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  1. #1
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    When will new bikes not be news......

    I really enjoy reading this forum, and one of the reasons is the general excitement around mostly every release. It seems fat bike riding is still far enough in its infancy where there is a group of people anxiously awaitimg the release of most new bikes and many new parts.
    I know that at some point, this aspect will fade, and it will take more to excite the forum. How close do you think we are to fat bikes becoming simply another form of off road biking?
    It already seems that places like Eal Mart have secured the fact that fat bikes are no longer a cult phenomenon.
    do you think we will start seeing most major companies with several models in their lineup? Notone or two, but maybe ten....similar to what you find with regualr xc bikes where each model has a slight difference in parts and component quality?
    I guess bikes direct has already done this, and there are some brands already with a handful....wonder how long until the big names have a dozen choices.
    No reason to ask other than interesting conversation ....
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  2. #2
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    At the crux of this question is whether we believe that fatbikes will in fact become mainstream. When i first heard of them I naively thought they would not have since the were only designed to operate on snow.

    After getting one and realizing how much fun they are, I thought, these may have a place in the cycling world as a complement/replacement to mountainbikes.

    After seeing the reaction of people who are normally not interested in bicycles, wanting to get one, I realize they are not just a passing fad.

    Now with such an improved variety of offerings, i know they will still grow in market share.

    The question as to when will new bike introductions become non-news: I guess when the state of technology stops evolving. And we are not there yet: 5" tires or bigger, 170mm or 190mm, Q factor improvements, improvements in tubeless technology..........well you get the picture.

    These are interesting times though.

  3. #3
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    Agreed, and you make an interesting point....typical new bike announcements in other genres are not as big a deal because it becomes harder to innovate. With Fat bikes, most everything is new....we just recently saw the first big name release of an air fork. Pretty bland for regular mtb's but for fattys it was revolutionary.
    Even though I may feel many new "advancements" are not necessary or worth the money, it is fun to watch!
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  4. #4
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    When we get past the bubble. It was the same way with 29ers during the first few years. After it struggled to become established, it exploded, these days it's pretty much normalized, but it'll take a few years or so for the same to happen with fatbikes.
    "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

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_tires_are_fun View Post
    ...How close do you think we are to fat bikes becoming simply another form of off road biking?...
    I think 2 to 3 more years and all the skinny tyred bikes will look to us like cyclocross bikes currently look like to mtbers.

    We are almost mainstream.

    Still plenty room for innovation though, and that will be weight driven. The heavy components are in the wheels, so we'll start seeing carbon rims as a basic spec on the better bikes, which will take the fatbike weight to a comparable level with a 29er excluding the tyres.

    Tyres are where the big advances are needed. The technology has barely changed in 100 years, just been taken to a higher level. If we can get tyre weight down by around 400-500gms and eliminate the need for tubes we're set.

    What might work are lightweight flexible impervious materials used for the tyre carcass, so that tubeless is as simple as on a car. It isn't as if high pressures have to be resisted, but saving weight on the tread may be more difficult.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  6. #6
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    I think the insanity started leveling off this year. Now that we have every price point represented, tire sizes from 3-5", and front/full suspension, it seems to me that there's not much room left for anything truly groundbreaking. My impression was that nothing big in the fatmosphere came out of Interbike this year. I think we're entering a period of evolution and refinement, where manufacturers work on perfecting their fat products. Like Velobike said, tires! There needs to be more bonafide tubeless rim and tire offerings. and a good balance between weight and durability (even though, after decades, the skinny MTB tires haven't got this totally licked yet, either). I'm guessing we'll also see more mid-fat options (3-3.5" range) and more bikes designed to handle multiple tire sizes.

    So once the excitement on the fat forums dies down, you'll be forced to get your thrills by riding your bike.

  7. #7
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    As soon as you see a major retailer (Walmart in this case) come out with a crappy replica of something, that's the sign that it is mainstream. Currently the appetite for fatbikes is high enough that almost every new product release generates enough sales to be successful. Since nothing lasts forever, I have to wonder when the market will be saturated and some vendors will disappear. Will that be called "Peak Fatbikes?"

  8. #8
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    It makes me wonder if it was like this back when mtb was in its infancy....of course there was no internet or message board, but probably a lot of ooohing and awwwwing. this certainly seems to be much more revolutionary than the singlespeed craze, or even the 29er. This has made terrain reasonably rideable, that wasnt before...the previously mentioned were just variations of the same sort of tool.
    Like I said, just fun discussion , but it will be interesting to see where it is in a few years.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fat_tires_are_fun View Post
    It makes me wonder if it was like this back when mtb was in its infancy.....
    Every time I hear a hard-core, seasoned mountain biker criticize a newby for buying a fat bike because they don't really "need" one for the kind of riding they're likely to do, I try to remind them (and myself) that it is exactly the same thing we went through in the early 80s. (You know who you are .)

    Once upon a time, a mountain bike was (mostly) just a way to get off the beaten path, ditch the silly clothes, and enjoy a comfortable geometry that wasn't all about racing. And, with those HUGE, cushy, 1.75" knobby tires, you could go anywhere! It opened up a whole new world of backcountry, where the whole point was to slow down a little bit. You know... back before NORBA and glossy magazines and marketing departments and lycra and groomed trails turned the sport into something else. I still remember meeting hikers or horseback riders in the mountains, and them being in awe of my old lugged stumpjumper and saying "Wow - I've never seen anything like that before! Yessir, it's a whole new world."

    I know that things will inevitably go the racer, weight-weeny route, but I think I'll always remember 2012 as "the good old days."
    We still hang bike thieves in Wyoming [Pedal House]

  10. #10
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    ^^great post
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  11. #11
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    iamkeith, I hear you. As mentioned above (poor sales for a new product) in conjunction with a tire width that is just to big, will in my mind by that tipping point of a slow down. Also I just moved to another country West Virginia. Oh I mean another state from Alaska and few if any have seen or even heard of fat bikes. I suppose simply increasing knowledge of product will keep the hype wave going for some time. In other words newbies posting thread titled "Are fatbikes slow?" or " Do I really need a fatbike" are not any less common.

    When I lived in Alaska many people talked about the saturation point of when everyone, "who wanted a fatbike in Anchorage had a fatbike" then sales would slow. Well not only did I pass people daily that had never seen one, Anchorage is a turn style of a town with a enormous turn over population. I.E. new converts moving to Anchorage every year. And trust me all the cool people in Anchor town have to have a fatbike.

    +1 for just getting this fatbike thing up on step
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  12. #12
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    I very much love my fatbike, but I'll always have a FS XC rig. I feel like riding my fatbike is more relaxing and I seem to enjoy the scenery. When I'm riding my other bike I get more adrenalin fix. Just a different style.

    I'd much love a 4" carbon framed hardtail setup that's a bit more racey than my rigid 4.5" fatbike, though. When one comes along for a decent price and standards get more concrete I'll probably get one. I like the idea of the trek farley, I'm just not a fan of the Treks i've owned in the past.

  13. #13
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    When over 50% of the posts are about the adventure (like MikeSee's posts) and not about the latest carbon doohickey, we will have achieved "not-news" status.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel View Post
    When over 50% of the posts are about the adventure (like MikeSee's posts) and not about the latest carbon doohickey, we will have achieved "not-news" status.
    Right, exactly.

    Isn't that what we should be aiming for? More about the stories, less about the tech.

    (Says the guy making some tech because he's dissatisfied with what the market has to offer, sorry I'm a hypocrite.)

    I like to read the daily fatbike pic thread, and start over, not to necessarily see bike porn but to hopefully see cool stuff and read new owner stoke.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel View Post
    When over 50% of the posts are about the adventure (like MikeSee's posts) and not about the latest carbon doohickey, we will have achieved "not-news" status.
    I think that point will arrive when we are seeing more action pics than adventure posts.

    But we definitely need more latest carbon doohickeys, so if you know anyone who can produce them...
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamkeith View Post
    Every time I hear a hard-core, seasoned mountain biker criticize a newby for buying a fat bike because they don't really "need" one for the kind of riding they're likely to do, I try to remind them (and myself) that it is exactly the same thing we went through in the early 80s. (You know who you are .)

    Once upon a time, a mountain bike was (mostly) just a way to get off the beaten path, ditch the silly clothes, and enjoy a comfortable geometry that wasn't all about racing. And, with those HUGE, cushy, 1.75" knobby tires, you could go anywhere! It opened up a whole new world of backcountry, where the whole point was to slow down a little bit. You know... back before NORBA and glossy magazines and marketing departments and lycra and groomed trails turned the sport into something else. I still remember meeting hikers or horseback riders in the mountains, and them being in awe of my old lugged stumpjumper and saying "Wow - I've never seen anything like that before! Yessir, it's a whole new world."

    I know that things will inevitably go the racer, weight-weeny route, but I think I'll always remember 2012 as "the good old days."
    I remember getting my first mountain bike back in 1984 and being pretty excited about it. It had a steel 531 frame, enormous wheelbase and cowhorn handlebars. It could go a lot of places other bikes couldn't and it was a sh1t load of fun. Mountain bikes then branched out in all sorts of directions/disciplines.

    Fat bikes seem to have injected playfulness back into the genre. I see them as Mountainbike 2.0

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    I think that point will arrive when we are seeing more action pics than adventure posts.
    ^^^^ This is why I traded my full squish XC for a fat bike!

    I am already thinking of new and far off adventures to take my fatty...places I would never think of taking my good ol XC bike.
    I also have a new GoPro that will be mounted on the stem for sharing winter worlds I've yet to see...can't wait!!
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