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.