ARGENBÜHL, Germany (BRAIN) — “I nearly didn’t bring this back,” said Ian Ganderton, as he dismounted Salsa’s new carbon fat bike, the Beargrease.
Ganderton, a distributor for QBP’s brands in Dubai, said he brought fat bikes in about a year ago and can’t keep enough of them in stock. “The [Surly] Moonlander has been a huge hit. Interest in [fat bikes] is just phenomenal. This past winter, they were big for us.”
Salsa brought two fat bikes to Eurobike Demo Day, and product manager Tim Krueger said they hardly made it back before they were out again. So just what do the German dealers think of fat bikes?
Well, Krueger said, retailers seem to be quite curious and puzzled at the same time. But much like American dealers who have tested them, they come back with a smile spanning from ear to ear.
Krueger thinks carbon will make a big difference in the German market, where riders put a premium on low weight. And, he added, Salsa is the only company that offers a carbon fat bike that complies with Europe’s EN certification standards.
To be sure, like in the U.S., fat bikes are a niche segment, said Alex Schoneich of Cosmic Sports, QBP’s distributor in Germany, Austria and the Benelux. “But it’s growing and growing.”
Just a few steps from Cosmic Sports’ booth, German brand Nicolai showed the carbon belt drive Argon Fat. Also a popular demo, the Argon Fat adapts Nicolai’s Argon AM all-mountain/enduro frame to the larger 3.8-inch tires.
Nicolai-sponsored riders Marcel Lauxtermann and Frank Schneider, who also handles the bicycle business, sales and technical support for Gates Carbon Drive in Europe, worked together to bring it to life.
“I don’t know how big the fat bike market is, but at the moment, it’s growing,” Schneider said.
Spec’d with Surly Nate tires, RockShox post, White Brothers Snow Pack fork and Pro Taper bar, the bright green bike with red anodized details was hard to miss.
The Argon Fat will be available as a part of a special production series in a limited 60-model run.