Budget Fat Bike Break Down

Fatbike Republic fat bike

When first venturing into the world of fat bikes, many folks gravitate towards the entry level category. While they may not have dropper posts, carbon forks or higher end gear . . . they will have fat tires and decent components. But with most manufacturers having an entry level bike, how do you decide which one is for you?

Fatbike Republic picked three entry level fat bikes to do a comparison to see how they stack up. The contestants are: 2020 Minus 10S from the stable of Devinci, the 2020 Moose 1 from virtual Moose Bicycle and the newly redesigned 2020 Bigfoot 3 from Norco


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Devinci, Moose and Norco

While every effort has been made to be accurate with component and bike specifications, be sure to connect with the manufacture for the most current details.

FRAME

Manufacturers spend a considerable time designing the perfect fat bike frame to represent their brand. All three budget bikes have frames formed from an aluminum alloy, with each manufacturer choosing a slightly different material – Devinci (Optimum G02), Moose (6061 T6) and Norco (Double Butted X6).


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Devinci

In addition to the different material, each manufacturer has a different geometry that dictates how the bike will ride and how it will fit a rider. 

Fatbike Republic fat bike

Although all specifications should be taken into consideration holistically . . . the Bigfoot 3 does have the slackest HTA, the Minus 10S has the steepest with the Moose 1 sitting pretty much in the middle.
Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Norco

An important factor in fat bike frame construction is the rear end - a wider rear end generally means the bike can fit a larger tire. In this comparison all three fatties sport 190 mm rear spacing that should be enough to fits most 5” fat bike tires.


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Moose

And while technically not part of the actual frame, the forks on all three bike are manufactured from aluminum alloy - Devinci (Optimum G02), Moose (6061 T6) and Norco (6061). The main difference between the three is that the Norco has several mounting points for water bottles and other gear.


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Norco

DRIVETRAIN

The drivetrain gets those big rubber tires rolling in the dirt and snow. Of the three bikes, two sport a 10-speed drivetrain (Norco and Devinci) while the Moose drops a gear with a 9-speed tranny.


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Devinci

All three fatties run Samox cranks with the Moose and Norco having a 28T chainring and the Devinci being a little lower geared with a 26T drive.


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Moose

To move the KMC chains through the gears, all bikes run Shimano shifters and derailleurs. Moose and Norco have a Shimano cassettes and the Devinci spins one from the land of Sunrace.

BRAKES

Stopping gargantuan fat tires is just as important as getting them rolling. In this area Devinci steps up with hydraulic SRAM Level T and 180 mm rotors front and rear. Norco and Moose both run mechanical Tektro stoppers with a 180 mm rotor up front and 160 mm in the back.


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Norco

WHEELS

The likelihood of finding a brand name hoop on an entry level fat bike is not very high as wheels can be expensive and budget bikes don’t have much wiggle room. In most cases you will likely find lesser known wheels and see 26" sizing rather than 27.5".

All three fat bikes run 26” rims with two (Norco and Moose) running a more familiar 80 mm width. Devinci went with a slightly wider 94 mm rim. A little wider rim will give a slightly wider footprint.


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Moose

All three bikes have 10 x 190 rear hubs from different manufacturers – Devinci (Formula) Moose (Quando) Norco (Joytech). In the front, Norco runs a 15 x 150 hub that would more easily allow for the addition of front suspension. While Moose (9 x 150) and Devinci (10 x 135) front hubs would need upgrading if wanting to run a fat suspension fork.

TIRES

Balancing budget and effectiveness, all three manufacturers went with the Vee Tire brand of rubber. Devinci and Moose shod their fatties with Vee Bulldozers - Devinci going with a more traditional 26 x 4.7 and Moose opting for a sweet tan-wall version of the tire in a slightly small size (26 x 4.25). Norco went with a 26 x 4.8 studdable Snow Avalanche.


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Devinci, Moose and Norco

COCKPIT

The cockpit is another area in the budget bike world where you may find lesser known brands or factory designed components. All three manufacturers run alloy bars, but with different widths – Devinci 720 mm, Moose 740 mm and Norco 750 mm. And surprisingly all bikes run some sort of lockable grip.


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Moose

A comfortable 60 mm stem connects the bars to the forks on all three machines. All seatposts are alloy with some difference in sizing due to frame geometry - Devinci 31.6 mm, Moose 30.9 mm and Norco 31.6 mm. Each bike has a nondescript black seat.


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Devinci

While Moose and Norco supply some sort of basic pedal to get you rolling, Devinci allows you to skip the pedal upgrade process requiring you to purchase a pedal before hitting the trail.

MISCELLANEOUS

Colour choice: For model year 2020 the Devinci Minus 10S is available in one colour called Chrome Lunar Blue and the Moose 1 singular colour is called Pantone. The folks at Norco have two available options for the Bigfoot 3 - Red/Black and Charcoal/Green.


Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source:Devinci

Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Moose

Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Norco

Fatbike Republic fat bike
Source: Norco

Availability: You can pick up a Devinci or Norco at your local Devinci or Norco bike shop. Depending on where you live that may be a short jaunt or a long haul if you are lucky. As Moose is primarily a virtual bike shop, they will ship you your bike for free . . . which is great if you don’t have a LBS in your area.

Pricing: MSRP for these fatties at the time of publishing is as follows: Minus 10S - $1499 CAD, Bigfoot 3 - $1299 CAD, Moose 1 - $999.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Should you buy any one of these budget fat bikes over the other? Well it all depends what you are looking for in your fat purchase.

If you wanted the cheapest bike on the block, you may not be able to get it at your local bike shop.  If you want a 10 speed drivetrain, you are not going to get tan wall tires. If you want hydraulic brakes, you are not going to get studdable tires. And if you really want a red bike . . . blue is not going to do.

Fatbike Republic fat bike

So if you are looking for a budget fat bike, or any fattie for that matter, you may want to do a similar comparison before laying down your cold hard cash. But no matter which one you get, they will all provide miles of fat smiles.

And a big thanks to the folks at Devinci (Minus 10S), Moose Bicycle (Moose 1) and Norco (Bigfoot 3) for allowing the use of photos of their sweet fat rides.

RIDE FAT!



Comments

  1. One minor stat that you’ve neglected to add is the weight of each bike. I realize that because they’re fat, weight is not necessarily a consideration for most, but the older you get the more it matters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would agree. This number was not easy to track down, but I would say that they would be pretty close to one another.

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