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The largest and most well known parts supplier in the US, QBP is at it again. To reflect, Quality Bicycle Products purchased Salsa Cycles back in 1997, brought us the Surly brand shortly after in 1998, developed the first ever “main stream” fat bike with the Surly Pugsly in 2005, and now brings us Heller Bikes, to fit somewhere in between the premium Salsa and all steel Surly line of bicycles.

With winter closer than many of us like, the first Heller off the line likely won’t surprise you, but the price just might. Roll on through and check it out…..

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The Heller Bloodhound is a carbon framed fat bike that….. I know – why would they go to the trouble to create another brand just to make another carbon fat bike when they already have the Salsa Beargrease? Of course that was my first thought, but I reserved my opinion as knew there was probably something genius behind their reasoning.

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According to Heller’s Product Director, Tim Gallant, many folks have one or two prized possessions that they sink a small fortune into, but what if they wanted something just for fun that was still pretty fancy without breaking the bank? This is Heller. Salsa is a brand that fits well into the “premium” category Surly are for the steel loving purists that give zero cares about weight, and Heller is for all of the fun in between.

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Even after about a 5 minute introduction, I was still curious as to what made Heller that different. Its a great looking bike and has a pretty good build kit for what seems to be a good price. I take out my phone and start slowly searching Salsa’s site via Mandalay Bay’s insufferable internet connection to see what the deal was.  Well, the deal was big. Though at first glance, they seem similar in stature, these are not at all the same bikes.

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The Beargrease X7 has just a slightly better build kit, (X7 vs X5), so you would expect  them to have a similar price, but to my surprise the Heller Bloodhound was a whopping $500 cheaper. But it isn’t just about price. The Bloodhound also sports the more robust 4.5″ width tires rather than the slightly more competitive width 4″ tires that come on the Salsa. There are also rack mounts making it usable for more adventurous types. The little tweaks all add up to a really nice fat bike that is centered on just having fun. Also, we can’t overlook the fact that Salsa dealers are still a select bunch. One advantage Heller will have over Salsa is that the bikes will be available to all QBP dealers. With Heller, QBP is certainly trying to capture more of the budget carbon market.

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For $2,199 you get a full rigid fat bike with a carbon frame and fork and an X5 build kit, (available late October), and for $2,599, you get an X7 build with a RockShox Bluto fork, (available late November). There was also pricing available for frame only at $1,249 for those with parts looking for a home. Tim said there are many fun things coming down the pipeline starting with bikes for the trail in 2016 so we’ll be keeping our eyes open.

Heller Specs 2-1

Heller Geo 2-1

HellerBikes.com

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21 Comments
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TesSanchez
TesSanchez
6 years ago

Wow, that is basically the same price as some alloy complete fat bikes likes the Kona Wo. This will blow the alloy bikes out of the water, I will have to pick one up.

booyah
booyah
6 years ago

This bike is extremely frustrating to me. As a Salsa dealer, I am no longer bringing in salsa fat bikes. One reason is that I do have better options available to me, and another is that NO SALSA FAT BIKES HAVE RACK MOUNTS. I know that this is a small sticking point, as you can mount racks to the Alternator dropouts and use a rack mount seat collar, but even their “off-road expedition” Blackborow doesn’t come with rack mounts. When I pressed them as to why, they said that testers with large legs had their calves hit the rack mounts. Now, we see another 190 bike WITH rack mounts, and they REMOVED rack mounts from the Mukluk.

Rack mounts are such a small concession to frame design, and a huge deal breaker for my customers when they aren’t present.

Sigh.

Ck
Ck
6 years ago

I’m definitely interested in what bikes they’ll come out with in the future.

Aaron
Aaron
6 years ago

Really nice looking bike, but it seems silly to create a new company to release it.

Frank
Frank
6 years ago

QBP bought Salsa in late-1999, not 1997.

Magnetic Wheel Co.
6 years ago

Bike Rumor should go equipped with personal hotspots to these trade shows and post as it’s happening. Seems odd to be reading about EB and IB here days or weeks after the events are done.

Kris
Kris
6 years ago

Cos up-to-the-minute updates are life and death. Yes. It’s terrible to hear about stuff that much later. I think cos I hadn’t heard about this new–not super exciting development–on tuesday rather than the past saturday that I may become vitamin deficient. Maybe even have to drink more.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago

Kris- Magnetic has a point, every major news site reporting on these trade shows DO post as they’re happening and are pretty much done with their coverage now. Regardless of what we’re looking at it’s already old news by the time it shows up on this site.

Mountain Dew Drinking Flatbiller
Mountain Dew Drinking Flatbiller
6 years ago

I’ll get a Specialized S-Works Fatboy and call it a day.

Mike D
6 years ago

I’ll echo booyah’s frustration with the lack of rack mounts, and heck, even fender compatibility from Salsa. “They are elite level race bikes” was the response we got from our rep as to why the cross bikes didn’t have provisions for fenders. That’s cool, but a very high percentage–we’ll say 92% for sake of made up numbers here–of customers are cross racing as fun, not paid pros, and usually their cross bike pulls double duty as a commuter/gravel rig/sometime touring machine… and they can’t get some fender mounts??

I’m all for a new brand, hopefully one that can make a bit more sense in some departments. This Heller bike is beautiful! Drop the price and keep the options, and watch this new brand take off.

crankypants
crankypants
6 years ago

Salsa high-end? Frames are back to being welded by Ross? Sorry, once QBP bought them, they lost some of the ‘high end’ cachet to me.

Birdman
Birdman
6 years ago

from what I’ve read elsewhere, these are open mold frames, that’s the main reason for lower cost.

haromania
haromania
6 years ago

Thru axles was a great idea, especially at this price point.

Paul
Paul
6 years ago

Is the Heller bike certified to European Union standards as a Mountain Bike?

Website is silent on this.

Smokestack
Smokestack
6 years ago

OK, it’s an open mold frame done to come in at a competitive price: http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/article/heller-boasts-good-value-with-open-mold-bikes-45260/. Cool. But aside from timing (winter’s coming) why go the route of a carbon fat bike for a brand that’s supposed to be all about fun? And I say this as a guy who does ride a fat bike for fun. There’s a gaping hole in Q’s lineup of brands for regular trail bikes at decent prices, and it seems to be lost on them in that regard. I’d love to see some alloy trail bikes, hardtail and 120-140 full sussers, from them at decent (MSRP sub $1500, say) price points rather than an open mold carbon fat bike. It’d be a heck of a lot easier to sell that to a realtive newbie and make em a life long rider. Just my two bits.

Tyler Benedict
Admin
Tyler Benedict(@tyler)
6 years ago

Magnetic & Kernel – If we could, we’d post more and post faster, we don’t sit in the media room or head straight back to our rooms to post from a list of advertisers – we’re using all available time to meet with virtually every brand at the shows, before the show, during show hours and afterward at social events. Each of us has a list of 40 to 80 brands per show to cover, plus little stuff we find along the way, and there are three or four of us at major shows like Interbike. It’s exhausting, but it’s also why you’ll find Bikerumor’s coverage is the most comprehensive anywhere, ever, always. Yes, it’s gonna take a few more weeks to cover everything from the shows, but you’ll get a deep look at everything going on, not just a smattering of roundups with a couple photos and captions leaving you wondering what the real story was. We always try to be first, but sometimes we just have to settle for best. And sometimes we win with both. Thanks for reading!

PS – we do have a mobile hotspot.

Bryce
Bryce
6 years ago

I find it interesting that QBP specs this with BB7 brakes and not their own new Rever MTB brake. Maybe it’s their way of saying even they think their Rever brakes suck.

duder
duder
6 years ago

I’m going to buy a fat bike and run it with normal tires + sweet aero fairings and all you suckas.

duder
duder
6 years ago

pass all you suckas, that’s what I’m going to do

theheftylefty
theheftylefty
6 years ago

I like that the show coverage trickles out. To me, liveblogging Interbike or Eurobike produces reports that aren’t informative. We’re still seeing news about products before they come to market or are (mostly) even available to retailers for pre-order, so what’s the value of same-day coverage?

Mike D
6 years ago

, hey guys take your time. Love the work you do, and appreciate the effort that goes into reporting on a huge industry event like Interbike. As a site, this place is awesome!