Fat bike mega gallery – Interbike 2014

Big tyres steamroll the show

Those hoping that fat bikes were a fad that would quickly fade away will despair, while riders who have embraced BBWs (big, beautiful, wheels) will rejoice at overwhelming number of fat bikes that were on display at Interbike 2014.

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While there were scores of entry-level ‘me too’ fat bikes, many companies were getting creative, pushing the limits of design and attempting to take the platform in new and exciting directions.

Here are some of the standouts from this year’s show.

Full suspension models abound

Even at a tradeshow awash with fat bikes, full suspension rigs standout like Iggy Pop at a Justin Bieber concert.

Last year, the small start-up brand 11Nine was showing off a full suspension fat proto constructed from titanium. The company is back with a quiver full of big double-boinger bikes.

Perhaps the longest-travel full suspension fat bike to date is 11Nine’s yet-to-be-released Hemicyon. This monster is equipped with an MRP fork and rear shock that gives it approximately 150mm of suspension travel. The frame has clearance for 26×4.24in tyres.

The 11Nine Hemicyon has 150mm of front and rear suspension
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Josh Patterson / Immediate Media

The Hemicyon is still a in the prototyping stage, but 11Nine hopes to have it available for 2015

The Epicyon is 11Nine's shorter-travel full suspension fat bike, and has 110mm of squish
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Josh Patterson / Immediate Media

11Nine is positioning the 110mm travel Epicyon has an alternative to Salsa’s Bucksaw

Alaska-based fat bike builder 9:Zero:7 is also in the process of developing a full suspension model. The 9:Zero:7 has two ridable prototypes at present. The front-end borrows heavily from the company’s aluminium hardtail frames, and is grafted to a four-bar rear-end that provides 100mm of suspension travel. The prototype on display has room to spare with 26×4.8in treads.

9:Zero:7 hopes to have the bike ready for production in early 2015.

The Alaska-based company 9:Zero:7 is developing its first full suspension model
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Josh Patterson / Immediate Media

It doesn’t have a name yet – the company is taking suggestions

Jim Felt’s personal electric-assist fat bike

Jim Felt, founder of Felt Bicycles, might be best known for his pioneering efforts in composites and aerodynamics, but his latest creation is about as far as you can get from aero. It reflects his changing interests in outdoor recreation.

The Felt Outfitter was company founder Jim Felt's personal labor of love
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Josh Patterson / Immediate Media

The Outfitter comes with racks, bags, camouflage (battery included)

In addition to being an avid cyclist, Jim is passionate about fly fishing and bow hunting. The Felt Outfitter has been a labour of love for the company founder. This electric-assist fat bike, complete with matching trailer, was outfitted with Jim’s personal kit for backwoods adventures.

Jim Felt modified a BOB trailer to haul his fly fishing and bow hunting gear
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Josh Patterson / Immediate Media

Jim Felt’s personal outdoor items are stowed in the modified BOB trailer

He modified a BOB Ibex Plus full suspension trailer with a wider yoke to clear the 26×4.8in Schwalbe tyre and tweaked the rear of the trailer, replacing the stock 16in rear wheel with a smoother-rolling 20in model for better off-road performance.

There is a production version of the Outfitter – minus the trailer – that will be available in early 2015. The complete bike will come with lights, racks and bags for between US$5,000 and 5,500.

The Felt Outfitter gets a boost from an electric Bosch motor
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Josh Patterson / Immediate Media

The dilemma with this, and all other electric-assist bicycle intended for off-road use in the United States, is that many public lands open to cyclist prohibit motorised recreation

Quality Bicycle Product’s ‘History of Fat’

North America’s largest bicycle parts distributor, Quality Bicycle Products, opted to get creative with its booth this year, forgoing the usual stands of its latest and greatest in favour of a historical timeline of the company’s involvement in the development of fat bikes. While the display focused on the Salsa and Surly house brands, QBP was also showing off a pre-production Remolino.

Constructed by Ray Molina, this Remolino was the proginator of today's fat bikes
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Josh Patterson / Immediate Media

Built by Ray Molina in 1999, this was one of the first purpose-built fat bikes, complete with 80mm-wide rims and 26×3.5in tyre

Ray Molina worked with a tire factory in Mexico to splice a central section of tread into existing tires to create the first dedicated fat bike tires
Ray molina worked with a tire factory in mexico to splice a central section of tread into existing tires to create the first dedicated fat bike tires:
Josh Patterson / Immediate Media

Production tyres weren’t available at the time, so Molina worked with a tyre factory in Mexico to cut tyres in half and add a centre section with a chevron tread pattern down the middle

Introduced in 2005, the Surly Pugsley helped spread fat bikes to the masses
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Josh Patterson / Immediate Media

Also on display was Surly’s first fat bike, the Pugsley. Introduced in 2005, the Pugsley was affordable and designed to use existing components, making it very appealing to fat-curious riders

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Click through the gallery to learn more about these many other fat bikes on display at this year’s show.