1000 Miles In, A Penny for My Thoughts
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.
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.
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.
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!