Fat tyre bikes have been enjoying a renaissance recently. While more road cyclists discover the joys of upping a tire size and grinding some gravel, adventure cyclists, fat bikers and ‘bike packers’ astound us with epic overland journeys through sand and snow. Not to mention the onslaught of cyclocross season in the northern hemisphere. Here’s a genre-defying knobbly newcomer from Scotland’s Shand Cycles: their Fat Tyre Stoater.
Steven Shand stablished his workshop in 2003 and Russell Stout came on board in 2011 to help further build the business. They’ve been well received, too: one of their Stoater models won the 2013 Bespoked Bristol Award for Best Off Road Bicycle.
The Urban Dictionary definition of ‘Stoater’ reveals much about this bike’s character: a bigger, better version of the award-winning model, in that it can now accept up to 2.2″ 29er tyres for more versatility, comfort and traction over challenging terrain.
‘Liquid Frog’ is the nickname Russell gave to this Fat Tyre Stoater — an easy call — which he matched with Brooks‘ new vegan-friendly saddle, the Cambium. So far, reports have testified to the Cambium’s straight-out-of-the-box comfort and waterproof qualities.
Middleburn is a British manufacturer of high-quality components, established in the 90s, and is a familiar name to any old-school mountainbiker. The indestructible Rohloff hub sits at the other end of the chain, activated by a Co-Motion shifter — the preferred choice thanks to a wider diameter which offers improved grip in cold or wet weather.
Both Russell and Steven are passionate adventure cyclists, regularly riding the rugged Scottish hills that surround Livingston, experience which they then feed back into their frames. Considering the current surge of two-wheeled off-road adventuring, it’ll be interesting to watch what comes forth from the Shand Cycles workshop this year.