by Wil Barrett
August 25, 2016
From the people who brought you Wolf Tooth Components, comes an all-new bike company called Otso Cycles. Based out of Minneapolis in the US, Otso Cycles are jumping out of the start gates with two new models: a gravel grinder bike called the Warakin, and a carbon hardtail called the Voytek.
“Otso is the spirit of the bear in Finnish mythology, the most important, revered, and respected animal of all. Otso is the noble king of the forest and a symbol of strength and courage. The bear spirit is also a relative, an ethereal forest cousin or brother. He can be seen in the freezing snow and blowing leaves or the bright sunshine and moonlit skies of the wilderness. On forest trails, gravel roads, or urban streets, an Otso™ bike will inspire you to achieve your best in whatever way you ride.” – Otso Cycles
Who is Otso™ Cycles?
- Mike Pfeiffer — Mechanical Engineer, frame designer
- Brendan Moore — Mechanical Engineer, brand manager
- Dan Dittmer — Mechanical Engineer, creative director
- Jack Hinkens — Operations, stunt rider, everything else
- Chris Fisher — Inside sales, assembly, shipping
- Tim Krueger — Consultant
“Collectively, the Otso™ team has over 100 years of riding and racing experience. Dirt, snow, gravel, CX, pavement; we’ve done it all and we know what makes a bike fun to ride. Otso™ bikes are passionately engineered to work as well on the trails and roads you ride every day as they do on epic adventures and races.”
“Voytek is a carbon fiber hardtail mountain bike designed around the exclusive Otso Plus-Fat™ concept. It is a 27.5+ or 29+ trail bike that can also accommodate up to 26×4.6” tires. With the narrowest Q-factor of any production fat-capable bike, it feels like a mountain bike, not a fat bike and opens up a whole new dimension in summer or winter riding. Also featuring our patent pending Tuning Chip™ rear dropout system, the chainstay length can be adjusted from a fun and nimble 430 mm to a fast and stable 450 mm. Voytek blurs the line between plus and fat and it will change your perception of what’s possible in this class of bike.” – Otso Cycles
The Otso Voytek™ features:
- 100% carbon fibre frame
- Plus-Fat™ design delivers great handling as a 27.5 plus or 29 plus trail bike in the dirt and as a fat bike
- Tyre clearance: 26×4.0” up to 26×4.6”, 27.5×2.6 up to 27.5×4.0, 29×2.2 up to 29×3.0
- Modern geometry with longer top tube lengths and slacker head tube angle
- Accepts up to 120 mm travel suspension fork
- Narrow Q-Factor crank arms with the narrowest pedal stance of any production fat bike
- PF107 bottom bracket shell
- 1x only
- Tuning Chip™ system provides 20 mm of chainstay length adjustment
- 430-450mm chainstays
- Singlespeed compatible
- 177x12mm rear hub spacing
- Stealth dropper compatible
From the initial looks of things, it certainly appears that Otso have put a lot of thought into the Voytek’s design. Adaptability is the name of the game, with the ability to fit multiple wheel sizes and your choice of a rigid suspension-corrected fork or a suspension fork with up to 120mm of travel.
One thing that Otso have also been enthusiastic to point out with the new Voytek frame is that it has the narrowest Q-Factor of any fat bike on the market. For high-mileage riders and competitive types, this is a very big deal, and particularly if you run other XC bikes that don’t feature the huge stance that fat bikes typically suffer from.
20mm of chainstay adjustment allows the use of 27.5+, 29+ or 26+ wheel and tyre setups. There’s masses of clearance on offer inside the Voytek’s rear triangle, and by flipping a simple Tuning Chip in the frame’s dropouts, you can adjust the wheel position to accommodate different wheel diameters, whilst maintaining the ideal geometry and riding position that Otso intended.
Looking for a bike that can do it all? The Otso Voytek certainly packs in plenty of versatility, and especially for those riders who want to travel across far-reaching locations across all different types of terrain. Set it up with fat tyres and a rigid fork, and you’ve got a lightweight carbon bikepacking machine to take on your next multi-day adventure. Throw on a 120mm fork and 27.5+ plus wheels, and you’ve got a stable hardtail that’s ready to cut loose on the singletrack.
Geometry-wise, the Voytek certainly draws more from modern trail hardtails than it does from traditional rigid fat bikes. A 69-degree head angle and long top tube lengths across the board will suit today’s crop of wider handlebars and shorter stems.
Want to know about Otso Cycles and the Voytek? Then head to www.otsocycles.com