Before Fat-Bikes were around, the Iceman Cometh Challenge was the culmination of each year’s mountain bike race season around the Great Lakes. Now that (midwest) fat-bike racing is in it’s 4th season, the Iceman has become the pivot point between mountain bike race season and fat-bike race season. (Even though Fat-Bikes are Mountain Bikes). Located in the beautiful Grand Traverse Bay area of Northern Michigan and held in November means that the Iceman can occasionally take place with anything from Indian Summer to Wintery snow conditions! The iceman also features the best consumer bicycle expo that we get in the midwest, called the Sram Ice Cycle Expo. I made the trip around Lake Michigan to report on the happenings and bring the expo to your computer screen!
Trek had to have two dozen of their Farleys spread across the expo floor. I think they had the largest showing at the expo (that was dominated by fat-bikes). I got to chat with our amigo and Trek Pro, Travis Brown. Travis is going to race the Iceman on his Trek fatty in the pro division and in two weeks will be our special guest on the Weekly Dose of Fat radio program!
Specialized was also at the expo with a sweet display of their Fatboy line up. I’m currently testing a fatboy expert and when I told the guys at the Specialized booth about it, they gave me a cool winter beanie! There were fat-bikes everywhere at this expo. It seemed like every shop and vendor had been given a fat-bike to entice people into their booths. In addition to the the big brands, there are bike shops, tire vendors, clothing and every sort of cycling service and accessory represented…..and most of them had a fat-bike in their booth. Notably missing were the Alaskan Fat-Bike Brands. I did see our amigos from Framed Bikes out of Minneapolis were there with their Carbon “Alaskan” bike (photo below) They were there to show their new bike and then race that puppy the next day!
Here’s one more shot of the Specialized Fatboy Pro
I saw fat-bikes from Surly, Trek, Specialized, Salsa, Rocky Mountain, Cooker, Quiring, Rogue, Framed, La Mere, Six one Six and Kona
This new Kona Wo was rocking 45nrth’s new Dillinger 5’s and an Iceman Race Plate. This year’s Kona looks mui bueno! Our amigos from 45NRTH also had a booth at the expo. I plan to ride Dilly Fives a lot this winter!
John from 616 showed me this twenty something pound steel beauty decked out with a pair of skeletal 616 hubs and Vee’s H-Billy Tires. Michigan has great custom bike builders and they were all there showing their latest works of rideable art.
I knew that I would find – tire testing guru – BBR test pilot, Ken Blakey-Shell at the Quiring booth, where Scott (Quiring) had two tandems and his personal 22 pound 29+ race rail on display. I got to see my old friend Steve who just picked up a new Quiring fatty (that’s his bike with the blue fork). I got a chance to see Ken’s fat-tandem up close and see the massive fork that Scott fabbed for the project. I got to chat with our old friend Jason from Barking Bear Bags as well as some new friends that listen to our radio show!
Rogue Cycle Works is Michigan’s newest custom fat-bike-tandem builder. I met Rogue’s owner, Daniel Koert a few years back when he was working for another builder. Daniel has already built two fat tandems. This one is slated to race in the Iceman and the other tandem also has a matching fat tagalong bike for the owner’s daughter.
The expo was very crowded this year. There was very little room to get great pictures of everything. I hope that you enjoyed our little glimpse into a Fat-Fun Friday from The Governor’s Hall at the Grand Traverse Bay Resort and Spa. This is your fat-bike dot com news correspondent, uncle gomez, signing off from the Sram Ice Cycle Expo and sending you back to our News-Team-Eight Headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.