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.
Ibis Cycles is increasing their carbon footprint with the latest in a lineage of cleverly named bikes – the Trans-Fat. Thanks to its removable rear triangle that allows for easy packing for airline travel, as well as the ability to run belt drive, singlespeed or geared setups, the Ibis Tranny 29 is already a highly versatile bike. And with the announcement of the Trans-Fat, the Tranny can now serve as a bona-fide fat bike.
Using the same front triangle as the Tranny 29, the Trans-Fat features a new rear triangle that accepts 4” fat bike tires, a 177mm x 12mm Maxle thru-axle, 3mm crown race for proper axle to crown height, and a bottom bracket adapter to fit a 100mm BSA bottom bracket.
The Trans-Fat also includes little details that have made the Tranny 29 such a hit, including internal dropper post routing and multi-option internal cable routing. And with the introduction of the Trans-Fat comes a new color – metallic orange. The Trans-Fat can also be had in matte black.
I got a chance to ride the Trans-Fat the day after a fresh snowfall in Truckee, California. Thanks to its 4” wide tires, lightweight 3.25-pound frame, relatively short 452mm chainstays, and 70-degree head tube angle, the Trans-Fat is definitely on the more aggressive and nimble end of the fat bike spectrum. This combination of light weight and nimble geometry makes the Trans-Fat a capable climber and confident descender. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really able to ride the Trans-Fat for more than a couple hours, but I can definitely say that it rides like a fat bike, albeit a very agile and quick fat bike, for whatever that’s worth.
Besides how it rides, the bigger story here is versatility. With one front triangle and two rear triangles, you can have a geared cross-country hardtail, a sub-20 pound singlespeed with belt drive capability, a geared fat bike, or a singlespeed fat bike with belt drive capability. And don’t forget its ability to disassemble into two pieces, making it fit into a small suitcase to avoid oversize airline baggage fees.