|New Maxxis 29+ tire: image courtesy of Brant Richards|
First off, on Wednesday morning I awoke to two images posted by On One's Brant Richards of some Maxxis tires. one a 29+ and the other a 4 inch wide fat bike tire called the Mammoth, which looks kind of like a fat Ardent-like tread.
So my thoughts on this were that finally some break through on tires was imminent. This could only mean one thng: More companies were ramping up fat bike production. The tire companies are not going to do fat bike tires or 29+ unless some mainstream company is pulling the trigger for them with orders to put on new bicycle models. Expect this Summer to be rife with news on fat and 29+ stuff!
But you may say, "Okay- but that's just two tires. How many bikes would use those?" You are right to be skeptical, but I had a funny feeling Maxxis wasn't the only ones jumping in. And I was correct.....
|Duro Fat: Image Courtesy of "Red"|
Later on Wednesday, I got confirmation that Trek will have a Bontrager TLR-type tubeless set up for fat bikes. The system will consist of tires and rims which will work together- the first of its kind for fat bikes. Not only that, but another source has informed me that the rim is a ".... pretty wild departure from anything "normal"".
This source went on to say that Trek will have five total fat bike models for 2015: Two aluminum hard tails, two carbon hard tails, and a full suspension fat bike!
Think about that final statement a bit. That means the long awaited front suspender from Rock Shox will become reality for 2015 on Trek fat bikes. Probably on Salsa fat bikes as well. Why? Did you see how all the Salsa 2014 fat bike models are suspension corrected and have 51mm offset forks? Think about it.......possibly two full suspension fat bikes with dialed suspension in 2015. It boggles the mind to think what was available for fat bikes in 2011 were pretty much basic hard tails with rigid forks and Surly Larry tires were the talk of the town. Now we're talking about more things happening in one model year for fat bikes then has happened in the fat bike's entire previous history combined. 2015 "The Year of the Fat Bike"? I don't think that is too far from the mark if it isn't dead on.
While many folks seem to think fat bikes are too dull and heavy to be all-year-around mountain bikes, apparently many companies are betting differently. It will be interesting to see how all the geometry choices affect snow, sand, and mud riding, which early fat bikes were specifically dialed in to tackle.
Then later in the day I get the word that Kenda Tire is doing a fat bike tire. A 26 X 4.0" tire with their DTC compound and dubbed the "Juggernaut Sport". It is interesting to note that all of these "leaked" tires are in the 4.0" range. Apparently that is where we are going to see manufacturers focus their efforts on in terms of fat bike tires.
So, the market really is opening up, eh? With Maxxis in, Duro Tire in, and Kenda Tire in, along with the Bontrager tires, and what I would assume should be more offerings from Specialized, the fat bike tire selections will effectively triple in one year!
Like one source told me, "...this is like 2006 and 29"ers all over again!" I would have to agree. I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg as well. Obviously we don't have any idea what Salsa Cycles is doing, and I am sure other surprises lurk in the shadows yet, like Specialized's offerings, or other companies with components, (tires, rims, and forks), that we will be finding out about soon.
This week was " Fat Tuesday", but the real deal this year is "Fat Thursday"!
|Prototype Bontrager tire|