ADVENTURE BY BIKE®
As a guy who has ridden many different fatbikes, from many different brands, a whole lot of miles, on many different types of snow surfaces, I am tuned in to the subtle personality differences of these bikes.
JayP, twenty miles into the 2014 Arrowhead 135...
After logging close to 1000 miles thus far on my new Beargrease XX1, I am ready to spill the beans. Note that I mainly use my fatbike(s) for snow riding and thus far have ridden this particular bike on everything from snow-packed gravel roads, to groomed Nordic center trails, to snowmachine trails, and even some great technical white singletrack.
There are many things to love about the new Beargrease. It is quite a beautiful bike with great attention to detail. Proportionally, the frameset matches up well with the big fat tires thereby making the bike look “normal”.
Looks certainly matter, but what matters most to me is how the new Beargrease performs. It has incredibly well thought out balanced geometry. I have never ridden a fatbike that performs the way this bike does, PERIOD.
Approaching Checkpoint One at the 2014 Arrowhead Ultra...
I feel like I am sitting “in” the bike and not on top of it and that presents a great feeling of control. When I put energy into this bike, it reacts. You might even say it’s a bit snappy. When riding squirrelly snow where traction is key, I am not moving all around the saddle looking for that traction (something that has really worn me out on other bikes when riding the Iditarod trail in the past). The short chainstays are a boost here as well.
On the trail the stiffness enhancing frame design and front and rear thru-axles give the bike a solid feel.
JayP charging a climb on his way to victory in the 2014 Arrowhead Ultra...
The other key component to add to the bike's handling is its front-end character, partly a result of headtube angle. I was a bit skeptical on the slacker front end of this bike at first, since I prefer a slightly quicker-steering bike, but I have learned I love the slacker front end especially on a bike with so much traction. On other bikes in the past I sometimes felt like I was constantly correcting my steering, back and forth, and when making a turn being careful to not oversteer or dive into the corner. The Beargrease is very stable whether flying along at high speed or grinding along at a slow pace.
The bottom line really is that the Beargrease rides, performs, and feels like a typical mountain bike…and that is something to be excited about!
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People often ask "When is your next event?" or "How's your training going?". I often answer "I do not train. I ride my bike a lot because I love too! Training sounds like work." To me this is a lifestyle and it is constantly becoming more that way, especially after putting down the construction tools to become involved with a bike shop. Having grown up in New Jersey I did not discover the mountain lifestyle and cycling until after college, but was immediately preparing for a 500km mutlisport event. Well, 18 years later things still have not changed much except I have become somewhat wiser through my experiences and have nestled into the little mountain town of Victor, Idaho. During those years I've logged many races, everything from cross-country mountain bike to literally a cross-the-country time trial. Now-a-days I look to ride for adventure, the longer the better.