Monday, December 22, 2014

Framed Minnesota 1.0 (YAY FAT BIKES!)

Ok so I guess its time to finally post my take on these wonderfully wide tire'd marvels of modern ingenuity.

I've got about 35mi on my new Framed Minnesota 1.0 and I'm a believer. Fat bikes have been the talk of the industry in a major way for probably the last two years or so.  Now that they have plowed through the gimmick phase more and more manufacturers are getting in on the game and offering tons and tons of options.

I had been waiting for the solid budget option seeing as much of my winter money goes towards skiing.  It very much seems like Framed has become the budget model of choice at least by what I can tell by chatter in New England.  Seems like I was hearing them talked about constantly this Fall and they certainly have figured out a pretty good formula with their Minnesota line.

I added more reflectors since this pic

Classic XC geometry, modest parts spec and super affordable.  Perfect stable bike if you ask me.  Get in cheap, make sure you like it and will use it regularly and then upgrade parts accordingly.  I prefer the trickle down approach so as I upgrade my race bike my fat bike also gets more awesome.  I feel like the Minnesota 1.0 is to fat bikes what the Redline Monocog was to SS when it was the stable bike everyone wanted to experiment with a few years ago.

So far the bike is holding up well.  I beat on it pretty well this past weekend.  Headset needed to be snugged up at about mile 20 of our ride but that's no big deal and very possibly could have come a bit loose from the factory.  I got my first pinch flat as well which was fun.  Dealing with fat bike tires/tubes trail side is hilarious.

I was running Central NH snow riding pressure not Southern NH dirt/rocks pressure and found a big rock and got the biggest snake bite I've ever seen.  I don't even own spare fat tubes yet so I had to patch a tube for the first time in years.  Luckily I was actually riding with my camelbak and had a patch kit.  I think I'm going to need to purchase a new trail pump for fat biking though.  My little crank brothers pump doesn't cut it.  I would probably still be out there pumping if I didn't get a pump from someone else.

The bike rides really well.  I feel at home on it like I did with my old Monocog.  That standard XC geometry just seems to work well for me.  Climbs a lot better than expected as well which is nice.  The only thing I need to get used to is the inertia of the wheels and the whole 'self steering' phenomenon.  Its a weird feeling that is hard to explain but suffice it to say there is a lot of rolling weight and sometimes it just kinda does what it wants.

I was commenting on it on this past ride and several of the more experienced fat bikers said tires can make a big difference with that so I might be looking into a new set based on their recommendations.  I also always seem to get better at offsetting it the longer I ride it.  Start out a bit shaky but within a few miles I'm good to go.

I can certainly see the appeal of these things.  They definitely bring back the adventure aspect of riding.  A little less emphasis on fitness and efficiency and more on FUN.  I think its the same reason gravel bikes are as big as they are right now.  Its the same concept but for roadies.  Cyclists are currently buying adventure and fun.  You can call the bike whatever you want but that's what we're buying right now.  The nice thing is while I'm having all this adventure and fun my legs are also hauling around a 35-40lb bike with a good portion of that weight being rotational. #secretworkout

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