Editor’s note: Here at Bicycle Times we are as mindful of price as you are. So we gathered together a group of six very diverse bikes to showcase what you can find right now at the $1,000 price point. See our introduction here.
I’m pretty stoked to be testing the Minnesota 2.0 fat bike from Framed Bikes this winter. I have ridden a few fat bikes, and a bunch of my riding buddies rock them throughout the year, but I haven’t had the chance to really get into the whole scene until now.
The Minnesota 2.0 features an aluminum frame and fork, big 26×4 120 tpi tires, 2×9 SRAM drivetrain, and Avid BB5s among other bits and pieces. Retailing for $900, it’s really targeted towards the price-conscious fat biker.
Taking the bike out for its maiden voyage, the first thing that was most apparent was the tight cockpit. Framed chose to go with an effective top tube that is noticeably shorter than other similarly sized fat bikes. The 18-inch Minnesota 2.0’s top tube has an effective length of 22.5 inches.
Framed is trying to create a bike that rides smaller than it is and provides a more aggressive feel on the trail. It also places more of the rider’s weight in the rear center, allowing for better rear wheel traction. Initially the “short” top tube felt really odd to me, but about halfway into my first ride the bike did start to give me a bit of a playful vibe.
At around 34.5lbs the bike isn’t light by any measure, but does fall in line with similarly spec’d models around the industry. Coming off a light mountain bike, there is definitely a bit more umph required to get through some of the more techy uphill sections and rolling around familiar trails feels a bit more arduous.
With on-trail tire pressure adjustments made in accordance with some more seasoned fat bike riders’ suggestions, things felt a bit better. A lot of the small, harsh trail features seemed less apparent when rolled over with so much squishy rubber.
So far my take away is it rolls over stuff, it’s fun, and I can’t wait to ride it some more. Check back to see how things progressed and my thoughts on this fat bike thing.
You can see all the bikes in the Bicycle Times $1,000 group test here.
Watch for my long-term review in Bicycle Times Issue #33, due on newsstands and in mailboxes in early February.