Sunday, 24 May 2015

2016 Spherik Fatbikes | First Look

In my quest for all things fat I found a Canadian fatbike manufacturer located in Quebec that seems to have some interesting things happening.

The company is named Spherik and they have been in the fatbike business for several years. They have relatively large following in Quebec and for the 2016 model year its my understanding they are branching out into Atlantic Canada, Ontario and B.C. For 2016 they have five models: SF1, SF2, SF4, SF6 and SF8

What immediately struck me about the SF is that they resemble the Norco Bigfoot or the Norco Bigfoot resembles the SF, either way there are aesthetic similarities. There are also some similarities in the models: steel fork (SF2 & Bigfoot 6.3), aluminum fork (SF4 & Bigfoot 6.2), and carbon fork (SF6 & Bigfoot 6.1). And that is where the Spherik and Norco part ways.

In general the SFs have:

  • 190mm rear hub
  • 4.7 inch tire (Vee Bulldozers)
  • 90mm or 100 mm rim
  • Aluminum Hydro shape tube
  • 1 x 9 or 1 x 10
I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

This is something new in the kids fatbike market as it sports a 26” wheel and a real fatbike tire. It has been designed to fit the mini-fatbiker for a much longer period of time and also gives much better stability and traction in the winter as compared to a 24” bike. It will fit kids between 9 to 14 years old and is also a great choice for those 5’ and under.

Retail for $1399.99

Adult entry level with decent components.

Retail for $1599.99

Aluminum fork, 15mm thru axle and weighing in at 30 lbs.

Retail for $1999.99

Carbon fork and Race Face components.  Weight 28.5 lbs.

Retail for $2749.99

Carbon rims and and Race Face components.

Retail for $4749.99

In addition to the bikes Spherik also carries a number of accessories that include: pogies, frame bag and carbide studs for fatbike tires.

For additional information go check out their website, like them on Facebook and go to your LBS and swing a leg over one.  I can't wait to see one in person.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Snowshoe XL Review | Unboxing

Just a short while ago you could practically count on several fingers the number of five inch fatbike tires available. The landscape has now changed.

Vee Tire entered the 4+ fatbike tire market with the Snowshoe and in mid 2014 Vee released its bigger brother the Snowshoe XL.

I have been provided with a pair of silica compound 120 TPI studdable Snowshoe XLs for review.  Check out the video for a more detailed unboxing.

The 120 TPI sidewall makes the tire extremely subtle and easy to mount. I barely had to use the tire levers to get them over the rim lip. In my opinion the 120 TPI option in any tire is well worth the money as the tire is generally easier to mount and rides smoother.

Vee’s claimed weigh is a svelte 1380g. My handy dandy scale put them pretty close to this mark.

Mounted to a 80mm rim they come in at 109.8 mm (4.3 inches) wide which is comparable to a Bud. The XL is almost 10 mm (0.5 inch) wider that its little brother the Snowshoe. You can also see from the picture that the XL (R) and Snowshoe (L) are completely different tires.

The silica compound in the XL have some pretty interesting characteristics that will benefit fatbikes in all four seasons.  For more detail check out the video.

For those with 190mm rear spaced fatbikes you will have no trouble mounting this tire to your ride. My 170mm Bigfoot had derailleur rub (not chain rub) in the small chain ring, however as I’m doing some experimentation in the gearing department (watch for upcoming blog) to eliminate any rubbing.  Initial testing is quite positive.

You have to see these tires in person, they are impressive. You can't help but smile when looking at them mounted and aired up. The lugs are deep and the spacing is ample to allow for maximum gripability. They are tubeless ready, directional and ready for studs if necessary.

I will be field testing them in various non-winter terrain to see if they exceed their namesake and if they can handle being a true four season tire. Stay tuned for that.

And a shout out to Cychotic for letting me borrow a Snowshoe for the photo shoot.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Happy Mother's Day Fatbike Style | Video

Just a simple message for my dear Mom on this special day 
. . . with a fatbike twist.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Interview with Maskinen Bikes | Carbon Racing Fatbikes

I was surfing the web one evening looking for fat related stuff and I came across a picture of a really cool looking carbon fatbike. A few clicks later I was over in Denmark scanning the site of Maskinen and their fatbike called the Prodigy.

I had the opportunity to chat with Miguel Antonetti of Maskinen Bikes to get a little more information on who they are and what they are offering the fatbike world.  Be sure to check out the special offer at the end of the interview.

FBR: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Tell me a little about Maskinen.

MASKINEN [Miguel]: At 
Maskinen our motto is “obsession with excellence and an uncompromised quest for optimum performance”. We specialize in customized, hand built, top of the line high performance carbon fatbikes. We make no compromises with regard to technology and innovation. We are passionate, knowledgeable, trained and experienced bike riders and technicians. We know exactly what we want in order for our bikes to perform the way we need them. In short, we love bikes… and we love what we do!

FBR: Some people feel that fatbikes are a fad and will eventually fade away. What are your thoughts on the fat scene?

MASKINEN [Miguel]: Riders create the culture and the culture is what shapes the industry. Industry is always slow to catch up, but in the end it always does.

A fatbike is an all terrain mountain bike, extremely fun to ride and totally forgiving.  It can ride easily where a regular mountain bike may struggle or simply may not be able. Maskinen Prodigy is the most versatile and capable overall bike I have ever ridden in 44 years of passionately riding on dirt. The fatbike makes for a very smooth enjoyable ride in otherwise treacherous terrain such as snow, sleet, mud and sand... and everywhere else. It is actually an all season - all terrain bike, transformable into 26 x 85mm, 27.5+ and 29+ to better serve a person’s riding style and the riding conditions.

We at Maskinen are certain that fatbikes are here to stay.

FBR: What would you like to share about your Prodigy fatbike. 

MASKINEN [Miguel]: Our Prodigy Racing-Series is a no holds barred, top shelf, premium specked fatbike that can be totally customized by the buyer. It uses the most effective technologies available in regards to endurance, strength, reliability, weight, and human power transfer.

We have put together the four most amazing carbon fatbikes that we can conceive. Some details include: full carbon construction, 223mm and 180mm brake rotors, tubeless tires on 65mm carbon wheels, thru axle, specific headset angle and chain stay length, and a 1x drive train. We use Sram X1-X9 (1x10) drive train + Shimano XT brakes, all the way up to Sram XX1 (1x11) drive train + Formula T1 brakes.

Quality control on our bikes is essential. By producing fully customized hand built bikes in Denmark we can ensure quality because we build our bikes ourselves . . no mass production. Our bikes are built and customized specifically for each individual, test ridden by a qualified Maskinen technician, and ready to ride.

Prodigy is in our opinion exceptional, a world apart from other fatbikes. We care about real life riding and racing performance. We are not aiming to build a fatbike for the masses nor to compete in a crowded industry. Our bike is a high end piece of machinery for the rider who puts quality and performance above all else.

FBR: The goal for many fatbikers today is weight reduction. How fat is the Prodigy?

MASKINEN [Miguel]:

Maskinen’s first priority is performance, endurance and reliability.  Next is weight. However, we post some very respectable numbers.

Prodigy R4 10.6 kg (23.4 lbs)

Prodigy R3 10.5 kg (23.1 lbs)

Prodigy R2 10.3 kg (22.7 lbs)

Prodigy R1 9.8 kg (21.6 lbs)

FBR: Denmark is a fair distance from many people. Can someone in the United States, Canada or Australia get a Prodigy?

MASKINEN [Miguel]: That is not a problem. Our fatbikes are custom hand built one at a time and we work very closely with the customer. And part of this specialized service is FREE shipping anywhere in the world.

FBR: Is there any significance to the Maskinen logo and name?

MASKINEN [Miguel]: Maskinen Bikes is located in the nordic country of Denmark, and with this in mind we chose the name. The word Maskinen means “The Machine”. We chose a Danish word that would sound the same in many different languages.

The symbol “The three horns of Odin”, a god of the Viking mythology, was chosen to go hand in hand with the Danish name, and to represent power and perfection above the mundane. Very much in line with the Maskinen philosophy.

FBR: Thanks for your time Miguel, is there anything else you would like to share?

MASKINEN [Miguel]: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to you about Maskinen. I cannot give you any specific details at this point in time, however Maskinen does have some exciting things happening in the next number of months. Please follow us on FaceBook to get up to date information.


When I finished speaking with Miguel I was stoked and wanted to hop on my fatbike and shred. To say that Miguel is super passionate about fatbiking and his Prodigy Racing-Series fatbikes is to put it mildly. 

I’d love to go riding with this guy, but I’m afraid he would leave me in the dust . . . or snow.


Just prior to the posting of this interview, Miguel contacted me with two very special offers for those interested in purchasing a Prodigy fatbike.

1) Purchase a R4 Prodigy and get a FREE upgrade to an R3.

(Code FBR-R3)

2) Purchase a R2 Prodigy and get a FREE upgrade to an R1.
(Code FBR-R1)

This offer is valid for the month of May 2015 only and may not be combined with any other offers.

What a great time to get into a new racing carbon fatbike.

Click the Maskinen logo and check them out!