Our friends up at ZuZu Pedals in Port Washington, WI got in a couple of the new, $899 MSRP, SE Bikes F@E and they lent me one for a first look. This is not meant to be an exhaustive review but we wanted to get a look a what $899 can get you in a fat-bike these days.
First off our 17″ F@E demo has a nice looking Matte Red aluminum frame and fork. The F@E uses an offset 135 rear end that gives you a lot of drivetrain options. While the fork is symmetrical and has a 135mm spacing.
As tested the F@E comes with a 3×9 drivetrain using Shimano Acera Trigger shifters, a Shimano SLX front derailleur and a Shimano Acera rear derailleur. The frame has rack mounts on the rear and fender mounts front and rear as well as a pair of H2O mounts.
The crank is a functional Samox in the 100mm BB shell with outboard bearings.
Braking power is provided by Mineral Oil filled Tektro Hydros. Foam grips con nest you to the handlebar.
The Weinmann 80mm rims are shod with Vee Tire Mission, 72tpi tires.
The generic seat post, saddle, stem and handlebar are functional while the riding position is a bit more MTB than snow-bike.
The complete bike, in our test models 17″ Medium size, tips the scale right about 36 pounds.
The short ride on the beach showed me that the bike is competent on the sand. I lowered the pressure on the Missions and while they worked OK, wheels and tires are a definite potential upgrade area and would improve this entry level fat-bike. On the trip back to the shop on the road the Missions, with the pressure at about 8psi, exhibited the characteristic “self steer” these tires have at low pressure on the trail or on the pavement. The bike tends to want to turn in more than when the pressure is higher. At 15psi or so the feeling goes away and the F@E rides well on the pavement or hardback trail.
Todd from SE Bikes told Gomez that they are working on updates to the F@ line for 2015. With the 250 units they made for 2014 going fast, if you want to check one out for yourself, get to your local SE dealer soon!
Picked-up my 17″ F@E a few days ago and LOVE it! I bought it as a catalyst to get back into mountain biking and get healthy again. At this point I have little doubt that it will accomplish this task. My Gary Fisher Hi-Fi and old XTR-upgraded Raleigh M80 won’t be leaving the garage much any more. I’m now a fat-bike addict! This thing is a Jeep on two-wheels and will effortlessly roll right over anything. I’d definitely like to upgrade the components at some point, but for an affordable entry into the fat-bike game… I just don’t see how you could do any better than the F@E or F@R!
I couldn’t agree more. This bike is a total blast to ride.
I got one from price point and it’s a great ride. I wanted to know if the Bluto fork will fit? I plan on getting a nicer(more $$$) one in the future. I really like the offset rear wheel.
i bought a 2014 f@e 19 roller trying to figure out wat kind of drive train i should go with a single chain ring in front but undecided with wat i should do in back plus wat kind of brakes hydro or mech not looking for extreme i ride moderate trails any suggestions will help thx