Chunky love

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I have a confession to make: I love - LOVE - fat bikes.

Yes, ultra-light, ultra-stiff, race-ready carbon fiber road bikes still get my pulse racing, but there's something to be said for the laid-back, take-no-prisoners position that comes with a fat bike.

"What's a fat bike," you ask?

Picture a pseudo mountain bike, sans suspension, but with cartoonishly wide tires. Like, ridiculously wide tires - we're talking 4+ inches of tire, wide. For comparison, my Cervelo race bike rides on 20mm tires (about 3/4" inch wide), and my Kona Jake the Snake crossbike rides on 35mm tires, which are about 1.5" wide. A 4" wide bike tire is huuuuuge.

Consider this as well - a fat bike's tire pressure runs about 15psi. For comparison, a standard car tire uses around 35psi. My Kona uses 70psi. My Cervelo uses 120psi... So, you get this super compliant ride, without suspension. And, you also get amazing grip in almost any condition, but particularly so in snow and sand.

And that's why I finally brokedown and bought one of these chubby beasts.

I had been wanting a fat bike ever since I rode my friend Paul's Nine Zero Seven fat bike. Besides looking cool, they're just fun to ride. The hum of those huge tires, the spongy feel, and the double-takes that everyone does when you ride by... it's too cool.

The local Trek store was hosting a bike club information night, complete with free beer and food, and I met my friend's Paul and Sallie at the event, where I consumed a few beers, all the while staring lustily at the last Trek fat bike on the floor... I didn't listen much to the club's presentation... no sir, my gaze and attention were locked firmly on this beauty.

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That's a Trek Farley. I love the name - coined in honor of the infamous Wisconsin-born actor/comedian, Chris Farley - a lovable, portly fella.

After some shrewd negotiating on my part, I left the store with said bike in hand. I say shrewd, because I managed to get an incredible deal on the bike... there were only 500 of these bikes ever produced, and at the time of my purchase, there were only three left in Trek's inventory, world wide. They were released to the public in October of 2013, so they went quickly. I guess it was meant to be.

The store gave the Farley a quick once-over; here it is on the mechanic's stand getting some final attention, while being fitted with some stellar pedals and bar mitts.

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I'm happy to report that the new car easily accommodated the Farley for the ride home (more on the new wheels later). After that, it was time to ride.

Timing couldn't have been more perfect - we had some awesome snow on Monday, which allowed me an opportunity to put the bike through its paces. I'm happy to report it was EXCELLENT.

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It's geared super low, so it doesn't take much effort to turn the pedals and wheels, which is great when you're navigating through 5-6" of fresh snow. Just torque away, and you'll be OK. That's the trick to riding in the snow on one of these - keep pedaling... as soon as I'd coast through the deeper stuff, the bike would get unsettled. Pedaling kept it on the straight-and-narrow.

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I love that black-and-green color combo. Trek calls the color "Trek Black" - I think it's sorta' Batman-esque. The green cranks, fonts, and spacers provide just enough "pop" without being obnoxious.

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Those Bar Mitts are thebomb.com - holy cats, what a great invention. They provide complete protection against wind, snow, rain, etc., while allowing you to have full operation of your brakes, shifter, and bars. Add a thin pair of gloves to the mix, and you're totally set to ride. My friend Paul turned me on to these, and boy am I glad he did... they are totally awesome.

And finally - one last shot... this is from last night - I rode about 15 miles through the slush and snow and had an absolute blast. This so beats riding the trainer...

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on February 19, 2014 11:17 AM.

I wanna be sedated (and offline) was the previous entry in this blog.

New Wheels is the next entry in this blog.

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