Fatback understands the way fat bikes work and have for a while now. Starting in 2007, Fatback was one of the pioneers in the industry and has continued to raise the bar as far as big tires go. We checked in with them at the Dirt Demo to see what the heck they were up to. The Fatback Corvus was introduced earlier this year as a do it all fat bike that is race ready. Dubbed as an all-terrain Carbon Fat Bike, the Corvus truly holds its own from snow to desert singletrack. We know the bike can handle snow, however, more fat bike companies have realized their bikes have more purposes than one. Fatback is no different as we tested the Corvus out as a 29+. Fatback Corvus 29+ Specs This particular Corvus came with XO1 drivetrain with grip shifter, Avid BB 7 brakes, Race Face chainring, handlebars, and stem. Maybe the most interesting part of the bike was the prototype carbon 29+ rims with Maxxis Chronicle tires. We picked up a wheel and were stunned to feel how light it was. The carbon fork was a real treat, not only did it function extremely well creating some stiffness, but it looks sleek matching the frame design. Fatback Corvus 29+ IMG_5560 Geometry The Corvus is light, but Fatback stands firm on not compromising a few extra grams for the ultimate light machine. The frame shape is the same as the aluminum frames and has 170 and 190 rear spacing. The Fatback Corvus frame is built around a 190mm rear end, enabling larger tires and ultimately more flotation. The Corvus comes with a 12X197 rear, tapered head tube, 3 bottle cage holders, and rear rack mounts. IMG_5565 The Ride The fully carbon bike and wheels are made for a pretty stiff bike on some demanding singletrack, however it was fun and trustworthy once you got used to it. It felt like a super nimble fat bike, and its climbing capabilities really show when you’re cranking out of the saddle. It accelerated quickly, and tracked reasonably well considering all that carbon. The 29+ concept gives the bike a wide range of abilities. Long dirt roads, primitive fire roads, and the extreme ability to roll over technical features on singletrack. Fatback Corvus 29+ Bikepacker Friendly? Hailing from Alaska, Fatback knows all about bikepacking. They build their bikes around riding hundreds even thousands of miles for days on end in the heart of winter. The Corvus and all of the fatback frames have generous frame space for any custom bag. It also comes with plenty of storage for water bottles (3), and the ability to add a rear rack which was put to the test and passed after Jeff Oatley won the Iditarod Trail Race with a rear rack. The carbon frame weight helps as winter bikepacking can really weigh down the bike. As a 29+, this thing is very efficient on roads, all while adding the plush actions of the 29+ wheels. Check out their website for more information and to make a purchase Corvus MSRP: $2,300 frameset, $1,850 frame only Corvus fork: $450  

3 Comments

  1. “The fully carbon bike and wheels are made for a pretty stiff bike on some demanding singletrack, however it was fun and trustworthy once you got used to it.”

    and

    “…tracked reasonably well considering all that carbon.”

    These seem like bizarre comments: I own several carbon bikes (MTB and road) and all of them handle- and track- just fine. One of the benefits of carbon is that builders can create stiffness where necessary, and compliance where it isn’t. I’m not sure if Neil feels that an aluminum (for example) bike of the same design would be less stiff, or would track better? Just curious- thanks!

    • Neil Beltchenko
      Neil Beltchenko

      JB,

      It was the stiffest carbon bike I had been on. To note, I was comparing it to a 2013 Specialized HT 29er and a 2015 Beargrease. My theory is that the more square shape of the carbon on the Corvis frame and fork creates a more ridged/stiff feel, where the more rounded the frame… the more give it has. I think what Fatback did was great, they designed an extremely stiff bike for its intended purpose – Racing, and racing on snow.

      When I talk about tracking, I am referring to the rear wheel staying on the ground. I was rocking the frame as a 29+ and maybe that and the tire pressure had something to do with it, but I needed to get used to the way it rode as the stiffness of the bike would bounce me around lifting the rear tire from time to time. Any ridged bike is bound to have this, I just noticed it right off the bat and had to figure out why it was happening.

      Thanks for your comment.

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