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One for all and all for Fat!

 By Olov Stenlund

olov1

My daily commute on my fat-bike gives me time to unclutter my mind. Riding along through the rainy darkness, gives me time to think clearly and I’m here to tell you – 2014 has been one hell of a year! I guess the fat bike officially celebrated its 10th birthday. The Pugsly did arrive back in 2004. When spending time out of the saddle, I feed my filthy fat habit lurking around the internet. It´s quite fun to look up old forum threads from 10 years ago and read about the ”snow bikes” like this one. You could say that we’ve come quite a long way, since then.

Mountains of Norway

Mountains of Norway

2014 has been the year when fat bikes became something more than a weird bike that no one had ever seen. olov2Why is that? Some would say it´s the industry. All the big brands are joining the fat tire train. Some of the new school brands promote their fattys as all season bikes with suspension for regular trail blazing…and that´s awesome. The RS Bluto took the game to a whole new level in 2014. The industry has made quite an impact but I would give most of the credit of the fat bike revolution to the community. The fat-bike movement was born from the grassroots cycling community and the cycling industry has been trying to catch up ever since. All the great people out in the word riding and sharing stories. I live in a remote place where fat bikes are quite rare. I´ve never even seen a 9:Zero:7 or Borealis in real life. Actually, I can count the different bikes that I’ve seen on the fingers of my hand. I sure would not have been riding fat, if it weren’t for the inspiration from riders across the globe, or websites like fat-bike.com. The new year is a time of reflection and I´m thankful to be a part of the greatest cycling community in the world. Because lets be honest, that´s what it’s all about. We can be amazed by the new bling-bling gear, new carbon super mega awesome bikes and rims. It´s easy to get carried away. My self included. I just can’t get the Bucksaw out of my head. But without a community and friends to ride, talk and drink beer with, there is just no meaning.

arcipelagobeetxtr

Personally 2014 was the year when I got rid of my full suspension, regular mountain bike and went fat, all year around. I don’t miss it, and will not go back. Thanks to fat biking I´ve made new friends and ridden new places. When I got my Mukluk in 2013 there was just me and my friend Sven on his Pugsley. During the last year we went from two, to a half dozen fat bike riders. Our local bike shop, who is a Trek dealer, sold out the four Farleys in a few weeks. It took 10 years for the fat bike to reach out to the entire world. I’m looking forward to 2015…..who knows how far we will go? How far do we want to go? Does it matter? Not really, as long as we´re out there riding fat and having fun.

Seal Skull

Seal Skull

Thanks to you all and Fatty New Year to all the inspiring riders out there.
SKÅL! (cheers) from Sweden
Olov Stenlund

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5 Responses to One for all and all for Fat!

  1. WileyCoyote January 2, 2015 at 2:36 pm #

    Strangely we had the same experience with opposite conclusions… I saw the Fat Boy in the bike shop and was compelled to buy it. Within a week I was all fat, all the time. The Trance went on the block (I LOVED that bike) and the single speed went up on a hook. Don’t even ask about my road bikes… Here’s the strange part; I enjoy the fattie ’cause it gets me out of the rut of the mainstream community. I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. And I go into the woods to be alone. The fattie is just what the doctor ordered.

  2. Hans "Trailpatrol" Erdman January 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    I first got to ride a fat-bike with John Evingson in about 2003, before he moved back to Alaska. Even then I realized it was “the next big thing”. Then in ’05, one of our patrollers who worked at QBP patrolled the ski race on one, then there were two, then three. Today, we have 12 fat-bikes in the Backcountry Trail Patrol, either patrol or personally owned, and as of Wednesday, ALL of our Sr. Patrollers are on fat-bikes this winter. The most common thing I hear, and I have said it myself, it “fat-bikes put fun back in mountain biking”. The next big thing is here, and we love it. Let’s go for a ride!

  3. Allroy January 3, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    Fat Bikes to me are very punk rock, no rules and no regulations. Dress how you want and ride how you want. Crank up the Husker Du or Dillinger 4 and rip out with your friends for a brew!

  4. Wade January 4, 2015 at 4:12 am #

    Funny, a similar parallel to the advent of the mountain bike? What did we have before the triple crank, canti brakes, and tires that actually performed?

    Then the roadies got in the fray, started counting milligrams, we got stuck with 2.1’s on road rims @ 65 psi so they wouldn’t fold off the damn rims in a turn.

    I love how anti establishment the fatty’s are!

  5. Mike January 11, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    2014 is the year the fat bug bit me. Everything about fat bikes makes perfect sense to me. I feel as though I was born to ride one, even though I haven’t even thrown a leg over one yet. I like the Salsa Mukluk 2 with the Bluto fork. I just have to figure out how to come up with the money. Anyway, it’s the fat bike community that is responsible for my interest in these bikes. Between rider’s stories, photos, and reviews, I’m hooked.