The last time that I’d visited Scott and Christina Quiring at their shop in Free Soil Michigan was back in the spring of 2012. Free Soil sits between hundreds of thousands of acres of National Forest and one of the best Lake Michigan beaches that I’ve ever ridden. It’s a veritable Fat-Bike Paradise. I’ve been fortunate to get to know Scott & Chistina at a handful of races and events over the years and we’ve grown to be friends. I can’t really think about the Quirings without thinking about Ken Blakey-Shell. Ken is one of the hosts of the Fat Camp Podcast and handles most of the tire reviews that we conduct. Ken is currently riding and reviewing a variety of 27.5″ wheels and tires and I knew that Ken and Scott were talking about the pros and cons of the new wheel size from conversations that Ken and I were having. In the weeks leading up to my trip to Michigan, Ken wrote a technical journal on the subject and shared it with the group. So when I sat down to talk with Scott and Christina, I wanted to tap into what they thought about Ken’s research and completely nerd out on the new wheel size. I think we ended up talking for about six hours. I don’t think it was all about 27.5″ fat-bikes. For instance, I learned that Ken and Scott have been friends since 7th grade.
I also learned that Scott is building a new bike specifically designed around the rather large 27.5 x 4.5 Cake Eater. Scott has a ton of experience working with larger diameter fat-bike wheels from the development of the Triple B. Scott, Christina and I never really came to a conclusion about the new wheel size. Scott and Ken both believe that we need more trail time to come to any meaningful conclusions about where it excels and where it might not.
Since my last visit Scott had added Cerakote Finish as an option, in addition to in-house powder coating or media blasting on Ti, Steel, Stainless custom builds and the Triple B is fabbed from Aluminum. All of that and more all under one roof.
Both Ken and Andy (#fatcamppodcasters) ride Quiring fat-bikes and if I ever wanted to have someone build a custom fat-bike for me, Scott Quiring would be at the top of the list. Scott precision miters every tube and then lays down perfectly scalloped beads. IMHO his chainstay yoke is one of the sickest welding miracles in the fat-bike world (top & bottom photo). It’s that rare combination of light, elegant and strong!
We’ve been fortunate enough to feature fat-bikes that Scott has built over the years and between Scott, and Ken, I believe they’ve developed a deeper understanding of what works best for soft conditions, whether it’s snow or sand. That Manistee group of riders were some of the first to understand the benefits of Cane Creek’s Angleset (along with Sven) to adapt and advance riding bigger tires and wheels all year around. It makes sense to ride a plus or fat bike in the Manistee region due to the sandy soil composition. I believe that because Michigami riders spend their whole lives riding in soft conditions their sand/snow IQ is probably better than the average bear. #fatbikeparadise #fourseasonfatbikes
Quiring builds plus and fat tandems which distinguishes him from a lot of other builders. Ken owns the beautiful tandem in the photo above. He wrote a full story about the entire build process. You can learn more about this bad boy at https://fat-bike.com/2014/10/fatty-quiring-tandem/.
Check out those beads! Scott’s craftsmanship speaks for itself.
We interviewed Scott on the Weekly Dose of Fat Podcast show #58 back in May 2015. You can listen to the interview here – https://fat-bike.com/2015/05/weekly-dose-of-fat-radio-show-57-scott-quiring-is-our-special-guest/. The segment starts at 6:30 into the show. We’ve featured Scott’s work before on the site. Click here to see everything we’ve written about Quiring.
We didn’t end up resolving any questions regarding the new 27.5 Wheel and Tire size during my visit but at least you know that it’s at the forefront of our collective minds and that we’re currently riding, testing and seeking insights into the new size. I’ll be curious to see if any of the big races get won on the new wheels and tires this winter. I think it’s safe to say that you can stay tuned for more bike geekery on the subject (all winter long).
For more information about Quiring Cycles visit – www.quiringcycles.net