Work sucks. It’s been a hellishly busy and stressful couple of months at work, and it’s not getting better any time soon. Since I’ve been absent for a while, in lieu of my regular shitposting about Dogmeat and overpowered station wagons, here’s some long overdue impressions about this:

What it is: Motobecane Boris the Evil Brut from bikes direct, 1199 USD delivered.

Frame: hydroformed Al, with all the usual hard points for three water bottle cages, front and rear racks, and fenders. Black, in my case, although the paint isn’t anything to write home about.

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Brakes: Sram Guide RS, 180 mm rotors. These are hands down the best brakes I’ve ever ridden with. They’re easy to modulate, are mostly silent with organic pads, and they clear mud and twigs with ease.

Shifters/derailleurs: Deore XT 2x10. So crisp. I’m not super impressed with the Sram cassette the bike came with, but I’l wear through it and drop in a shimano to try to improve muddy upshifts. For now it’s perfectly serviceable.

Crank/BB: Raceface Turbine cinch. As a 6-4” 200 lb gorilla, about the best thing I can say is that it’s amazingly rigid. Unusually sharp teeth though, to the point of drawing blood one night on the trail.

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Wheelset: Sun Ringle Mulefüt 80 with novatec thru-axle hubs. They’re tubeless compatible, but I haven’t gotten around to converting.

Tires: Vee Rubber bulldozer 4.8x26. These are a pretty decent all-rounder, good in mud and cold snow, but they load up in wet slush. 120 tpi cording means I can run them down at 3-5 PSI for good float in soft snow, but they work equally well at 14-18 PSI for dry trails. Glare ice is a non-starter, but they actually grip really well on consolidated ice crust. I’ll be buying studded tires for next winter. Scroll down if you don’t believe me.

The verdict: If you don’t mind doing a bit of wrenching on a bike, buy.

I received the bike about three months ago, there hasn’t been a week I haven’t ridden at least twice since. It’s the ultimate season extender, but that versatility comes with its price: weight and speed. It’s sporting tubed 4.8" tires on 80 mm rims and I don’t know exactly how much it weights, but those two factors combined means it’s a pretty good workout. Unless you’re spending Carver or Lynsky or (hnnng) Moots type money, it’s hard to be a weight weenie on a fat bike on a budget.

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Here’s what it does well:

Spooky night rides alone in the Maine woods in the middle of winter? Check.
Off trail works just fine as long as the snow is transformed and hard-frozen. It’s like riding on styrofoam.
Groomed sled trails. Smooth and fast, as long as it’s cold enough to keep the snow firm. Carry enough speed and don’t be afraid of a little oppo.
Thawed sled trails. Rooted and rocky with a 50/50 mix of dry ground and melting corn snow/icy crust.
Dry, rutted, eroded, and rocky ATV trails. On this bike, it may as well be a flow trail. Point-and-pedal, and you’ll go.
I only had to put a foot down once.

What it does not do well:

Off camber hard frozen ice. I never said I was the brightest bulb. Thankfully I didn’t bruise anything except my ass and my ego.