The fat bike, six months on. Well, 30 months really.

The On-One Fatty.

I bought the frame in a sale, 30 months ago. It was a bargain £149. However, it took me two years to build up; half of which was due to using a bike shop unfamiliar with fat bikes. The wheels alone took almost five months to build.

The bike I assembled, and only used the shop to install the forks and bottom bracket, build the wheels. In the six months I've used the bike, the only parts to fail were.... the shop installed items. Since then I've done all the maintenance myself, right down to re-greasing the bearings with marine grade grease. I've gone from the bike being a bit of a dog, with stiff, grumbly, rusty bearings, to one that is once again a pleasure to ride.

On-One Fatty and pint

The six months.

My first few rides were bad. Fell off hard when the massive front tyre caught on something. That broke my collarbone. You go down heavy on a 36lb bike.

Post Christmas my rides were marred by poor bearings. First the rear wheel bearings, then the bottom bracket. The rear ones were from On-One and I'm still not totally convinced they were at fault. Why? Because when they were fixed, the bike was still a tough old beast to ride. Once the truly horrid Surly bottom bracket was binned, the bike shone.


Shame on you. I bought into the brand, fitting their O.D. Crank. Horrid thing. The bearings failed within a month or so, the crank is all scuffed up, and the bolts are all rusty.


I'm fully on for fat bikes. OK they do have some limitations. They are massive for a start, so storage is an issue. It'd like finding a home for a small motorbike. The tyres do mean a bit more effort. And if you are running tubes, punctures really do require a cup of tea to sort. You'll be there some time.

On the plus side they are a hoot to ride. Especially if you move away from groomed trails. The rougher, more unkempt things are, the better these bikes get, by miles. My bike is best riding post storm, torn up trails where everything is chaos. On a normal, 2.3" tyred bike, the rougher trails require a slowed down approach, where trials bike skills are needed. The fatty just blitzes over stuff without pause. I've had rides with my fitter, more aggressive mate, who is always ahead, where once I'm on the Fatty and the trail goes awry, I storm off ahead. Invariably he catches up and asks how I rode that rock section. What rock section?