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  1. #1
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    How Long Before The Big Boys Join The Fray?

    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?
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

  2. #2
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    I'm surprised Kona isn't in already, the fat bike lifestyle seems to fit with the Kona "vibe".

    Part of me is looking forward to the big players being in the game, the other part likes how fat biking is still uber-niche.

  3. #3
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    When the big boys jump in, expect proprietary parts and marketing BS to explain why their product is better than the bikes we have been using successfully for the last few years.

    Probably flasher paint jobs though...
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    When the big boys jump in, expect proprietary parts and marketing BS to explain why their product is better than the bikes we have been using successfully for the last few years.

    Probably flasher paint jobs though...
    Yeah, you're probably right. I'm not saying it'll be good or bad if/when they do, I just happen to believe that it will probably happen. However, I'm not connected to the industry & that's why I'm posing the question
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

  5. #5
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    I'm hoping Salsa ends up being the Biggest Boy, and that component companies (Kenda, Mavic etc.) fill in the need for cheaper/lighter parts. Once Special ed, Trek and Cannondale get into it, the lawsuits will start flying. Realistically, look how long it took them to accept 29ers, and they still are holding off on 650B stuff, so I don't see it happening for a while.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    When the big boys jump in, expect proprietary parts and marketing BS to explain why their product is better than the bikes we have been using successfully for the last few years.

    Probably flasher paint jobs though...
    You don't see any of this now?
    Latitude 61

  7. #7
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    Specialized will jump in, and start suing everyone. Then we'll have to find a new niche

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel View Post
    I'm hoping Salsa ends up being the Biggest Boy, and that component companies (Kenda, Mavic etc.) fill in the need for cheaper/lighter parts. Once Special ed, Trek and Cannondale get into it, the lawsuits will start flying. Realistically, look how long it took them to accept 29ers, and they still are holding off on 650B stuff, so I don't see it happening for a while.
    I watched Salsa and their marketing with the same trepidation some have for the even bigger boys. Bigger players bring more money to the table but they do push out the original innovators. Not much we are going to be able to do about it but it can be hard to watch.
    It's hard not to contributeto the problem as well, one of my families bikes is a Mukluk so I don't always practice what I preach.
    Latitude 61

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    You don't see any of this now?
    Not nearly to the level that you'll get once Trek and Specialized start squaring off for market share.

    The amount of sheer bullshyte soup we'll be forced to swallow will be staggering.

    "We've been playing with the for years and now have it dialed, our president had one back in 2006 but we didn't feel the market was ready, really 168.352 mm is perfect spacing for the back end to optimize power and clearance, our race team guys have been on them for years, we finally decided to let the public in on it...."

    No thanks, they can keep the profits flowing for their shareholders somewhere else, leave out little world to those who get it, and, got it, a while ago.

    That being said, I applaud all of the small builders and tinkerers, love those guys. Just have no stomach for profiteering disguised as savvy thinking or prescient market awareness.
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  10. #10
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    C'mon Kona! I'd like to see their take on the fat.

    It's bound to happen, and it's bound to have pros and cons. I don't think Trek or Spec will unveil anything for another few years. Maybe they'll try to get in earlier than they did with 29ers.

    I'm interested to see what happens with tires. I saw my first Moonlander in person a few days ago. It made me think that I'll probably wait til the next big growth in tires to sell the Pug.
    I'm covered in beer.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Not nearly to the level that you'll get once Trek and Specialized start squaring off for market share.

    The amount of sheer bullshyte soup we'll be forced to swallow will be staggering.

    "We've been playing with the for years and now have it dialed, our president had one back in 2006 but we didn't feel the market was ready, really 168.352 mm is perfect spacing for the back end to optimize power and clearance, our race team guys have been on them for years, we finally decided to let the public in on it...."

    No thanks, they can keep the profits flowing for their shareholders somewhere else, leave out little world to those who get it, and, got it, a while ago.

    That being said, I applaud all of the small builders and tinkerers, love those guys. Just have no stomach for profiteering disguised as savvy thinking or prescient market awareness.
    To me the real danger isn't the silly claims, we get that now with trail v snow geometry, it is just the volume of marketing more money will bring. We see it now with QBP as many people start with the question at should I get a Pugsley or Mukluk because that is all they have heard of. that will only get worse when a really big player comes in. And come they will so support the current players if you can.
    Latitude 61

  12. #12
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    Definitely not a matter of if but when.

  13. #13
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    Wal-Mart FTW

  14. #14
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    I hope they stay out. they won't bring in enough to the party. And when they don't sell enough....they will say the market was never there.
    Thank you to Salsa, Surly,Fatback, 907, Molino, Wildfire, Vicious.. and all the other "Little Guys" that sell out every year.

  15. #15
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    The big guys kinda missed out on their chance to grab any mindshare, IMHO.
    2012 will go down in history as the year of the fatbike, and they were nowhere to be seen.
    If they jump in now, it will just expose them as opportunistic, carpetbagging bandwagoneers.

    And, um, it should be mentioned that the Surly/Salsa/QBP syndicate ain't exactly small.

  16. #16
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    I must admit to being surprised Trek hasn't joined the madness yet.

    They are known to either steal ideas and if they can't then buy the company (klein a good example)

    The only positive I can see from them joining the circus is some parts like wheels and tires might go down in cost

  17. #17
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    I'm comforted in the knowledge that Trek will likely banging their collective heads against the wall for many years, trying to figure out how they can buy Surly and Salsa so they can bleed them dry of innovative ideas, then dump them like a bad habit once said market is established to their shareholders satisfaction.

    Bontrager, Klein, Gary Fisher, Lemond, may they all RIP.

    sryanak, I hear you, but is it really that different than any other market that develops because of it's actual merits? We saw it with 29ers, full suspension, front suspension, etc.

    Or are you just apprehensive of the coming onslaught of conflicted, excited newbs who will contaminate this forum with their indecision?
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  18. #18
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    I can't see SRAM manufacturing a fatbike BB and crankset for the current niche marketplace. Much more likely they've been engaged by one of the big boys.

  19. #19
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    More options, market growth, research and development, and lower cost. Sounds horrible!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    I'm comforted in the knowledge that Trek will likely banging their collective heads against the wall for many years, trying to figure out how they can buy Surly and Salsa so they can bleed them dry of innovative ideas, then dump them like a bad habit once said market is established to their shareholders satisfaction.

    Bontrager, Klein, Gary Fisher, Lemond, may they all RIP.

    sryanak, I hear you, but is it really that different than any other market that develops because of it's actual merits? We saw it with 29ers, full suspension, front suspension, etc.

    Or are you just apprehensive of the coming onslaught of conflicted, excited newbs who will contaminate this forum with their indecision?


    This is a joke right? Qbp already played exactly this role in fatbike development... Seriously wtf.

    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.

  21. #21
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    While riding our Fat-Bikes outside of Madison, Wisconsin today we were passed by a group of four on rental Fat-Bikes (Pugsley's & Moonlander) of course they were smiling ear to ear. When we got back to the shop, the owner said they were from Trek. (That explains the full head to toe Trek/Bontrager kits) Not sure if it meant they worked there or were team riders.
    When they get back to Trek on Monday, I'm sure they'll ask the boss, why don't we make anything this fun?
    Last edited by KrateKraig; 01-06-2013 at 05:35 PM.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    You don't see any of this now?
    It'll be a whole new level.

    The big boys dropped the ball with 29ers which allowed a whole host of small boutique bike companies to grow into almost big boys. I can remember the Cycle Show in London about 3 years ago - on trade day I went round all the majors to ask about their 29er plans.

    Basically the attitude was it was for weirdos and wouldn't catch on. Maybe they were right, the only problem being those weirdos had money to spend on bikes, and they did - in the UK much to the benefit of companies like On-One and Singular.

    The big boys have probably learned something from this, so I suspect they'll be quicker to jump in. One problem for them might be sourcing tyres with the lead time required.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Or are you just apprehensive of the coming onslaught of conflicted, excited newbs who will contaminate this forum with their indecision?
    That's been going on since at least Nov 2011 when I signed up.

  24. #24
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    Can't wait for a 12k S Works fatty !

    I see high technology carbon frames and über light carbon rims as a good thing, regardless of what they will cost.

    These bike have a lot of merit for the more mainstream riding public, they offer such a broad range of use, if more people by bicycles, that again, is a good thing.

    The Beargrease is an off the shelf bike that is having an appeal that bridges the gap between snow riding and dry trail riding. I see this as a growing trend with fat bikes and being marketed as such.

    Personally I find their abilities in technical terrain amazing compared to the usual modern fare, ie AM 26 & 29ers. Not saying they are direct replacements but it's easier to ride the fatties, at a slow pace anyway in techy stuff. When your picking lines, that line becomes bigger and less critical.

  25. #25
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    Per X9 Fat Bike Crankset There will be X-9 and X-5 2x fatbike cranksets. More options = a good thing IMO!

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