fat bikes, thin recognition: 7 of the best new big rigs


With all the hype fat bikes are getting these days, we decided to list a few of the lesser-known fat builders out there. With a little digging, we were able to find some impressive and unique fat creations that are right under the public eye. Our list features a few stand out fat-tastic companies offering the consumer quite the list to choose from when entering the world of fat bikes.

1/ FatBack

Features: Five frames including the Aluminum 170, 190, Steel Frame, Corvus Carbon, and Titanium Slider.

When all-terrain bikes were just the Surly Pugsley and a couple steel bikes, Fatback snuck onto the scene. They created a comfortable bike that allowed for wide tires in the winter and a strong 29er wheelset in the summer. Plus, unlike most fat bikes, the frame on this is only four pounds.

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2/ 9:ZERO:7

Features: 190mm Aluminum, 135mm Slider Aluminum, 197mm Whiteout Carbon.

9:ZERO:7 was born in February of 2004 at the Susitna 100 winter endurance race in Alaska. Pushing their “fat bikes” equipped with uber-wide 44mm SnowCat rims through the night, they went on to produce the first aluminum fat bike – the 9:ZERO:7 – named after the area code of Alaska.

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3/ Six1Six

Features: Steel frame, single speed/belt drive options, custom paint and chainstay length and top tube length/angle.

Those in Michigan know snow all too well. In Six1Six’s extensive prototyping process, they created a couple of different chain stay lengths for the various weather and trail conditions. They understand that some riders really enjoy a nimble mountain bike-like ride for sand, light snow, and slick rock, while other riders prefer a more upright and stable feel to their ride.

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4/ LaMere Cycles

Features: The lightest carbon fat bike.

Importing the frames, LaMere makes only custom bikes – building them to your exact specifications and budget. They even have a carbon fat bike that can be built up as a full ride at 21 pounds. Could this be a game changer?

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5/ Ventana USA

Features: The 190 mm aluminum El Gordo with customizable frame geometry and rear frame pacing options.

Sherwood Gibson, co-founder of Ventana USA and a mechanical engineer, wanted to build visually stunning bikes that also had high functionality. When Ventana created the Gordo fat bike, they strove for it to be a “Swiss Army Knife- style” bike – able to do everything. Plus, all of these bikes are hand-built and made in Northern California.

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6/ 44 Bikes

Features: 170mm, frame or complete, customizable geometry.

Kristofer Henry rides bikes all through the singletrack options in New Hampshire, but wanted to ride during the winter. So, he built the Big Boy. His passion is evident through the craftsmanship of his frames and the way the bike rides through deep powder. If you’re ever in the area, he asks for you to drop in and say hello – and go for a ride of course.

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7/ Vibe Cycles

Features: Steel, titanium, aluminum, and bamboo fatbike options.

Out of Boise, Idaho, Vibe Cycles does one thing only: fat bikes. From bamboo to titanium and everywhere in between, these guys make a fatty worth checking out. Plus, they hand make women-specific fat bikes; you can even pick the color!

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Campbell Moore