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  1. #26
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    Just in case anyone missed my little side (snide) comment (or 2silent's not-so-subtle one), there's already a big player involved in fatbikes. That would be QBP - Quality Bicycle Components. QBP owns both Surly and Salsa in full, as well as a bunch of other brands - 45 NRTH, Handspun Wheels, Problem Solvers, Whisky Parts, Foundry Cycles and others. They're also the biggest wholesale distributor of bike parts to shops for a huge number of brands.
    See: Quality Bicycle Products: Bikes, Wholesale Bicycle Parts, Wholesale Bicycle distribution

    They're a privately held company, so their revenue is not public info, but there's info out on the web saying it was $150 million (gross) back in 2008. Assuming decent growth, it's probably at least $200 mil a year by now. Not exactly in the same league as Trek or Specialized (both around 500 or 600 mil a year?), but not "small" by any measure.

    The individual companies work at throwing off that "indie" vibe, but they function more like one of the big guys - design bikes here and manufacture them in Asia. The Surly division is big enough to have a "Brand Manager" - he even blogs about his job on Surly's site.

    I have no idea if QBP is a "big evil corporation". You have to decide that using your own criteria. I'm just a consumer, not an industry guy, but I tend to like to know stuff about the companies I buy from. I'd guess most people don't care, as long as the company makes good products and treats them well.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraspontane View Post
    More options, market growth, research and development, and lower cost. Sounds horrible!
    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent View Post
    The current prices, artificial scarcity/demand, proprietary BS even on different bikes from same big building etc.... I can't wait for the 'big' guys to come in.
    Im relatively new fat bike rider at about 1 year and while i really enjoy being a bit different it will be good to get others in the mix. More and new suspension, tyres, tubeless, hubs, forks, cranks and BB's will all come with popularity.

    To you long time riders who cringe at the thought of it, hold onto your purple pugs
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  3. #28
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    I was surprised when I clicked on the QBP link in the post above. Their site boldly states:

    "Our consumer brands make wildly unique products that no one else makes. That's because we've got the vision to see a new category's potential, and the resources to make it a reality. We did that with fatbikes and now there are more people riding them than ever before. That's creating whole new revenue streams for dealers. It's core to our mission—find the opportunities that grow our industry."
    Rich Tauer, managing director of Q Bike Brands

    As a long time Alaska snow biker that has watched (and continues to watch) small time frame builders and other entrpreneurs unafilliated with QBP develop virtually every aspect of Fatbike design, I am deeply offended.

    This guy needs to read the sticky at the top of this forum about Fat Bike History. I still occasionaly ride my Evingson frame with original Remolino rims.

    Fat Bikes were being made before QBP was involved and will exist long after QBP is dust. Yeah, they had the vision to realize a good thing, and I am grateful to QBP for producing some good Fatbike products. But don't steal credit from others.

  4. #29
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    As someone who races bikes and enjoys a lot of the type of events qbp brands tend to sponsor... I would also state they are not pulling 1/3 of their weight vs. all of the riders, events, teams etc. that are receiving some sort of help from the two larger companies above... instead they play the game of pretending to be 73 "small", "local" companies.

  5. #30
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    A rising tide lifts all ships.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2silent View Post
    As someone who races bikes and enjoys a lot of the type of events qbp brands tend to sponsor... I would also state they are not pulling 1/3 of their weight vs. all of the riders, events, teams etc. that are receiving some sort of help from the two larger companies above... instead they play the game of pretending to be 73 "small", "local" companies.
    Interesting perspective ... Without further details to refute this............

    I've wondered about the Surly/Salsa connection since I first became interested in fatbikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by sparrow View Post
    A rising tide lifts all ships.
    Looking at their branding/partnership ... I think 2silent might be onto something.

    There seems to be one ship, and it's ghosting the public via numerous brand names under one parent.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoobytao View Post
    As a long time Alaska snow biker that has watched (and continues to watch) small time frame builders and other entrpreneurs unafilliated with QBP develop virtually every aspect of Fatbike design, I am deeply offended.

    Fat Bikes were being made before QBP was involved and will exist long after QBP is dust. Yeah, they had the vision to realize a good thing, and I am grateful to QBP for producing some good Fatbike products. But don't steal credit from others.
    Sorry dont agree with this. Sure there were small time frame manufacturers but Surly and the Pugsley introduced most average cyclists to fat bikes. Surly has always been first at innovating. They gave you 100mm wide wheels and now almost 5" tires and lots of other firsts. Salsa brought in 170 hubs. All QBP companies. So lets show some respect.

    Some of you are starting to remind me of my friends who listen to Metal like I do, but they stop listening to bands the minute they get a little famous - because they arent "cool" anymore or have "sold out".

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    Sorry dont agree with this. Sure there were small time frame manufacturers but Surly and the Pugsley introduced most average cyclists to fat bikes. Surly has always been first at innovating. They gave you 100mm wide wheels and now almost 5" tires and lots of other firsts. Salsa brought in 170 hubs. All QBP companies. So lets show some respect.

    Some of you are starting to remind me of my friends who listen to Metal like I do, but they stop listening to bands the minute they get a little famous - because they arent "cool" anymore or have "sold out".
    Actually,
    This makes sense.

    I've wondered how a company like Surly could afford the expense of the mold for the fat tires they sell ... They don't sell enough bikes IMO to afford such a thing on their own.

    But hey ... A great revelation !!!
    No 2013 Mukluk's ... Gotta sell of those Pugsleys

    Perhaps I'm wrong

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoobytao View Post
    I was surprised when I clicked on the QBP link in the post above. Their site boldly states:

    "Our consumer brands make wildly unique products that no one else makes. That's because we've got the vision to see a new category's potential, and the resources to make it a reality. We did that with fatbikes and now there are more people riding them than ever before. That's creating whole new revenue streams for dealers. It's core to our mission—find the opportunities that grow our industry."
    Rich Tauer, managing director of Q Bike Brands

    As a long time Alaska snow biker that has watched (and continues to watch) small time frame builders and other entrpreneurs unafilliated with QBP develop virtually every aspect of Fatbike design, I am deeply offended.

    This guy needs to read the sticky at the top of this forum about Fat Bike History. I still occasionaly ride my Evingson frame with original Remolino rims.

    Fat Bikes were being made before QBP was involved and will exist long after QBP is dust. Yeah, they had the vision to realize a good thing, and I am grateful to QBP for producing some good Fatbike products. But don't steal credit from others.
    To be fair, he's not saying they invented the category, just that they saw the potential and went for it. Could they have been more diplomatic and tipped their cap to the fatbike pioneers? For sure. But they do deserve almost all of the credit for the single most important thing driving the fatbike segment: tires.

    As for the racing sponsorship thing, doesn't bother me, I'm more into the small, fun DIY stuff.

  10. #35
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    The trek bashing is a bit much. Seriously.

    Trek didn't buy any company that didn't want to be sold. You may not believe this, but LeMond and Klein were both really poorly run businesses with great names. Both would have gone under had Trek not bought them. Trek bought them for their names and ran them well until it made no sense to do so anymore. Klein made aluminum bikes. You see anyone buying top-end aluminum these days? Neither did trek, so they killed the brand. A brand that was never horribly popular to begin with that by the end was only selling in Japan. Lemond was... Lemond. A brilliant racer, a horrible business man. He hired some good people to build bikes for him over the years, and he and trek made some great bikes. But he was a hothead.

    And, while at one time it made sense to have 5 brands, it stopped making sense to compete against themselves. It's something that QBP will have to wrestle with at some point.

    Bontarager sold his name. Don't blame trek for that. Fisher, don't see him complaining.

    And let's not let Salsa of the hook. It's got no connection to the good ol' days of Ross Shafer. It's a wholly owned subsidiary of QBP, who makes everything in Tawain and China but spends a butt-load on marketing to make Surly look like a home-grown little group of twin-city hipsters.

    I have never seen trek get involved with anything and not make it better. Oh, boo-hoo, trek is going build some bontrager fat rims that will be lighter and stronger. Please no Trek, don't get DT Swiss to make some lightweight hubs. Please whatever you do trek, don't turn fatbikes into another well-sorted product that actually works without modification, as sold and delivered.

    I don't want to sound like a dick, but Trek is a local company, they make good stuff.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoobytao View Post
    I was surprised when I clicked on the QBP link in the post above. Their site boldly states:

    "Our consumer brands make wildly unique products that no one else makes. That's because we've got the vision to see a new category's potential, and the resources to make it a reality. We did that with fatbikes and now there are more people riding them than ever before. That's creating whole new revenue streams for dealers. It's core to our mission—find the opportunities that grow our industry."
    Rich Tauer, managing director of Q Bike Brands

    As a long time Alaska snow biker that has watched (and continues to watch) small time frame builders and other entrpreneurs unafilliated with QBP develop virtually every aspect of Fatbike design, I am deeply offended.

    This guy needs to read the sticky at the top of this forum about Fat Bike History. I still occasionaly ride my Evingson frame with original Remolino rims.

    Fat Bikes were being made before QBP was involved and will exist long after QBP is dust. Yeah, they had the vision to realize a good thing, and I am grateful to QBP for producing some good Fatbike products. But don't steal credit from others.
    Though before QBP became involved there were no production tires wider than 3.0". Just as with 29ers, the tires are what was needed to advance the category.

    But you are not going to see the major brands use Surly/45N or On-One tires on their bikes. Of course Spec and Trek would have their own tires. Been a long time since Kona had their own tires.
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    And let's not let Salsa of the hook. It's got no connection to the good ol' days of Ross Shafer. It's a wholly owned subsidiary of QBP, who makes everything in Tawain and China but spends a butt-load on marketing to make Surly look like a home-grown little group of twin-city hipsters.
    LOL ... Not really knocking them, much ... They're business model is obviously working, and it helps the biking community as a whole.

    FYI:
    I just read that ... Surly is a knock-off of Salsa ... Who got bought out after a bad stem design cost them plenty.
    Didn't know that !!

    Questions is,
    If they really expanded their market, would their prices be reduced, or would they keep asking high prices for (imported) stuff.

    My WalMart comment would be good for my pocketbook.
    $500 dollar fatbike, imported from the same country, please.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    Interesting perspective ... Without further details to refute this............

    I've wondered about the Surly/Salsa connection since I first became interested in fatbikes.


    Looking at their branding/partnership ... I think 2silent might be onto something.

    There seems to be one ship, and it's ghosting the public via numerous brand names under one parent.
    They share some resources of the parent company, but the QBP brands are run as separate companies for design and marketing.
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    They share some resources of the parent company, but the QBP brands are run as separate companies for design and marketing.
    I figured as much ... Thanks for the insight.

  15. #40
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    Mn resident, not necessarily defending QBP. I have an Origin-8 on order, mostly because Pugs and Salsa are getting to be like opinions; everyone has one. When Trek and Spesh get in on the game, I'll buy an old Pugs and get creative with it; there will be a short window when they're cheap before they get "cool".

    I think the market for them is limited, and a significant-enough slice of that market won't buy from one of the really big boys. That leaves some riders, of course, but how many? What kind of sales numbers are required to justify a new offering from the big boys, and at what price point? I'm not a marketing guy, but at the $1800 level I bet it would have to be 10k units, and at that level they have to decide what to steal sales FROM.

    From time to time we hear that the bicycle industry hasn't grown in 25 years. The only growth potential, I think, is for a few riders who live in areas that were formerly pretty tough sledding for 6 months a year for regular bikes, plus that narrow segment of early adopters that just have to have the new stuff. I predict that the trickle of new offerings in the fatbike world will come from some of the other low-volume houses first, and Trek and Specialized won't respond until together a dozen or more companies are stealing 10k or more unit-sales from each of them a year.

    That will be way more than enough to get the attention of some component suppliers.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    And let's not let Salsa of the hook. It's got no connection to the good ol' days of Ross Shafer. It's a wholly owned subsidiary of QBP, who makes everything in Tawain and China but spends a butt-load on marketing to make Surly look like a home-grown little group of twin-city hipsters.

    I have never seen trek get involved with anything and not make it better. Oh, boo-hoo, trek is going build some bontrager fat rims that will be lighter and stronger. Please no Trek, don't get DT Swiss to make some lightweight hubs. Please whatever you do trek, don't turn fatbikes into another well-sorted product that actually works without modification, as sold and delivered.

    I don't want to sound like a dick, but Trek is a local company, they make good stuff.
    Well, QBP is also a "local" company for those in Minnesota.
    You sort of mashed the Salsa and Surly brands together. Quality did buy Salsa years ago, I do not remember it having anything to do with a stem recall (those happened more recently), but that Ross S wanted to move on.
    Surly was created by QBP IIRC. It is run by a (small) bunch of goofy Twin City "hipsters". You you have ever met the staff of either brand you know they are very different and it is not an act.
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Well, QBP is also a "local" company for those in Minnesota.
    You sort of mashed the Salsa and Surly brands together. Quality did buy Salsa years ago, I do not remember it having anything to do with a stem recall (those happened more recently), but that Ross S wanted to move on.
    Surly was created by QBP IIRC. It is run by a (small) bunch of goofy Twin City "hipsters". You you have ever met the staff of either brand you know they are very different and it is not an act.
    I got that info here - Salsa - RIP (well, almost) « Competitor Forums
    Quality Bicycle Products bought Salsa in 1997, 13 years after Ross Shafer launched the brand in California, and it grew consistently in the 10 to 16 percent range until last year, which finished flat with 2008.

    Part of that was due to the impact from a recall a year ago of 8,600 CroMoto stems, which hurt sales and forced the company to hurriedly swap out stems that had already been spec’d on five complete bike models.
    It appears to be an industry news article, as it is also located elsewhere on the Internet.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by onepivot View Post
    I've heard rumors that Specialized is working on a fat bike or two. Wouldn't be surprised if others are as well. Is the market big enough for the big bike brands to jump in, or is it still a niche market too small for them to be interested? Has anyone else heard such rumors?
    I can't wait for a "650b Fat bike"! 172mm thru-axle would be nice as well! :P
    Guillaume

  19. #44
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    A 30"+ fat bike? Not sure what a 172mm maxle gets you on a fat bike but I like TAs in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by guilev View Post
    I can't wait for a "650b Fat bike"! 172mm thru-axle would be nice as well! :P
    I welcome Trek and SpecialEd. They were both wildly late to the game on 29ers but at least in the case of Big S they ultimately delivered some good stuff when they finally jumped in with both feet. No disrespect to Trek, I just don't have any personal experience with them.

    In the meantime, I'm just happy Q and its sub-brands keep making it happen...especially as a Minneapplepusser.
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soupboy View Post
    A 30"+ fat bike? Not sure what a 172mm maxle gets you on a fat bike but I like TAs in general.
    Just joking about new standards that make everything else "obsolete"...
    Guillaume

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    I got that info here - Salsa - RIP (well, almost) « Competitor Forums

    It appears to be an industry news article, as it is also located elsewhere on the Internet.
    You are mis-reading that.

    QBP bought Salsa in 1997.

    The stem recall was in 2008 and contributed to the flat sales growth of Salsa of that year.
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    Sorry dont agree with this. Sure there were small time frame manufacturers but Surly and the Pugsley introduced most average cyclists to fat bikes. Surly has always been first at innovating. They gave you 100mm wide wheels and now almost 5" tires and lots of other firsts. Salsa brought in 170 hubs. All QBP companies. So lets show some respect.

    Some of you are starting to remind me of my friends who listen to Metal like I do, but they stop listening to bands the minute they get a little famous - because they arent "cool" anymore or have "sold out".
    Pretty sure there were bikes with 170mm hubs before the Mukluk and 100 mm wheels before the Moonlander. No question they brought them to another level but they sure weren't first.
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  23. #48
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    Sorry dont agree with this. Sure there were small time frame manufacturers but Surly and the Pugsley introduced most average cyclists to fat bikes. Surly has always been first at innovating. They gave you 100mm wide wheels and now almost 5" tires and lots of other firsts. Salsa brought in 170 hubs. All QBP companies. So lets show some respect.
    Well, I guess i am showing a little attitude since I am now rolling on Surly tires. In fact I've felt like telling some of the local shops and frame designers the same sentiment you express. We do owe Surly (and now other QBP brands) a great deal of respect for taking the risk a decade ago to start producing 3.7" tires and 65mm rims when it seemed absurd to most folks.

    Frame builders could handle the rest of the fatbike equation, given there were already 83mm and 100mm bottom brackets available and Gronewald had shown the small fatbike community how to make do with existing hubs by building offset frames and wheels, but those two critical pieces (moreso the tires) were essential to "get fat".

    QBP fat tires and rims have evolved beyond the original Surly fat products. But their first tire, the Endomorph, was basically a copy of the 3.5 inch Remolino sand tire (same chevron tread pattern and all) and the Large Marge was actually step backward from the 82 mm Remolino rims. Speedway Cycles (that designed the Fatback) have been making bikes with 165mm and 170mm hubs for years longer than Salsa. Even 100mm rims like the Weinmann/US Choppers I have on my "new" fatbike have been around for years longer than Surly's Clownshoe.

    But yeah, to Duggus's point, and the main focus of this thread, as the fat market grew, there was more room for additional products. And those additional products, if they work well and provide increased enjoyment, attract more riders. Hence the market gets even "fatter" until we reach some kind of an equilibrium when most everyone with an inkling of interest knows of fatbikes and realistically understands their capabilities and limitations, and owns one if they desire to, and can afford what ultimately is likely to be a better and cheaper fatbike than what is now produced.

    Competition is good for us fatbikers, and the design evolution will, if anything, speed up when even larger firms become involved that have the financial resources to put significant money into R&D and have the capabilities to mass produce.

    As to who brought fatbikes to the average man, well it is obviously Gary Fisher!

  24. #49
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    As an "excited newb" on a secondhand "Purple Pugs" I welcome the big boys if they turn up at the party: more volume should hopefully bring a better choice of fat-specific parts and lower prices. Not sure that they will as I feel our branch of the sport may be too 'niche' for them to get the volumes to make it cost effective for them.
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  25. #50
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    This is all well & good, but answer to my original question seems elusive: does anyone have any good info on whether or not any of the big brands are working on a fat bike design? I thought someone might have some insider info.
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