This summer I have been riding a fatbike as my primary mountain bike. My fatbike XC bike of choice this summer is a prototype of the new Salsa Beargrease. I find myself loving fatbikes more and more as I find out just what they are capable of. I love the traction. I love the comfort. I love the I can get over or through anything confidence. So when our personal bikes went out to a Utah for my work event, I sent my proto fat XC bike. Only seemed logical.
One day when I had some time I asked my coworker and friend if I could ride his bike so that I could compare it too my proto Beargrease fatbike I had been riding.Â That was the critical point. It was a total gamechanger for me and I am on a mission to build one for myself. Tim has a new 2013 Mukluk frame set up with nice stuff. That said, it is heavier than my proto fat XC. So what’s the game changing part of this equation? A modified Lefty fat suspension fork!
We had some time to ride one day and I decided to ride to the top of Snowbasin. I took Tim’s Mukluk and rode up into the mountains. It was an incredible experience. The switchback climbs, even with rocks at terrible locations in the turn, were laughable. I just powered right over them. Sure I felt the weight some but I was just out enjoying myself. I ended up not making it all the way up because I got distracted, took pictures and didn’t have a map (I ended up on a trail that led somewhere else). But, I got a good hour and 15 minutes of climbing. Then I turned around. Whoa! That’s when it hit me.
Going down was an incredible experience. I had endless traction even on the loose rock. The big tires smoothed out the trail.Â The susfork took the burden of the big rocks and my mistakes and just crushed everything in site. I was flat out flying. The big tires do take some tuning of air pressure to get them feeling just right. Too much and you are bouncing off rocks like crazy, sometimes at speed. Too little and the tires push and fold a bit in corners. When they are just right you know it and the bike just flat out rips and grips.
Right now I am in the process of pulling parts together to build a full on dedicated summer fat XC bike much like Tim’s bike. This bike won’t touch winter with my Lefty sus fork and my mostly Shimano 10 speed group and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. I cant wait to get it finished and hit all my favorite local Midwest trails.
Some fork manufacturer needs to make a fat suspension fork! Please. Please. Please.
Fat XC w/fork = Gamechanger!