Out of all the bikes I’ve ridden, it’s the Fat Bikes that have drawn the most attention. In fact they’ve probably drawn more attention than all the other bikes put together, and that includes a lot of other nice ones. I’d venture to say that the cartoonish looks are a double edged sword. To a minority of riders they are a selling point, but too many riders have more negative thoughts. “There goes some attention seeker on a snow bike.” While I concede that the attention seeking bit may well be true, it’s in fact the “snow bike” bit that bothers me.
True it was extreme sand and snow riding that drove the development of the early fat bikes, but since those days, riders have found new uses for them. Turns out that you can, shock horror, ride normal mountain bike trails on them! In fact it turns out they are a lot of fun. The obvious benefits of the tyres are the huge amounts of traction and flotation they provide. This, after all, was the main purpose of the design. I wouldn’t want to ride the Iditarod Trail or a long beach tour on a regular mountain bike.
Closer to home, this means that seemingly bottomless mud holes are now rideable and, if you’ve got the legs, so is pretty much any climb. It’s quite a buzz. An unplanned benefit of the tyres size is their ability to roll over trail obstacles. The best thing about this is that they don’t roll like a suspension bike, they roll like a monster truck. Small bumps are soaked up but large hits become somewhat unpredictable. And that’s where the fun starts. Bounce through a nasty rock garden, land sideways, the tyres stick to the wet roots and you roll over the nasty pinch of a climb. Your friends watch as they drag their lighter, full suspension bikes up behind you.
Are they a performance bike? Will you win races on one? In Alaska or the Sahara, perhaps. Elsewhere, probably no. But is that a bad thing? Hell no. Have a go on one and I’m sure you’ll end up with a smile on your face. That’s what it should be about at the end of the day.
And so, without further a do, to the new On-One Fat Bike. It's a killer frame design that does exactly what it should. All initial signs are really positive, gonna run it as single speed for a bit and see how that goes too. Check out the photos below- abd let us know what you think. Production of complete, off the peg fat bikes from On-One could be with you much sooner than you might think...
More news on the On-One fat bike development coming your way soon….
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9 September 2011