We caught up with the Canyon engineering team this afternoon at Eurobike, and they were very psyched to show us their new fatbike project that they are bringing to market. The four-person product development team got so excited as the project developed that it ended up being the fastest carbon frame to make it through their total development process. Now they like to call the finished bike a trail bike, since it doesn’t really need to be held aside to wait for sand or snow.
Float on past the break to see the lightweight wheelset they developed with DT, some cool frame details, pricing, target weights, and our first impressions….
They figured one of the most important issues to make the bike fun to ride was to chop some weight off the wheels, so Canyon partnered with DT Swiss to develop the lightweight BR2250 rim with crazy machined out bits and the Big Ride hub. Combined with the new Jumbo Jim tire from Schwalbe (available in both 4″ and 4.8″) they were able to whittle more than 1kg out of the rolling stock without affecting durability.
The initial thought in developing a fat bike had been to keep it cheap and go aluminum, but after weighing the cost of developing the aluminum forgings and hydroformed tubing needed to meet the fatbike demands they realized the cost savings vs. carbon was minimal. Plus, by going with a carbon frame they were able to shave 300g off of the target aluminum bike weight. The resulting bike incorporates a bump stop headset to prevent over rotation of the bar, and has a unique dropout design to maximize tire clearance and tire compatibility, while minimizing chainstay length.
A 2-position dropout lets you run a 4″ tire in a shorter more trail friendly chainstay length, while also building in the option to run a 4.8″ tire. The ear disc brake mount also allows either a 160 or 180mm rotor, since the project engineers realized that the larger rotor ran into problems with icing in winter riding, while with the smaller rotor braking can keep it heated up enough to ensure consistent braking.
So what did we think of it? The lighter wheels and (relatively) shorter wheelbase with a 4″ tire really took away some of the slow feeling typical to fatbikes. Losing 1kg/2lbs of rotating mass really does make a big difference, and the extra traction of the wide footprint and low pressures is a bunch of fun. Even on wet trails the bike climbed remarkably well, and it really was a blast on flowy trails. The geometry works well, and rails turns as good as any hardtail.
The Dude will be offered in 4 trim levels; 2 with a rigid carbon fork, and 2 with the RockShox Bluto. All bikes will come with the light DT fat wheelset and the E13 crankset which keeps Q-factor 2cm narrower than any other major option. With these key high-end bits of kit on each bike spec, the retail price range will be narrow from just less than €2000 up to ~€2500 max. The weights they quoted for the bikes were 11.8kg for the rigid bikes and 12.9kg for the Bluto-equipped. Availability is planned for the first of the year, and we expect to have a sample to test around the time we have peak snowfall in Central Europe.
More info will be available at soon Canyon.com