44 Bikes : Fistful of Fat

So with the coming of winter, I always start thinking about fat bike adventures out in the snow. I know a lot of you out there roll FAT 24/7, 365 days a year, but for me it happens honestly with the coming of the winter snow season. The beginning of this winter started out with a good bang with lots of fresh powder. Of late that’s been getting kaibashed by a lot of oddly warm temps and rain that seems out of place. Earlier this fall I started with a concept of 1 bike that takes Fat wheels as well as 29+ and that seemed to get some attention. My own motivation was to attempt to get a bit more use out of my fat bike year round, since I largely enjoy my 29er in the spring, summer and fall. Fat-Bike.com ran a good article regarding this setup so if you haven’t, head on over there and check it out.

FAT Detail

So with that build being ridden for a while now, I wanted to try out a few things in season. New proto time. Over the holidays I put the pedal to the metal and got this bike together. I wanted to focus my efforts on 4.8″ / 5″ tires, their increased floatation properties and wheelbase considerations as conditions change. Also optimizing this rig for Fat wheels and 29+ so I can get year round usage out of this test mule. When I build bikes for myself, I’m building them not just for myself. I’m also building them for the client too. I don’t try anything new with clients: Only tried and true setups that I’ve tested. This build was no exception and I’ve learned a lot (mostly on the “How” to build fat bikes end of the spectrum). Where bends should be, how parts come together, changes in geometry to name a few all went into this build.

Fistful of Fat

The biggest, literally was building this bike around 5″ tires. The Surly Lou is a rear specific tire, and it’s massive. Getting everything in the right place was a challenge, and a great one at that. With the PMW SLiders slammed, the chainstays come in at 16.75″. I lengthened this a bit from the previous version (which was 16.5″) to afford a bit more clearance between the seat tube and tire for mud/snow clearance. There’s a point to which shorter just does not make sense as you’re compromising other points on the checklist that need to be considered too. But threading the needle on measurements and clearances, pushing what’s possible to the brink is what prototypes are all about. Here’s a few more for you to enjoy. I’ll report back once I have more rides on this beast…

44 Bikes : Fistful of Fat

44 Bikes : Fistful of Fat