Fat bikes are a fairly new niche of bike to the off road cycling community, originally designed to ride on snow over in Alaska, then they were found to be fantastic on Alaskan beaches in the summer months. Once videos of these rides hit YouTube they started to spread across the world
After riding a Surly Pugsley (steel) Fat Bike back in 2008 I fell in love. I fitted a fat wheel on the front of another bike but it wasn’t quite the same as the rear wheel as it still sank into the sand on my local beaches here in Merseyside, then Salsa released their all aluminium Mukluk (which won’t rust like steel on salty beaches) in 2010 and I imported the first one into the UK. I rode that bike for well over 5000 miles getting many strange looks and comments along the way, but all good things must come to an end and a good friend has now given the Mukluk a very good home and it’s still going strong as he’s out riding a couple of times each week.
I’ve talked my way into the very fortunate position to help and advise Michael Travers in a very small way with the design of his Fat bikes and 29er+ (another niche) frames which are fairly new to the market place. One of the fun parts of my (un paid) job as a “Brand Ambassador” is to help with the naming of these monster bikes.
Many emails were exchanged in the naming process, jokes were made, lawyers asked for their advice and now I’d like to introduce to you the all new titanium Travers Bat Fastard.
Frame – Titanium Travers Bat Fastard
Forks – Lauf Carbonara*
Saddle – Brooks Cambuim C17 Denim
Handlebars – Jones Loop bars
Gears – 1 x 10 set up with a choice of 4 front rings to change before the ride depending on the terrain
Rims – 100mm Surly Clown Shoes
Summer Tyres – 4.8″ wide Surly Big Fat Larry’s for dry trails and beaches
Winter Tyres – 4.8″ wide Surly Bud (front) and Surly Lou (rear) for mud and mountains
Seat Post – Travers Titanium
Stem – Thompson
Hubs – Hope Fatso hubs
*The Lauf Carbonara are very unique they give 60mm of travel to “absorb the ride” which having no moving parts, sand and salt are not a good mix for normal suspension forks and they weigh a super lightweight 1100g
This bike is equally at home on a 4 day bike packing bivi ride around Northumberland’s beaches and over the hills, as it is at nipping down to the local beach for a Sunday Ice cream. But what’s next?
November 14th 2015 see’s the first World Championship beach race over in Holland, and I’ve been invited to take part, not for my race pedigree but because yet again I blagged a couple of entries to help my new Dutch friends promote Fat Biking to the continent. With 700 racers and some semi pro riders on mountain bikes and cyclo cross bikes with 2″ tyres going flat out on hard packed sand for 50km my goal definitely is not to get on the podium or to worry the fast riders. I want to have fun but I also don’t want to finish last. So the specific training has started.
So, please wish me luck not only for a successful trip but for two calm eight hour crossings to and from Holland.