RSD Mayor Review – By Andy Amstutz

    For the past two months, I’ve been riding the newest version of the RSD Mayor Aluminum fat bike, appropriately named V4 (version 4).  If my local riding crew is any indicator of how much I enjoyed riding and testing this fat bike, I’d bet they’d all agree that I was thoroughly stoked during the time I spent on this bike.  They kept wondering if they’d ever see my own bike back on the trail instead of the Mayor which kept rolling into the parking lot on top of my car. I truly enjoyed every ride with RSD’s most recently updated version of their Mayor regardless of trail conditions. I was riding the Build Kit 2 which comes spec’d with a pretty decent line up of parts, especially for the price.  To find out exactly what was between my legs, you can check out all the nitty gritty here and click on Build Kit 2.

 I kinda felt like there were a couple of elephants in the room while the bike was being built up.  The first was the rear triangle. It’s huge. Huge in the sense that it was obvious some giant tires would be able to fit.  We’re talking the fattest of the fat, Vee Tire’s Snow Shoe 2XL.  The previous version of the Mayor could fit 2XLs but with much tighter clearances.  RSD increased the amount of space on the V4 by adding sliding dropouts to their newest model.  Chainstay length can now be adjusted from 450mm-465mm. I ran the stock Maxxis Minion FBF and FBR for most of the testing period, but we did get a couple of big dumps that allowed me to run the 2XLs.  The sliding dropouts that RSD spec’d were a little tricky to adjust but with a quick phone call to Alex over at RSD World Headquarters in Toronto things became easier to navigate. Unlike V3 of the Mayor, there is plenty of room on V4 to run 2XLs.  Plenty.

    The other pachyderm that I wanted to check out was the modern geometry that RSD put into the most recent version of the Mayor.  Both a slacker head tube angle (67 degrees) and steeper seat tube angle (74 degrees) are significant modifications to past versions of the Mayor.  I really liked the slacker HT angle in the snow for it’s slower steering input and longer wheelbase. Felt like I was riding in a couch, not only on downhills but through pow pow too!  One might think that with the front wheel way out there, the bike would wander on climbs. Not true. The steeper seat tube angle helped mitigate that. The V4 Mayor had direct aim all the time.  These two angle changes also add to the 4 seasonability of the Mayor. If I had only had 8 more weeks with it to check out how it descends on dirt, I’m sure I would have seen the 12-month advantage of modern geometry built in a fat bike frame.   

    V4 of the Mayor has more bells and whistles built into it.  I can’t speak for you but I’ve been seeing more winter riders make use of dropper seat posts and RSD has included internal dropper-post cable routing into the frame.  Good to see fat bike companies embracing the power of the droppa! Need a rear rack? RSD throws in custom rear rack mount adapters for the sliding dropouts so no need hit up problem solvers for that option.  I was appreciative of the fact that RSD included tubeless ready Sun Ringle Mulefut 26x80mm rims. Such a quick way to drop a few pounds from the get-go. Sram NX drivetrains are popping up on many complete bikes and although at first, it felt kinda “plastic-like”, the 11-speed drivetrain never missed and worked flawlessly the entire testing period.  RSD also chooses a 28T chainring up front which I think is appropriate in winter. I was able to ride up the steepest of the steep only because of the 28-42 combo in the drivetrain. The rest of the build is comprised of reliable componentry with names such as Cane Creek, Race Face, WTB and Avid.

    The only gripe that I ran into was a bolt-on front thru axle and a quick release rear.  If you never take your front wheel off, it’s no big deal. But, if you travel with your bike using a fork mount, it can be a slight P.I.T.A. having to get your multi-tool out every time you take your bike on and off your car.  It makes more sense to me to have a quick release on the front and a bolt-on on the back. Minor issue and certainly not a deal breaker.

 Upon reflection of my time riding the Mayor V4, I would have no reservations recommending this fat bike to a first-time buyer or as an upgrade to your present rig.  During the mid-winter testing period, the gearing was spot on, I could use 2XLs if necessary and the geometry changes made for improved handling. That one can add a rear rack, dropper post and adjust chainstay length sweetens the post even more.  Well thought out RSD.

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Just an old cat that rides bikes, herds pixels, ropes gnomes and sometimes writes stories. I love a good story.

1 Comment

  1. Great review Andy! After your initial look, i was wondering how that front end would handle. Good to hear it worked well. I’m glad to see more bikes with adjustable dropouts, it’s so awesome to adjust wheel base when conditions change. Cheers!

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