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  1. #1
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    KHS joins the fray

    So a local buddy of mine is a KHS rep.

    He sent me these pics today, perhaps I am off the back again in terms of knowledge, but he said they found out yesterday, and had heard nothing before then....

    The onslaught continues, late Fall is the expected launch date, color/graphics are still TBD.
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  2. #2
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    Next March is shaping up to be an excellent time to shop for a discounted fat bike, especially if you are not too particular about the brand. Those huge margins Surly was getting and the explosion in media coverage were too tempting for a lot of manufacturers to resist.

  3. #3
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    How did you get the color off of your 907?
    Are you going to paint it or anodize it?

  4. #4
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    Not a 907 by the looks of the dropouts and other details. Similar otherwise. I was told once by a KHS-selling shop owner that KHS does their own frame manufacturing? Is thet correct? Do they make frames for other companies as well? Looks, well, like a fat bike. Exciting none the less. I'd like to see some geo specs., etc.

    Looked again. Very similar, but I think not a stripped 907
    Last edited by vaultbrad; 07-31-2013 at 08:27 AM. Reason: More picture examining.

  5. #5
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Just worth noting, I'm just the messenger here. I don't sell the brand, or, have any sort of additional info. He just shot me the pics since he knows I follow "Fat" and thought I'd be curious.

    He also gave me permission to post them....

    Smithcreek, Surly doesn't make margins larger than any other manufacturer. Smaller volume, unique production costs more. Why is it that most recent intro bikes cost about the same as the existing market products? Because things cost what they do, to make. Why as a manufacturer, would you charge far less for a product in an emerging market that offers a good chance for some profit?

    I baffles me why many think bike makers are out there to give us Fatbikes of equal quality and spec for less margin. It's not like any of them are making bikes to just "hook a fatbiker up, who's getting screwed by other brands"......
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  6. #6
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    I agree. I'm tired of hearing about surly and margins and ripping off and bla bla bla overpriced. It's not for what it is... but anyway... that horse has been beaten to death many times already.

    Anyway... tell your guy to tell KHS to slap some graphics on there an leave it raw as-is! Love that look. I agree it looks a lot like a 907 frame, but I was just comparing the two with some photo's online and it looks like the KHS seat stay connects to the seat tube higher? Crazy similar though.
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Smithcreek, Surly doesn't make margins larger than any other manufacturer. Smaller volume, unique production costs more. Why is it that most recent intro bikes cost about the same as the existing market products? Because things cost what they do, to make. Why as a manufacturer, would you charge far less for a product in an emerging market that offers a good chance for some profit?

    I baffles me why many think bike makers are out there to give us Fatbikes of equal quality and spec for less margin. It's not like any of them are making bikes to just "hook a fatbiker up, who's getting screwed by other brands"......
    Thanks for some sane comments about fatbikes and pricing. The FAT conspiracy theorists are getting too much airtime.

    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    I agree. I'm tired of hearing about surly and margins and ripping off and bla bla bla overpriced. It's not for what it is... but anyway... that horse has been beaten to death many times already.
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  8. #8
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    What I'm sick of is people reading something into a post that was not there. I'm simply making an observation on what I guess their margins are not a judgement. I'm all for making money. MSRP does not equate to margins, so considering Surly and their dealers have sold the vast majority of their fat bikes and fat bike accessories (mainly tires) at MSRP the past few years, not discount, I would think their margins were pretty healthy. And good for them. But with a flood of new models coming this year alone I'll bet things don't stay the same.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
    But with a flood of new models coming this year alone I'll bet things don't stay the same.
    I think you are right. I suspect that at the end of the 2013/14 season there will be a lot of cheap fatbikes being sold when the surplus stock reality hits home with all the manufacturers and LBS.

    I hope the companies that actually care about fatbikes and have invested in them all this time survive the process.

    You can be sure as $hit that Special Ed, Trek, etc... don't give a rat's a$$ about the market unless they see an golden opportunity. They'll drop their fatbikes in a heartbeat if sales aren't what they expected and move onto the next "hot" product.
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  10. #10
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    KHS joins the fray

    That top tube looks pretty much identical to my 907.


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  11. #11
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    Whys everyone want to bring out another aluminium rigid fatbike :-?

  12. #12
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    Its good to get more manufacturers releasing fatbikes but I have a strange habit of looking first at the tyres... then the frame.
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  13. #13
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    KHS joins the fray

    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    Its good to get more manufacturers releasing fatbikes but I have a strange habit of looking first at the tyres... then the frame.
    I am with you on that habit.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    You can be sure as $hit that Special Ed, Trek, etc... don't give a rat's a$$ about the market unless they see an golden opportunity. They'll drop their fatbikes in a heartbeat if sales aren't what they expected and move onto the next "hot" product.
    First off, that KHS looks pretty cool. I sure hope all these new frames push the development and release of some new tire options. Not too excited about the Vee Rubber stuff....

    Now on to the above quote-

    Trek and Specialized are responding to cold weather area dealers that are sick of seeing QBP dealers selling stuff all day long in November/December/January while they can hardly get a customer in the door during those months and bike sales are at their lowest ebb.

    Some of those dealers are pretty big and influential, so to a degree, you are right- It is about making money, but it is also about opportunities and keeping the dealer base happy too. And it is a no-brainer that if they do not sell, Trek, Specialized, and the rest will pull out, but I ask you, is that a reasonable expectation? That the fat bike market would tank to such a degree that companies start pulling out?

    I do not think so. I think the opposite is more likely than not, and having bikes like this KHS proto surface is evidence to that point, in my opinion.
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  15. #15
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    IMO most people don't start riding a fatbike, most progress to them. They have raced, ridden and owned a few bikes then this is something new that appeals to them, it opens a whole new environment that they have never ridden before, a new found traction on those places that they were not able to ride previously. They are not going to go away, its only going to get bigger and there's a whole new market of people waiting out there who have never even thought of riding one until it appears in their LBS and they have a test ride.

    There's no better feeling than to ride a bike over all the terrain that gets in your way and then some where you never ventured before.
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  16. #16
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    Went to interbike last year, thinking that we'd see fat-bikes from KHS and Kona. Now the list keeps growing - planning on riding some new-ness this winter.....which bike will choose me?
    owner/raconteur at fat-bike.com

  17. #17
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    Id have thought being Mr Fat-bike that you would have had an influx of bikes forming an orderly line
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted View Post
    Some of those dealers are pretty big and influential, so to a degree, you are right- It is about making money, but it is also about opportunities and keeping the dealer base happy too. And it is a no-brainer that if they do not sell, Trek, Specialized, and the rest will pull out, but I ask you, is that a reasonable expectation? That the fat bike market would tank to such a degree that companies start pulling out? .
    If there were X fatbikes made and sold in 2013 and now there are 2X or 3X fatbikes made and attempted to be sold in 2014 you have to wonder who is going to buy all these bikes. Each company wants to get their share of the market, but with so many new entries in one season can the influx of bikes actually find customers?

    If they don't sell all these bikes they'll be deeply discounted and sold over the off season decreasing demand for fatbikes in 2015.

    I just can't see demand for fatbikes growing as fast as the supply seems to be. You've had Wallmart come in at the bottom end this year then Special Ed, Trek, Norco, Kona, KHS, etc...

    The fact all these new companies are coming into the game in the same year only tells us there was some room to grow based on data up to now. Not that that there is room with the pie divided in so many pieces. What will really be telling is what happens to all these fatbikes that hit the market.
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  19. #19
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    These are great questions. The kind of questions that give bike companies, ulcers!
    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    If there were X fatbikes made and sold in 2013 and now there are 2X or 3X fatbikes made and attempted to be sold in 2014 you have to wonder who is going to buy all these bikes. Each company wants to get their share of the market, but with so many new entries in one season can the influx of bikes actually find customers?

    If they don't sell all these bikes they'll be deeply discounted and sold over the off season decreasing demand for fatbikes in 2015.

    I just can't see demand for fatbikes growing as fast as the supply seems to be. You've had Wallmart come in at the bottom end this year then Special Ed, Trek, Norco, Kona, KHS, etc...

    The fact all these new companies are coming into the game in the same year only tells us there was some room to grow based on data up to now. Not that that there is room with the pie divided in so many pieces. What will really be telling is what happens to all these fatbikes that hit the market.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    If there were X fatbikes made and sold in 2013 and now there are 2X or 3X fatbikes made and attempted to be sold in 2014 you have to wonder who is going to buy all these bikes. Each company wants to get their share of the market, but with so many new entries in one season can the influx of bikes actually find customers?

    If they don't sell all these bikes they'll be deeply discounted and sold over the off season decreasing demand for fatbikes in 2015.

    I just can't see demand for fatbikes growing as fast as the supply seems to be. You've had Wallmart come in at the bottom end this year then Special Ed, Trek, Norco, Kona, KHS, etc...

    The fact all these new companies are coming into the game in the same year only tells us there was some room to grow based on data up to now. Not that that there is room with the pie divided in so many pieces. What will really be telling is what happens to all these fatbikes that hit the market.
    Without being as explicit, that's exactly what I was getting at when I wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
    Next March is shaping up to be an excellent time to shop for a discounted fat bike, especially if you are not too particular about the brand. Those huge margins Surly was getting and the explosion in media coverage were too tempting for a lot of manufacturers to resist.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
    Without being as explicit, that's exactly what I was getting at when I wrote:
    That's why I agreed with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I think you are right. I suspect that at the end of the 2013/14 season there will be a lot of cheap fatbikes being sold when the surplus stock reality hits home with all the manufacturers and LBS.
    Quote Originally Posted by smithcreek View Post
    Those huge margins Surly was getting
    I don't agree with this part which suggests Surly was making some crazy profit on fatbikes, but hey we are allowed to have different opinions.
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  22. #22
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    You reckon its a fad ?
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    You reckon its a fad ?
    I reckon it's a limited niche market. You can only sell so many fatbikes in a season. That number can and will grow, but not by doubling the sales in one year for example. Given QBP's market penetration, plus the smaller companies [fatback, 907, etc..] then On One's mailorder reach and Wallmart's budget option and reach - I don't see how you add Norco, Trek, Special Ed, KHS, etc to the existing fatbike market in a healthy way.

    Any one of them - no problem, but all of them at once. Yowzers!!

    That's a lot of product to sell each year if everyone is to stay in the game.
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  24. #24
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    not a fad - a market cycle
    owner/raconteur at fat-bike.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I don't agree with this part which suggests Surly was making some crazy profit on fatbikes, but hey we are allowed to have different opinions.
    My post was not directed at you, I knew we were basically on the same page, it's just your explanation made clear what mine hinted at. Whatever their profit was, getting MSRP and selling out of most products early in the season sure caught the attention of a lot of other bike companies.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted View Post
    First off, that KHS looks pretty cool.
    I don't understand what you guys talk about. That's not a new 'Fat Bike' to wank about. This bike is a 907.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgould View Post
    I don't understand what you guys talk about. That's not a new 'Fat Bike' to wank about. This bike is a 907.
    It's not, but looks very similar. If you read back some posts I mentioned that if you compare photos the seatstay attaches higher to the seatpost than on a 9zero7. Rear triangle looks a little different too. But yeah... unless this is a very early proto... very similar.

    Something I would also add to everyone's excellent points about the rush of new fat bikes to the market... I would also factor in the "holy sh!t it's cold" factor – the person who buys one for winter riding and then realizes dressing, and winter bike handling is a journey in itself... and they don't like it so much. I totally agree that there will be a bunch of sale and used fat bikes in the coming years.

    Edit. Comparison. Enjoy.

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I just can't see demand for fatbikes growing as fast as the supply seems to be.
    ^^^this^^^

    yes, I have a hard time believing the demand is really growing in line with the ramp up in supply. Some people who bought a fatbike over the years may be looking to upgrade to a different frame material or geometry but I don't really see that many people lining up to drop over $1500 on a new fatbike.

    Interested to see what pans out in late February....and if shops have stock still sitting around unsold.

    That said, lots more people seem to be out rolling fatties in the dirt these days. If that catches on then who knows.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRALPH View Post
    I don't really see that many people lining up to drop over $1500 on a new fatbike.
    They won't be "lining up" to buy them, but there will be fat bikes in a lot of places they weren't before in front of a lot of people that have never seen them before.

    The rest is up to the salespeople to make it happen.

    This forum is maybe a bit blind to the fact that fat bikes, (a well known "commodity" here), are not all that well known in a lot of places in the U.S., and certainly I would think other countries are similar. These KHS bikes will appear in shops where, I would submit, the majority of the customers coming in have never seen a fat bike before. If the shops have sales folks "on the ball", they will sell. You all know the reasons why that is, so I will not go into that.

    I bet beaches along the coasts would be a great place for fat biking, or along lake sides, or on bike paths, or....well, the lists can go on and on. Winter cold won't be the deciding factor on whether these bikes sell or not in many places, or it shouldn't be.

    So I think the thoughts about discounted fat bikes in the spring are a bit premature.
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    I agree that the top tube is a direct copy of the 9ZERO. I am not fond of a company like KHS (cheap sh!t overall) doing something like this. But with sexy lines like that, who could resist.

    I expect in the next few years people will be selling their fatties at a deep discount with a title that includes "hardly ridden, never used" because they are not a bike for the masses. People will impulse buy, ride a few times in the cold, realize they will need to invest another $1k in lights, cloths, etc... and ditch the fad.

  31. #31
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    Except for all those ROW countries that would be riding them on the beach, tho they might have to lose a t-shirt and buy some sun screen...

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    Since Specialized released info on their bikes we have had great interest in the bikes. There is no snow here and we mostly ride the bikes on our trail network I am pretty sure the first shipment of bikes will sell out if it hasn't already for Australia.

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    Spesh will prob rip off the fosters commercial.

    " Fatboy....Austrailian for fatbike"

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    One can see a few fatbikes going on the second hand market, once the "new owners" get tired of them. Lets hope the market saturation next year has positive results and not too many negatives...

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted View Post
    They won't be "lining up" to buy them, but there will be fat bikes in a lot of places they weren't before in front of a lot of people that have never seen them before.

    The rest is up to the salespeople to make it happen.

    This forum is maybe a bit blind to the fact that fat bikes, (a well known "commodity" here), are not all that well known in a lot of places in the U.S., and certainly I would think other countries are similar. These KHS bikes will appear in shops where, I would submit, the majority of the customers coming in have never seen a fat bike before. If the shops have sales folks "on the ball", they will sell. You all know the reasons why that is, so I will not go into that.

    I bet beaches along the coasts would be a great place for fat biking, or along lake sides, or on bike paths, or....well, the lists can go on and on. Winter cold won't be the deciding factor on whether these bikes sell or not in many places, or it shouldn't be.

    So I think the thoughts about discounted fat bikes in the spring are a bit premature.
    I was riding a trail this last weekend and I stopped to talk to a couple that was hiking. They were admiring my bike (Moonlander), and the man said that if he was going to get a bike, he wanted to get one like mine. This guy was somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 years old.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

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    What I am wondering is who is going to provide supply of high-end tires? With all these new frames hitting the market, the September ETA Husker Du's could sell out in days.

    Looks to me like a big market opportunity for a high-performance, long-wearing, 1200g tire at a sub $150 price point. I would think that if you could get volume high enough, someone could still be making a very healthy margin even at $100 per tire.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooSteep View Post
    Looks to me like a big market opportunity for a high-performance, long-wearing, 1200g tire at a sub $150 price point. I would think that if you could get volume high enough, someone could still be making a very healthy margin even at $100 per tire.
    Toosteep, this has been beat to death on many other threads here, do a search and have an overdose on tyre pricing debates.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    Spesh will prob rip off the fosters commercial.

    " Fatboy....Austrailian for fatbike"
    John, the funny thing is nobody drinks Fosters here, its not advertised and I didn't even know their slogan. Its an internationally sold beer aimed at overseas markets to make them think we all drink cold Fosters on the beach, surrounded in bikini clad hotties while kangaroos hop around us

    Marketing at its best
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  39. #39
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    A Pugs still rules - okay maybe the moonlander - or Krampus - oh fine... Surly rules.
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    Toosteep, this has been beat to death on many other threads here, do a search and have an overdose on tyre pricing debates.
    Ok. Forget the price. If Guitar Ted is correct, and regular LBS's start moving fatbikes to a new audience this fall, where will the aftermarket 'upgrade' tires come from? Will anyone be stepping in to meet tire demand?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooSteep View Post
    Will anyone be stepping in to meet tire demand?
    We hear Specialized and Kenda are at some stage soon, waiting on whimpering's from Maxxis and Schwalbe
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  42. #42
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    My opinion is that the Fat Bike market will not grow as rapidly as manufacturers are thinking, but it will grow quickly now with more big names in the game.
    Bottom line is that brands like Trek, Specialized, etc appeal to the masses. Many people who looked at a Salsa or a Surly fat bike as an oddball gimmick will now see it as a reasonable option for a bike that anyone can enjoy. Also, with the new big names, all the lbs guys will be talking them up and promoting them as the next best thing.
    Like any new craze, many will jump in and fail quickly, and others will thrive and continue to innovate.
    Prices for things like tires will likely drop, not because companies will reduce margins, but because the larger quantities being produced will allow for lower prices with the SAME margins.
    It will be interesting to see who stays out in front of the pack. Brands like Salsa and Surly will likely continue to have a cult following, and big names will rush to be the first to the market with new innovative bits and pieces. Should be a win win for the consumer. With companies like Specialize and Trek allocating R&D money to fat bikes, I dont see how it can be bad for anyone who likes to ride a fat bike....
    - MOOTS Mooto X
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozzybmx View Post
    We hear Specialized and Kenda are at some stage soon, waiting on whimpering's from Maxxis and Schwalbe
    I cant wait for a 5" Hans Damph!

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    Fixed it. You read the same kind of comments over in the 650b forum, if it's not HUGE margins, then they are ramming new tech down people throats only to sell more bikes. no kidding Sherlock.

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    It baffles me why many think bike makers should not make a profit just like every other company in every other industry in the world attemtpts to do.

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    People on these forums have a different perspective on things. I work in a very large shop that sells Specialized and Rocky Mountain as our main mountain bike lines. People walk in everyday and make commnets like "I've never heard of Specialized or Rocky, are they any good?" Think these people have ever heard of or have seen a fat bike from comapnies with names like Surly, 907, Salsa? Putting fatbikes in your local LBS is going to reach a whole new market. I can assure you we'll have Spec. fatbikes on display out on the sidewalk this winter, to help make people aware these things actually exist. My boss figures there are about 80 fat bike sales in my city in a year, we have 1.1 million people, I'm in Canada in a location that would make good use of a fat bike. The pie is about to get bigger IMO.

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    Just back from a morning ride on my Pugs...out-of-date offset tecnology, "only" 4" rubber, etc. But every time I ride it, its all about smiles per hour.

    It just suits the riding of the infirm and aged like myself, as well as the younger folks that don't have the time or inclination to work on bike skills and fitness every day. I believe the fat thing will be a juggernaut that will steal sales from the regular market. The bike that can do it all.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfatbaldguy View Post
    I believe the fat thing will be a juggernaut that will steal sales from the regular market. The bike that can do it all.
    It will be interesting to see what happens with fatbike sales relative to the alternative basic 29er/650B mountain bikes. Will people who aren't in need of fattires for snow/sand see the value in them for general trail riding when they can buy a lighter front suspension MTB for significantly less $$?

    If someone wants to ride in snow/sand the sales path to a fatbike is pretty clear.

    A fatbike replacing "normal" MTBs is not as easy/obvious a sell. Not that it can't happen, but you have to get people stoked to spend more for a rigid heavier bike than the other options that would work for them on the same trails.
    Safe riding,

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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    People on these forums have a different perspective on things. I work in a very large shop that sells Specialized and Rocky Mountain as our main mountain bike lines. People walk in everyday and make commnets like "I've never heard of Specialized or Rocky, are they any good?" Think these people have ever heard of or have seen a fat bike from comapnies with names like Surly, 907, Salsa? Putting fatbikes in your local LBS is going to reach a whole new market. I can assure you we'll have Spec. fatbikes on display out on the sidewalk this winter, to help make people aware these things actually exist. My boss figures there are about 80 fat bike sales in my city in a year, we have 1.1 million people, I'm in Canada in a location that would make good use of a fat bike. The pie is about to get bigger IMO.
    That's what I was thinking, the amount of people who know that fatbikes exist is still small, without even considering ROW countries where they are almost unheard of. Massive market!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfatbaldguy View Post
    Just back from a morning ride on my Pugs...out-of-date offset tecnology, "only" 4" rubber, etc. But every time I ride it, its all about smiles per hour.

    It just suits the riding of the infirm and aged like myself, as well as the younger folks that don't have the time or inclination to work on bike skills and fitness every day. I believe the fat thing will be a juggernaut that will steal sales from the regular market. The bike that can do it all.
    You sir, are a genius. Or better yet, you agree with me! I'm a 53 years young rider who's not much into racing but still enjoys pushing myself a bit (just completed my first century road ride last week) I rode a Pugs for 3 seasons, mostly winter riding on singletrack, but also an occasional summer trail ride. What great bike! Still, I sold it this spring to fund the purchase of my Beargrease. Someone got a nice 3 year old fat bike for almost half the cost of new. I can see riding my new carbon fatbike darn near year round.
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    It will be interesting to see what happens with fatbike sales relative to the alternative basic 29er/650B mountain bikes. Will people who aren't in need of fattires for snow/sand see the value in them for general trail riding when they can buy a lighter front suspension MTB for significantly less $$?

    If someone wants to ride in snow/sand the sales path to a fatbike is pretty clear.

    A fatbike replacing "normal" MTBs is not as easy/obvious a sell. Not that it can't happen, but you have to get people stoked to spend more for a rigid heavier bike than the other options that would work for them on the same trails.
    I'm likely an 'outlier': While snow was a consideration, I bought my Pugsley for it's stomp-ability. I saw one in the midwest last fall and said WTF?! The guy let me take a spin on it and that was it for me, I had to have one, it was such a fecking blast to ride. I've probably put 1000 miles on mine since January, I barely ride my other bikes any more. I'll do 20-30 mile road rides, singletrack, and everything in between. About the only thing I don't do is use it for commuting in the city, I feel nervous locking t up.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gigantic View Post
    I'm likely an 'outlier':
    I think by definition everyone in this forum with a fatbike is an outlier.
    Safe riding,

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  52. #52
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    Interesting thread, and good points discussed
    .
    From a UK rider looking out around the world, we do not see fatbikes here in the UK as snow bikes for winter riding (though we did see 2 Sibearian temperature winters before the craze hit here )

    But in the UK they are seen/marketed as bikes for XC riding. And On One marketed their fatty for the UK as a trail friendly fat bike.

    Fair enough, yet the recent 3" 29+ has proved to be better and more fun on regular trails than any 4" tyre bike, be it by Krampus owners or those that have SURLY Rabbit Hole 29/ 3" Knard wheel sets on what ever bike they fit.
    And the new SURLY Dirt Wizard 29x3" tyres will make this setup ideal for alll year round riding

    The UK market is weird though, No marketing for beach riding - yet we are an island nation of loads of coastline suitable for Fatbikes, yet in the mainstream of forums (which mostly are real boring here) is ignoring the 29+ thing and the advantage of better speed, handling and so fun when riding regular trails...

    So yeah, who is going to buy all these available Fatbikes?, here in the UK anyway?,

    I guess those with disposable incomes and no worries abour devaluaition,
    Already we have seen Moonlanders that coast £2000 sold for half that or less, i would rather ride mine into the ground and give it a burial at sea...

    40mm Fat tyre CX bikes are whats needed here in the UK for those not interested in riding onto the coast...
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    40mm Fat tyre CX bikes are whats needed here in the UK for those not interested in riding onto the coast...
    You need to quit reading all the nonsense on my blog about gravel bikes. It's obviously poisoning your mind.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    i would rather ride mine into the ground and give it a burial at sea...
    Remember to let the tyres down or it is just going to wash up on the other side of the world

  55. #55
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    One noticeable difference we're seeing in the Fat-Bike market... We are just now seeing complete Fat-Bikes, in stock, on the showroom floors of bike shops that didn't have them 1 or 2 years ago.
    When I got mine in 2010, I had to pre order a bike I had only seen pictures of, with no test ride to even determine what size I needed.
    Times they are a changing. For the better.
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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocean breathes salty View Post
    Remember to let the tyres down or it is just going to wash up on the other side of the world
    I'll now be riding the beach everyday, waiting for all the unwanted fattys washing up
    Evil Following
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Will people who aren't in need of fattires for snow/sand see the value in them for general trail riding when they can buy a lighter front suspension MTB for significantly less $$?
    I think you're discounting the "4WD effect" here, i.e., the perception that that bigger is better. A lot of fatbikes will be sold as impulse buys, not as the result of any rational process, but first people have to see them.

    Also, there really aren't that many fatbikes out there in a lot of places. I live in Sydney Oz and have been aware of the Pugsley since it was first announced, but have so far seen a grand total of one (1) fatbike, a Mukluk earlier this year in a city shop. The chance of even setting eyes on anything is almost zero, and the chance of test riding is zero.

    I suspect that quite a few of people will buy fatbikes because they like the look of them, and not because they make any sense at all for the uses they might have in mind. (If I was going to get one, that'd be most of the reason why!) Given that Spec & Trek have way more full-line dealers than QBP, the chances of exposure should increase massively. IMHO, everyone should have a way better idea of the potential market after the next year or two, when there will finally have been wider availability of bikes, more mainstream parts (i.e., SRAM cranks), suspension forks, etc. I might even be able to test ride one some day, though I doubt it.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by satanas View Post
    I think you're discounting the "4WD effect" here, i.e., the perception that that bigger is better. A lot of fatbikes will be sold as impulse buys, not as the result of any rational process, but first people have to see them.

    Also, there really aren't that many fatbikes out there in a lot of places. I live in Sydney Oz and have been aware of the Pugsley since it was first announced, but have so far seen a grand total of one (1) fatbike, a Mukluk earlier this year in a city shop. The chance of even setting eyes on anything is almost zero, and the chance of test riding is zero.

    I suspect that quite a few of people will buy fatbikes because they like the look of them, and not because they make any sense at all for the uses they might have in mind. (If I was going to get one, that'd be most of the reason why!) Given that Spec & Trek have way more full-line dealers than QBP, the chances of exposure should increase massively. IMHO, everyone should have a way better idea of the potential market after the next year or two, when there will finally have been wider availability of bikes, more mainstream parts (i.e., SRAM cranks), suspension forks, etc. I might even be able to test ride one some day, though I doubt it.
    I'm aware of that effect and would suggest that's already happening a lot now. Will it happen more in the future - for sure - Moonlanders will be used to cruise to the coffee shop for a non-fat latte plenty I am sure.

    I'm also sure a bunch of new fatbikes will get sold. There is no doubt of that. The question is how many relative to the number being built as we speak?

    My LBS have brought in fatbikes and they've gathered dust for months at a time [admittedly we are a no snow/minimal sand location] with little interest. They are on the showroom floor and available for test rides. When I talk to the guys doing the ordering they are not stoked about getting in more fatbikes for obvious reasons.

    It's a hard sell when there are front suspension 29ers that would work better for most people priced a lot less.

    I think that will be the interesting challenge for sales people at LBS without a compelling snow/sand story locally. If a customer comes in for a basic MTB and you want to sell him that shinny Special Ed fatty sitting on the showroom floor how do you overcome the advantage that a lower price "conventional" MTB has with better parts and quite possibly better performance for local conditions?

    I'm not suggesting that there isn't a cunning marketing plan being formulated at Special Ed to do just this. I just don't know what it is.

    We've been down this road before in some ways. There are lots of people who have heavier full suspension MTBs in their garages that perform worse for their local conditions than a hardtail which would be cheaper and have a better spec. These bikes also get used a lot for riding to the coffee shop to get lattes.

    The FS MTB became the 4x4/SUV of its day. Rigid/hardtails became old fashioned, boring, lame...even if they were faster, cheaper and better choices for many locales.
    Safe riding,

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    ^ Totally agree with all you've said!

    Here in Oz we're often ~5 years behind what happens overseas, for instance it's only been in the last 12 months that most bike shops here in Sydney would typically have 29" bikes on the floor, or any spare tyres or tubes. There are still lots of 26" MTBs on shop floors here, but maybe not too many (informed) people who want to buy them. No idea yet what will happen with 650b here, although we do have a Giant-only shop in the CBD so they may get a few. I suspect at this point it's only Internet forum lurkers who know or care about new stuff though.

    Fatbikes are kind of a weird thing here as we don't have any snow outside national parks or near population centres, and while there are plenty of deserts I'm not sure how many people really want to ride there, or on beaches. It's only this year (AFAIK) that any complete fatbikes have been available here, and I've still only seen one, although I could (in theory) have ordered the parts to build something up for several years now from the local distributors.

    I think we're more in the middle of a super-expensive-road-bikes-for-dentists-and-MAMILs period here now though...

  60. #60
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    Re: KHS joins the fray

    It's not really the job of the lbs to sell a fatbike over a 29er. If a customer wants a 29er instead, that's not a problem for the shop.

    My lbs just recently picked up it's first fattie, an Origin8, I think. In my first visit since, a customer inquired about it, but was shocked by the 1300 dollar price. My buddy said he saw someone test riding it, as well.

    For the big boys, I just think they don't want their shops stocking the competitions rigs. A Spesh fanboy will buy a Spesh fattie. If he buys a Salsa, and likes it, maybe he looks at a Spearfish instead of a Stumpy next time around. Gotta keep 'em in the fold.

  61. #61
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    Hey;

    While I had some idea that it would be nice to be able to ride in more off season conditions than was currently possible on a normal bike (3-4" of snow was about tops), The reason I finally dove deep into building my own bikes, and Fat ones at that, was the cool factor. I just could not resist anything that looked so cool and would be so unique. Yes, it was cool that drove me to it.

    I would not be surprised if this was a factor in many future sales. Perhaps the majority even.

    Happy accident. No matter the season or terrain, I find I also happen to absolutely LOVE riding the things!
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
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  62. #62
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    What is it about cyclists that make them so initially averse to more choices? I see it in the road world (HOW DARE YOU build a road bike with disc brakes!) And I see it here in the fat bike world as well.

    As long as there have been fatbikes it seems like the one thing everyone has been screaming for has been more choices, more bikes, more everything. And now that it seems a good portion of the bike world has listened, apparently, these choices aren't good enough. I'm seeing bikes get dismissed as "copycat crap" before anything more than a blurry bigfoot-style pic has been released.

    Meanwhile, any vaporware from the surly/salsa/QBP continuum gets praised as the second coming, despite the fact that they'll only make 5 of them, they're already sold out and they won't make them next year because, um, something.

    Y'all got what you want- more choices. Some of these choices are gonna be simply apples to apples, that is, not a whole lot different than anything you can already buy. Some of these choices are gonna be a whole new ballgame- the Specialized bike looks pretty cool and I'll be interested to see what the trek is actually looking like. Hell, some of them are simply going to be interesting because they offer a new set of decals and paint in colors someone might actually want (looking at you surly).

    Yup, it might be that no one buys them. That's always the chance, init? Trek/Fisher took a pretty big gamble on 29ers that could have totally tanked on them. Remember when monstercross bikes/drop bar 29ers were gonna be the next big thing and then... POOF. nope, not so much.

    What fatbikes have going for them is novelty, for sure, and that's going to sell some bikes. But they also have simplicity in their favor. And that's something you notice after the novelty wears off. You notice that the local trails, which were boring as hell on a FS bike are suddenly fun again. You notice that, holy crap, it's kinda awesome when all you have to worry about is tire pressure. No fork preset, no sag, no lockouts, just 2 big-ass tires. And that's something that, say, drop bar 29ers didn't have, and why they ended up being a flash in the pan. Drop bar 29ers didn't really give you anything you couldn't already buy (why do I want to take my cyclocross bike on singletrack?). But right now, other than some seriously high end, superlight racing specific stuff (rigid niners), no one sells a simple mountain bike.

    And fatbikes have a serious lock on simple, even after the novelty wears off.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post

    What fatbikes have going for them is novelty, for sure, and that's going to sell some bikes. But they also have simplicity in their favor. And that's something you notice after the novelty wears off. You notice that the local trails, which were boring as hell on a FS bike are suddenly fun again. You notice that, holy crap, it's kinda awesome when all you have to worry about is tire pressure. No fork preset, no sag, no lockouts, just 2 big-ass tires. And that's something that, say, drop bar 29ers didn't have, and why they ended up being a flash in the pan. Drop bar 29ers didn't really give you anything you couldn't already buy (why do I want to take my cyclocross bike on singletrack?). But right now, other than some seriously high end, superlight racing specific stuff (rigid niners), no one sells a simple mountain bike.

    And fatbikes have a serious lock on simple, even after the novelty wears off.
    I agree with you. It's always been my thought that fat bikes, if marketed astutely, should equate adventure in the minds of potential consumers. Fatbikes offer an alternative. They offer riders a simple tool that allows them to go places they haven't been before. That's huge. No other bikes on the market offer so many new riding opportunities. Adventure is why I got into mountain biking in the first place. I started riding long enough ago that every ride was an adventure. Trails were logging roads. Maps were USGS topos, at best. As time has passed, bikes and trails have gotten better, but along with those gains, there have been certain "sacrifices" in terms of the experience. I love my fatbike because it brings that feeling of simple adventure back. For newer riders, they now have an opportunity to experience this as well. And it's practical simplicity, not simplicity for simplicity's sake. Some might say that if you want simplicity, go with a rigid singlespeed. While is might truly be the simplest way to go, singlespeeds have limited utility compared to a modern mountain bike, and even less utility compared to a fatbike. A fatbike is simple AND you can you can do just about any kind of riding on it, so long as you adjust your expectations on trails, roads and other places where our skinny-tired brethren will travel more quickly. But you also get to do the fun stuff, like ride in the snow, sand, or that rutted-out logging road that goes who-knows-where.
    I say bring on the clone fat bikes. So long as there's more exposure, there will be more sales, and with more sales, will come innovation at the high end, and hopefully lower prices in the middle and low end.
    -Chris

  64. #64
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    More choice is good - agreed. Having stuff shoved down one's throat "because it's new and thus better" (like disc brakes on road bikes) is not such a great thing. Yeah, I get that they'll sell more road bikes to mountain bikers and the great unwashed if they have discs, but that DOES NOT mean they are necessary, or (IMHO) a good idea.

    While fatbikes are sort of simple, they require a lot of weird (by normal bicycle standards) parts, and these are not commonly found in many bike shops. Here in Oz, I'd be surprised if any shop carried any tyres or tubes at all, although there may be one somewhere. And yes, one doesn't need suspension to ride off-road or go touring, but then one never did. People have been touring off-road since there were bicycles, and I've done so on 27 x 1 1/4" tyres back in the 1970s and on 26 x 2.x" tyres once MTBs became available in the 1980s.

    The bottom line is that we need a lot less technology to do stuff than most of us use, and any bicycle with pneumatic tyres and chain drive is actually quite sophisticated. More fatbikes from more companies can only be a good thing, and inverted snobbery/elitism isn't going to change that.

  65. #65
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    Wow, this has turned into quite the thread, and quite OT from where it began.

    No matter, all good, and glad I could, in some way, facilitate an interesting discussion.

    Not stepping on anyones points, or taking sides, because frankly, if you're riding two wheels under your own steam, (as far as I'm concerned), it's a win for so many reasons, I lose count.

    What gets me is the whiners.

    I create and convert a decent number of folks fat bikes, to Lefty suspension in front. Nothing new in that statement.

    Folks will either ignore it, or, think it's cool, ask questions, maybe buy one, maybe love it, maybe not.

    But much like the guys who whine about too many copy cat fatbikes now, why complain? Nobody cares if you don't like it, and it's not like I'm going to stop making conversion clamps and selling them to whomever wants one, anymore than KHS, Kona, etc, are going to stop moving forward just because some dude in Delaware, thinks it's a 9Zero7 in sheeps clothing.

    Sure, I'm as guilty as the next for sharing my certain proclivities about certain brands, but I generally try to bring positive content to the room, I'm not going to make a crusade out of it, too much to do in my day.

    There's more options, you can now make more choices, just be happy for crying out loud, and ride yer damn bike already......

    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurkeVT View Post
    ....Some might say that if you want simplicity, go with a rigid singlespeed. While is might truly be the simplest way to go, singlespeeds have limited utility compared to a modern mountain bike....
    Some might say that there are a some significantly modern mountain bikes out these days that also happen to be singlespeeds. Even rigid singlespeeds

    Sorry, I know I'm off topic, but I've gotta step in and defend the often underestimated ss. My single geared Krampus demands it

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    But much like the guys who whine about too many copy cat fatbikes now, why complain? Nobody cares if you don't like it [snip]

    There's more options, you can now make more choices, just be happy for crying out loud, and ride yer damn bike already......
    ^ Exactly! Keep up the good work.

    In my defense, I do get kind of fed up with the whole "road bikes without disc brakes are crap" sentiments expressed online, I suspect by people who've never done much/any road riding.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post

    But much like the guys who whine about too many copy cat fatbikes now, why complain? Nobody cares if you don't like it, and it's not like I'm going to stop making conversion clamps and selling them to whomever wants one, anymore than KHS, Kona, etc, are going to stop moving forward just because some dude in Delaware, thinks it's a 9Zero7 in sheeps clothing.
    If we are only going to talk about happy things on this forum then any possibility of having a critical discussion evaporates and we are left with mindless cheerleading and patting each other on the back because our painted rims match our cables so well. That gets lame and boring fast.

    People sharing opinions - both positive and negative about a topic is the whole point of having a discussion.

    I'm not expecting Surly or Special Ed to listen to me and do what I say online. I'm here to chat with people about fatbikes.

    Having said that I have definitely decided to buy or not buy specific products based on discussions in these forums. MTBR member X & Z posting how a new fatbike design is not great won't stop KHS from trying to sell it, but it may change enough minds that KHS doesn't make the profit they hoped on their fatbikes and gets them to indirectly change their plans.

    Part of the reason I come here is because there are some folks willing to express their opinions about fatbikes [both negative and positive] and that generates a discussion that ends up examining lots of interesting and useful facets of the subject. I don't agree with some things said, but I have had my mind changed by a compelling argument.

    And even when my mind wasn't changed talking about a topic from multiple viewpoints helps make sure I've considered all the angles and makes me more confident in my choice which is useful.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  69. #69
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    ^ Agree 100%!

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    Not sure of anyone else, but I am glad companies have stuffed my mouth full of disc brakes, better shifters, derailleurs, wheels, tyres etc etc in the 20+ years I have ridden offroad. To me the UCI stimmies the lack of advancement in Road bikes by applying so many rulings. Now that I have discovered Fat bikes my passion and excitement for riding is back to being like that of when I started mtb With big companies jumping on board there will be more availability and choice, here in Australia that is a great thing. I was fortunate to purchase my Mukluk3 when I did as it was the last one available. We dont get the same choices as everyone in the Northern Hemisphere here I have many people ask about my bike and express an interest, getting them a well priced bike is difficult, if not impossible.

  71. #71
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    Well I'd say after all that, above, we have learned a lot about ourselves. Great words guys keep it up. The rep was flyin on this tread.

    My two cents says....
    It has been said above a few times but let me bring a sense of reality to some, clarity to others and redundantcy to the guys that already know it. I first learned of fatbikes when I moved to Anchorage in August of 2010. Some people might say AK is the reason this forum exists.(no disrespect to MN). I did some research since there were multiple local bike shops that had fatbikes and two shops that made their own. I took some test rides, lucky me, saved some money and then some more and then some more and finally purchased one in December 2011.

    Before my purchase it took me commuting a month and a half in the snow during the snowest winter in Anchorage History before putting my deposit down. So you ask why all the words? Well it took me a guy who loves to bike has every reason in the world, even financially, to own a fatbike for his commute over year and a half to identify, test ride, save up and purchase that fatbike then I'm sure it's going to take the average Joe a little bit longer once he first figures out fatbikes even exist.

    So guys trust me on this one, I run into people daily here in Anchorage who have never heard of or seen a fatbike before. Judging by the looks on their faces I might as well be riding Bigfoot. How this is possible, I don't know? anchorage is crawling with Fatbikes any time of year. I'm sure Anchorage has the most fat bikes per capita of any city. Trust me they sell and good luck thinking that pogs on craigslist for $600 bucks isn't hot.

    IMHO in 10 years we will look back at this time and regret not investing heavily in one of these niche, fad, gimmicky fatbike companies.
    If fatbikes were a tsunami, the water is just starting to recede.
    Last edited by Greenfin; 08-07-2013 at 12:02 AM. Reason: Clarity
    Still cleaning my Fatback.
    It's a life style.

  72. #72
    Fat & Single
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    Ive just bought an On-One Dirty Disco CX bike as im a dedicated follower of fashion.
    Last edited by ozzybmx; 08-08-2013 at 12:31 AM. Reason: spelling
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenfin View Post
    Well I'd say after all that, above, we have learned a lot about ourselves. Great words guys keep it up. The rep was flyin on this tread.

    My two cents says....
    It has been said above a few times but let me bring a sense of reality to some, clarity to others and redundantcy to the guys that already know it. I first learned of fatbikes when I moved to Anchorage in August of 2010. Some people might say AK is the reason this forum exists.(no disrespect to MN). I did some research since there were multiple local bike shops that had fatbikes and two shops that made their own. I took some test rides, lucky me, saved some money and then some more and then some more and finally purchased one in December 2011.

    Before my purchase it took me commuting a month and a half in the snow during the snowest winter in Anchorage History before putting my deposit down. So you ask why all the words? Well it took me a guy who loves to bike has every reason in the world, even financially, to own a fatbike for his commute over year and a half to identify, test ride, save up and purchase that fatbike then I'm sure it's going to take the average Joe a little bit longer once he first figures out fatbikes even exist.

    So guys trust me on this one, I run into people daily here in Anchorage who have never heard of or seen a fatbike before. Judging by the looks on their faces I might as well be riding Bigfoot. How this is possible, I don't know? anchorage is crawling with Fatbikes any time of year. I'm sure Anchorage has the most fat bikes per capita of any city. Trust me they sell and good luck thinking that pogs on craigslist for $600 bucks isn't hot.

    IMHO in 10 years we will look back at this time and regret not investing heavily in one of these niche, fad, gimmicky fatbike companies.
    If fatbikes were a tsunami, the water is just starting to recede.
    Maybe, but I see guys down south buying them as a fad in places where they can't legitimately use them. It's not that they can't ride them down there or that they are useless, it's just that these people I know are the ones that always go after the latest fad and then hop on the next one 6 months later. So while they are pretty well locked in up here in AK and I see some of the big manufacturers having a "line", I don't think it's going to be huge. I think the krampus bikes will wane back a little too, with Surley supporting it and keeping it going maybe indefinitely, but 3rd party stuff will lose interest after a while, vs. here in AK where we won't lost interest in fat bikes. Maybe you are saying the same thing as me. I don't see them as a fad overall, but I know those that have bought them for that reason. I don't think these are bikes for the average joe for the most part. It not just for mountain bikers, it's for very dedicated and enthusiastic mountain bikers. If someone wants to get into the sport, it'd be years usually before they ever get to thinking about buying one of these bikes, even in places that get a lot of snow IMO.

    If you really want a successful business, you can't wait around for someone to make what you make cheaper and better, you gotta innovate, change, expand markets, find new ways to do things, new ways to make things, no ways to market, and so on. It's not a "sit back and just cash in" situation about 99% of the time. This is the biggest beef I have with some LBSs and manufacturers. They want to compete with "online", so the question becomes: What have you done recently to promote your business, cycling within your community, how many races and events have you sponsored, how many group rides do you do, how many trails have you built, how is your website and how many resources are on there, how many skills parks have you built, and so on. If you have a good answer for this, you probably have a solid foundation and business. If not, your just waiting for the next guy to come up and do what you do better and take all your business. So 907 and fatbikes have to innovate, continue to push boundries, and so on. I'll ride my 170mm hub bike for a while at least, but they've moved on because they found something even better, experimented with carbon, carbon forks, and so on. If they can keep doing this and find new ways to "invent" their bicycles, they'll be successful, because the only constant is change in business.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  74. #74
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    I walk out an look at the pugs in the bike shed. Ah... it works and works well. Could it be lighter - yes. I have wanted on for years - since I saw a guy in Vermont in 1987 with two arya rims welded together on his mountain bike (center rib trimmed and cross laced).

    More choices is better- but guys drilling - cutting - making - that is what the fat bike is!
    My bike is heavier than yours - it does not have Carbon or Titanium parts - I love it!

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weinerts View Post
    More choices is better- but guys drilling - cutting - making - that is what the fat bike is!
    Devil's advocate, what you're describing is a hobby, not a bike. And that's OK, if what you want out of a bike is a constant frankenbike testbed.

    But you have to remember that's not what most people want.

  76. #76
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    I was in one of my LBS todays that stocks fatbikes [Pugsleys] and has one on the showroom floor. I asked them what sales have been like this year....so far they have not sold a single fatbike. They have sold 2 out of the 3 Krampus completes they've brought in plus the Krampus frame/fork they sold me.

    This is our odd ball LBS that sells recumbents, 650B bikes, folders and other weird bicycles - so they are adept at selling niche products.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  77. #77
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    Back on the topic of KHS joining the Fray I do know the designers at KHS were asking some of us who do very well in the Fat Bike market and we said our favorite frame was the 907 and they did (a little too obviously) model the bikes top tube after it. The major difference here being that KHS is into making price competitive product and for this reason they use a 135mm offset rear in order to use lower priced hubs. I love riding and building up Fat Bikes and the shop has been doing very well this season with orders but all because we offer a wide variety of build options and just about no bike we build is a pre-assembled complete. We will leave that to the big companies to try and sway customers by price but from everyone we have been dealing with it's about getting something unique and with quality components. New (hopefully) standards like the 190mm rear which can fit the 29+ for summer seem to be driving sales. We're in Canada though and everyone wants to be able to run 5" tires if they choose.
    Muskoka Outfitters/Fat-Bikes.ca
    Pivot, Niner, 9ZERO7, Surly, Borealis
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  78. #78
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    It seems more likely that KHS is using the same factory as 9:Zero:7 and their "new" fram is 9:Zero:7's discontinued 2012 135mm frame. It certainly looks very similar.

  79. #79
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    Yes. It is doubtful that a price competitor like KHS invested any time or money to make a copy cat bike. More likely that they are just using what is already available and was discarded by a more leading edge designer.

  80. #80
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    They most likely are NOT using the same factory as anybody else as they own their factories and do all of their own production on their better bikes. Some of their entry level models *may* come from other factories but I'd be surprised if that was the case other than maybe little kids models.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    They most likely are NOT using the same factory as anybody else as they own their factories and do all of their own production on their better bikes. Some of their entry level models *may* come from other factories but I'd be surprised if that was the case other than maybe little kids models.
    Because it makes so much me sense to develop a frame with a hydroformed top tube that is almost EXACTLY like another manufacturers long discontinued model. yeah. seems legit.

  82. #82
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    Maybe, just maybe because I have no idea if it's true, they produced that discontinued frame and had to wait a specified amount of time until they could use it for themselves. I know that they do contract work so...

  83. #83
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    Might not be true, but I have heard the companies that do hydro-forming offer a catalog of shaped tubes for bike companies to pick from when designing a bike. The company already owns the mold for these shapes. Makes sense when you think about small production companies like 907 and the cost to have a set of custom hydro-forming mold made.

  84. #84
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    I'm more of a business and marketing fella than a bike nerd, but here's what I think will happen in the next few seasons.

    1-- The new players will do well selling Fat Bikes to their existing customers. Cyclists have brand loyalty, much like any other customer of a consumer product. They also have retailer loyalty, which is a pretty big deal for a product which most will "test ride" before buying. The gal who started on a Roubaix and bought a Venge with her big bonus will go to the same store and see a Specialized Fat Bike and give it a spin. Regardless of whether it's an impulse buy or a considered purchase, she'll buy the Specialized offering without regard to the hub spacing or the comparison to a 907 model (which she's never heard of). She buys it because it's a unique bike sold by her favorite brand in her favorite store. The major brands will grow the market. To what extent they succeed will depend on how well they market these bikes beyond just "snow bike" or "beach bike".

    2-- The smaller innovators will struggle. Without the extensive dealer networks and marketing presence of the big guys, the smaller innovators like 907 will remain small. These players will almost certainly continue to innovate, but their first-mover advantage in this market is now gone. Broader choices in brands and retail locations will mean that the market share of these players will decrease on a percentage basis. They may make unit-sales numbers go up because the overall market grows, but they will be relegated to niche players slowly.

    3-- Growth of the market will be good for tires/components. We're seeing this already, but the number of tire options and players will continue to expand. Those tire manufacturers who haven't yet joined the fray will not ignore the market. In a year or two, you'll be able to buy high end Continental tires and Performance Bikes' house branded budget tires with equal ease. This availability will have a reinforcing effect on the bikes' legitimacy and market positioning. When a potential buyer sees parts and components on the shelves of their local bike shop, he will feel more comfortable that the fat bike in the corner is not a passing fad and more likely to commit.

    4-- Fat bikes will become a viable mountain or multi-purpose bike in the minds of salespeople and consumers as they are seen in greater numbers in places that aren't sandy/snowy. Comparisons between fat bikes and hardtails or rigid 29ers will happen on sales floors and some people will decide that slower is a worthwhile tradeoff to gain either a.) real bike capability or b.) coolness/novelty factor. Because of these consumer views, fat bikes will cannibalize sales of 29ers and other traditional mountain bikes. To what extent this occurs will be hard to measure, given the relative market sizes.

    5-- 29x3.0" mid-fat will become a rational fatbike alternative for many people, if enough manufacturers produce bikes around the tire size. This middle ground has its problems however, given that Surly/QBP is the only manufacturer of a tire in this size currently. Specialized is highly unlikely to roll out a frame that wears a Surly-emblazoned tire on its rims in the showroom. So, a chicken-and-egg situation will ensue for this rational tire/drivetrain option. Its middle ground functionality will not drive demand like the fattiest bikes, so the manufacturers who come to the table with new bikes will not be the majors. I don't think 29x3.0" will die, but it may well morph into usage in other bike categories just as much as it is sold in packages built around the tire explicitly. Forks with clearance for the tire will cause it to spread into normal 29er hardtail use. It will also become more of the "summer tire" option in the fat bike scene. There will be some weird stuff in 2015, like a Salsa Fargo with clearance for 3" tires. The Krampus will continue to slowly grow in presence, and the ECR will be a yawn after 2 seasons.

    6-- Just as the market becomes slightly saturated in 2015-2016, the original fat tire buyers will start buying their second fat bikes and boost demand temporarily. Manufacturers will interpret this (wrongly) as continued escalation in sales and way overforecast 2017 production.

    7-- 2017 will be a miserable year for sales, driving prices down with a glut of inventory and everyone convinced that the Fat Bike Fad has finally run its course. This of course will be untrue-- just a classic "beer game" supply chain problem. 2018 will complete the bullwhip effect and you'll have a hard time finding a fat bike anywhere.

    8-- MTBR forum posters will whine in 2018 that fat bikes are as scarce as they were "back in 2012".



    Prognostications complete!

  85. #85
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    My first MTB is a KHS. Nothing but broken or defective frame parts. Replacement part not available until Jan 2014. I had to buy a new bike so I could have something to ride and I chose a salsa mukluk 3.

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