Note: These are not reviews but are simple ride impressions based on the demo tech set-up. All bikes were ridden on the Bootleg Canyon demo loop. Keep in mind that a short ride is not a review, but merely gives us, (and you out there), some idea of what we’re looking at here.

Origin 8 Crawler: by Guitar Ted

This was shown at Interbike last year, and I rode it as well, but this year it showed up with a new hydro-formed frame, new look, and different rear fork ends. (The sliders from last year’s rig are gone) You can check out my opinion of this bike last year here.

Much of what I said in the impression from last year still goes for this one: Nuvinci hub, more standard 135/135mm axle spacing front to rear, and a symmetrical build on the frame. Changes include the frame’s beefy plate style drop outs with slotted caliper mounts which should work with most single speed hubs and mountain disc brakes. The frame brace from top tube to down tube has been eliminated. Of course, the graphics are different as well, and I like them myself. Nice and subtle.

It looks like the bike handles the same with the same gearing limitations. Still, for some folks this will be a turnkey set up for their own fat bike expressions. MSRP may be slightly less than projected last year, perhaps by $100.00, so this becomes a bit more palpable for the customizer.

Final Impression: Good way to get into fat biking on the cheap. The tires and rims are heavy, the Nuvinci is capable off road, but again- heavy. Don’t expect lightweight here. You can expect some fun though. Bummers include the less than wide range on the drive train and the fact that now I have been informed that this won’t be out until Spring 2013, missing the entire ‘snow season” here in North America. Oh well…..fat bikes are for more than snow, right? ;)