Fat bikes ruled the roost in Dirt Demo Vegas. These machines attracted the most attention and the fun factor was highest among the riders of these bikes. We met up Greg Matyas of Speedway Cycles and he revealed the keys to the rising popularity of these bikes. When designed and built right, these bikes can go anywhere and do anything off-road. It truly is one of the best incarnations of the mountain bike.
We rode it around in the Bootleg Canyon trails and were amazed on how well these bikes rolled on the dirt. They took about as much effort to pedal as a normal 5 inch FS bike. When the route got soft and undefined, that’s when these bikes really shined. Where a normal mountain bike would grind to a crawl with the rolling resistance of loose dirt, these bikes simply rolled effortlessly. This was so fun that we ventured off trail a few times and just enjoyed the rolling abilities of the fat tires. As the terrain got technical and rocky, the Fatbike bike simply rolled confidently. There was not much bouncing off rocks. Most of the rocks just disappeared.
Of course, this is not a do it all bike. When the dirt turned to pavement, it seemed the bike hit molasses. It feels slower in asphalt as the rolling resistance just seems to ramp up. Also, riding out of saddle, the bike resists side to side movement as the weight of the tires is really noticeable.
Pressure on these big tires was set at about 7-8 psi for the conditions. One would say that this is low compared to the normal 35 psi on most mountain bikes here. Basically, set the pressure to where you get the perfect blend of traction, comfort and flat resistance.
Greg has further upped the ante by making his wheels tubeless compatible. He’s designed it right and it’s holding air. His new 90 mm wide rims are tubeless and are wider than most/all rims out there.
Part of all the excitement is there is a new fat bike tire out there called the Surly Big Fat Larry. The old Larry tire was 3.8 inches. This one is 4.5 inches. It is just monster!!
Greg’s Speedway Cycles Fatbike is the best execution of this concept as these creations range from 25 lb. racers, Titanium frames and SS Coupler frame like the one shown in the photos.
Complete builds start at $1999 and a price list is available here: http://www.fatbackbikes.com/prices.php