Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Freaking ridiculous!

That's actually a quote, one that was repeated ad nauseum by the last two riders to demo the Fatillac.

As with any next-level bike design, you learn and adapt to the nuances and (if you're me) you don't think too much about them on their own. But then you hand the bike off to an impartial observer (in this case, two someones that can *really* ride) and you suddenly become less confident about the overall package.

"What if I'm imagining that it can climb things other bikes can't?"

"What if the impossibly buttery suspension feels like poo to them?"

"What if I've somehow adapted to fat-tire bounce over the past few decades, and someone that hasn't will think this idea is half baked?"

At some point you just have to put it out there and get honest, objective feedback from people that don't think the way you do, and aren't emotionally invested in the concept.

The last few days that's exactly what happened.

Skippy and I went way west, south, and up (snow in the shadows up) to session one of our favorite trails.  It is very steep, very loose, very soft, with (perhaps conversely) a handful of big-by-our-standards drops.  So steep, so loose, and so soft that we often walk chunks of the main climbs on our "normal" trailbikes shod with 29 x 2.5" tires.  By any other standard those would be thought of as meaty and capable tires.  And like I said, we typically have to walk big stretches, and the ones that get ridden usually take several attempts.

I was on foot (3.5 weeks to go!) with camera in hand while he rode the Fatillac.

I shot several clips of him getting after it on climbs and descents, and was increasingly impressed through the day as he got used to the bike and his initial giggles transformed into belly laughs, snorts, and exclamations of disbelief (see post title) at what the Fatillac was doing for the ride.

It is not a stretch to say that he's never been interested in a fatbike before this ride.  It is quite telling that before the ride was over he declared it to have been the best day he's ever had on this trail.  He said that within the context of the quantity of climbing he was able to ride clean, but also because of how smooth the landings and runout became with the plush suspension and fat tire combo.

In a few days I'll compile a video of two of Skippy's rides on this bike, and hope to include some clips of Jesse riding it too.

Stay tuned.

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