 degrees and 74 degrees respectively. And the bike sits low, with a 12.1” BB height. Tire clearance is up to 4.8” and the bike is adaptable to 3.0×29+ for summertime use. Lines on the frame bend and curve to allow for better standover clearance, and it has a 100mm threaded bottom bracket, so there are no creak concerns. Custom options include rack eyelets, dropper post routing, third water bottle location, and an etched and engraved finish. | Price: $3975 | More info at moots.com
Norco Sasquatch 6.1
This Norco fat bike screams value — and fun. The price is on the lower end of the spectrum, yet the bike includes a 100mm RockShox Bluto. Rigid forks are fun and all, but get going at high speed with a few jumps here and there and you’ll realize that benefits of travel and rebound control on snow. Another notable spec highlight is the inclusion of a higher end 1×11 drivetrain. And the downside of inadequate low gearing is addressed by a 26t Race Face chainring. That may come at the sacrifice of high speed pedaling but Norco decided that it’s outside of the Sasquatch’s domain. Customizable length stems all the way down to 35mm complement the 760mm bar. Norco also sells 24” models for kids and e-bikes for those who want a little uphill assist. | Price: $2575 | More info at www.norco.com