Fatback Bikes – Outerbike Review

Fat bike fever seems to be sweeping across the country like crazy. I wanted to see what all the fuss is about, so my first demo of Outerbike was from Fatback Bikes, based out of Anchorage, Alaska.

Greg from Fatback set me up on their ‘Deluxe’ alloy model in a 16″ size. This model comes equipped with Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes, and a mix of SRAM X7 and X9 drivetrain components with SRAM grip shifters. The cockpit bits are from FSA and the wheels, crankset, and fork are made by Fatback. My demo model, which lists for $2,300, also had the optional carbon fork (about a $100 upgrade that I highly recommend).

Rollin’ a Fatty

The first thing that surprised me about this bike is that it’s not that heavy. It’s certainly no weight weenie XC race bike, but it feels very reasonable.

The geometry of the bike is pretty neutral and comfortable and the component mix works perfectly. Other than some bounce from the squishy tires, the fat bike rides, well, like a bike! I had expected it to be slow and heavy with awful rotational weight due to the big tires, but nope … it rode fine.

Who says fat bikes are slow and heavy?

Where this bike really came to life was in Moab’s signature deep, soft sand. The 3.8″ Surly tires cruised right over it as if it were hardpack. I can totally see how this concept works so well in snow!

I have arranged for a long term test of a Fatback bike this winter, so watch for an in-depth review in a few months.

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