First things first. Fat bikes and skate parks do not mix. (with my skill-set) Well…more to the point, super knobby fat bike tires (look’n at you Terrene Wazias!) and skate parts do not mix; for the general reason of causing me to scrub too much speed up the transition, further causing me to stall out before the lip, resulting in a fall back to the flat for which I was awarded a very dark purple, wallet-sized bruise on my ham hock. Lesson learned. (photo removed by the editor)
On to the important stuff: As I had mentioned in the opener (https://fat-bike.com/2018/08/framed-ltd-bruh-by-dosrenshos/), this bike packs a metric Gnome Ton of value for the money. There are very few bikes at this price level that provide this level of build performance. If you or a freindo are looking to jump into the fatty market this is a fantastic way to do it. I can’t believe that this bike is less than a grand.
After a fair bit of time with this thing in my dirty mitts, I admit I still swoon every time I flick the lights on in the bike room. Framed really hit it out of the park with the maroon/orange color and the beautiful swooping top tube leading into the matching swoop of the seat stays. Pure elegance.
The cockpit is mostly Framed house brand stuff that is completely solid and allows Framed to sell at such a great price point. I have to send a special shout out to the Velo S2 seat that comes on the LTD. I’m kind of Princess and the Pea when it comes to saddles. Shits gotta be just right. I was very happy to find that this saddle is one that fits just right for me. Of course, your butt may vary. One thing I didn’t jive with was the grips. While they do have the benefit of being lock-on style (again, amazing at this price point), to me, they are not comfortable. I’d throw on a set of Ergons and maybe a set of some carbon bars to soak up a little of the stiffness of that nice maroon colored aluminum front fork. As expected, the Sram NX 11 speed groupo puts in a solid journeyman effort. The only miss shifts I had were due to my rare superpower of being able to spin leaves and sticks into the rear cluster with abandon. That the Truvativ crank comes with a bash guard is a big boon as I stuffed it into logs often while trying to emulate some sweet fat bike trials moves ala Elkhorn Wisconsin native Pat Smage. (photo above Pat Smage in Gnomeland)
I’m nowhere near that talented. The bash guard earned its keep.
The Alex Blizzerk wheel set is tubeless ready (though I stuck with tubes for the duration of the review) laced to Framed branded hubs. They worked perfectly and stayed straight and true regardless of how badly I treated them thus far. The Wazias had more grip than I could use. Side hilling showed no issues as well as no spinouts or bad manners under braking. That these tires are studdable is pretty great too. Just remember that for all this fantastic grip off road, you pay the price on road, as noted at the beginning of this review. The Sram Level Brakes worked a treat but the rotors were a touch noisy. My only real gripe with the bike is that it doesn’t have many options for mounting racks. There’s eyelets on the fork down low and behind the leg but nothing on the frame itself. I’d be willing to pay a few dollars more to have more mounting options on this bike.
Back when the Minnesota LTD was initially released, they only had the 18’ size. Other sizes are now available. They didn’t (and still don’t?) have a sizing and geometry chart published for the LTD, but if sizing charts for some of their other bikes are in the ballpark for the LTD, I am on the smallish side (at 5’7” – 30” inseam) but am still be able to fit the 18”. There are some things, like setting up to rail a corner that made the bike seem a little big but all in all, I felt instantly at home and comfortable. I spent a lot of time in the woods with this bike just hopping logs and trying to use pretty much everything as a jump. I had forgotten how much pop you can get out of a non-suspension front end but that rigidity did sometimes equate to harshness over roots. Luckily, the latest suspension forks will fit right on the LTD.
Oh, and don’t forget about the wheelies! This bike 12 o’clocks with the best of them. The gnomes were suitably impressed.
Closing out this review, there’s nothing that this bike wants for, other than a few eyelets. You get a really nice, good looking bike right off the bat at an incredible price point.
For more information about the Framed Minnesota LTD visit – https://www.framedbikes.com/collections/fat-bikes/products/framed-minnesota-ltd-fat-bike-mens