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

  26. #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.

  27. #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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  28. #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.

  29. #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.

  30. #30
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    A rising tide lifts all ships.

  31. #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.

  32. #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".

  33. #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

  34. #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.

  35. #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.

  36. #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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    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.

  38. #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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    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.

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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.

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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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    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.

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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
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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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    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"...
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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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    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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    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!

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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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    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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    Quote Originally Posted by onepivot View Post
    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.
    Trek had two fat concept bikes (one with a built-in hatchet rack, complete with hatchet) on display at Trekworld 2011. Haven't heard much since.

    Except...someone I know works in the Trek skunkworks and claims that he came up with something similar to the Krampus about 3 years ago. He said that upon seeing the prototype unveiled at a meeting, the product managers looked at him as if he were from Mars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onepivot View Post
    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.
    Judging by current bike reviews/hype - they are all busy mining the "27.5/650b" thing. That still looks like a "normal" bike, one that conventional wisdom says is acceptable. Fatbikes are still outside that.

    I note that the 100mm BB standard came out of DH/FR, so there is a bigger market for cranksets than just fatbikes. Hubs, rims, tires? Fat only.
    This isn't a "you're doing it wrong" topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wadester View Post
    Judging by current bike reviews/hype - they are all busy mining the "27.5/650b" thing. That still looks like a "normal" bike, one that conventional wisdom says is acceptable. Fatbikes are still outside that.
    Agreed. I think we would all love things a little cheaper... but still, we do have a pretty good selection of things considering how rare these beasts are.

    I honestly just don't see the big guys getting into it with how small the market & desire is for fat bikes... don't forget either how some people just do not like the snow and/or cold! I know they are great for other things, but they are still pushed for snow use

    To all of us that are constantly following fat bikes... we of course know how awesome and fun they are, but to your average cyclist they are still kind of a freak of nature bike. We are a bunch of freaks... and don't you forget that

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    In some ways it would be great to get SRAM and Shimano in for fat-bike specific parts (forgive me if they already are) and some of the big name companies for suspension forks. Components are where the money is at.

    I can't see big names like Trek join in just yet for a complete bike. Was looking in my LBS when I took my Muk in and all the new bikes look pretty boring and basic. Nothing even caught my interest.

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    My 2 cents of knowledge.

    Trek did not jump on board the 29er movement, they pushed it through when no big player would touch them. They pushed through the first real tires and shocks to make a real 29er mountain bike.

    The QBP brands are run separate, but they all answer to the same boss, and if you think they don't talk to each other than you are foolish. The big reason fatbikes are a popular as they are right now is because QBP was the biggest player to run with'em. They have HUGE distribution. You probably would not be riding a fat bike right now if they did not pick up the ball and run with it.

    Surly has given credit to Evingson in their Pugsley designs. He actually helped them design the first one from what I was told by a Surly man.

    No, QBP did not invent the market, they made it something from nearly nothing. Just like Trek/Fisher did with 29'ers.

    Oh, and it has been like 10 years since Trek bought companies that were poorly run. It is no time to get off their backs about acquiring other companies.
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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.
    Yeah, a group of goofy twin city hipsters who just happen to have the resources of an enormous bike parts distributor sitting behind them. Good for them, and for us, that gets us some very cool bikes, but that massive corporate backing and distribution network is what makes their stuff available, not the cool hipster vibe and meat flavored website.

    What I'm saying is, having been out to trek many times, there's probably a lot less difference between the two companies than we'd like to believe. Before the big consolidation, there was a small team in charge of each brand. Small, as in maybe 3 or 4 people for Klein and LeMond. All of them passionate riders who actually cared about the bikes. I've met them. They too, were different and it wasn't an act. No real difference from Surly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeG View Post
    Per X9 Fat Bike Crankset There will be X-9 and X-5 2x fatbike cranksets. More options = a good thing IMO!
    well, I think this is a good sign it is happening soon, but all I have heard is the respons I got when I asked the same question, which was "Specialized sales rep says one is in the works."
    I welcome it, since it probably means cheaper tires and hopefully better rims(tubeless ready).
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Yeah, a group of goofy twin city hipsters who just happen to have the resources of an enormous bike parts distributor sitting behind them. Good for them, and for us, that gets us some very cool bikes, but that massive corporate backing and distribution network is what makes their stuff available, not the cool hipster vibe and meat flavored website.

    What I'm saying is, having been out to trek many times, there's probably a lot less difference between the two companies than we'd like to believe. Before the big consolidation, there was a small team in charge of each brand. Small, as in maybe 3 or 4 people for Klein and LeMond. All of them passionate riders who actually cared about the bikes. I've met them. They too, were different and it wasn't an act. No real difference from Surly.
    Except that Surly is still a separate brand with distinctly different products than Salsa (and All City, Civia, Foundry...)

    The point being, despite being part of a large corporation, Q's brands reflect the passions of the team members. It is not simply marketing hype. It is great that Steve Flagg lets them follow their dreams.
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    No real difference from Surly.
    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....
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    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.
    Surly freely admits that they took ideas for the Pugsley from the Alaskan bikes that were around- Wildfire, Evingston, ect. Vicious also offered a bike before Surly got in the game.

    The Endomorph tire is basically an updated version of Ray Molina's original 3.5" sand tires, which were made by Tornel in Mexico.

    100mm rims were made by both Choppers US and 907 before the Clown Shoe came out, and were in use on quite a few bikes..

    Fatback was doing 170 hubs before Salsa. Wildfire had gone to 160 mm symmetrical rear ends long before Salsa was in the game as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy FitzGibbon View Post
    Surly freely admits that they took ideas for the Pugsley from the Alaskan bikes that were around- Wildfire, Evingston, ect. Vicious also offered a bike before Surly got in the game.

    The Endomorph tire is basically an updated version of Ray Molina's original 3.5" sand tires, which were made by Tornel in Mexico.

    100mm rims were made by both Choppers US and 907 before the Clown Shoe came out, and were in use on quite a few bikes..

    Fatback was doing 170 hubs before Salsa. Wildfire had gone to 160 mm symmetrical rear ends long before Salsa was in the game as well.
    All true.
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    As a Canuck, I'm a bit embarrassed that one of the Canadian bike companies aren't building a fat bike yet - not like we are short of snow or anything. I'd love to see a fatbike based on Banshee's Paradox 29er geometry, or something from RM, Kona or Devinci...
    I think that the more companies get into it the better, more options, more development of parts and hopefully cheaper prices!

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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....
    Well, you are dead wrong about trek, but, I'm not going to convince you otherwise.

    But... higher ups who were only interested in profit? Are you serious? Because surly is not interested in making a profit? because QBP hasn't essentially cornered the market on an up and coming bike style? or are they just doing that out of the goodness of their hearts?

    Every company is interested in making a profit. Even surly. And I can bet behind every surly product is a spreadsheet that's designed to find the sweet spot between production costs, distribution costs and what they can charge. Which is why we all line up to pay $150 for tires.

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    Great thread!
    Grow some food for yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post

    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.
    ...
    Think that you're mixing Ibis and Salsa a little. Ibis (AFAIK) is also a different beast then they were BITD, when Scot Nicol was THE boss. As I understand it, he is still A boss, among other bosses. Not affiliated with QBP as I know.

    Just a minor quibble, I'm sure you know the story better than I. I still have a hand job opener on my keys, although it kinda sucks as an opener.

    As for the whole big industry fat bikers, appropriating designs, ideas, etc, is there anything REALLY new in the bike world? The 3.8's were new, the 4.8's are new, everything else from the hubs to rims to bb spacings were existing products (not to the degree that they are now, granted) in other markets, right? I can completely understand feeling put out by a mass production frame that steps on the small guys toes WRT spacings or offsets, but it's the nature of good ideas to take hold and propagate, no?

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    I'd bet on Kona being the next "big" brand in the fat bike market. And by "big" you can read more on that above. QBP as a whole is big as Kona. Salsa or Surly are not as big as Kona, but their parent company has gotta be on par. But add up Kona, Salsa, Surly AND all of QBP and you still aren't as big as Trek (or Specialized, or Giant....) are! And there is no value judgement to that. It's just reality, things evolve, folks jump on board, our selection and pricing gets better.

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    A buddy of mine had a HT Kona Somethingorother that had Snowcats (44 mm) and 2.something tires...that bike was the most fun bike I've ever ridden. I have no doubt Kona would make one h3ll of a fatbike.
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    Im excited about others getting on the band wagon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plum View Post
    Think that you're mixing Ibis and Salsa a little. Ibis (AFAIK) is also a different beast then they were BITD, when Scot Nicol was THE boss. As I understand it, he is still A boss, among other bosses. Not affiliated with QBP as I know.

    Just a minor quibble, I'm sure you know the story better than I. I still have a hand job opener on my keys, although it kinda sucks as an opener.

    Plum
    I was going to point out this same thing, but you beat me to it! I have one of those hand job openers on my key chain as well, and completely agree that it sucks as an opener, but looks supercool

    Nothing else to add, carry on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plum View Post
    Think that you're mixing Ibis and Salsa a little.
    Oops, good catch, you are absolutely correct.

    As for the rest, yes, and no. Some stuff is new, and generally for the betterment of the whole. Wider rear ends, fatter tires etc.

    I've seen how the big boys play though, and it's always some marketing gimmick, some tweak, that makes everyone else's stuff not play well with theirs, and of course, you as an end consumer won't be able to buy it over the counter, assuming it would even fit your bike in the first place. Try to buy a Fox Gary Fisher/now Trek, G2 fork from Fox example.

    Whether it's a proprietary tire and rim bead set up, rear end spacing that is in between or just beyond the current standards, something. So you wouldn't be able to say, pick up a frame from the big S and build it, unless you used their parts, thus sucking you into their realm even more.

    The fatbike market to date, is independent, and inclusive. Should the big boys come to the party, rest assured, for their product it won't be, and there will be no reason beyond pushing consumers into their "concept store" mentality, but they won't do anything, any better, for said exclusivity.......
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Oops, good catch, you are absolutely correct.

    As for the rest, yes, and no. Some stuff is new, and generally for the betterment of the whole. Wider rear ends, fatter tires etc.

    I've seen how the big boys play though, and it's always some marketing gimmick, some tweak, that makes everyone else's stuff not play well with theirs, and of course, you as an end consumer won't be able to buy it over the counter, assuming it would even fit your bike in the first place. Try to buy a Fox Gary Fisher/now Trek, G2 fork from Fox example.

    Whether it's a proprietary tire and rim bead set up, rear end spacing that is in between or just beyond the current standards, something. So you wouldn't be able to say, pick up a frame from the big S and build it, unless you used their parts, thus sucking you into their realm even more.

    The fatbike market to date, is independent, and inclusive. Should the big boys come to the party, rest assured, for their product it won't be, and there will be no reason beyond pushing consumers into their "concept store" mentality, but they won't do anything, any better, for said exclusivity.......
    You mean the same way there are 2 competing standards for hubs now, neither of which will work with the other? I really don't see the open-source love-fest you see when you see fatbikes- I see expensive bits that generally barely work as promised.

    As it stands now, you can't pick a frame from salsa and just move your surly wheels to it without buying special adaptors and they're owned by the same freaking company.

    The fatbike market to date is fractured and exclusive. You pretty much have to know someone to get a new set of tires if you didn't pre-order them blind the day they were leaked to the internet. Cranks sort of work kind of most of the time except when they don't and you have to take 4 cogs off your casette because the tires only kind of work in that frame. Fatbikes are a mess.

    I love my pugsley, but it's a mess. I love the fact that it's a mess. It appeals to my inner mechanic, knowing that I somehow managed to get x-component to work where no one else could, but that's not what the bulk of riders want. they want easy, they want it to work. And that's what the big boys bring to the party. Stuff that works as promised.

    No one wants their favorite indie band to get popular. But sometimes they do. I hate that apple has gone from being an innovative underdog to a soul-crushing overlord, but **** happens.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    **** happens.
    Plainly, we won't agree, which is fine, I still like you

    Surly, did the best they could to make the whole bike (Pug) function with industry standard stuff. 135 mm hubs, 100 mm DH BB's etc. Obviously, the rims and tires had to be unique, but they still used the 26" format as opposed to inventing their own diameter, claiming it was .23% more betterer....

    Salsa followed Fatback's lead with the 170 rear spacing. Note that they did make adapters for those who wanted to use their 135's, (see any of the 142mm bandwagoneers doing a 135 adapter for their stuff?) They (and Fatback) used either overseas sources for brand name, price point versions, or "allowed" higher end aftermarket folks like Hadley, Hope, Paul, etc to make them, but didn't make them brand exclusive, only available through them.

    I agree, things work with full gear range, barely. But that's not because the big guys aren't here yet. Design issues and barriers are more at play, than the fact that is doesn't have some particular head badge on it.

    If you're just dying for a bike with 10,000 logos on it, and a mess of really bad marketing hype surrounding it about how they waited long enough to really dial it in compared to the rest of the market, you likely won't have to hold your breath much longer....
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    10,000 logos ...branding gone wild

    [QUOTE=

    If you're just dying for a bike with 10,000 logos on it, and a mess of really bad marketing hype surrounding it about how they waited long enough to really dial it in compared to the rest of the market, you likely won't have to hold your breath much longer....[/QUOTE]



    And what is it with the 10,000 logos thing anyway? One of the reasons I like Surly is they are one of the few brands I know of that allow the buyer to peel off their labels if they wish. Stealth mode can be good at times.
    Last edited by Team Honeybadger; 01-08-2013 at 05:34 PM. Reason: oops

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    You mean the same way there are 2 competing standards for hubs now, neither of which will work with the other? I really don't see the open-source love-fest you see when you see fatbikes- I see expensive bits that generally barely work as promised.

    As it stands now, you can't pick a frame from salsa and just move your surly wheels to it without buying special adaptors and they're owned by the same freaking company.
    This has been pointed out before, but every time I see a comment like this, I feel it bears repeating- Salsa and Surly are indeed owned by the same company, but they are run as completely different entities with the ability to do independent designs, and in fact, this is encouraged. Surly could have already done a 170mm symmetrical frame but for their entrenched philosophy which will remain in place as long as certain individuals steer that ship. (Not that I am saying that is good or bad. It just is.)

    There is sharing across brands, to be sure, but if Salsa did aluminum "Surlys", what would be the point? Conversely, the steel framed fat bikes are Surly's domain, and will always be offset designs. That sucks in your described scenario, but it is what it is.

    [The fatbike market to date is fractured and exclusive. You pretty much have to know someone to get a new set of tires if you didn't pre-order them blind the day they were leaked to the internet. Cranks sort of work kind of most of the time except when they don't and you have to take 4 cogs off your casette because the tires only kind of work in that frame. Fatbikes are a mess.
    I would say that you are living on the front end of innovation where sometimes things are great, sometimes things are less than advertised, and sometimes things really suck. I saw this with early mountain bikes, early front suspension designs, early full suspension, etc....

    Once everything gets sorted, you won't see such "messes". But I think it bears remembering that a short 4 years ago there was a lot less of everything for fat bikers.

    I love my pugsley, but it's a mess. I love the fact that it's a mess. It appeals to my inner mechanic, knowing that I somehow managed to get x-component to work where no one else could, but that's not what the bulk of riders want. they want easy, they want it to work. And that's what the big boys bring to the party. Stuff that works as promised.

    No one wants their favorite indie band to get popular. But sometimes they do. I hate that apple has gone from being an innovative underdog to a soul-crushing overlord, but **** happens.
    Maybe the "big boys" will get it right, but much has been figured out for them already. With the horsepower to command better components and tolerances from Asian factories, they may have some refinements to bring to the table, and certainly more choices. Is that "getting it right", or is it cashing in on the "next big thing"? Who knows, but choices should proliferate, (if in fact more companies come in, which I believe they will), and that should only add to "your mess". Whether that is a positive or negative is yet to be seen, but most bike geeks like that sort of scenario.
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  75. #75
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    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.
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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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  77. #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.

  78. #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 01:54 PM.

  79. #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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  80. #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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  81. #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.

  82. #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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  83. #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.

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

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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.

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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.

  87. #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.

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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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  89. #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?

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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.

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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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    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.

  93. #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!

  94. #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......
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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?

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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.


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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.

  98. #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.
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  99. #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?

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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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