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Sarma Shaman & Vortex

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Sarma is based out of Siberia (seriously!) where I’m guessing they know a thing or two about getting around in the snow. The company is clearly focusing on the high end of the fat bike market with the $5,000+ carbon Shaman that was on display at Interbike. The company specs this as either a 4″ traditional fat bike or as a 29+ bike, though as you can see in the photo above the 29+ tire has very little clearance with the Bluto fork. As a point of reference, I couldn’t get my finger in between the tire and fork pictured above. Somebody, please come out with a proper 29+ suspension fork!

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I didn’t get a ton of info on the Sarma Vortex but it’s also carbon and will accommodate tires up to 5″. As such, this is more of a snow bike, hence the lack of a suspension fork up front. -Jeff

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# Comments

  • Jeff Barber

    It’s interesting to see that many (though not all) of the established MTB brands with fat bikes in their lines seem to be shooting for the sub-$2000 range while upstarts and smaller brands like Salsa are really pushing the tech with more expensive carbon bikes, suspension, etc.

    I guess some of the bigger companies are thinking fat bikes are just going to be a second or third bike for consumers. But after riding high-end fat bikes (like the Bucksaw), I beg to differ! Fat bikes will be primary rigs for many riders so it’s time to really put some thought into these designs rather than just rolling out rigid bike with fat tires slapped on them to meet a reasonable price point.

    • Greg Heil

      I’m personally enjoying seeing bikes like the Rocky Mountain Blizzard and the Big Ed which are rocking nice components and a suspension fork, but they’re not outrageously expensive. $2,700 for the Blizzard with a Bluto and an XT build kit seems like a pretty awesome deal!

    • Jeff Barber

      I think part of what we’re seeing too is that the fat bike market is already splintering into winter fat bikes and year-round fatties. Winter fat bikes (rigid, 5″ tires) will be more of a niche and will be a second or third bike for folks while the year-round fat bikes will rock 3-4″ tires plus suspension. The latter is a larger potential market but will take longer to develop.

    • Greg Heil

      Possibly, but it seems like with all the 29+ conversions on display of bikes that were originally pitched as “winter” fat bikes that some of these fat bike companies are really trying to say, “hey, maybe you first bought this bike to ride on snow, but you can easily make it a great-riding bike for the entire year.”

      Still, I’m inclined to agree with you… it’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out, and if some companies will try to do BOTH all-year and winter-specific.

  • jhodgson

    That Bluto fork is indispensable, I say. It makes already fun bikes real much more funner.

    I gotta get on that bucksaw!

    • Greg Heil

      Dang, y’all are making me discontent with my new fat bike! Less than 200 miles and I already want a new one 😉

    • Greg Heil

      PS wouldn’t it make sense for RockShox to offer the Bluto with a straight steerer options, due to all the straight headtube steel bikes with rigid forks, like mine, running around?

  • sdm268

    I’m still a little hazy on the benefits of a Fat Bike over a conventional mountain bike. Anyone?

    • Greg Heil

      Maybe Specialized and Trek should come down off of Mount Olympus and join the rest of us mere mortals at the expo.

    • Greg Heil

      PS Specialized WAS at Outdoor Demo, just not at the indoor expo. But Trek is just fine with doing their own “Trek World” expo…

  • Jared13

    It’s awesome to see the fatbike market gaining traction. (pun intended 😆 )

    A few of the shops back home (NE Iowa) have been in love with them for 3+ years now. One of them (Decorah Bicycles) has started a fatbike rental fleet they love them so much! I moved away right before they got it up and running, but if I go back to visit, I’m tempted to try one out for the day, even if I bring my bike. They currently have Trek, Surly, and Specialized fatbikes available.

    The Salsa Bucksaw has definitely caught my attention!

  • r1Gel

    You ‘muricans must be getting really rich. You’re marketing 6k carbon fat bikes to the “masses.”

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