You have seen them, I bet, and thought "Hmmmm…maybe that would be cool?" Fatbikes - those rolling Stay Puft Marshmallow bikes that are all over the snowy parts of North America and beyond. As well, desert dwellers seem to love them as they make sand and loose rock just a slight annoyance.
But I was only curious, not smitten, and I had no immediate need, sooooo…..
What has been interesting to see has been the acceptance of these El Gordo scoots as 'normal' MTB rides. It seems that there are riders, if you can believe the 'wilder-net', that once they get a Fatbike, they make it the go-to bike and the carbon/FS/Uberbikes just gather dust in the corner.
Huh! Really? Why would that be for a typical trail or XC rider? Unless you spend big, Fatbikes are heavy and a bit slow. The tires are $150.00 bucks a pop, not something you want to be burning out pedaling down some smooth trail somewhere. And we only just now have ONE front suspension fork on the market (although that will change this year) and there are three or so FS models out as well. But most Fattys are rigid set-ups and that big tire only goes so far to absorb bumps, etc.
I have seen riders on these things pedaling them for a 100 mile gravel race. Seriously? I totally do not get that, unless you just love being odd and wasting energy. Horses for courses, not mules for fools.
Time went by, but in the back of my mind was the thought that a Fatbike just might be the perfect adventure vehicle if you wanted to open up trails that were not that fun on a regular 29"er. I lean that way, to the adventure side, although my life restricts that more than I would like but it is what it is for now.
So when an opportunity came my way to get on a Fatty for a while, I jumped on it. Salsa sent out a 2015 Mukluk 3, not a fancy scoot, but perfect for getting my size jumbo feet wet in this weird world of 5PSI tire numbers and BBs wide enough to suit a bow-legged cowboy.
I will be experiencing this for myself and the actual 'review' of sorts…I do not consider myself a competent and confident Fatbike reviewer…will be carried on twentynineinches.com. Stay tuned here for more of the personal experience of the journey.
I will be getting on trail and finding out some things. Could I use this as my 'main ride'? Will 3.8" tires woo me into a place where it's all I want to roll on from now on? Can I go back to rigid bike or are the poofy tires really that comfy?
I will be setting it up for bikepacking for sure and planning some outings. It's gonna' be interesting.
Granny is getting' fat.
|The Salsa Mukluk 3 in all its glory.|