Thursday, February 17, 2011

The New Fatback

I got home from the first singletrack ride on my new bike the other night, and I found myself sitting in the garage just staring at it. I was still trying to sort out in my mind what had just happened.

When I decided it was time for an updated snow bike, I was willing to look at everything but knew I had a bias toward the locally designed brands. Two shops in Anchorage are staffed with people who ride and produce their own bikes. Both brands are popular, and I have friends on both brands who tell me they love their bikes.

I asked questions of a lot of riders, including strangers I met on trails. I rode friends' bikes. One real test ride on a Fatback convinced me I was finished with offset designs. Wheels and spokes sit dead-center in the Fatback frame, and it was the first time I'd pedaled a fat bike that handled like a regular mountain bike.

But my test ride was misleading. The first half was with a slower rider, and the second half was done with legs that were tired before I'd left the house.

When I hit singletrack on Tuesday night, realized what I'd gotten myself into. I rode harder than I'd intended, because it was fun to pedal this bike with intensity. I felt faster. And don't even get me started on what it was like to aim it downhill on a twisty trail. It was a freakin' thrill to not be countering the "steer itself" effect of the Pugsley's offset design. The bike actually went where I wanted it to go.

And it gets better each time I take it on the trail.

A month ago, I was looking forward to the beginning of spring. Today, I'm dreading the end of winter.


WheelDancer said...

Nice looking bike! I hear you on not wanting the winter to end; now that we've gotten into the queue for a Fatback, the weather has changed and our snow is melting like crazy and I'm afraid we won't be able to ride our new snow bikes on snow until next season. Sounds like we made the right choice with the Fatback though.

So does this mean you'll be posting fewer pictures since you'll be riding more?

The Old Bag said...


Anonymous said...

Tim, I don't think it's the offset that causes the "famous" Pugsley steering. It's just their frame geometry. The 907 would not be the same as the Pugs even though it's offset. That said I love how my Fatback handles too.