Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fat Tire Uni - Nimbus Oregon

Over the past few years "Fat Tire Bikes" have been skyrocketing in popularity.  Mountain bikes with extra wide tires allow riders to continue their passion in regions that have snowy winters. Much like snowshoes, they help prevent the bike from sinking in, smooth out the bumps, and give better traction.  Fat bikes have wider forks, frames, rims and obviously fatter tires.  People also ride them in sand.

In the unicycle world, there are only a few choices for a fat tire setup. offers the Nimbus Oregon, or if you're lucky you can get a custom fat tire frame welded up by a young entrepreneur, Jakob Flansberry, in Quebec, Canada.  Years ago Surly, the sort of household name in fat tire bikes, rims and tires, sold a fat tire uni, but they don't anymore.

This year I wanted to get either a fat bike or fat uni to get myself out on the trails more.  Working out in my basement is a huge help, but actually pedaling and sitting in a seat is important too.  I thought a fat bike would probably allow me to get out in even more difficult snow terrain than a uni, but ultimately I decided the uni would be better training for me.  The uni option was also cheaper, I think maybe.

Flansberry made some frames last year but he stopped for a bit and now he has a dozen back-ordered and has yet to start building again.  Since I wanted one yesterday, I didn't want to wait, and that narrowed it down to the Oregon.  It's a pretty sweet V-frame design and has a Surly Marge Lite rim and Surly Nate 3.8 tire.  The frame is wide enough to go even fatter if I want to.  Also, it comes with a disc brake, which I've never had.  She's a beaut! has a 15% sales this month, which might not seem super crazy, but historically it doesn't get much better.  So I ordered one on Monday and got it today!  I upgraded the seat from a Nimbus saddle to a Kris Holm Free Ride and the cranks to KH Spirits.  I figure it's what I'm used to and at least with the cranks I might end up swapping them onto one of my Schlumpf hubs because the older KH Moment cranks seem to keep getting closer and closer to the frame when I swap/re-tighten them to spec.

I'm looking forward to my first fat tire uni ride.  Hopefully this weekend!

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