Day 2 of Quality Bicycle Product’s Saddle Drive dealer event presented the opportunity to ride more fat-bikes. Naturally, Mark and I were up for that!
Our first ride of the day was on a pair of Cogburn CB4s. The CB4 is designed with outdoor sports folk like hunters, anglers and foragers in mind to give them a way to access back country locations that previously may have required a lengthy hike in as well as other travel tasks associated with back country needs. As such, the CB4 leans a bit more towards the original, slow speed, go anywhere geometry of earlier fat-bikes rather than the trend to turn fat-bikes into modern day trail rippers.
On our test ride the nod towards slow-speed handling was noticeable but the bike is no slug on the trail although it did get a bit sketchier at speeds above what I’d expect the rider interested in this bike would be inclined to ride at. I also appreciated the low stand over because the gun stand in steel pipe made it impossible to swing your leg over the back of the saddle when mounting or dismounting.
If you are interested in this interpretation of the fat-bike, Summer is a good time to check one out. There is a $300 sale on the CB4 bringing the price from $2199 down to $1899.
While the Mukluk frame remains unchanged except for some catchy new colors, the addition of the RockShox Bluto on the Mukluk 2 really adds some trail cred to one of the more popular fat-bikes available.
I took out the Muk 2 to check out the Bluto some more and found the bike very capable on the trail. I overcooked a corner and blasted through some scree but the Bluto-equipped front end smoothed out my mistake instead of sending me flying. Kudos, Bluto, kudos!
A nice up spec on the 2015 Mukluk 2, as well as the top-of-the-line Mukluk Ti, is the addition of Thomson stems and seatposts. The Muk 2 has a nice, serviceable drive train spec with the highlight being the SRAM X9 Type 2 clutch derailleur doing a great job of controlling chain slap while the Muk Ti uses the really great X1, 11-speed drivetrain.
Mark took a Beargrease out and appreciated the stiffness of the rear end although his riding style is really suited for more playful bikes rather than this carbon race bike made for longer distance endurance events.
I didn’t get a chance to ride the new Beargrease but of note in the Beargrease line is the addition of an Aluminum model. The geometry is very similar to the carbon model with a few small tweaks but the real news is that there is now an Extra Small Beargrease for the hight challenged among us.
TRP Spyke Brakes
TRP brakes, an Ogden-based brake company, had prototypes of their new Spyke model that is really cool. It is a mechanical disc brake that is able to compress both brake pads evenly rather than simply moving one pad like most mechanical disc brakes do.
We have Mark set up with a set of these brakes and will have a look at them soon. Keep your eyes peeled.
With no less than 8 different interpretations of the fat-bike platform at Saddle Drive simply from a geometry stand point and the myriad of component options that exist just in the QBP eco system, let alone the fat-bike offerings from all the other companies out there building fat-bikes, the continued evolution of the fat-bike should make it possible for anyone to find a ride that will suit their style. It is a good time to be a lover of fat-bikes! Oh, and we haven’t even gotten through Interbike season yet. More’s a comin’!