The Fatbike Project
We knew we were missing something since we're located in Alaska and haven't done a fatbike build yet. So, we are doing just that.
These days there are a lot of great options out there when choosing a frameset to build up, we knew we wanted a carbon fiber frame so that narrowed down our options a little bit. We finally chose the 9:ZERO:7 Carbon Whiteout frameset as our starting point, it's an excellent strong and light frame and in our eyes is the most aesthetically pleasing as well and is built around the, currently, largest wheels/tires available so fitment of anything we want won't be an issue.
Our local shop, Goldstream Sports, had a large frame available in green, which is what we wanted, and gave us a good deal on it since they were trying to make room for new products coming in which of course works out perfect for us! Since we'll be starting with a carbon fiber frame and matching fork, it only makes sense to follow suit with more carbon parts. At least that's what we tell ourselves...
To start off the carbon goodies we ordered up a few ENVE products; here comes the ENVE Carbon DH bar, 55mm Mountain Stem and Carbon Seatpost w/ 0 offset. If you've ever seen or researched ENVE products then you know they are second to none, the quality, fit and finish is always outstanding. We've used their carbon DH bar on all our bike builds but have yet to try out their stems and seatposts but our first impressions are excellent.
Mounted up the the ENVE bars are some Hope Tech 3 E4 brakesets with custom purple caliper bore caps and lever knob adjusters to add a subtle accent to the bike. It took us awhile to decide on hydraulic vs mechanical/cable brakes. Normally we'd choose hydraulic without hesitation but since we are building a fatbike and riding it in the snow and extreme cold temperatures, some people say to stay away from hydraulic since the fluid can freeze and diminish brake performance. Our local shop, Goldstream Sports, mentioned they've had good luck with Hope brakes using DOT5.1 brake fluid and that made us feel better about so we'll give it a shot. Once thing to note if you want to run hydraulic brakes is that we'd recommend using DOT5.1 instead of DOT3 or DOT4. The brakes will be compatible with either however DOT 5.1 has a lower freeze point so it will be less viscous as the temps really start to drop. While we're on the subject of brakes, we also attached the Hope Floating rotors with purple carriers.
Also on the bars we are using, for the first time, a Sram XX1 trigger shifter, in carbon (what's new?) We've always used and been a fan of Shimano, maybe because that's just what we are used to and familiar with? I don't know, but that's how it's always been...until now. We've heard Sram products tend to be slighter better in cold application without any modifications because they don't have a lot of excess grease internally which can cause performance issues in the extreme cold. (Keep in mind extreme cold to us is -40 to -50 degrees F) Grip shifters are very popular in the fatbike world due to ease of access and shifting with large gloves on (remember, it's COLD!) but we didn't mind the feel of the trigger shifter with a light glove on and as long as you have some Poagies to keep your hands warm too. Our Hope brake levers have a direct mount kit so we can attach the shifter to it for a nice clean look.
More carbon? Sure! Similar to our Quiver Killer build we are again using Race Face Next SL carbon fatbike cranks. These are the exact same as the non fatbike version except these have a longer, 100mm, spindle to fit our fat frame. Mounted onto that will be a green Race Face direct mount 30T chainring.
Next up is probably the most exciting part(s) of the build, the custom built H.E.D. wheelset. Wow these are beautiful and the carbon weave is quite impressive and not to mention, super Light! We had them built with purple Industry Nine Torch Fatbike hubs with custom green spokes. The engagement on the hubs are ridiculous, it hooks up instantly.
H.E.D. makes two different sizes of rim, an 85mm and a 100mm, we went with the 85mm.
For tires we are going to try out the new 45NRTH Flowbeist and Dunderbeist and we'll run them tubeless. These are a new front/rear specific winter singletrack tire (non-studded) and the profiles look fun and aggressive. Not many reviews of them up yet so time will tell how they do in the real world.
[Final Completion: 2.20.2016]
9:ZERO:7 Carbon Whiteout - Large
9:ZERO:7 Carbon Whiteout Fork
HED Carbon 85mm - Industry 9 Hubs
45NRTH Flowbeist/Dunderbeist (Fr/Rr)
Sram XX1 trigger shifter - 11spd Carbon
Sram X01 11psd
Race Face Next SL 30T, 175mm arms
Sram X01 11spd 10-42T
KMC X-11SL DLC - Black/Green
WTB High Tail - Carbon
ENVE Carbon Seatpost
ENVE DH Carbon bars - 800mm
ENVE Carbon Mountain Stem - 55mm
Cane Creek, Top: 40-IS42 Carbon, Bottom: 110-IS52
Hope Tech 3 E4 - Custom Black/Purple
Hope Floating Rotors w/ Purple carrier, 203mm
Enve Carbon DH bars paired with ODI Ruffian matching green grips. Of course we went with carbon bars, because who doesn't like carbon!?
We'll cut them to a slightly shorter length at some point.
SRAM X01 11-speed rear cassette with 10-42 gearing. We absolutely loved the all black cassette and with cogs from 10 through 42 you really can't go wrong!
Race Face Next SL Carbon Fatbike cranks with matching green direct mount 30T chainring.
We opted for the 175mm crank arms for our longer legs and we aren't as worried about hitting rocks on this build.
SRAM XX1 Carbon 11-speed trigger shifter.
Grip shifts are popular in the fatbike world for easy shifting with gloves on. However, we are still a fan of trigger shifters and they still do pretty well in the cold. (That's what Poagies are for!)
SRAM X01 Rear Derailleur
Obviously 11-speed to match our cassette and we found this one with the green highlights to match our color scheme well.
Smooth shifting, we don't expect any issues with it!
ENVE Carbon Seatpost under a WTB High Tail saddle w/ Carbon rails.
Not much needs to be said about ENVE products and the High Tail saddle is just a badass looking saddle!
Hope Tech 3 E4 brakes with purple piston bore caps and adjustment knobs.
Usually you'll see mechanical brakes but we've had good luck with Hope's hydraulic brakes in cold temps. Make sure to use DOT5.1 fluid.
Hope 30mm threaded bottom bracket
Nothing special here except it's purple to match our theme. Fit and finish was perfect.
KMC X-11SL DLC Chain - Black/Green
We love KMC chains and usually go with the Ti color. We decided to go with black/green to match our theme of the bike.
Rear view pic of our rear wheel, we are loving how the colors go together.
H.E.D. | Industry 9 | Hope | KMC | Sram
We are super excited about the complete bike, it turned out better than we envisioned!
H.E.D. | Industry 9 | Hope | KMC | Sram | 9:ZERO:7 | Enve | 45NRTH