If there was still a lingering question whether or not fat bikes were just a passing fad, the enthusiastic turnout at late January’s Global Fat Bike Summit in Jackson, Wyoming answered with a resounding NO!
The general trend in the fat bike industry is that wider and lighter is better, with new designs and fat bike specific products rapidly coming to market. Once just a niche for a handful of small companies, now even the big boys are offering at least one fat bike model, with heavy hitters such as Trek and Specialized weighing in with larger line-ups.
These trends were on full display at the Summit’s industry sponsored demo event where attendees could comparatively ride one bike after another, and talk tech with company representatives. Mtbr contributors Bob Allen and Estela Villasenor Allen took a spin through the venue. Here’s a look at some of the most exciting and interesting bikes they saw. Check back soon for an extensive fat bike gear gallery, as well as a wrap-up of the Summit itself.
Borealis Echo is a dream bike in an understated package. Available in 3 build kits, the Bluto equipped Echo offers clearance for up to 4.8 inch tires on 100mm rims and is a light and nimble platform whether it’s your racing rig or backcountry adventure companion. The internal cable routing (including for a dropper post) keep the lines of the Echo artfully clean and elegantly simple. Photos by Bob Allen
Durango Bike Company Hooey
While some fat bikes pucker in technical terrain, the Durango Bike Company aims to give riders of its Hooey fat bike confidence. The Hooey is designed to be nimble and lively thanks to its slackened geometry and adjustable 130mm front suspension fork. The frame is constructed from lightweight aluminum, and the standard build comes stock with tubeless 120tpi tires and heated grips. Photos courtesy Durango Bike Company
Felt Double Double
The Felt Double Double 30 offers an aluminum frame with a comfortable standover height. The Shimano 2×10 drivetrain delivers power to the trail and the stylish hydro-formed fork keeps the ride on track. Photos by Bob Allen
Jim Felt’s passion for bow hunting was the driving force behind the development of Felt’s electric Outfitter model. Based on the Bosch pedal-assist system, the Outfitter offers an ebike option for the hunting and fishing market. Photo by Bob Allen
In the second year of production for Kona‘s WO, the 2015 model dropped 5-pounds from last year’s bike through spec’ing the tubeless ready Sun Mulefüt rims, Vee Snowshoe 4.5″ tires and lighter components. Wider spacing front (135) and rear (170) allows for bigger rubber, sliding drop-outs offer a single-speed option and the low stand-over gives a roomy cockpit. Photos by Bob Allen