No doubt you all saw the Eriksen titanium fatbike, dubbed the Husky, in the story about the Snozocchi fat-bike fork in yesterday’s story. You had to know we were working on more details about the titanium beauty as well as some of the details you more observant types were able to glean. Well, you were right! We sent some questions to longtime ti fatbike builder and Kent Eriksen’s right hand man, Brad Bingham, for the skinny on Eriksen’s new fat.
FB.c – Brad, when did you first discover fat-bikes?
Brad – I have been involved with building fat-bikes since Gordon Schuck and myself came across the Remolino sand bikes at Interbike in the fall of 1999. He looked at me and immediately said, “snow bikes!”. Gordon built the first ever Moots fat-bike with help from Moots founder Kent Eriksen and myself; we were both working with Moots at that time. His design used the rim and tire combination supplied by Remolino (rim was about 82mm wide, tire had a very square profile and minimal tread). Gordon’s bike was the spark that ignited my desire to continue exploring what was possible in the fat-bike design world. Over the next 10 years I built a handful of bikes for myself, but was lucky enough to be involved in building fat-bikes for ultra-endurance athlete Mike Curiak. Mike and I spent a great amount of time preparing his bikes for the Alaskan Iditabike 1,100 mile self-supported goal he had. Mike brought real world extreme riding experience and was always pushing to try new ways of building fat-bikes, helping to further evolve products for all of us.
FB.c – Kent Eriksen Cycles is know for titanium frames. What got you involved in doing a fat-bike?
Brad – Kent Eriksen Cycles is owned and operated by Moots founder Kent Eriksen. Kent and myself worked together at Moots from 1997 to the end of 2004 when Kent left Moots. After I left Moots in 2012 I took a short break from building bikes, but I couldn’t be gone long…. So at the end of 2012 I teamed up with Kent and we’ve been building beautiful custom ti frames together since. Eriksen Cycles had not yet built a fat-bike but had a strong desire to do so and last fall we collaborated on the design parameters and the result is our “Husky” frame.
FB.c – Do you offer a stock design or is each fat-bike a custom design?
Brad – The pictured bike is my current ride/race rig. The fit is custom like all our frames, but here are some details about the details:
- 17.2” chainstay length
- 197 X 12 rear axel/drop-out design
- 100mm threaded bottom bracket shell
- Fits 5” tire on 100mm rim
- Curved seat tube for tire clearance
- Designed for 1X or 2X drivetrain (currently running the Race Face single ring set-up with 28T)
- 44mm head tube for use with tapered or straight steerer
- DT Swiss 240s hubset (custom built by me)
- Frame weight was 3.6 lbs
- Complete build ready to ride with Borealis carbon fork was 27 lbs.
FB.c – Our eagle-eyed readers spotted those DT Swiss hubs when we posted pix a few days ago, what IS the story there?
Brad – They started out as Stock DT Swiss 240s and were custom built by me for the 190/135 Husky frame. The rear is a front and rear mated, front is a stretched 240s. I am a huge DT SWISS fan as these hubs work extremely well in cold conditions, that’s why I spent the 12 hours fabricating these hubs!
FB.c – Do you work strictly with titanium or have you explored any other materials?
Brad – Kent Eriksen Cycles works exclusively in titanium and we feel it is the best material for bicycle frame construction available today. High quality titanium allows you to manipulate it into complex shapes without compromising its structural integrity. This ability is key when designing a frame like the Husky which needs to have chainstays unlike any other bike we make to clear the 5” tire and drivetrain. Every Kent Eriksen bike is 100% custom built to each customer’s specifications right here in Steamboat Springs, Colorado USA.
FB.c – Where do you see fat-bike tech heading? Have we gotten as fat as we can/will?
Brad – Fat-bikes are certainly still evolving and I look forward to the progress that myself and others make in this market, but I don’t see the bikes getting any fatter. The 5” tire realm has shown itself to be very effective on varying terrain and a frame that can handle the 5” & 100mm rim combo should be able to handle any other currently available rim/tire combo which gives the rider options to alter the weight/ride characteristics of the bike.
FB.c – Are there organized fat-bike events in your area? Have you attended any?
Brad – Colorado is known for its mountain bike racing heritage and fat-bikes are part of that history. The Leadville Winter Mountain Bike race series has been going strong for well over a decade! Currently drawing as many as 150+ participants to a single race (at night….in the winter!) these races are great for introduction into racing your fat-bike on snow as well as competing head to head with some of Colorado’s strongest riders. This year Crested Butte held it’s 2nd annual Alley Loop Fat-Bike race the day before the 28th annual Alley Loop Nordic ski race. This year Steamboat Springs is hosting 3 Xterra snow bike races in conjunction with Xterra snowshoe races and all over the state races like this are popping up. Durango is currently hosting fat-bike races right alongside their Nordic ski races drawing locals and out-of-towners alike. This story seems to be the same in ski/mountain towns all over the state as many Nordic areas are opening up to fat bikes and allowing them to share the trails.
FB.c – How does one go about getting a titanium Eriksen fat-bike?
Brad – The Husky frame is available by contacting Kent Eriksen Cycles at 970-879-8484, the cost is $4000 for the custom geometry frame. Once an order is placed and deposit taken wait time is approximately 8 weeks.
FB.c – Fat-bikes and beer go hand-in-hand like, well, fat-bikes and beer! Do you have a favorite?
Brad – That takes us right back to the beginning of this story! Gordon Schuck left Moots in the fall of 2008 to pursue his passion for making beers. He attended the Siebel Institute of Technology; America’s oldest brewing institute and is now the owner and master brewer at FUNKWERKS brewery in Ft. Collins, Colorado! So when I truly want to relax and enjoy an amazing brew I go for the Funkwerks “Tropic King” Imperial Saison.
FB.c – What do you like to do when you are not building bikes?
Brad – In my “off-the-bike” time I enjoying tinkering on all sorts of different projects…. Like my 1973 Airstream complete frame-off restoration ☺