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First Look – Fate from Blackjack Bikes

 

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The man behind Blackjack Bikes, Jack Neilsen, and I, go way back to the 90’s. I met Jack at the 24 Hours of Nine Mile up in Wausau. Jack was recovering from a broken collar bone and was helping out as the pit crew for a solo 24 hour racer. Jack followed the BMX pathway to mountain bikes and is tight with all of the fast dudes from Team Wisconsin and the Treadheads here in SE Wisco. We have a mutual amigo and we both recently ended up at Butch’s garage for a ribbon cutting shindig, where I got the opportunity to see one of his new carbon Blackjack fat bikes. Jack just recently started his new company and is importing open mold, Fat and 29’r frames, forks and rims .

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My fat-bike dance card has recently been punched with open mold. carbon. I’ve ridden fat and B+ bikes from Heller and my mental test ride glossary is literally, haunted by the traction sweet chewiness, that I experienced while testing the proprietary carbon masterpiece from Borealis called the Crestone. That made me start to think……I wondered, how an open mold carbon fat-bike with imported carbon rims, would compare with name brand, carbon bikes from companies with proprietary molded carbon fat-bikes like Borealis, Salsa, Trek, Specialized or 9:Zero:7?

blackjackbikes fate fat bike (3 of 10)So I talked to Jack and we made plans to build a Project Bike that we’ll get to Demo this Summer and report back with how things panned out. The bike is so fresh, that the name was only worked out the day before we received it. Jack decided on the name Fate, which folds in nicely with the ever popular, ‘game of chance’ theme. Let’s get into the details of what we’re going to test, with some of the build soecifications.

We start out with an open mold carbon frame and fork. The frames come in raw and then are painted any dang color that you desire. Our test bike is red, like the ace of hearts, With fat-bike builds, the wheels are every bit as important to the build, as the frame and fork. Blackjack supplied us their BJ 100mm wide carbon rims laced to Sun Ringle hubs. The drive train is Sram GX 1×11 and just about every other component (including brakes) is from FSA. I’m pretty stoked to test the FSA bits, because I haven’t had much of an opportunity to ride them in the past.

BUILD SPEC’S

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Frame –    Black Jack Medium

Fork –      Black Jack

Wheels – BJ carbon rims with SUN hubs & Wheelsmith spokes

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Bar –        FSA SLK – Carbon

Stem –     SLK Stem – Carbon

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Seatpost –             SLK Seatpost – Carbon

Saddle    – WTB

Grips –     FSA Gravity

Headset –              FSA

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Brake Calipers –        FSA AfterBurner

Brake Lavers –         FSA AfterBurner

Rotors –              FSA  6 Bolt

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Shifter-   SRAM GX

Rear derailleur –     SRAM GX  1X11

Cassette – SRAM GX  1X11

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Crank –    FSA Comet FAT  1x32T

Chain –    FSA 11 Speed

Tires     Husker du (Tubeless)

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Even though, this is our first look at the Fate, I’ve already taken this bike to some of my favorite Wisconsin Trails. I hit Nine Mile and Standing Rocks and I’ve been rolling Kettle and Canrock, closer to home. Our test bike tipped the scales at 25lbs 10 oz. with pedals and a bottle cage, when we weighed it on our Park Tools scale. I look forward to tearing up a lot more, sunny, summer, singletrack and seeing what Fate has in store for us!

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Stay tuned for the full review in a month or so. Adios Amigos!

For more information, you can check out Blackjack Bikes on Instagram or email Jack at blackjackbikes@yahoo.com

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3 Responses to First Look – Fate from Blackjack Bikes

  1. Ernesto August 1, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

    Awesome so awesome riding the Black Jack!
    From FB:

    First lap was a throw down on everything I could handle.

    The Black Jack handled well:
    It is a ride that will leave you wanting more mayonnaise ~ Good Housekeeping Magazine.
    The red color is, red ~ Fangoria
    Ancient Greeks drank wine ~ People Magazine

  2. Jack August 15, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    Nice article and completely true !
    Thanks
    Jack

  3. Steve P. August 29, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

    Good write up. Is the frame an FM 197?