In late October Gomez reached out to me with the proposition of testing the Fatback Rhino FLT, my immediate answer was a resounding “Hell Yeah”! Having the opportunity to test a Fatback in Alaska, during winter, was an exciting proposition. I got the call in late November to swing by Speedway Cycles in Anchorage AK, home of the Fatback, to pick up the 2017 Rhino FLT.
The Rhino FLT I was handed is the 18”matte black frame with glacier blue and white badging. I’m a big fan of blacked out bikes. This bike is very easy on the eyes, a great paint job with burly welds. New for 2017 from Fatback is the FLT (Fast, Light, Technology) with a focus on light weight, high performance, and premium ride quality. The first thing I noticed was the absence of the sliding dropouts on the FLT. The Rhino is still produced with sliding dropouts just not in the FLT model. The build kit on the bike I’m testing is the GX1 with an MSRP of $2,399.00. The Rhino FLT weighed in at 29.03 lbs. with studded Dillinger 4’s setup tubeless.
- Rear Dropout Spacing: 197 x 12mm
- Dropper Post Routing: Internal and External
- Fork Compatibility: Optimized for 470 axle to crown rigid or 100mm suspension fork
- Max Tire Size: 5.0”
- Recommended Tire Options: Rigid Fork= 26” x Fat or 29” Plus / Suspension Fork = 26” x Fat or 27.5 Plus
- Rack Mounts: Frame – Rear rack mount (Fatback LCG Rack) and 3 bottle cage mounts
- Rigid Fork – 2 Anything Cage mounts
- Drivetrain: Optimized for 1x
- Chain Ring Clearance: 34T (round ring)
- Headset: ZS – 44mm upper / 56mm lower
- Bottom Bracket: 100mm BSA
- Seat Collar: 34.9mm
- Seat Post: 31.6mm
- Frame / Fork – Aluminum FLT
- Shifter: Sram GX1 Grip shift 1 x 11
- Rear Derailleur: Sram GX 1
- Cassette: Sram XG-1150 10-42
- Brakes: Avid BB7
- Rotors: Avid G2 160/160
- Crankset / BB: Raceface Aeffect Cinch 30T
- Chain: Sram PCX1
- Seat Post: Fatback Carbon
- Stem: Fatback TS1
- Handlebar: Fatback TG1 Carbon 740mm
- Saddle: Fatback TC2
- Grips: ESI
- Headset: Fatback
- Hubs: Front – Sunringlé SRC 150mm / Rear – Sunringlé SRC 197mm thru axle
- Rims: Sunringlé Mulefüt SC 80mm
- Stock Tires: Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.0”
- Test Bike Tires: 45nrth Dillinger 4, Studded, 120 TPI (Not Stock, Tim hooked me up!)
Geometry – 18” Frame
- Effective Top Tube: 605mm /23.8”
- Reach: 433.8mm / 17”
- Stack: 598mm / 23.54”
- Seat Tube Angle: 74°
- Seat Tube Length: 450mm / 17.71”
- Head Tube Length: 120mm / 4.72mm
- Head Tube Angle: 69°
- Chainstay Length: 445mm / 17.51”
- Wheelbase: 1132mm / 44.56”
- BB Drop: 65mm / 2.55”
- Standover Height Measured 2” in Front of BB: 779mm / 30.7”
For specs and geometry on all the other frame sizes checkout http://fatbackbikes.com/ .
The Rhino FLT in its natural environment.
My initial impression of the Rhino FLT is that this fat-bike is built for adventure. Seeing all the mounts immediately takes me out on a bike packing adventure in a faraway Alaskan mountain pass. My first ride was on tussock and root laden single track, the FLT handled superbly. Compared to my personal ride, I felt more in the bike than on it. My bike has a head tube angle of 70.5° and seat tube angle of 73°, the FLT has a head tube angle of 69° and the seat tube at 74°. The 445mm chainstay length keeps it lively. It’s a comfortable ride, the Fatback saddle and ESI grips take care of the contact points.
So far I have ridden on glare ice, fresh snow, and packed snow surfaces I’ve hit up some twisty single track and wide multipurpose trails. The Rhino FLT does indeed feel fast and light. It’s a superb climber and downhill shredder. I’m looking forward to putting in as many miles as I can during the test period. Big thanks to Speedway Shop Manager Tim for sending me out the door on studded Dillinger 4’s. They just might keep me out of an emergency room. Stay tuned for the full review.
Let the fun begin!
For more information about Fatback visit www.fatback.com.