It was pretty heavily rumored for a few months, and now officially, SRAM announces what everyone already knew: Fat bike cranks are coming. First let’s get you caught up with what exactly will be available, then we’ll end with some of our thoughts on the subject….
The crank sets are being made by SRAM in double ring versions only. 10 speed, 36T and 22T equipped doubles that are said to eliminate “most tire to chain rub found on fat bikes“. We take this to mean that perhaps the spider has been positioned in a bit more of an outboard manner to not only get the better chain clearance, but to give better chain line with both rings. We suspect the chain clearance bonus was secondary. SRAM also claims lighter weight “than most current fat bike crank offerings“, which considering the current offerings, is not saying much. Still, fat bike aficionados should be pleased with the promise of more, quality selections for fat bike use.
SRAM lists the X-9 fat bike crank at MSRP $314.00USD and the X-5 at $169.00 USD. There was no word on when the cranks might be available to the aftermarket. However; we do not believe that SRAM is simply being altruistic and giving the fat bike fans a better quality aftermarket choice here. No…..we’re thinking this points to something else.
Typically SRAM, (or any of the larger component makers), doesn’t tool up and produce products for the aftermarket only. Yes- we are thinking some company, or group of companies, is going to introduce fat bikes in their line up for 2014. While it is true that Salsa Cycles or Surly Bikes will likely make use of these components and will account for some of the production, we do not feel they are the only ones behind this. All we can say now for sure is that we’ve heard rumors, and well…….time will tell if we are right, or if we are wrong.
At any rate, this development gives the fat bike a stamp of acknowledgement, (at least), by the industry, and signals that we are likely to see more fat bike developments coming in the near future.
NOTE: This report was put together with information and images provided by SRAM. We thank SRAM for sharing with us and the readers of TNI.