There is no question about it. Fat bikes are here to stay. Going from underground, small companies to the big brands they are becoming the next big bicycle trend.
Fat bikes has been around since about 1999. The first one was created by Mark Gronewald and its origin is rooted in Alaska.
But it was Surly that took fat tires to the masses with the first mass produced fat bike Pugsly.
In 2004 the seed of 9:zero:7 was planted and the first aluminium fat bike was to come from the small Alaskan bike company. They wanted to take the Fat bike to a new level. And they sure did. 9:zero:7 is one sexy frame set.
Since then a few companies like the ones mentioned above together with Salsa cycles and Sandman from Belgium has dominated the market.
But last year something happend. In forums and in bike circles there were more and more buzz about the wierd looking big wheelers. Rumors that the big manufacturers was going fat started to circulate. On-one, the British on-line bike shack announced their fatty at a very reasonable prize.
The Fatty is now their best selling bike so far this year and now they have outed the Baby Fatty. 24 in wheels on a 12 in frame. Truly the choice for next generation.
The last few weeks a many of the big manufacturers has announced fat bikes to their range of 2014. Two of “The big three” has announced fat bikes for their 2014 rang. Specialized is taking back their Fat Boy. This time for real with 4.8 tires. Looks pretty radical.
Of course the second of the big three Trek wasn´t slow on the trigger and previewed their Farley.
We´ll just have to wait and see if Giant (the third of the big three) and Scott will join the fat party.
Kona has also revealed a Fat bike for next season. It does not look so good if you ask me. Compared to Trek and Spesh it feels old and over prized with tektro components and no-name wheels. Looks like a heavy cruiser…
But the most impressive launch must be Canadian based Norco that announced their Bigfoot like this!
Meanwhile fat bikes are going mainstream the classic manufactures is evolving. 9:zero:7 has come out with a new standard rear hub spacing. 190 mm instead of 170 mm that has become the standard. Salsa,On-one and 9:zero:7 are also working on a carbon fiber frames.
Read about Salsas Beargrease carbon here.
Some people don´t like that fat bikes are going mainstream with every brand presenting a fat wheelers. They feel they are not special and unique for riding a fat bike. That´s just bulls**t i think its great. This means more part at better prizes. Since the standards are a bit odd. The bottom bracket for example is 100 mm. It used to be pretty hard to find. But now Sram is making both X5 and X9 crank sets for fat bikes.
2014 will be the year of the Fat. I have a feeling that winter will be the main cycling season. Witch is awesome for a bike nerd like me living i Swedish Lapland. Still we have winter most part of the year.
For the latest fat bike news check out Fat-bike.com