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Oh Suzi Q, new Rocky Mountain carbon 27.5 fat bike won’t leave you blue

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Rocky Mountain’s new line of fast moving fat bikes aims to turn the notion of slow, slogging wide rubber on its head. Instead of thinking of fat as being able to drop tire pressures imaginably low to creep over loose sand & rocks and crawl through deep mud & snow, the 2017 Rocky Mountain Suzi Q carbon fat bike that we first glimpsed back at Eurobike is reimagined as a lightweight carbon (or alloy) all-mountain hardtail with a narrow Q-factor and short chainstays that can still squeeze in wide tires. That makes it as agile on singletrack as it is capable on loose terrain. Its key is dropping the 26″ fat tire standard and working with a new 27.5×3.8″ wheel/tire combo that gives all the upsides of the smaller wheels with a lot of other benefits. Maybe snow is where 27.5+ is going next…

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courtesy Rocky Mountain, riding photos by Margus Riga

At its heart the Suzi Q looks like a good balance between a normal Q-factor hardtail and a proper fat bike. While we’ve sometimes wondered about how much tire you could cram in a bike that still felt ‘normal’ to ride, Rocky Mountain seems to have had similar thoughts. Why not have a 27.5+ bike that would be as much fun to ride in the snow through the winter as it would be to rail hardpack trails in the summer.

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The 1x only Suzi Q’s 192mm Q-factor cranks in a PressFit 107 bottom bracket (effectively the same spacing as a normal 83mm BB) ends up 20mm narrower than most fat bikes for both improved pedaling feel & performance. They pair with a 177mm hub for a mid-width rear end. That still ends up at least 20-24mm wider at the pedals than most mountain bikes to fit the chain around the wide tire, but cutting that width difference in half is a big improvement for pedaling comfort.

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Geometry-wise Suzi Q gets a stable trail feel with a 68° headtube and long reach, but keeps it nimble with short-for-fat 434mm chainstays. Rocky Mountain says they were worried with the “autosteering” feel that many fat bikes get with that big wheel out front, but managed to settle on a fork offset and front end feel that is much more predictable and fun to ride than other similar bikes.

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Besides a quick handling and a light carbon frame, the light 27.5×3.8″ tire combo developed with Maxxis is actually a pretty big deal. Head to head with the common 26×4″ used for fat racing and all around riding, the new 27.5++ setup offers a bigger outside diameter for better rollover, while still offering plenty of volume for ultra-low pressures on the 65mm wide Sun Ringlé rims. Sure if you are looking for the fattest 5″ wide tire to sit on top of packed snow this isn’t your bike, but the 27.5×3.8″ setup is lighter and should actually roll up and over soft snow or any other trail obstacles even better.

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Susi Q comes in both full carbon frame (RSL) and aluminum frame variants, in four complete builds, all now available, each one in four sizes from S-XL. Set up rigid but suspension corrected for a 100mm Bluto, the -90°, -70° & -50° get full carbon monocoque forks, while the -30° gets an all-alloy one and a lower price. All get light bolt-on axles that are said to save 100g per bike compared to a standard Maxle. The bikes also include integrated chainstay & downtube protectors, internal routing with a Di2 friendly stealth battery port, stealth dropper routing, and a whole bunch of braze-on points for: 2 bottle cages on the fork, 2 more in the front triangle, main triangle Rivnuts for bolt-on frame bags, and more.

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The top all carbon Suzi Q -90° retails for $4300 with an XTR drivetrain, XT 11-46 cassette on a DT hub, Race Face 28T Turbine crank, and tubeless ready Sun Ringlé Düroc 65 rims & 3.8″ tubeless Maxxis Minion FBF tires. Without pedals and setup tubeless, it is said to weigh just 25.3lb.

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For a grand less the -70° shares the same carbon frameset, even the same gearing & wheel/tire combo, just with XT shifting and a bit more affordable cockpit bits to sell for $3300.

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Going with a hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame, the -50° shares the carbon fork and the top wheel/tire/cassette setup but gets a mix of SLX & XT to get the price down to $2600.

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At the lowest point of entry the Suzi Q -30° retails for $1900 with the alloy frame, alloy fork, and a pared back build, featuring SRAM NX, Level brakes and a more narrow 11-42 cassette on wheel using the same rims & tires but cheaper hubs.

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23 Comments
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Mr Pink
Mr Pink
6 years ago

Definetly the direction fat bikes should go, and for the record Trek came up with this concept if 3.8x 27.5″ fat bikes.

Pro tip to the newbie BR writer: B+ is a completely different platform than a 27.5″ fatbike homie. May want to strike out those references. 😉

Chader
Chader
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr Pink

Properly note Pink.

Nice to get those incorrect tech references fixed if possible to minimize confusion to unknowing readers.

Switch to Decaf, You Obviously Can't Handle the Real Stuff
Switch to Decaf, You Obviously Can't Handle the Real Stuff
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr Pink

(deleted)

Juan Sevo
Juan Sevo
6 years ago

Maybe you need to cut back on the coffee and do some history research before you rail into someone, Mr Pink is correct. Trek was the first company to create a 27.5″ fat bike platform as of a few years ago. They are the first to offer frames/tires/rims designed around it. Recently Maxxis started offering the tires and Wolftooth’s frame brand Otso recently released such a frame as well.

It is not the same as 27.5+ which is also entirely correct. Though sure on some forum someone things they are.

So, in short, you are the one who’s reading comprehension & history on the matter is skewed.

Btw you should note that he did it in a helpful way vs taking the asshole approach. So not sure why you choose the later.

Ralph
Ralph
6 years ago
Reply to  Juan Sevo

Absolutely correct, Juan! Nice work!

HDManitoba
HDManitoba
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr Pink

Hold on, are you saying that 27.5″ Fat bike rims use a bead seat diameter other than 584mm? 650b, 27.5″ and 27.5″+ all use a bead seat diameter of 584mm.

Justin Walsh
Justin Walsh
6 years ago

Is it just me (optical illusion), or is the tire height (rim to tread) a lot shorter that the 26″ fat tires? Curious to know the actual diameters for same brand tires.
That would mean running more tire pressure to protect against pinches / rim damage on technical terrain.

Groghunter
Groghunter
6 years ago
Reply to  Justin Walsh

These do almost certainly have reduced volume compared with a big 26″ tire, but you’re forgetting the increased diameter. If a 26″ 4.0″ (guess, I don’t know fat tire equivalency very well) a 27.5″ x 3.0, & a 29″ x 2.2 all share a similar diameter, a 27.5″ by 3.8 is going to almost certainly have a larger diameter. It might be more appropriate to think of this as a fat version of 29+.

Dingo
Dingo
6 years ago
Reply to  Justin Walsh

@Justin Walsh My 27.5×4.5″ Barbegazi will barely fit a Bluto. The studded Gnarwhal will not fit in a Bluto. They are huge. The 3.8 has a shorter sidewall but is still pretty tall. It feels great on firm snow and on trail.

Chainstay vs Rear Center
Chainstay vs Rear Center
6 years ago

What is the difference between Rear Center and Chainstay length? You quote chainstay length in your article, but the manufacture says Rear Center. Wouldn’t the hypotenuse (i.e. Chainstay Length) be longer than the Rear Center? If it is longer, what is the actual Chainstay length?

Some Guy in Some Place
Some Guy in Some Place
6 years ago

The one thing I don’t understand is that if this is suppose to be more similar to a “normal” bike, and be a true all-rounder. Then why does it not have a Bluto?

While the supposedly more cumbersome and slow bike has front suspension?

Wouldn’t it then be the opposite? Bike with more float for snow on rigid, while bike for shredding with a sus fork?

This marketing seems to contradict their own logic/offerings?

Adam
Adam
6 years ago

Lots of reasons this makes sense. Rigid lover’s trail bike, lightweight race fat bike, groomed trail fat bike in the winter/add suspension and you have a summer mtb. Ultimately, I think light and fast was the idea, but they didn’t want to forget about the guys wanting to add a fork.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
6 years ago

This still gives you a crappy Q Factor. It could be worse but it’s still not as good as the Trek Stache with similar clearance. Maybe it’s better in the snow but this is barely better than a normal fat bike for summer riding which isn’t really great for long rides unless a wide Q factor works in your favor. That’s not me, my hips get sore when I ride a fat bike for too long

Zach Overholt
Admin
6 years ago
Reply to  Veganpotter

@veganpotter, this crank provides far more clearance than the Stache. It’s basically the same set up as the Otso Votek which will clear up to 4.6″. The Voytek’s q-factor is the same – 183mm with the Next SL Cinch and the RF149 spindle, or 192mm with an aluminum crank like the Turbine Cinch and RF149 spindle (which is the set up the SuzyQ uses). With the carbon cranks, that is 20mm less than the “narrow” fat bike q-factor at 203mm, and 40mm(!) narrower than the “wide” fat bike q-factor at 223mm (233mm for aluminum cinch, RF189 spindle). I don’t know the q-factor of the Stache, but considering many Boost q-factors are right around 168mm-187mm (again, aluminum cranks are wider), both the Voytek and the SuzyQ are far closer to standard bikes than typical fat bikes. Personally, I can’t ride the “wide” fat bike cranks for any length of time. The “narrow” fat bike cranks are doable, but my knees hurt after longer rides. The q-factor on the Voytek, and therefore the SuzyQ is a HUGE improvement.

Adam
Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Zach Overholt

Thanks Zach, I completely agree. Glad to see a fat bike I can put more than a few miles on. The Trek Stache is only a plus bike 3.2″ tires max. The Suzi-Q will take 4.2 with the same Q-factor.

Also to note, the “innovative” chainstay on the Trek Stache was a direct ripoff of the original Suzi -Q from the 80s. Hmmm. Google image search and scroll down a couple lines.

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
6 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Adam…the Q factor is very very different

Ralph
Ralph
6 years ago

Switch – maybe you should switch to decaf – Mr Pink’s point re Trek’s bike is not only valid it was also the first thing I was thinking of as I read the review – this is a “review in a vacuum” without mentioning the Trek bike, and article comments like “turn the notion….on its head” of course imply this is groundbreaking tech, which is the tone of the entire article, btw. Trek’s bike may have even been out last year, I’m not sure, but it was most certainly before this – Rocky’s bike is a nice complement to Trek. Not sure the article author even knows about the Trek bike, but Zach O certainly does, and wouldn’t have made this blunder.

Bigschill
Bigschill
6 years ago

what a bunch of whiners!! I’m just psyched that more mfgers are bringing 650fat to market… I’ll bet it’s a scream to ride.

Damian Bradley
Damian Bradley
6 years ago

I’ve been putting some miles on my shop’s demo Suzi-Q and it’s pretty stellar bike. I have just finished writing an initial review here: http://www.thebicycletailor.ca/blogs/tailor-tales/rocky-mountain-suzi-q-review-and-comparison/

Happy to field any questions if anyone has any.

Matt
Matt
6 years ago
Reply to  Damian Bradley

Damian;
As a novice I am looking to buy my first ‘real’ mountain bike and am looking mostly at 27.5plus, coming from a standard 26″ bike. How does this suzi Q compare to a 27.5 x 3″ for summer riding? Is there any reason to get this bike if I don’t plan to ride in the winter? It looks so darn cool.

Thanks.

Damian Bradley
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt

It depends on your summer trails and conditions. You get more flexibility with plus bike in terms of tire sizes, weights and options and wheel builds. Suspension is also easier to come by with standard Boost hub widths. If you were in my shop I would start you test riding a plus bike and move on to the Suzi-Q if you found something lacking or had a specific desire for the wheel and tire size. If you were looking at the higher end carbon models, I think there is a better argument to use these as summer only bikes.

Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly
4 years ago

Does the 27.5×5.5 Bontrager Gnarwhal tires fit on the Suzi Q frame?

Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike Kelly

*27.5×4.5 tires

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