Avanti Tracker Fat Tired Mountain Bike Preview

Avanti Tracker Fat Tired Mountain Bike Preview

Trend is not really a popular word you may want to mention around too many people in the mountain bike industry, it may set off a conversation that’ll become uncomfortable… or it may not, depending on which trend you fire off...

Recently I joined New Zealand based Avanti Bikes to look at some of their upcoming new mountain bikes just hitting the market and to be frank, a couple of trend conversations took place, the first was around enduro, which will be covered separately, the other was fat tired mountain bikes.

2015 Avanti Tracker Fat Tired Mountain Bike Preview

A new bike joining the Avanti range is the Tracker, an alloy-framed fat tired bike and that kicked off a trend conversation. I was being hosted by members of their mountain bike team Designer, Gavin Williams, Product Manager, Brent Burrows, who had contrasting views on fat tired mountain bikes, when I asked if fat bikes were the new dirt-jump bikes?

If you cast your thoughts back a few years ago, every bike shop carried a number of 26” wheeled dirt-jump bikes. Alloy or CroMo (steel) burly framed bikes, with big-diameter front forks (most Marzocchi DJ type), big diameter rotor disc brakes and wide handle bars. Most dirt-jump bikes were very well built, well-specced and very rarely went anywhere near an urban pump track, let alone some good sized jumps in the wild… and now you’d be lucky to find a suitable bike in most shops. Yes, there are some about from great brands, like BlackMarket and Santa Cruz, but they are bikes you need to have ordered in… so the thoughts… the Tracker is probably going to find a home with someone who already owns at least one bike (though probably more) and it’ll be considered a fun purchase, more than a rational one. As for it being a trend moving on from dirt-jump bikes, that may be something to be looked back from in the future.

The history of fat bikes is pretty short, they were developed in North America to allow riding in environments where snow has a big impact on the environment. As a bonus the extreme 4” wide tires also work well on mud and sand. Initially fat tired bikes have been the provence of smaller manufacturers in North America, but now international brands are launching them, such as Scott, Charge and Specialized and Avanti Bikes see an opportunity to apply their own design.

So is the Tracker just an answer to a trend sweeping the mountain bike retail world?

Not sure we can answer that yet, as the bike is so new, however initial impressions are that the fat tired Tracker could be a bike that has a broad appeal, it’s certainly well made and equipped with Shimano 3x9 drive-train and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The Vee-Rubber 26x4 Mission tires will certainly take you anywhere.

2015 Avanti Tracker Fatbike Preview

It’s certainly a bike I’d consider as something to have for when you’re on holiday and want to bomb around beaches, farms, multi-use tracks etc. The big tires give you a confident feeling that they’ll carry you across any terrain you encounter in surprising comfort. As to whether they’ll carry you at speed, that’ll have to wait for some more intensive riding.

Avanti Tracker

Frame: ADT 6061 FormTech Alloy
Drivetrain: Shimano 3x9 Deore/Alivio
Brakes: Shimano M445 hydraulic disc
Wheels: 26” Weinmann DHL80 double-wall alloy
Tyres: Vee-Rubber Mission 26”x4”
Colour: Charcoal/Green

Source: Avanti Bikes

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