World’s Lightest Fat Bike, 18.7 pounds
Fat bikes aren’t generally thought of as light weight race bikes. In fact, most people who have ridden them will say that they are super fun to ride, but you almost never hear the words light, fast, or nimble used when describing these specialty bikes. For years, I had personally said that because I didn’t live in a place with snow I’d never build one. I just couldn’t see a case where here in the desert I’d choose to ride a fat bike over a more traditional mountain bike. However, seeing that we had already built the world’s lightest road bike, and the world’s lightest BMX bike, we began discussing if we could make a fat bike which would be light enough to be considered a real daily rider; one that would be light and nimble enough to be fast and fun.We started with the full carbon LaMere frameset; not the absolute lightest on the market, but well-suited to this lightweight project due to its compatibility with the lightweight components we wished to use.
We carefully chose the components based not on just their low weight, but also on their functional performance. We didn’t want to build just a show bike, but one that we could ride and enjoy. With that in mind, we decided to go with the LaMere’s carbon rims. Even though they are slightly heavier than other fat bike rim options (such as those from HED), we considered them to be a bit more fitting for the rocky desert riding this bike would see. We originally paired those rims with Tune Fat King and Fat Kong hubs (135 and 170) and the Sapim CX SuperSpoke, though recently the spokes were replaced with Pillar XTra Titanium for even further weight savings.
Since low weight was the name of the game, Sram’s XX1 shifter, derailleur and cassette were all obvious choices. The shifter and derailleur are connected using Aican B-link housing. The build kit was finished out using German manufacturer Schmolke’s top-of-the-line TLO handlebar and TLO seatpost, a POP saddle, KCNC foam grips, KCNC headset and, another obvious choice, Race Face NextSL cranks.
The finished weight came in at 8496 grams (18.7 pounds) without pedals, and 8647 grams (19.0 pounds) with Bebop titanium pedals.
Our record-setting lightweight fat bike has now been finished for several months and we’ve had a chance to put some miles on it. Though the tires have yet to taste snow, this bike has seen all that the Sonoran desert has to offer. “But how does it ride?,” you might wonder. The answer, in a word, is “Awesome!” The riding experience is exactly what we wanted – the bike is light enough to feel more like a traditional mountain bike, but the superior traction of wide tires handles loose soil and deep sand much better than any 29er I’ve ridden. When riding the LaMere with your attention on the trail, it’s easy to forget that you’re riding a fat bike. So while having said that I’d never choose a fat bike for a traditional mountain bike ride, lately I find myself reaching for the LaMere more often than not.
|Frame / Fork||LaMere Carbon|
|Hubs||Tune Fat King/Kong|
|Tyres||45 North Husker Du|
|Crankset||Race Face Next SL|
|Bottom Bracket||Race Face Cinch|
|Chainrings||Race Face Direct Mount|
|Shift Levers||Sram XX1|
|Headset Spacers||Cane Creek AER|
|Saddle||Parts of Passion|
|Seatpost Clamp||Kcnc SC9|
|Rear Mech||Sram XX1|
|Cassette||Sram XO1 11-42|
|Brake Rotors||Ashima Flotor|
|Cable Set||Aican B-link|