Interbike ’13: Fat Bikes & 45NRTH- by Guitar Ted
Obviously this year’s Interbike will be one remembered for the sheer amount of new stuff aimed at fat bikes. It was a category that literally exploded, and that’s even without stalwart fat bike company Salsa Cycles showing up. Let’s see what was being shown in a bit of a photo heavy report.
Felt fat bike proto: Felt was “gauging interest” in this concept “motorcycle” of sorts fitted with a Bosch electric motor. Note how all the wiring is neatly routed internally. The bike featured some trick, double walled, drilled rims as well. Don’t expect to get much flotation with all that extra weight on board to start with, but we are betting it is a fun motorized bike to tool around on. No word on whether this would ever see production.
Fatback: Arguably the pioneer of many fat biking innovations, Greg Matyas and his crew from Anchorage, Alaska were in attendance again, (in an actual booth space!), with their newest creation, the carbon fiber Corvus frame and fork. The curvy lines and integrated front derailleur mount was nicely executed. Greg also talked about some carbon fiber rims that were on their way to the show, but regrettably we didn’t get to see those.
Fatback “Sterling” 4.25″er Tires: Greg was also showing the new Sterling 26 X 4.25″ tires made by Vee Rubber and sporting a tubeless folding bead for use as a tubeless tire. These are sealant compatible tires, the first of their kind with tubeless beads, and Greg said they mount up and seal with no problems. Traction looks good with many squarish knobs. Also noted was Fatback’s hub with a XX1 driver and cassette. Nice!
Vee Rubber: While most think of Surly Bikes when they consider fat bike tires, (or possibly 45NRTH), don’t forget that Vee Rubber is making a wide selection of models now. (Some under other brand names. Can you name them?)
Borealis Bikes: A new company based in Colorado, but with strong Alaskan roots, is Borealis Bikes. They come out of the gates with guns blazing with this fine looking carbon fiber model dubbed the Yampa. Shown here in full expedition mode, but they also were showing a more stripped down version with white treaded Husker Du tires from 45NRTH with an astounding weight of 21lbs! No doubt the new Carbondale 85mm double walled rims helped get the bike down to that weight. I was impressed by the clearances with the big 4.8″ tires on 100mm rims on the expedition set up. A quick Interbike show floor demo showed calm handling with easy turn in.
45NRTH: We showed you 45NRTH’s newest boot, the Fasterkatt, here. At Interbike I got the chance to actually see it and check it over. The Fasterkatt should appeal to anyone that normally wears booties and rides in cooler, wetter weather. The construction and details on this boot are amazing, and it is easy to see why it won an award for product design at Eurobike this year. (45NRTH’s second such award. They won last year for the Wolvhammer boot.)
45NRTH also has the new Nicotine and Gravdal tires coming yet. We’ve been promised a set of each when they do land, so stay tuned. For more on these tires, see our report here. No news on the fat bike tire front, but when asked, 45NRTH’s David Gabrys smiled and said we’d best stay tuned.