Fatback Bikes Review: Pick The Right Fat


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There you are, pushing the riding season to the limits, wishing for just a little more time before winter hits and the bike has to go away for a few long months. Just as you reach the turnaround to begin making your way back, the snow starts falling, heavy… Fatback Bikes have come to save every rider wishing for a four season, all terrain types riding experience on something that will offer a thrilling ride regardless of the surfaces being faced. Fatback Bikes will change the way you look at riding, and you’ll never look back.

WHAT IS A FATBACK BIKES?

Fatback Bikes is an industry leader in the world of fat bikes. Not simply another mountain bike with oversized tires, Fatback Bikes designs each of their models to perform at the absolute highest level, while under the worst, most severe conditions. As a company located in the heart of Alaska, Fatback Bikes knows the rough terrain and understands how important it is that equipment not only holds up but excels when being tested by the brutal conditions nature offers. Fatback Bikes brings to its customers the lightest, strongest, and most fun fat bikes that are on the market today. Models such as the Skookum, Skookum FLT and the Corvus are each tailored perfectly to conquer some of the most difficult terrains imaginable. Having been created in order to provide cyclists with a platform capable of riding on snow, fat bikes were long a niche product.

More than Just a snow bike

With the introduction of the Skookum, however, Fatback Bikes has blessed the world with its first trail designed bike, ready to explore all kinds of rocky and muddy trails with frame geometry and high-end components favoring this new arena. Whether you are looking for a snow ready, rugged bike light in weight but heavy in capability, or a trail ready, rock climbing force with no limits, Fatback Bikes has the fat bike to bring your wildest adventures to life!From titanium to aluminum to carbon, Fatback Bikes continue to progress its bikes with their vision of lighter, faster, stronger. Regardless of which you choose, the final product will be light, precise and ready to survive whatever you throw at it.

PRODUCT SPECS

Symmetrical frame designs, breakthrough geometry, and super high-quality build are all reasons that Fatback Bikes consistently puts out some of the best, most award-winning fat bikes on the planet. Having led the industry since founder Greg Matyas first used his ingenuity to design the 170mm rear hub, Fatback Bikes set the industry standard again in 2012 when creating the 197mm hub, which is now capable of allowing a 5″ rear tire.Having been the first company to produce the symmetrical frames coveted today, most companies are years behind Fatback Bikes in terms of tech and development, the angle of the frame is one of the most important factors in a bike. Fatback Bikes has been such a dominant, leading force in the fat bike industry, that their bikes have more wins in the winter endurance races than all other fat bikes put together. Utilizing lightweight carbon frames and 26″ wheels with 5″ tires, along with high-end build kit components, Fatback Bikes provides its customers with the best tech, build, style and function possible.

PRICING

Fatback Bikes include five different models, ranging between about $$and just under $$$. Each bike is available in its original form as well as an FLT model; Fast, Light, Technology. The FLT models have been gone over with the best tech and made to be as light and fast as possible, utilizing the best components and seeing a marked increase in price as a result. But you do truly get what you pay for. Bikes from Fatback Bikes can be purchased through their website, or through a number of bicycle shops throughout the country. Try using the dealer locator on Fatback Bikes website to find a bike dealer near you with Fatback Bikes.

RHINO FLT

The most affordable option provided by Fatback Bikes is the Rhino FLT, which comes in at around $2,000 due to its allow composed frame, rather than the more expensive carbon builds of the other models. Regardless, the Rhino still more than holds its own and is a top-notch bike with aggressive geometry, increased stiffness, and a focus on handling no matter the conditions.

CORVUS/CORVUS FLT

At about $3,000 for the standard and $4,250 for the FLT model, the Corvus is one of the most capable and exciting bikes in the industry. Made from high-quality carbon and outfitted with all the racks and features required by serious fat bike enthusiasts, the Corvus will shred through rain sleet or snow without issue, and its ultralight frame with perfected geometry will not disappoint.

SKOOKUM/SKOOKUM FLT

After mastering the fat bike’s ability to rule snowy terrain, Fatback Bikes decided to bring their visions to a greater, more inclusive audience and therefore started work on the Skookum. A true 4 season trail bike, this one can do it all, and at the highest levels. Starting at about $3,100 and reaching close to $4,900 with the FLT package, the Skookum is Fatback Bike’s most versatile, high-end bike with endless upside, and no downside besides the downside of a mountain!

HOW IT COMPARES

We picked a couple of similar products available on the market to see how they compare.  

SKOOKUM FLT

SKOOKUM FLT

PRICE

$$$

EASE OF USE

The Skookum FLT proves that you truly do get what you pay for. Priced around $$$ Fatback Bikes put everything into this bike, and in return, they have produced one of the highest rated, best performing, multifaceted fat bikes known to man. The price may be high, but the return on investment is all there.

DESIGN QUALITY

The design of this bike is both beautiful in the aesthetic sense and the performance realm. This is one great looking fat bike, with awesome paint schemes and please geometry. The super lightweight carbon frame is top notch quality while the wheels and tires get the most out of the bike’s frame and components.

WARRANTY

Being one of Fatback Bike’s carbon framed bikes, the Skookum includes a 4-year warranty, covering only manufacturer defects. This is a fairly solid Warranty to cover the frame and associated issues. All components should be warrantied through the individual brands where applicable. Still, I feel that a bike of this price and quality should include a lifetime warranty.

PROS

  • Lightweight, strong carbon frame
  • Excellent four-season bike
  • Best tech and components available 

CONS

  • Price is restrictive 
  • Some snow-performance sacrificed for trail riding

​FELT DD30

SKOOKUM FLT

The Felt DD30 is a strong entry-level fat bike for those looking to enter the world of snow and loose ground riding. With a symmetrical 6061 aluminum frame, the DD30 provides a solid platform. However, the DD30 is still utilizing 4″ tires with a 150mm front axle, and the grip performance suffers from it.

PRICE

$$

EASE OF USE

At around $$ the Delt DD30 is a solid entry-level fat bike. With an Aluminum frame and Shimano components, the price is a middle of the pack number, with the bike’s functional ease of use in the 3 out of 5 stars.

DESIGN QUALITY

The DD30 is a great looking frame and overall fat bike although the smaller tires with less aggressive treat do affect the look. More importantly, however, the plastically molded pedals included on the bike are cheap and ill-suited for the type of rough riding that fat bike is normally associated with.

WARRANTY

Lifetime warranty on the frame to be free of manufacturer defects. Excellent.

PROS

  • Priced well
  • High-end components
  • Great entry to fat bikes

CONS

  • Comes with only 4″ rear wheel
  • Cheap, plastic molded pedals
  • Relatively heavy bike at over 30 pounds

​RHINO FLT

​RHINO FLT

The Rhino FLT is the entry level Fatback Bike, is designed with an alloy frame. Don’t let this fool you, however, because the Rhino FLT is highly equipped bike with excellent components, wheels and tires, and frame geometry that will give any expert the ride they are looking for as well. The FLT means that this bike has been outfitted with the latest and greatest tech for speed, handling, and lightweight.

PRICE

$$

EASE OF USE

The Rhino is a mid-level priced bike normally around $$ with the performance and design of a much higher priced model. It includes the best tech Fatback Bikes had to offer it, and it would make a great bike for the beginner to expert riders.

DESIGN QUALITY

While the design quality is excellent and sports the greatest symmetry and frame geometry available, the looks of the frame do leave a little to be desired when compared with the more expensive models. It is still a great looking and extremely well-designed bike, with components to match.

WARRANTY

As an aluminum frame bike from Fatback Bikes, them Rhino gets a 2-year warranty on the frame on any manufacturer defects. It is a shorter time than we would have liked to see, but within two years any reasonable defects should have come to light.

PROS

  • Priced very well 
  • Excellent use of tech and design 
  • High-end components

CONS

  • Aluminum rather than carbon 
  • Short warranty time
  • Appearance is a little bland 

​CORVUS

​CORVUS

Fatback Bike’s first full carbon frame bike, the Corvus is a legend among the fat bike crowd, and for a good reason. The perfect blend of balance and precision, the Corvus is a bike for the most demanding of riders. The sleek lines and frame geometry call out to us, and the lightweight, high-quality build keeps us admiring it.

PRICE

$$

EASE OF USE

Priced in the range of $$ the Corvus is a lot of bike for the money. Lightweight, the best tech, superior science; this bike has it all and for a mid-level price.

DESIGN QUALITY

The design of the Corvus is impeccable. The sleek lines, the perfect paint, pleasing geometry, and high-quality parts and components all give the bike a perfected feel. This bike screams quality and precision.

WARRANTY

As a carbon frame bike offered by Fatback Bikes, the Corvus received a 4-year warranty from all manufacturer defects. In this case, I can’t imagine a defect in such a perfect bike.

PROS

  • Price is extremely fair for the level of bike
  • Extremely lightweight
  • The geometry of symmetrical frame has been perfected 
  • Great looking bike

CONS

  • 4-Year warranty rather than lifetime
  • Some components could be a higher end version

CONCLUSION

Fat bikes have made a big impact on the industry over the past 10 years and can be seen more and more frequently, but possibly none have made a larger impact than that of Fatback Bikes in Alaska. Fatback Bikes has been the driving force behind industry changes in frame design, geometry, tire size, wheel type and more. They have repeatedly been ahead of the industry with their science and continue to lead with innovation and quality.Fatback Bikes has options for anyone from new entries to experts in the industry, and everything they make could be suited to both. Priced from about $2,000 to $4,900 the options vary and include different options and equipment. Those looking to discover the joys of fat bikes may choose to start with the lower priced but still very capable Rhino FLT, while those who are now looking to take their fat bikes onto the mountains and trails without snow, may prefer the Skookum (including the FLT). Either choice would be a great one.As far as a rating, based on everything I have learned about Fatback Bikes, their products, their processes, and their goals as a company, I would have to rate this company and their products with a 5 out of 5 rating! The quality and precision put into these bikes are second to none.

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