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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    Good post Ted ! How bad can it get..... they have already made the word "standard" obsolete as far mountain bikes go

    The few fat bike makers have 3 different rear spacings too, counting sandman's its 4.
    I've heard about 135 w 17.5 offset, 135 w 28 offset, 165, 170, and coming soon or already here 186 and 190. For a bit there were 160's too. Luckily the 165/170 and I suspect 186/190 can play together if you don't mind a little squeezing or stretching of dropouts. So yes "standard" doesn't apply but it's all fun to play with.
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  2. #77
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    What rises to the surface for me here is all that's ugly in the fat bike world is really its beauty.

    This is a time of innovation and frustration for fat bikes, the two are synonymous with inventors. Yup, there gonna put some weird stuff out there but keep in mind that each company making this stuff mostly comes from their own visions and not necessarily to be compatible with another, sure their are some overlaps and some are very close but not close enough to be bolt on compatible. That's OK, they were not supposed to be !

    No different than mtb's, fat bike tech will probably standardize more and more as the designs mature, they will however never stop maturing, it's just the rate at which they do. Mtb's are in a leveling off design state right now, they have been around for about thirty years at this point. By comparison, fat bikes are young and innovation will be strong for some time to come. I see them as a viable growing segment of the bicycle world that will land in many channels of the buying demographic spectrum, perhaps not huge but a lot bigger than it is now.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Respectfully, I'd beg to differ. While their may have been small teams, who loved the brand they worked for, the higher ups were solely profit and brand minded. Once proven their technologies or ideas were to perform, the brand's were killed so as to streamline profitability.

    QBP bought Salsa as a struggling company with a venerable history, and saved the brand name. Salsa still makes bikes. Yes, long way from where they started (sadly. the Handjob is no more) but it's still around. Or, they start their own brands, Surly, 45 North etc. They have the cojones to go it without some pioneers name on their down tube.

    I'd be all over them if they say, bought FatBack or 9Zero7, slapped names on their frame designs for two years, then dropped the name like a bad habit and called it something else.

    I don't know enough about the subtle subterfuge of QBP vs the Alaskan old guard, so I can't speak to that, but do know they certainly seem to have gotten a boost from Q's involvement in the niche, and hope they at least enjoy selling out of everything they make....
    EDIT: *My entire next paragraph is proved incorrect on the next page*

    *QBP did not start Surly. The company's original name was 1x1, and their only product was the Rat Ride(edit: and hubs). When QBP purchased them, the company name became Surly, and the Rat Ride became the 1x1. Still good bikes by good people, but they are not a QBP invention. *


    Regarding the second point, Wildfire, Evingson and Remolino are all out of business. Vicious no longer makes their fatbike. Surly's intrduction of their tires to the market through the years have certainly been huge and positive innovations. Fatback showed up with light, symmetrical frames, soon followed by 9::ZERO::7, then, several years later, Salsa found out that both of the Alaskan companies were selling out every run, and sneaked in with some incredibly shady actions and has claimed a large chunk of the market share. Sandman came before Salsa as well, but I think the Atlantic ocean limited influence.

    So, I don't think QBP overall is the enemy. They've done a lot of good for the fat bike market. I do think Salsa is the embodiment of everything people are talking smack on the 'big names' in this thread for. They've done nothing but take other people's innovations and cheapen them up in a graphic laden package. It's a shame that Salsa's big wigs have a direct hand in 45North, because other than that, 45North has some good products.
    Last edited by sean salach; 01-09-2013 at 12:54 PM.

  4. #79
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    Hey;

    Regarding the OP;

    Looking at the numbers is what Big Guys usually do. Based on that alone, I'm not sure that the Fatbike market would make sense for them. 650B would make a lot more sense against that standard. If they make a calculation that they can get a lot of face time and market buzz, even though they don't stand to turn big sales numbers, they might still throw in.

    Perhaps the biggest factor here might be whether they realize just how good an every-day-do-it-all bike a Fatty can be. If they realize this fact, and think they can convince enough people of that, they might buy in in a bigger way.

    I really don't care one way or the other. The little guys out there now will probably always have a market, if they are savvy and concentrate on high performance and quality. The noobs that would go to their LBS and come home with a Trek Fatbike likely would never have heard of Fatback or 9-0-7 anyway.

    There will be good and bad in whatever happens, either way. That's how the world works.
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  5. #80
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    In all fairness, (QBP) Salsa, and Surly are sponsors of the 2cnd annual Fat Bike Summit being held in Island Park, so they are putting their money back into the sport. In a huge way...without advocacy, this sport will have a hard time with access in a lot of areas.

    Salsa & Surly Sponsor The 2nd Annual Fat Bike Summit | FAT-BIKE.COM
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    And then we eat them."

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    In all fairness, (QBP) Salsa, and Surly are sponsors of the 2cnd annual Fat Bike Summit being held in Island Park, so they are putting their money back into the sport. In a huge way...without advocacy, this sport will have a hard time with access in a lot of areas.

    Salsa & Surly Sponsor The 2nd Annual Fat Bike Summit | FAT-BIKE.COM

    from the same article: "The event is hosted and organized by Fitzgerald’s Bicycles and QBP."

    So, they're basically 'sponsoring' an event that they're putting on.

  7. #82
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    No, in reality, Fitzy is putting the event on, and Surly, Salsa and (QBP) are sponsoring it.
    As am I, for full disclosure.
    Welcome to Bicyclart! | bicyclart.com

    The event is in Island Park, MT, near us in Teton Valley, QBP is a little far way.
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    And then we eat them."

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    QBP did not start Surly. The company's original name was 1x1, and their only product was the Rat Ride(edit: and hubs). When QBP purchased them, the company name became Surly, and the Rat Ride became the 1x1. Still good bikes by good people, but they are not a QBP invention.
    Categorically incorrect in regard to the origins of Surly.

    Wakeman Masse started the 1x1 brand while employed as an engineer at QBP. The first product was a chain tensioner, and then Josh Yablon (also a QBP engineer) and Wakeman designed the frame as a 1x1 product.

    Then when they sold them all, they decided to start a brand. Hence, the name change to Surly. 100% QBP from the cradle.


    Sorry.


    Ok, back to lurking.

  9. #84
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    Interesting. Thanks for the history lesson!

  10. #85
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    You can see that? It my post shows up for me in the middle of page two. Damn these cookies on the innernets.

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    EDIT: *My entire next paragraph is proved incorrect on the next page*

    *QBP did not start Surly. The company's original name was 1x1, and their only product was the Rat Ride(edit: and hubs). When QBP purchased them, the company name became Surly, and the Rat Ride became the 1x1. Still good bikes by good people, but they are not a QBP invention. *


    Regarding the second point, Wildfire, Evingson and Remolino are all out of business. Vicious no longer makes their fatbike. Surly's intrduction of their tires to the market through the years have certainly been huge and positive innovations. Fatback showed up with light, symmetrical frames, soon followed by 9::ZERO::7, then, several years later, Salsa found out that both of the Alaskan companies were selling out every run, and sneaked in with some incredibly shady actions and has claimed a large chunk of the market share. Sandman came before Salsa as well, but I think the Atlantic ocean limited influence.

    So, I don't think QBP overall is the enemy. They've done a lot of good for the fat bike market. I do think Salsa is the embodiment of everything people are talking smack on the 'big names' in this thread for. They've done nothing but take other people's innovations and cheapen them up in a graphic laden package. It's a shame that Salsa's big wigs have a direct hand in 45North, because other than that, 45North has some good products.

    I find it odd that many people smack Salsa for "steeling/copying" Fatback's design, while most of the same people would complain if Salsa introduced a new proprietary standard (e.g. 164mm hubs offset by 12mm).

    I think we should make a rule that says any new players in the fatbike game must not copy any existing standards *and* must not introduce any new standards. Then we could live in a perfect world where you are only allowed to build fatbikes if you are Surly or Fatback, or if you have a cool beard and hail from Alaska or Minnesota.

  12. #87
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    There was a lot more to it than that, Bob. Fatback was the only one using the Fatback standard, and it was patent pending, when Salsa pulled their shl!t. The 135 offset was the main standard and it was free and available at the time.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    There was a lot more to it than that, Bob. Fatback was the only one using the Fatback standard, and it was patent pending, when Salsa pulled their shl!t. The 135 offset was the main standard and it was free and available at the time.
    Yeah, I remember Thirstywork threatening litigation and the ongoing debate if one could patent a dropout width and what would stop someone from making a hub just a few mm difference.

    What ever happened with that?
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  14. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    There was a lot more to it than that, Bob. Fatback was the only one using the Fatback standard, and it was patent pending, when Salsa pulled their shl!t. The 135 offset was the main standard and it was free and available at the time.
    if a "standard" is patented, then it isn't a "standard" and never should be able to become one. standard means across the board everyone can use it. patenting something like say the 170mm standard would've damaged fatbiking immensely. IMO.

    and as far as the big guys getting in....QBP is pretty damned huge (i know, surly not so much...)

    i'd love the huge companies to get involved, as the chances of seeing an FS fatty or other cool changes would become much greater
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    There was a lot more to it than that, Bob. Fatback was the only one using the Fatback standard, and it was patent pending, when Salsa pulled their shl!t. The 135 offset was the main standard and it was free and available at the time.
    I just filed a width hub patent on every unused width between 100mm and 200mm. I'm going to be angry when someone steals my idea.

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logantri View Post
    Yeah, I remember Thirstywork threatening litigation and the ongoing debate if one could patent a dropout width and what would stop someone from making a hub just a few mm difference.

    What ever happened with that?
    The rest of this topic bores the crap out of me, but this is a good question.

    Is a distance a patentable thing?

    What happened when 150mm hubs came into being?

    I'm not doing Socratic questioning - I simply don't know.
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  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    The rest of this topic bores the crap out of me, but this is a good question.

    Is a distance a patentable thing?

    What happened when 150mm hubs came into being?

    I'm not doing Socratic questioning - I simply don't know.
    If it is anything like the software industry I work in they will allow patents for the stupidest and simplest little thing. Patents were originally designed to protect the little guy but they've kind of backfired. Large companies collect thousands of patents on the most minute things and use them to push little players out of the industry. Even if the little guy isn't infringing the legal costs usually break them. Specialized has used the same tactic in the bike industry. I think the patent system as is currently stands is a real mess.

  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobShort View Post
    If it is anything like the software industry I work in they will allow patents for the stupidest and simplest little thing. Patents were originally designed to protect the little guy but they've kind of backfired. Large companies collect thousands of patents on the most minute things and use them to push little players out of the industry. Even if the little guy isn't infringing the legal costs usually break them. Specialized has used the same tactic in the bike industry. I think the patent system as is currently stands is a real mess.
    Agreed! Patents are given out for anything, as long as someone wants to pay for it. It's just a money maker for the government without regard for actual innovation.

    I'm glad that there is no patent on the 170mm hub width. The only thing that would accomplish is creating more 'standards'.

    Seems like the only real standard is 100mm BB's!

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobShort View Post
    If it is anything like the software industry I work in they will allow patents for the stupidest and simplest little thing. Patents were originally designed to protect the little guy but they've kind of backfired. Large companies collect thousands of patents on the most minute things and use them to push little players out of the industry. Even if the little guy isn't infringing the legal costs usually break them. Specialized has used the same tactic in the bike industry. I think the patent system as is currently stands is a real mess.
    A much better example in the bike industry is Shimano. If you've ever heard about the "Patent Book", you know what I mean.

    The whole 170mm hub thing is really a moot point. So what? Let's say Salsa engineers a 180mm hub, then markets a 1500 dollar fatbike like they did in 2011. I don't think it would have stopped things from going the way they have, do you? (Plus, a Bud and Lou would fit! )

    Speaking from my own personal experience, I never bought a Surly years ago because to piece one together it would have cost far over $2000.00 to do it with the kind of parts that today are off the back. I had met Greg and knew of Fatback as well, but again, too expensive for a bike I wasn't sure I'd use much. (Obviously I was blind to the possibilities, but that's where I was at then.)

    Salsa comes in and knocks the price down significantly for entry, so I bought in. At that time, I didn't care what the hub spacing was.

    Ya know what I mean? Had Salsa not done completes, I very well may have bought a Surly when they did completes shortly after Salsa announced theirs. I can not imagine I was the only one thinking this way, but maybe I am......

  20. #95
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    Weren't the first 100mm BBs used with 165x12mm thru axles?
    I see a few 165x12mm hubs for real cheap now.
    does anyone know if they can easily be changed to 170mm QR?
    Wouldn't some axle conversion end caps do the trick?

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobShort View Post
    I just filed a width hub patent on every unused width between 100mm and 200mm. I'm going to be angry when someone steals my idea.


  22. #97
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    Aha, I see I'm not the only one who thought kona would build one. I waited for a couple years and it never happened. In my neck of the woods they have just started catching on, the local club forums are all abuzz with fatbikes. Just like 29ers, I believe it's a matter of time before they become more mainstream. Well maybe not to the extent of 29ers, but most shops will have one on the floor. I do enjoy their uniqueness though, and sometimes it's nice to have peace and quiet and the trails all to myself and a (albeit false) sense of remoteness, in a way I'll be saddened when I see them all over the trail.

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterofnone View Post
    Aha, I see I'm not the only one who thought kona would build one. I waited for a couple years and it never happened. In my neck of the woods they have just started catching on, the local club forums are all abuzz with fatbikes. Just like 29ers, I believe it's a matter of time before they become more mainstream. Well maybe not to the extent of 29ers, but most shops will have one on the floor. I do enjoy their uniqueness though, and sometimes it's nice to have peace and quiet and the trails all to myself and a (albeit false) sense of remoteness, in a way I'll be saddened when I see them all over the trail.
    Just ride farther, maaaan, just ride farther....
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  24. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobShort View Post
    If it is anything like the software industry I work in they will allow patents for the stupidest and simplest little thing. Patents were originally designed to protect the little guy but they've kind of backfired. Large companies collect thousands of patents on the most minute things and use them to push little players out of the industry. Even if the little guy isn't infringing the legal costs usually break them. Specialized has used the same tactic in the bike industry. I think the patent system as is currently stands is a real mess.
    Almost every patent ever issued is for a slight variation of another existing design that, in the designer's eye, makes the product better and marketable. You come up with a good idea, that improves upon existing means of solving a problem, you spend time and money developing that idea, then you go into business making and selling the product that utilizes that idea. Then everyone with more resources than you sees that it's a good idea, starts making it themselves, and in turn makes a lot of money off of the proportionately huge investment of time and money you put into developing it.

    *OR*

    You come up with a good idea, that improves upon existing means of solving a problem, you spend time and money developing that idea, you patent the idea, then you go into business making and selling the product that utilizes that idea. You then recoup you original expenditure and hopefully make some profit. If other companies think it's as groundbreaking as you do, they license the idea for a small commission and you actually turn a livable profit off of your hard work.

    You seem to favor the first scenario?

  25. #100
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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?
    My biggest beef and barrier of dropping $2500+ for a nice fat bike is the weight. I ride one of my buddies spare bikes on a pretty regular basis and the weight - I just can't seem to get past a 30 pound rigid bike and riding uphill just sucks.

    What I see a big company entering the fray offering is the ability to create a carbon fat bike/fork combo and drop substantial weight. Lighter weight rims are also needed, and the current $100+ tires each are a joke. I've had to replace a couple of his 45N tires due to rips on rocks. It's wrong when a fat bike tire costs about the same as a really good car tire. On top of that, 45N/QBP was back ordered for over 3 months on getting a replacement earlier in the season. I think some alternative tire sources (Specialized, Bontrager, Schwalbe, Maxxis, etc) would be a good thing and drive the prices down.

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