We really enjoyed our visit to the Fatback booth at Interbike 2015. The folks there were fun to talk to, and their carbon fatbikes were awesome to learn about and ride. We spoke with a guy named Fuzzy, who works at the small Alaskan bike company. He filled us in on their newest carbon fatbike, called “Skookum”.
Just in case you are curious, “skookum” is a real word, an adjective actually, and is used to describe something as being strong, brave, or impressive.
First off, Skookum felt awesome to ride. It had a distinct nimbleness to the way it handled. There was no hint of it being sluggish or heavy at all. It was responsive and felt very natural to ride.
The bike was built to be a 4-season, carbon fiber, trail slaying machine. Fuzzy and his team crafted the bike around a 120mm suspension fork with that end in mind.
The 120mm Rockshocks Bluto fork comes stock on this bike, as does the dropper post. The bike comes in two different colourways – Chinnok, and Moss – and has four different build kit options AND four different wheelset option to choose from. They've got you covered!
Besides the impressively agile ridefeel, we liked the overall design. The cable management is beautiful, as the clean lines disappear into the sleeved frame for easy internal dropper-post routing. The integrated downtube and chainstay protectors are also a nice touch.
Speaking of design elements, an often overlooked but really significant feature of this frame is the relatively narrow Q-Factor. Fuzzy told us that they take pride in this at Fatback Bikes, since it translates into the more familiar ride-feel of a normal mountain bike, and is integral to the company's frame designs.
Further to the ridefeel, a narrower Q-factor on a fatbike is simply more ergonomic. Those of us with hip or knee issues from sports or overuse injuries, or anyone just wanting to be proactive, will appreciate this, since some of the wider Q-factors on fatbikes can exacerbate these conditions. Your bike should help you ride more, not less, right?
Know what else is awesome? This bike clears 4.8-inch tires on 100mm rims, but is also happy to handle skinny 27.5+ or 29+ wheel-sets come time to put your fatbike on a summer diet. This truly was made to be a year-round quiver-killing trailbike.
Spec highlights include:
- Tapered Head Tube
- Optimized for 1X drive trains
- 31.6mm Seatpost Internal dropper post routing.
- Slack Headtube angle (68.5 degrees with 120mm fork)
- Integrated down tube and Chain stay adapters.
- Thru-Axles front and rear (150mm and 197mm)
- 16”, 18” and 20” frame sizes
- Weight varies by build, but the one we test rode at Interbike came in around 27.5lbs with the Bluto and dropper post.
Compared to the well know Fatback Corvus, the Skookum is definitely more tailored towards trail riding, whereas the Corvus is tailored towards Alaskan Races and endurance rides. The Corvus has a longer chainstay, a more balanced geometry, is replete with eyelets for accessory racks, and has a massive frame triangle for frame-bag gear stowing goodness. The Skookum, in contrast, has a short chainstay (440mm) and a geometry designed to be nimble and responsive when you hit the singletrack.
You can find more information about FatBack Carbon FatBikes from the following link :
FatBack web site link