Mentioned in our pre-show interview, Appleman delivered on time with this customer’s drop bar fat bike. It includes a number of firsts for builder Matt Appleman, including carbon rear rack mounts and a Gates Belt Drive system. The bike is a customer’s new ride, designed for racing the Tour Divide.
The logos are a new gel like printed material that’s even more 3D than his early CNC’d metal or wood logos. Check past shows’ coverage for plenty of examples of Matt’s unique logo inclusions.
The bike will clear 4″ fat bike tires, but retains a normal Q factor.
This was made possible by using a Rohloff internally geared rear hub, giving it plenty of gear range without the width of a fat bike hub and cassette cluster. That does mean it uses a QR rear axle, which he says just works better (read “easier”) for the Rohloff.
The Gates Belt Drive requires a frame break to get the continuous belt inside the rear triangle, so this is another new feature for him: The carbon frame splitter. Threaded inserts make it work, allowing it to bolt together and maintain the stiffness needed for long, hard rides.
These are new Ti S&S couplers that are specifically made for carbon bikes. The difference is added surface area for carbon to bind to, about 1.5” deep inside the tubes.
Carbon rack mounts are a new option, too. Matt says the frame weighs in at about 1600g in a size equivalent to a 55-56cm frame. Price is $6000 for the frame. The complete bike is $16,000.
This Appleman cyclocross bike is two years old and belongs to a customer. What stands out about it is just how clean it still is. They said with no paint to scratch, their bikes keep looking great even after years of riding.
They added that sometimes the finish can be a little hard to keep clean (and free of fingerprint smudges), though. And it’s hard to really capture the depth of the carbon with indoor tradeshow lighting, but it is impressive.