Now all we need is some snow. Actually, as much as I love the snow and riding in the snow and racing CX in the snow, I'm not quite for the real deal yet. This week we finally got some of the cold. Lets have a chance to deal with that a bit before we hop right into winter. Not much fall this year what with mild temperatures and the total lack of moisture creating Dust Bowl conditions similar to the Dirty Thirties. It has made bike cleanup easy though.
Anyhow, this winter if indeed we get a winter, Cathy and I plan to hop on the bandwagon and give the whole fat/snowbike thing a go. We opted to go with a new entry into the fatbike market Cooker Maxi from Charge Bikes. They are a smaller UK based hipster company that makes lots of steel urban bikes, dirt-jump bikes, fixies and the like. They are owned by Dorel Industries out of Quebec, who also owns Cannondale, thus the channel connection for us and to our shop, the Bikeway Source. Cannondale proper has yet to fully commit to a fatbike so instead are making the Charge bikes available through their dealers.
I'd never ridden a fatbike before. I must admit that my first impression is wow, this thing is a tank. It literally rolls over stuff. Stairs for instance. You can just plow into, up and over them and the massive 4" tires just suck it up with no hit of a rim strike. You also get a crazy amount of flywheel effect when the enormous mass of the wheels and tires get up to speed.
I only have a few minutes on the bike so far, literally in the parking lot, but plan to hit the trails for a shakedown. In terms of the bike though, it is a Tange cromoly frame and fork with good quality, entry level components. SRAM X-5 drivetrain, FSA double crank and standard 1.125" pressed in headset, drilled out rims with offset lacing rear, 135mm spacing front and rear, decent looking house brand parts and hydraulic brakes. The bike is no flyweight but honestly, it is lighter than you'd expect I think, though I've not yet weighed it.
Complete bike runs about $1600 so a reasonable means of getting into the sport. Cathy and I look at it as a good way to see if we like it without totally breaking the bank. Of course, now we are going to have to find a way to race the things this winter.
Honestly, we are looking forward to spending some time on the sled trails in Maine and probably getting over to the Kingdom Trails as well. It's all about the fun and adventure and though we have ridden plenty in the winter, having bikes specifically designed for it has got to make it more enjoyable.
If you want to check them out and throw a leg over it, hit me up. I'm happy to show it off. If you want one, talk to Chris at the shop right here in Bedford. The large at least are currently shipping. Not sure what the date is for the size medium yet, which we ordered for Cathy. I'm certain that it won't be long.