|Black Mountain Cycles: Fat Tires Fit Here|
Fat road? Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? We're so accustomed to thinking "road bikes = 23mm width tires" that the terms "fat" and "road" are seemingly incongruous with each other. Well, it hasn't always been that way.
There was a time, long ago, when road bikes were plying roads not so well manicured as ours and the tires were a bit more "voluptuous" than they are these days. Of course, those tires were usually tubular, glued on types, and when the easier to manage clinchers came along, tires started out big, then they got small.
Materials technology allowed for insanely narrow, tiny tires to be produced which bred a perception that the skinnier and higher pressure you could get was faster. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but just try prying those 23mm tires way from most recreational roadies. Go ahead. I dare you.
Anyway, being locked into riding "just pavement" was never in my DNA as a cyclist, so gravel, dirt, big rocks, ruts, and mud all figure into my cycling. Your skinny roadie bike is a total fail where I go, most of the time. So, I resorted to 29"ers at first, and then I found the BMC "Orange Crush" bike, slapped some 1.9" fatties on it, and never looked back. You can check out these frames here.
here.) The fatter road tires to fit these bikes are rare now, but the manufacturers are gearing up to make more with the same/similar features you see on high end road clinchers in the 23-25mm range now.
Why should you care? Because for years, most road cyclists have been riding "stupid for them" bikes. That's right- bikes meant for serious criterium/long road events being sold to the average recreational cyclists is a really stupid idea. That's right- I said it.
Think about it: If you have bought into the high end roadie bike because "I can own the equivalent to a F1 car" , you are being blinded to the cold hard fact that this road racing rocket is impractical, uncomfortable, and not the right road bike for you.
Let's say you could own an F1 car. Would you actually drive it? Well, heck yeah! At least once or twice, but are you going to commute to work in it, go get groceries in it, or take the kids to a picnic in it? No, you are not. I would submit that this is what you are doing with your "F1 roadie rocket" though.
At the risk of sounding all "Grant Petersen" on you all, the "fat road" bike trend isn't new, but it is practical, and you should be paying attention. Hopefully a better road bike is in your future.