ATB Route Zeddam (Netherlands).
Thanks to Wielerhuis de Pedaleur, Doetinchem (Netherlands) for providing the Specialized Fatboy for this test.
The perfect mountainbike…for the Netherlands? It all depends on what you are looking for…The Netherlands does not offer a lot of technical riding and long descents, i.e. the things that make mountain biking more attractive over road biking. Because of that, FatBike may well add a little to the riding fun in the f(l)atlands.
While testing the Specialized FatBoy I realized how well this bike suits the conditions generally found in the Netherlands. The Fatty tires float nicely over sand and mud and because of the larger footprint the tires don’t sink into the dirt and consequently less mud sticks on the tire… Believe it or not, the test bike was much cleaner than my riding buddy’s 29er after the same tour.
The large tires provide enough comfort without the need for a suspension fork. Once again a big benefit as things can get dirty round the scansions of a suspension fork when large amounts of mud and sand get clogged up requiring more frequent maintenance of the seals. The combination of fat tires and a carbon fork works very well.
While the wheels look enormous because of the fat tires, the bike doesn’t really pedal a whole lot “heavier”. There is certainly some difference but nothing noticeable. The heavier wheels do become noticeable when you start throwing the bike around, you can feel the inertia of the big wheels and need to work the bike more. Bikers that like to “play ride” and bounce their bike from side to side on the trail will have to put more effort into the movement. It doesn’t take much getting used to, it took only a couple of corners to get used to the FatBike’s riding “requirements”.
The FatBoy’s grip is tremendous and it takes a lot to loose traction while corner or climbing. Especially in the Dutch sandy conditions the grip is more than sufficient.
The Fatboy is a fun and attractive package. A package that suits riding conditions in the Netherlands very well.
- Value package: For EUR 1.799 Specialized delivers is a very attractive mountainbike with the FatBoy
- Component package suits riding conditions in the Netherlands very well.
- Fat tires provide a lot of grip
- The rider needs to work the bike more due to heavier wheels when playing on the trail.
- Brakes felt somewhat weak on the test bike. This may well have to do with the brakes being new. However after some riding the stopping power still seemed somewhat weak. Still plenty for small descents, however if one decides to ride longer descents a different brake pad compound or brakes with more stopping capacity would be recommended.