Many people look at my Fatty and ask “What is that?” Well, it’s many things: fun, slack, not too heavy, stable, studded, n+1…
Like many avid riders in this part of the world, I felt a fatbike was the right thing to pick up for our surprisingly short and relatively snow-deprived winters. In late 2013, I wanted to order the frame and fork, assuming that I’d have everything built up and ready to go later that winter. There was a big delay on the carbon fork, and it was almost spring in 2014 by the time I finally got it [could have gone with the steel version, but it was ~1 kg heavier]. After that, I was trying to find a reasonably-priced set of hubs [i.e. less than $800!!!] and not having much luck. Eventually, I came across a used set of wheels and a pristine RaceFace crank/BB. The hubs were great, but the rims were complete crap [with one of the worst wheel builds I’ve ever seen]. 5 minutes with the wire cutters and I had a nearly-new set of hubs. Now I just had to find rims. Several months later, L-B finally finished their moulds and made me a set of 90mm tubeless-ready rims. I had picked up the tires locally, and managed to get everything together before the end of 2014.
Riding the Fatty
The bike went through a few iterations. The front shifting was complete crap, so I got rid of it in favour of 1×10. The gearing was too high, thus I added the One-Up 42T cog and things got better. I kept clipping trees and buildings, which meant the bars got cut down. I had no traction until the tire pressure was lowered. Now, it rocks. With a 68-degree head angle, handling is similar to what I’m used to on my other bikes. It climbs quite well, although I will likely go to a bigger bail-out gear – the tires are about as big as a 2.3″ x 700C setup, and the 30Tx42T low gear is not quite low enough in deep snow [or after holiday feasting]. I can totally see how a person could use a fatbike as their only mountain bike. That said, I won’t be getting rid of my Ibis any time soon.
Frame: On-One Fatty, size medium, 170mm spacing, On-One Smoothie Mixer headset, really old Axiom bottle cage
Fork: Fatty Carbon, 135mm spacing
Wheels: Light-Bicycle 90mm carbon rims, 32H, Pillar bladed spokes, gold alloy nipples, Hope Fatsno hubs and QR skewers, hand built by me
Tires: 45NRTH Dillinger 5 studded front and Dillinger 4 studded rear – both tubeless
Brakes: Shimano SLX, resin pads, 180/160 rotors F/R
Drivetrain: Shimano SLX 10spd shifter, XT rear derailleur, XT chain, RaceFace Atlas 175mm crank, Shimano M520 pedals, BlackSpire N/W 30T chainring, Shimano XT 11-36 rear cassette with OneUp 42T cog added and stock 11T removed
Steering: On-One 50mm stem [flipped], Funn Full On 785 bar [cut down to 745mm], ODI Ruffian lock-on grips
Saddle/Post: Selle Italia Flite, Rock Shox Reverb 125