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.
One of the great things about the Les Fat is its versatility.
Lots of room to fit 5 inch tires.
Sweet crank by e*thirteen.
SRAM Guide brakes.
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…
…and rear rack mounts. Small things like this increase a bike’s versatility.
I went for the wheel upgrade option – a DT Swiss wheelset.