Interbike 2012: Fat Bikes

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Plenty of jumbo-wheeled bicycles are appearing on the trails of the Outdoor Demo and the booths of the main Interbike exhibit hall. While they’re definitely eye candy because of their unique look, people are generally really excited for their performance. The inherent suspension found in such large tyres affords a certain level of vibration muting in the ride, while the buoyancy of the tyres also means they’re great in snow, mud, sand and other nasty conditions.

Surly and Salsa are definitely not pulling any punches with all of their fat tyre bike offerings. In fact Salsa’s only 26in bikes these days are fat bikes.

The Surly Krampus is especially appealing with 29in-based fat wheels for even more versatility.
Tyler from Surly curates the bikes and the roadkill.
Surly’s large offering of large tyres.
The updated yolk of the Krampus frame.
Salsa Beargrease. Interesting name.
Salsa Beargrease. Interesting name.


The venerable Phil Wood is even getting in the game! While company representatives insist they’re not in the fat bike building business, they do have two of these bikes in existence. Instead of offering the whole bike, they are offering all of the bits for people to make their own fat bike.


Full suspension fat downhill bike perhaps?
The main triangle of the Phil bike is actually a Santa Cruz V-10 frame!
Shiny custom polished crowns


Note the signature Sycip pennies welded to the tops of the chainstays.


Sycip fat bike
Sycip designed and built the rear triangle for the Phil fat bike


9:Zero:7 is not only the calling area code for Alaska, it’s also a pure-play fat bike company based in that cold state. And what do they have a lot of in Alaska? Snow and ice, which is one of the contributing factors for the founding of this four year old company. All of its sexy bike frames are hydroformed aluminum. But sexy isn’t the only benefit of the frame shapes. It’s also supposed to be more laterally stiff and give better stand-over, which is good when you need to dismount a lot on the snow.

But it’s not all about snow. 9:Zero:7 also has a frame design with a split seat stay and sliding dropouts for those wishing to run belt drive systems…which are more desired in desert settings.

This model is named the 186 because of the 186mm spacing on their proprietary rear hubs.
It's all about the matching rim tape


Yes, this model has electronic shifting…
The company avoids the offset rear, and goes with symmetric wheel builds.
Another shapely framed fat bike, this from Origin 8



Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (1)

    FWIW, 9:Zero:7 also do asymmetric (135mm) frames. Especially useful for any Alfine/Rohloff/IGH options. In fact, the belt-drive model is 135mm.

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