Axiom Fatliner | Rack the Fat

All fatbikers carry some sort of gear/supplies when they go riding.  It could be as simple as a cell phone to call someone when you get in trouble, or piles of gear and parts making you the person who is called.  Most of the time it can be carried on your person or in a small bag or pouch on the bike. However, there may come a time when something a little more substantial may be needed . . . like a rear rack.

Having some experience with Axiom Cycling Gear when I played in the skinny tire world, I creeped the Axiom site and discovered that they carry a fatbike specific rear rack called the Fatliner.  I reached out to them and they sent one for review here on Fatbike Republic.

About Axiom

For 25 years Axiom Cycling Gear has been making quality bike products for cyclists that actually work.  Not only do they employ cutting edge manufacturing techniques using premium materials, they use environmentally sensitive processes and materials in all their products and packaging.  Their fabrics are free of heavy metals and toxic dyes and even the packaging is printed with soy-based ink.

Not only are these folks committed to cyclists, they are also committed to the environment.  Two big thumbs up!

The Fatliner

As part of Axiom's Streamliner family, the Fatliner is designed specifically for fatbikes.  According to Axiom the Fatliner is a "disc compatible rack designed specifically for fat bikes that centres loads closer to the rear wheel for improved stability and bike handling."

Details include:
  • Hand welded 6061 T6 aluminum
  • Sweepback feet maximize heel clearance
  • Fits dropouts spaced 170 - 190 mm (208 mm clearance at feet)
  • Mounts to eyelets or quick release skewer
  • Caliper/fender mount capability
  • Adjustable Versalock arms (280 mm)
  • 26" wheel size and up to 5" tire
  • 982g / 2.16 lbs (including hardware)
  • 50 kg / 100 lb capacity
  • Lifetime guarantee (can't get much better than that)
As you can see from the pictures the clean welds, matte black paint with red accents make this one sexy looking rack.  It would look at home on any fatbike.

The measured dimensions of the top surface are about 6.75" x 14".  Plenty of surface area to strap down just about anything.

And dropping it on the scale it weighs in at 807g which is 175g lighter than advertised.

Installing the Fatliner

If you are looking for instructions on installing the Fatliner, you are not going to find them.  Axiom do have instructions on installing a Streamliner DLX, however you do not need to be an expert bike mechanic to install the Fatliner.  All you need is a #4 and #5 allen wrench.

Included with the Fatliner are several bolts, washers and nuts to make the installation that much easier.

The first installation was on my 2014 Bigfoot "Fatrod".  This bike has a 170mm rear end with a QR and disk brakes.  In order to fit the 170mm spacing I removed the sweepback feet from the outside of the Fatliner's legs and mounted them to the inside.  This reduced the spacing to 170mm.

I used the Axiom supplied bolts to loosely attach the feet to the bike frame. The Versalock arms then attach to the upper end of the seat stay.  Not only do the arms slide in an out, but they also pivot allowing them to be compatible with many bikes.

With the rack in place it was time to level it (fore and aft) and tighten up the eight bolts (four on bike frame, and four on the Versalock arms).  This is a very sturdy rack and looks really nice on the street based fatbike.

Installing the Fatliner on a 2016 Norco Sasquatch was completed in pretty much the same manner.  As this bike has a 197mm rear end the sweepback feet had to be remounted to the outside of the Fatliner's legs.  I am aware that Axiom's literature indicates a maximum spacing of 190 . . . however the rack mounted up with no problem.

If you run a rear fender such as a BeaverGuard you may have to remove it for rack clearance.  However, I did devise a solution to mud/dirt deflection (see below).

In use

Riding with the Fatliner, either on or off-road, the rack was virtually unnoticeable.  The sweepback feet eliminated any possible heel strike, even when your feet are not optimally placed on the pedals.  As for aerodynamics . . . well this is a fatbike rack . . . if concerned about wind drag you may want to switch to something with skinny tires.

The Fatliner also makes a pretty decent camera mount and a place to grab and lift the rear of the bike when doing a 180 on a narrow trail.  With the rear fender removed for rack installation, muck and dirt does tend to migrate.  A flexible cutting board, a couple cuts with a pair of scissors, a few holes and volia . . . a quick and dirty Fatliner mud guard.  Hint hint Axiom.

I was heading out to do some trail maintenance and I spied a long forgotten set of panniers in the shop.  What better way to get the gear to the trail.  So I loaded up miscellaneous tools, folding shovel, axe and buck saw and headed out on the trail.  I also threw in the gear I normally carry in my backpack.  The Fatliner worked like a charm.

Final Thoughts

Whether its carrying trail clearing gear, groceries, or bikepacking stuff a rear rack is an excellent way to increase the carrying capacity of your fattie.

The Axiom Fatliner is easily mountable to multiple fatbike platforms, sturdy, has multiple areas for tie-downs, and is pretty slick looking as well.  With a claimed 100lb weight capacity this rack can carry a lot of gear . . . pedaling would be an entirely different issue.

At a suggested retail price of $79.99 CAD, its not a heck of a lot of coin for a whole lot of usability.

So if you are looking for a way to carry some substantial gear on your fattie be sure to check out the Axiom Fatliner and visit your favourite on-line retailer or local bike shoppe.

Ride on!