In the past few months, there have been an influx of new bike stuff around. People raved about the 29 inch mountain bike, which evolved to 27.5 inch wheels. Due to the world wide web, it has been easy for people with resources to order bikes from different parts of the world. Just click order and then wait for a few weeks, then your brand new bike will be delivered right in front of your doorstep. Bikers wanted to have fat bikes, so they ordered the snow bikes made by Surly, Salsa, Moots, Fatback, etc. These are bikes with enough wheel clearance to accommodate them fat tires suitable for snow, sand and whatever you throw at ’em.
But since the wheels are so massive, it is quite understandable that the frame and other components of the bike should be ultra light yet strong enough to withstand the rigors of rock ‘n roll riding. The rims are 26 inches in diameter but paired up with those big tires, the total diameter goes up to 29 inches all in all.
What are the advantages of having a fat bike?
1. You get a lot of stares. (even if you’re not wearing a bikini) People are amused with the fact that the tires are so big and fat. They snicker and say to themselves, “Whoa! Those are big wheels!”
2. There’s a lot of traction. Ride it on a bike trail and you’ll feel as if you were running the bike on a train track. It corners like crazy, it hugs all the berms and you’d feel as if the tires were attached to the terrain.
3. On a proper gear, you’d climb like a mountain goat. Whether it’s a rock garden, moss field, or mound of sand, expect your fat tire bike to conquer it.
4. The tires get the bounce of a 2-3 inch full sus bike.
5. 26 inch rims result to 29 inch geometry due to the massive balloon tires. This baby rolls on to anything. It’s like pedaling a monsta truck. You can line up a set of die cast cars and crush them with these monsta tires (figure of speech).
A good ride mate of mine got a Fatback~~ a beach specific fat bike made from titanium. We all raved about it. But after a few months…
The Sandman Hoggar is a Mountain Bike injected with the Captain America serum. (you know, the stuff they pumped into Steve Rogers which made him into “The Cap.”) You can use this on the beach, on snow (if it ever snows) or where ever you wanna go.
What are the advantages of the Sandman?
First of all, the Belgium made frame is TITANIUM. Ti.
The lightness of carbon married with the flex of steel. ‘Nuff said.
Third: Bombproof yet light components. KCNC is the choice of cockpit for this build. Hope Tech stops this monster. SRAM XO shifts the front derailleur while Shimano XT changes the gear for the rear. E thirteen is the assigned crank, while your bum rests on a WTB Silverado. Crank Brothers softens your grip on the handlebar.
In conclusion, I think Fat tires are here to stay. Not just for cruising ’round the beach, but it shall be accepted for all kinds of aggressive riding, DH, All mountain and Enduro. The benefits of having wide and big tires will be slowly accepted and manufacturers will try to lighten up the rim, develop space grade rubber with bombproof construction yet not too cruel to mass. It looks good, I have to accept, especially if you enjoy those monsta trucks when you were little. The balloon tires give the bike an extra ooomf. Angry yet business-like. Rock n’ roll yet decent. Right now, it is just a boutique bicycle, but once the mass market bike producers feel the demand, it will flood the market with copies of the original race bikes.
But so far, The Sandman Hoggar is still the best I’ve ridden. Cheers to the maker of Sandman, Master Koen Viaene! Here’s to more fat tires!
photo credit for the PHAT chick: BocaBikeshop