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In this third installment of my winter fat bike series, I’ll cover the rear rack I added to my 2016 Gravity Bullseye Monster fat bike from Bikes Direct. A bit of searching brought me to the Axiom Fatliner, which is designed for fat bikes. It can handle 26″ tires up to 5 inches wide, and has a claimed weight rating of 50kg/110lbs. The Axiom website lists the MSRP as $74.99 Canadian, and I found most online retailers had it for US $60 or less. Of course, you should check your local shop before going online. Axiom was kind enough to provide one for this review.
Though there are no instructions, it only took about 15 minutes to install the Fatliner. I started at the dropouts, and attached the lower mounts. Once they were snug, I was able to position the rack and found the 280mm Versalock arms gave me just enough room for a perfect fit. It’s rock solid, and while I can’t imagine loading it with 100+ pounds of gear, I am sure it would hold up. Looks pretty sexy too. You could also mount it using your rear skewer, and if your frame doesn’t have eyelets, Axiom includes a bridge mount, which is just a flat piece of metal with some holes and a long slot, which you bend to fit your frame. All the hardware, including nylock nuts, is included.
Once it was installed, I went to my stack of bike luggage, and grabbed a trunk bag. Turns out it was my Axiom bag, which seems like a good choice. Of course, it’s not shown in the photos, as it obscures the rack a bit. In a future article, I’ll be sure to share some pics of it with the trunk bag and panniers. In the meantime, I can choose between the trunk bag or bar bag, depending on when and where I ride. The trunk bag has the bonus feature of not interfering with my headlight, like the bar bag does.
If you do an image search for fat bikes, you’ll find that most of them have been fitted with a rack, frame bag, or both. This is because in addition to all the usual stuff you may want to carry, you’ll need someplace to put your spare tube (or even a spare tire), and neither will fit in your hydration pack. On top of that, cold weather riding usually means adding or removing layers, so you need a place to store your clothes. Suddenly, the rack not only makes sense, it seems more like another “must-have” piece of gear. The trunk bag, or whatever you choose to mount on it, will also keep spray from the rear tire off your back. Of course, it also makes a rear fender a tight fit, but I can’t comment on that yet, as my fender has not arrived as of the date of this review*.
This addition muddies the water a bit when it comes to the cost of owning a fat bike. Whether your bike was $500 or $2,500, it’s something you will probably want either way.
Cost breakdown so far:
2016 Gravity Bullseye Monster $499
Take-off bar and stem $20
Axiom Fatliner rack $60-ish
*The fender install will be covered next week.