After a failed launch attempt in August, Road Trip 2018 blasted off from the Colonel Steve Austin pedal powered proving grounds in central ‘sconsin at the beginning of Rocktober. My initial stop was in Emporia, Kansas to attend mi hermano de otra madre, Adam Blake’s Wedding. Which meant that I was already halfway to Colorado Springs….which is the home of Borealis Fat-Bikes.
Borealis moved into a new facility and they have a new addition to their fat-bike line up called the Telluride. So I pinged the owner of Borealis, Steve Kaczmarek to see if I could come by for a tour of the new headquarters and get some shots of their new bike.
The new Borealis HQ is nestled in an upscale business park near the airport in Colorado Springs and Steve rolled out the red carpet. After my tour, Steve and I sat down and talked fat-bikes. Borealis is 100% focused on fat-bikes. If you follow the business side of fat-bikes you probably already know that fat-bikes started with a sharp spike in sales from 2011 to 2015 and since then sales have been harder to come by. Companies have had to adapt to the current leaner business cycle. With all of that being said, Borealis seems to be doing very well. Steve enthusiastically reported robust sales thus far in 2018.
Borealis has been successful in developing a network of key dealers in the US and Canada balanced with direct consumer sales in areas that aren’t serviced by one of their dealers. They have been working at clearing out their older inventory to gear up for the new Telluride along with a new colorway for their Carbon Crestone. Steve told me that Borealis is going to remain focused exclusively on the fat-bike category. You won’t see a Borealis e-bike, gravel bike or muscle bike in the near future…Just Fat-Bikes (period) That sets Borealis apart from most other bicycle companies and should garner the support of true fat-bike fanatics worldwide. Hell, even the Alaskan brands have explored alternate bicycle niches, but not Borealis.
This winter, Borealis is going to focus all of their event support as the title sponsor of the Fat Bike Worlds in Crested Butte. The Worlds are always held on the last weekend in January. The Crested Butte Ski Resort was recently purchased by Vail Resorts so look for something high class and super fun to come out of that partnership.
Steve and I talked about the current 10% tariffs that the US federal government has levied on products made in China and the looming 25% tariffs scheduled to take effect in January of 2019. If you’re serious about purchasing a new fat-bike in the near future, you need to factor in the tariff schedule. It makes sense to pull the trigger before the rate (presumably) goes from 10 to 25%. These new tariffs have been the subject of a lot of conversations (and headaches) around the bike biz. The increase is not etched in stone so the situation remains somewhat fluid. The last thing that cycling needs are higher prices.
The New Telluride
The Telluride is a low Q factor, hydroformed aluminum fat-bike that embraces a trail optimized, adventure bike attitude. A 68.5 degree headtube angle is paired with the Manitou Mastodon suspension fork for shread’n the gnar-gnar. There’s also a rigid carbon fork option available. The Telluride is designed around 27.5 fat wheels with rim options from HED and Sun/Ringle. Borealis updated their Gen One Hubs for the T-Ride and the new bike will come with Terrene Cake Eater or Wazia 27.5 Tires. The rear spacing on the Telluride is 177 Thru-Axle. The 83mm bottom bracket shell sets the t-ride up with a narrow Q-Factor that is optimal for the Eagle GX (one by) drivetrain that’s capped off with a RaceFace Next Carbon Crank. The new T-ride is offered with the option of 3 decal color choices and a full range of custom builds assembled by hand by their experienced professional mechanics.
As soon as the new Tellurides come on-shore we’ll be getting one to put through its paces, so stay tuned for a full review somewhere down the trail amigos. Thanks to Steve and the whole crew out at Borealis for allowing me to come and visit their new facility. Look for more stops from Road Trip 2018 in the near future.