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NAHBS 2014 Gallery: Fat bikes galore in Charlotte

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Eriksen was showing off this custom titanium fat bike at the North American Handmade Show. Eriksen fat bikes start at US$4,000

Eriksen was showing off this custom titanium fat bike at the North American Handmade Show. Eriksen fat bikes start at US$4,000 (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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A lot of hand labor went into this area of the bike

A lot of hand labor went into this area of the bike (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Independent Fabrication owner Gary Smith has been a fat-bike aficionado for several years; he had the company build its first fat bike for him

Independent Fabrication owner Gary Smith has been a fat-bike aficionado for several years; he had the company build its first fat bike for him (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Independent Fabrication's fat bike model will be known as the Chubby D-Lux

Independent Fabrication's fat bike model will be known as the Chubby D-Lux (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The painted-to-match MRP carbon fork is a nice touch

The painted-to-match MRP carbon fork is a nice touch (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Moots is upping their fat bike game with the FrostHammer: a fat bike designed to swallow the largest fat bike tires

Moots is upping their fat bike game with the FrostHammer: a fat bike designed to swallow the largest fat bike tires (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The FrostHammer has a 44mm head tube and suspension-corrected geometry — there will be several news options coming to market this year

The FrostHammer has a 44mm head tube and suspension-corrected geometry — there will be several news options coming to market this year (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Michigan frame builder Scott Quiring works in steel, stainless steel and titanium. This steel bike belongs to his wife

Michigan frame builder Scott Quiring works in steel, stainless steel and titanium. This steel bike belongs to his wife (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The tiger stripe pattern was achieved by using small sections of masking tape

The tiger stripe pattern was achieved by using small sections of masking tape (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Proper hydration for fat-bike riding is essential

Proper hydration for fat-bike riding is essential (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Quiring also had this Ti fat bike on display

Quiring also had this Ti fat bike on display (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Quiring machines his own chainstay yokes to improve tire clearance and bolster rear-end stiffness

Quiring machines his own chainstay yokes to improve tire clearance and bolster rear-end stiffness (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Using a yoke, rather than bending tubes for the chainstays, improves tire and chainring clearance

Using a yoke, rather than bending tubes for the chainstays, improves tire and chainring clearance (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Ritchey dusted off the Commando name for the company’s first fat bike

Ritchey dusted off the Commando name for the company’s first fat bike (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The Commando hearkens back to the early days of Ritchey, this particular Commando is fillet brazed and belongs to Tom Ritchey himself. Production bikes will be TIG welded

The Commando hearkens back to the early days of Ritchey, this particular Commando is fillet brazed and belongs to Tom Ritchey himself. Production bikes will be TIG welded (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The Commando has a sloped top tube for increased standover clearance

The Commando has a sloped top tube for increased standover clearance (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The rear caliper is tucked nearly between the stays on the Ritchey Commando

The rear caliper is tucked nearly between the stays on the Ritchey Commando (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Even fillets and internal routing through the top tube

Even fillets and internal routing through the top tube (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Ellis Cycles' Dave Wages opted to leave the frame bare (no clearcoat, just a light layer of WD40 to keep oxidation at bay) to enter it in the Best Fillet Brazing category

Ellis Cycles' Dave Wages opted to leave the frame bare (no clearcoat, just a light layer of WD40 to keep oxidation at bay) to enter it in the Best Fillet Brazing category (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Ellis Cycles is better known for its award-winning road bikes. This winter made company owner Dave Wages try his hand at fat-bike building

Ellis Cycles is better known for its award-winning road bikes. This winter made company owner Dave Wages try his hand at fat-bike building (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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This Marzocchi fork is a decade old but found new life as a fat bike fork thanks to its bolt-on arch and crown

This Marzocchi fork is a decade old but found new life as a fat bike fork thanks to its bolt-on arch and crown (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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This Eriksen belongs to company welder Brad Bingham, who had a wider, fat bike-worthy crown and arch fabricated to clear the big tires

This Eriksen belongs to company welder Brad Bingham, who had a wider, fat bike-worthy crown and arch fabricated to clear the big tires (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The frame has 135mm front spacing and 197x12 rear spacing. DT Swiss does not make hubs compatible with these standards, so Bingham cut and sleeved DT-Swiss 240 hubs to fit the frame

The frame has 135mm front spacing and 197x12 rear spacing. DT Swiss does not make hubs compatible with these standards, so Bingham cut and sleeved DT-Swiss 240 hubs to fit the frame (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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44 Bikes is custom builder based in New Hampshire. Company owner Kristofer Henry had his personal bike on display

44 Bikes is custom builder based in New Hampshire. Company owner Kristofer Henry had his personal bike on display (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The top tube is lowered for better standover clearance and has internal routing through the top tube for the rear derailleur

The top tube is lowered for better standover clearance and has internal routing through the top tube for the rear derailleur (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The rear end is short and tucked close to the bent seat tube and Henry's fat bike

The rear end is short and tucked close to the bent seat tube and Henry's fat bike (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Boo Bicycles combines carbon or aluminum with bamboo maintubes, this particular AluBoo belongs to the company painter

Boo Bicycles combines carbon or aluminum with bamboo maintubes, this particular AluBoo belongs to the company painter (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The paint features scales, stripes and others intricate details that one might expect to find in a frame belonging to a painter

The paint features scales, stripes and others intricate details that one might expect to find in a frame belonging to a painter (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Boo Bicycles employee Jacob Lapenna designed this AluBOOYAH fat bike as a ski mountaineering machine

Boo Bicycles employee Jacob Lapenna designed this AluBOOYAH fat bike as a ski mountaineering machine (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Up front, the AluBOOYAH is loaded with a pair of ice axes, ice screws and plenty of rope

Up front, the AluBOOYAH is loaded with a pair of ice axes, ice screws and plenty of rope (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Out back, the AluBOOYAH is loaded with more rope and a pair of fat skis

Out back, the AluBOOYAH is loaded with more rope and a pair of fat skis (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The skis attach to the rear rack via this clever custom mount that uses the skis' alpine touring (tech) bindings to hold them in place

The skis attach to the rear rack via this clever custom mount that uses the skis' alpine touring (tech) bindings to hold them in place (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Capitol Bicycle Company designed this particular fat bike for aggressive off road riding

Capitol Bicycle Company designed this particular fat bike for aggressive off road riding (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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The winter camo paint scheme is a nice touch

The winter camo paint scheme is a nice touch (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Dean has been building Ti frames for decades, though this is the company's first fat bike

Dean has been building Ti frames for decades, though this is the company's first fat bike (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Dean uses an MRP (formerly White Brothers) aluminum crown and presses in its own titanium fork legs to make the fat bike fork

Dean uses an MRP (formerly White Brothers) aluminum crown and presses in its own titanium fork legs to make the fat bike fork (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)
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Gros Big is Xprezo's first fat bike. It has a 190mm rear axle spacing, uses a press-fit 92 bottom bracket and can fit 5in-wide tires.

Gros Big is Xprezo's first fat bike. It has a 190mm rear axle spacing, uses a press-fit 92 bottom bracket and can fit 5in-wide tires. (Image credit: Josh Patterson/Future Publishing)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Fat bikes are nothing new to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, though their massive knobby tires were seemingly at every turn this year.

Some of the builders are well known for their fat bikes, while others decided to build their first fat bikes as a result of this year’s particularly harsh winter. From the bikes on display, it's clear that there’s still a lot of flux within the category: dropout spacing and axle type were all over the map.

Here’s a look at the bikes that were on display. Click through the gallery at right for a detailed look at bikes from each of the builders.

Eriksen

This particular Eriksen fat bike belongs to company welder Brad Bingham. The frame is designed to take 5in tires. The seat tube is curved to tuck the rear wheel in and keep the chainstay length manageable. It can accommodate tires up to 5in wide and uses a197x12 thru-axle rear end. The claimed frame weight is 3.6lb (1.63kg).

The two most interesting components on the frame are the hubs and the fork, both of which are custom, one-off pieces stretched to accommodate the wide spacing required by massive tires.

44 Bikes

New Hampshire framebuilder Kristofer Henry is the man behind 44 Bikes. His personal machine is designed to lead a double life as a fat bike in the winter months and a 29+ machine during the rest of the year.

The outside diameters of a 5in fat bike tire and a 3in wide 29+ tread are nearly the same, so Henry built this bike to accommodate both wheelsets.

Boo Bicycles

Boo Bicycles employee Jacob Lapenna designed this AluBOOYAH fat bike as ski mountaineering machine. This bike was inspired by a recent trip to Torreys Peak, a 14,275-foot peak located in Clear Creek, Colorado. The climb has a significant approach that is expedited by riding in before skinning up and taking to the ropes.

The bike was created with help from La Sportiva and Petzel, who supplied the ski and climbing gear, and Old Man Mountain racks, who supplied the panniers and front rack.

Capitol Bicycle Company

This winter camouflage-covered fat bike from Capitol Bicycle Company is designed with aggressive riding in mind.

The frame geometry is slacker than most and it features 100mm-wide rims and 5in Surly Big Fat Larry tires.

Dean

Dean has long been a fixture in titanium fabrication. This Boulder-based frame building company was showing off its first fat bike.

To accompany the frame, Dean also worked with Colorado-based suspension fork manufacturer MRP (formerly known as White Brothers), who supplied the aluminum crown. Dean added pressed-in titanium fork legs to complete the package.

Ellis Cycles

Ellis Cycles owner Dave Wages may be better known for his stunning road bikes. His NAHBS resume is quite impressive. Wages won Best Lugged Bike in 2009, Best of Show in 2010, Best Road Frame in 2011 and Best Steel Frame in 2012.

His creations are often lugged or filled brazed and feature clean lines and impeccable attention to detail.

Wages is based in Waterford, Wisconsin, and this year’s long winter there motivated him to create his own fat bike.

Independent Fabrication

Company owner Gary Smith has been a fat bike aficionado for several years and wanted something he could ride through the snow that had an IF head badge on it, and so the Chubby D-Lux was born.

The sparkling chartreuse paint is stunning and the painted to match MRP carbon fat bike fork ties the build together.

Moots

Moots is no stranger to fat bikes, having built custom machines for endurance racer Mike Curiak’s grueling Iditarod Trail Invitational wins.

The FrostHammer is Moots first fat bike model designed to fit 5in wide tires. The frame has a 44mm head tube and is designed to accommodate the fat bike-specific suspension forks that will be coming to market later this year.

Moots will be offering the FrostHammer in four stock sizes, as well as made to measure options.

Quiring

Michigan frame builder Scott Quiring works in steel, stainless steel and titanium. To improve tire clearance and bolster rear end stiffness, Quiring machines his own chainstay yokes.

Quiring had a titanium and a steel fat bike on display at this year’s show. The pink-and-black tiger-striped steel fat bike belongs to his wife. The paint scheme was inspired by a pair of similarly patterned rim strips she found.

Small strips of masking tape were used to create the pattern.

Ritchey

The Ritchey Commando is one of the most storied bicycle frames from the early days of mountain biking. Ritchey dusted off the name for the company’s first fat bike.

The Commando has 135mm front and 170mm rear spacing, uses quick-release axles, and can accommodate fat tires up to 3.8in wide.

The olive drab machine on display belongs to Tom Ritchey himself. This particular frame is fillet brazed (production Commando’s will be TIG welded). Production Commando’s will retail for US$999 and will be available in October.

Xprezo

Xprezo is a small Canadian bicycle company. The company has resisted the pull of off-shore manufacturing, instead choosing to build all of its frames in its factory in Bromont, Québec.

The company’s first fat bike is dubbed the Gros Big. It has a 190mm rear axle spacing, uses a press-fit 92 bottom bracket and can fit 5in wide fat bike tires.

The frame is constructed from Columbus Zona tubing and has a claimed frame weight of 3.9lb (1.76kg).