Monday, February 25, 2013

Frostbike 2013 Part 1: Carbon Fat Bike Dream Come True?

Carbon Beargrease: Image courtesy of Salsa Cycles
Frostbike 2013:

Everyone has probably heard by now, but the show was all about the carbon fiber fat bike, Salsa Cycles 2014 Carbon Beargrease.

The shop where I work is a Salsa Cycles dealer. So, I got to pre-view some of the 2014 line up. I signed a "NDA", so you are not going to hear me say, or read anything about most of what I know, but they did say we could run with one thing they showed, and honestly, it is one of the coolest things they are doing for 2014 anyway, so here ya go......

I saw this pre-production rig up close. I will say that there are things going on with the frame, fork, wheels, and drive train that no one is doing now in fat bikes. These are things that make the idea of a fat bike better. Much better. Never mind that it is a carbon frame and fork. And what a frame and fork!

Cartoonish frame tubes here. Huge, huge fork crown, legs that slant inward  toward the through axle front end. Tapered steer tube, inset head set, and the look is sleek, and every bit as top shelf looking as any high end road bike carbon fiber you can name. Check out that downtube/bottom bracket junction! Whoa! A through axle rear? Are you kidding me? 

Image courtesy of Salsa Cycles
 Internally routed cables here, and note the fit of the fork to the head tube. This is a pre-production rig, so I was pretty impressed by this. The graphics aren't right, and there will be a bit of color, as I understand it, here and there. Still, the bike is stunning, both in appearance, and in technological level.

The weight? I've heard 24lbs for the XX-1 spec level. Oh yeah.......there will be an XX-1 spec'ed crank set, cassette, rear derailleur, and chain. The whole XX-1 deal on a fat bike. Awesome.

So, here's the thing: The bike does do a lot of things that I would have hoped a carbon fat bike would do. One is the shapes carbon can be used for were applied here. That aforementioned fork? Yeah- the crown flows out and around the top of the tire for maximum clearance, and that slants back to the axle, as I stated. The down tube is spread out to provide a shape that looks to me to be something that should resist twisting and prevent a lot of torsional twist in the chassis.

And of course, there is the weight. Wow. 24lbs for the pre-production bike, that has tubed tires, and no trickery besides the cool XX-1 drive train. You thought fat bikes were too heavy? Not anymore. This is a year round choice for mountain biking now, with the only caveat that tire prices are pretty dang prohibitive, so if you ride a lot, you may need to cut back on the beer budget a bit to save up for new skins eventually. I don't think you'll mind, if this is as fun of a bike as I imagine it must be.

So, there was that! There will be far more to say about this in the future. Of course, there was a lot more to Frostbike- both at the show and outside of it. Look for all of that later. Tomorrow and throughout the week.


Rob said...

What is the BB setup? Carbon fat SS would be very interesting....:p

Guitar Ted said...

@Rob- Probably won't happen SS with what I saw. That could change.....

Byron said...

Recall writing recently about how fat bikes wanted to go fast.

MG said...

Fatbikes already go fast... This just makes it easier. Great news.

mslater said...

I'm thinking put on a pair of the old lightweight endomorphs set up tubeless and run it SS... 20 pound fatbike. SHIT son.