pivot les fat

4th Update (Feb 12, 2016)

I’ve used the Les Fat in a lot of different winter conditions and remain very happy with the bike.  Again, I see the benefits of shorter chainstays (and a small downside).  The benefit:  great traction when standing on the peddles.  The downside: the bike handles so quickly I find it a little squirrelly when the snow is fresh and loose.  One thing I have yet to do is play around with the adjustable dropouts.  The next time we get some fresh snow I’m going to lengthen the wheelbase and see what difference that will make to stabilizing the bike’s handling.

3rd Update (Nov 17,2015)

I’ve now had several months on this bike on a variety of trails and everything I’ve written below still holds true.  I’m now looking forward to winter and seeing what this bike will do on the snow.  I can’t wait.

I have found one shortcoming with using the Les Fat as a trail bike – pedal strike. It would seem to be a function of the large q-factor (the width between the pedals) that is needed so that this bike can run 5 inch tires.  Because of this and my plan to keep this bike as a winter bike only I’m now shopping around for a bike I will use on the trails next year.  My mind right now is set on either a 29+ or 27.5+ hard tail, probably the former because their aren’t too many of the latter.  Stay tuned.

2nd Update (May 27, 2015)

I rode Subnet yesterday.  For those of you who do not know this trail it offers no rest for the wicked – you are either going up or you are going down.  Observations:

* the Pivot Les Fat is an excellent trail bike

* the short chainstays make for a very quick handling bike and easy to loft the front tire

* this bike climbs great – great traction in the rear AND easy to get rider weight forward

* this bike descends well – I was much more confident descending on this than the Pugsley (and a carbon Beargrease I borrowed last year).

* once again I was super happy with the trail chatter this bike absorbed

Update – first ride review (May 22, 2015)

I took the Les Fat out today for it’s maiden voyage in Pippy Park.  The terrain there is rooty, rocky cross-country trails.  I pumped the tires up hard to see what the frame would do with these bumpy conditions.  My impressions:

* there was lots of compliance in the frame.  It did a great job of soaking up the bumps and reducing trail chatter.

* I felt in the bike rather than on the bike.  In fact, it kind of reminded me of a downhill bike but without the super slack head angle.

* it was great to have one finger braking again.  The SRAM Guide hydraulics work just fine.

*  I love having a 1 X 11 drivetrain.  Super quiet.

* this bike accelerates very well.  This is due to the DT Swiss wheel set.

* I have no complaints about the Maxxis Mammoth tires.  They rolled quick with no self-steer.

* the short chainstays make this bike quick and nimble.  The front tire lofts easily.

* the only thing I will change on this bike is the saddle.  It is a very good stock saddle but my Fizik Pave will be going on soon.

I GOT A NEW BIKE!!!!!!

Freeride Mountain Sports on Water Street is now a Pivot dealer and I am the proud owner of their fatbike, the Les Fat.

Freeride Mountain Sports on Water Street is now a Pivot dealer and I am the proud owner of their fatbike, the Les Fat.

One of the great things about the Les Fat is its versatility.

One of the great things about the Les Fat is its versatility.

Lots of room to fit 5 inch tires.

Lots of room to fit 5 inch tires.

Sweet crank by e*thirteen.

Sweet crank by e*thirteen.

SRAM Guide brakes.

SRAM Guide brakes.

Swinger dropouts allow for lengthening/shortening the wheelbase, setting up singlespeed, etc.

Swinger dropouts allow for lengthening/shortening the wheelbase, setting up singlespeed, etc.

I like the thoughtful touches, like a third water bottle mount under the downtube...

I like the thoughtful touches, like a third water bottle mount under the downtube…

...and rear rack mounts. Small things like this increase a bike's versatility.

…and rear rack mounts. Small things like this increase a bike’s versatility.

I went for the wheel upgrade option - a DT Swiss wheelset.

I went for the wheel upgrade option – a DT Swiss wheelset.

IMG_1041

it’s the 24th of May and we likes to get away…

…up in the woods or going out the bay.

I chose to go out the bay, Conception Bay North (CBN), to be exact – as tempting as the gravels pits were. 🙂  I’d done this route two years ago and wanted to ride it again and the long weekend in May seemed as good a time as any.  The weather cooperated (for the most part) and Dan T joined me for two days – his first bikepacking trip.

CBN 2015 001

Here are some instructions I wrote for a Dutch couple that rode the route last year. The T’Railway from St. John’s to Brigus Junction is pretty straightforward but once started on the old CBN branch line the track disappears from time to time.

CBN 2015 002

CBN 2015 143

Looking across to Bell Island.

CBN 2015 146

This large erratic on the beach always intrgues me.

The train station in Avondale.

The train station in Avondale.

First night camping spot, halfway between Avondale and Brigus Junction.

First night camping spot, halfway between Avondale and Brigus Junction.

It's was nice to see this guy out the next morning.

It’s was nice to see this guy out the next morning.

Into The Wild, Newfoundland style.

Into The Wild, Newfoundland style.

Dan considers trading in the fatbike for something a little racier.

Dan considers trading in the fatbike for something a little racier.

Bay Roberts.

Bay Roberts.

Sometimes the trail becomes a river.

Sometimes the trail becomes a river.

CBN 2015 157

Spaniards Bay.

The Kyle, in Harbour Grace, with an iceberg in the background.

The Kyle, in Harbour Grace, with an iceberg in the background.

The point of land in the right of the picture is where we camped.

The point of land in the right of the picture is where we camped.

The view from the tent.

The view from the tent.

CBN 2015 135

Dan negotiating a washout.

Dan negotiating a washout.

CBN 2015 113CBN 2015 130

I came across some unusual road kill on the way home...

I came across some unusual road kill on the way home…

...so I put her up in a tree, because that's where monkeys belong.

…so I put her up in a tree, because that’s where monkeys belong.

a bikepacking list

I often get requests for what I pack and how I pack it.  Here is an attempt to answer the first question; I think the second will have  to be demonstrated in a video.  Where possible I have linked to the actual equipment I use.

Shelter/clothing

Tent  

Sleeping bag

Sleeping pad 

Rain jacket

L/S wool shirt

Socks

Dry bag

Toque

Baseball hat

Arm warmers

Undies

Liner shorts

Tools

Multi-tool

Tire levers

Patch kit

Tube

Blinky lights

Needle and thread

Pump

Lube

Kitchen

Pot

Stove ( I can choose between 3 types: an alcohol stove, a canister stove and an MSR Dragonfly)

Fuel

Spoon

Knife

Lighter

Matches

Water purification drops

1 L water bladder

Other

Maps

Wallet

Wet wipes / toilet paper

Headlamp

Toothbrush and paste

Chamois cream

Sunscreen

Whistle

Fire starter (dryer lint mixed with vaseline)

Cell phone

Bug net

Reading glasses

Bum pad

Mini tripod

Camera

Notebook/pen

Ibuprophen

Book

Towel (ShamWow)

Ear plugs

Liquid soap

iPod

Options: Down jacket, Crocs

What I wear: Shoes, socks, shorts, liner shorts, S/S wool shirt, helmet, sunglasses