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Germany’s Silverback adds to the ‘plus’ lexicon

Published August 27, 2015

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (BRAIN) — Ready for another addition to the growing number of terms for the “plus” tire size?

Let’s recap: First we had 29-plus, thanks to the Surly Krampus in 2013. Then came the smaller-diameter onslaught this year with 27.5-plus, aka 27-plus or “midfat.” And now … “slimfat.”

At least that’s what Silverback Technologies is calling it in the Stuttgart, Germany-based brand’s Synergy and Square full-suspension series, modular bikes that allow consumers to run any of three wheel sizes: “fat” (26-inch fat tires), “slimfat” (27.5-plus), or “slim” (29er).

Consumers choose their desired wheel size, then have the option of later purchasing an additional swingarm, wheelset, tires and pivot spindle from Silverback. Sliverback founder Deon Retief calls it the “1/3 concept.”

The Synergy platform (3,199 euros; U.S. pricing not yet available) features a carbon front triangle, while the lower-priced Square series (2,699 euros) is aluminum. Silverback also offers a 27.5-plus — er, “slimfat" — aluminum hardtail trail bike called the Sphere.

Fat bikes have been a successful niche for Silverback, Retief said, so for 2016 Silverback is looking to expand the monster-tread experience to youngster with new 20- and 24-inch-wheeled fat models, dubbed Scoop 20 (599 euros) and Scoop 24 (699 euros). But these aren’t heavy, dumbed-down kids’ bikes. Spec includes a Shimano XT retailer on the 24-inch model, a 9-speed drivetrain for the 20-inch fattie and 10 speeds for the 24, plus hydraulic disc brakes for both.

“We wanted to give the kids good control and light weight,” Retief said.

Silverback has about 25 U.S. dealers.

 

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