Hello all of you fat bike buffs (and gnomes)! I’d like to take a second to introduce myself as one of the newest Bike Black Ribbon Test Pilots. My name is Nick Holzem, you may have first heard me in an interview on “The Weekly Dose of Fat episode #123”. At the time, I was wrapping up the “Hugh Jass Fat Bike Series” with one race to go. I ended up taking home the overall “Hugh Jass” prize; a selection of fine fat bike goodies including a Farley fat bike. In the episode, we also talked about how I got into fat bike racing and started discussing fat bikes, gear, and tire pressure. A little more about me, my roots are from BMX and downhill ski racing. I enjoy road biking, bike camping, and an occasional game of bike polo. To pay the bills I work in new product development at a Milwaukee based manufacturer of power transmission products where I engineer innovative designs with 3d computer software. I enjoy studying how bikes are manufactured, the industry, and bike culture. Look for my data enriched technical perspective in each of my reviews.
After some assignment reallocation of test bikes, I now have a sparkly new aluminum hardtail to test from Eleven bikes. Eleven bikes offer online sales of their one and only model which you can customize 167 million diverse ways. The flavor of mine is light and crispy, and if I could drink it would taste something like one of those fresh squeezed ipa’s from “insert your favorite brewery here”, delicious!
- Rockshox Bluto fork
- Reynolds The Dean 80mm carbon rims with Industry 9 hubs and tubeless 26×4.0 Jumbo Jims
- Sram Eagle XG-1295 12 speed cassette and XX1 rear mech
- Next Carbon SL cranks and seat post
- Raceface Aeffect 35 stem 50mm and SixC 35 handlebars 760mm
- WTB High Tail Pro saddle
- Hope X2 hydraulic brakeset 203mm front 183 rear
Builds start off just south of $3000 and include only parts from top name manufactures, the ones that you’d really like to ride. You basically have 12 different choices when building your bike. You can start from a themed preselected version or customize your own down to the color of grips and housing cables. The site tool shows weight savings and price additions for each option giving you lots of control to get the right complete bike for you the first time. The USA made dirt jump inspired frame has its seat stays and top tube are orientated in a straight line which look playful and claim to add stiffness. It also is made from 6061 aluminum which is somewhat traditional of BMX frame builds and aids in manufacturability. But I’ll save more of the technical highlights for the full review.
One of the first places I’m going to channel my inner kangaroo is my local trail in the Southern Kettle Moraine forest here in Wisconsin. There are sections of rolling hills speckled with rocks, berms, and bumps perfect for this monster truck. If I’m still testing by Augusts end I hope to take it to Upper Michigan where I can avalanche down the “Flow Trail” at Copper Harbor and bash through the dual slalom course in Marquette. Of course, there will be countless hours at the other Midwest hot spots too and a local race or two. If you know of a good section of dirt jumps let me know in the comments and I’ll put it on list of places to ride.
Look for my complete review of the custom Eleven bike later this summer!
What you need to know about Eleven bikes you can find at elevenbike.com.