Rocky Mountain Bicycles, it seems, has been on a role in the lead up to the launch of their complete 2017 collection. First there was the
updated Element 29er mountain bike, then came the adorable Reaper 24/26in full suspension kids bike, and most recently, they dropped the bombshell of the brand new Slayer enduro bike.
At the Eurobike 2016 show however, Rocky Mountain still had a surprise up their sleeve in addition to showing off all their new models for the first time. And that surprise? A brand new full carbon fat bike, designed for racing and proper fast trail riding. Rocky Mountain has had an alloy fatbike in the range for the past two years
called the Blizzard, but the Canadian company wanted to offer something lighter, faster and more purpose-built than the existing Blizzard. Enter the new fat bike, with quite possibly the coolest name on the market: the SuziQ. She certainly looks the goods, but does the SuziQ rock out on the trail too? There are many carbon fat bikes already on the market, but Rocky Mountain have taken a no-holds-barred approach to the brand new SuziQ. On the note of fat bikes, there seemed to be far less at the 2016 Eurobike show compared to previous years. However, plus bikes with 2.8-3.0in wide tyres dominated this year’s Eurobike show. So are people still buying fat bikes? And if the trend is shifting; how did Rocky Mountain justify creating a high-end carbon fat bike for the 2017 model year? We asked the question to Rocky Mountain during the 2016 Eurobike show, and they said that they’d been receiving a lot of demand from their Quebec mates, who encounter a lot more snow than we do over in the UK. In fact, more and more fatbike specific snow races are popping up all over the place, and riders in those parts of the world are looking for bikes just like the SuziQ. In addition to being a very fast and lightweight snow-sled, the SuziQ has also been designed to be a versatile trail bike too. While many fat bikes use 26in diameter wheels, the new SuziQ elects for 27.5×3.8in tyres. That’s the same as what Trek are pushing with their Farley, and it looks like more companies will be jumping on board the 27.5in fat brigade. The new tubeless compatible Maxxis Minion tyres feature on the SuziQ, perhaps indicating the sorts of trails and conditions this beast is capable of. The SuziQ gets s matching carbon fork that features additional bosses for mounting a Salsa Anything cage for stowing more gear on your next backcountry adventure. Under downtube armouring carries out multiple functions. It protects the frame from rock strikes, covers the Di2 battery port (yes, you can fit Di2 to the SuziQ!), and it will also allow you to mount a 3rd bottle cage to the frame. That’s a 107mm wide press-fit bottom bracket shell right there. Compare that to the typical 92mm wide shell you’d see on a regular mountain bike, and it’s only 15mm wider overall. To keep the chainstay length to just 434mm long while offering clearance for that 3.8in wide rear tyre, the SuziQ is 1x only. So you can’t fit a front mech of any sort. But with the advent of wide-range cassettes and smaller chainrings thanks to direct-mount options like those from Race Face, we can’t see too many riders complaining. Plus, it looks so clean! There will be no less than four SuziQ models offered for 2017. The top two models use the C17 carbon frame, and the base two models use an alloy frameset that features the same geometry. Most models feature a Shimano direct-mount rear derailleur hanger. Oodles of clearance, even with those toothy Maxxis Minion tyres. DT Swiss supply the hubset on the top-of-the-range SuziQ, with a 177x12mm rear hub and a 150x15mm front hub. Di2 cable ports at the ready for those riders who want to ditch the mechanical cables and run an electric wire instead. For fat biking in potentially wet, cold and muddy conditions, Di2 does actually make a lot of sense. Exit port for the internal cable routing. Nice and clean, with the rear triangle using external routing. Despite their being many other fatties out there, Rocky Mountain have added their own BC feel to the SuziQ. The head angle runs at 68-degrees, and a 70mm bottom bracket drop should keep your centre of gravity low. What will it ride like on regular trails? We’ll just have to wait to find out…