Fatbikes were originally built to float over sand and snow, but more and more, riders are taking them on the trail. Pounding over rocks on a fatbike is not exactly fun, even with those super wide tires. In response, RockShox created the Bluto fatbike suspension fork that promises to make fatbikes much more trail worthy.
The RockShox Bluto got the fat treatment by re-engineering the chassis to meet the unique needs of fat tires and wheels. Everything from crown, to arch, to axle has been optimized to tackle the increased torsional loads of its wide stance. The suspension fork delivers more traction and control to the fatbike, making it much more fun to ride for long distances and over technical terrain.
Both Rocky Mountain and Borealis had their Bluto fatbikes on display at Sea Otter over the weekend. The new Rocky Mountain Blizzard features a fully redesigned frame to clear the huge 4.7” tires, with a suspension-corrected 68.5° head tube angle, neutral chainstays, and shorter-than-average top tube.
The frame is made from Rocky Mountain's FORM aluminum for a rugged, lightweight construction. The fatbike comes with the RockShox Bluto RL suspension fork with 100mm of travel and a 15x150mm thru-axle. The new Blizzard will be out this fall and the price is TBD.
From the beginning, Borealis worked with RockShox to create their suspension specific, carbon, trail bike named Echo. Extreme lateral stiffness, vertical compliance, and geometry optimized for the 100mm of travel that the Bluto fork offers mean this carbon fatbike is ready for the rough stuff. Borealis also spec'd oversized 35mm clamp stems and handlebars on the top two build kit models to match the extra-wide tires of the bike. Internal dropper seatpost routing makes the Echo that much more fun.
The Borealis Echo with RockShox Bluto fatbike suspension fork will start shipping in May and retail for $4000-$6000 depending on build. I am hoping for a chance to test the Echo soon so full review to follow.