Specialized Fatboy Fat Bikes

4.45/5 (11 Reviews)
MSRP : $1850.00

Product Description

Specialized Fatboy 2014: All the fun of a fat bike with the performance of a Specialized. The Fatboy combines a lightweight frame and fork with 4.6

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Reviews 1 - 11 (11 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by ak-rider a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2016

Strengths:    Came with big wide tires for the time and looked really cool. The bike is really comfortable and fits me well. The handling is good and it doesn't do anything weird. It feels pretty sporty when you ride it. The frame was made in Taiwan so I hold that in higher regard than China. Stand over clearance is pretty good but could be better. I like that it came with 90mm wheels.

Weaknesses:    Needs better standover clearance. The brakes are noisy and not as nice or as easy to adjust as Avid BB7's. I've torn my snowpants by them getting chewed up by the big ring. That's annoying and if it came with a bash ring like my wife's Framed Minnesota that wouldn't have happened. The front derailleur cable somehow flipped into the rear tire once day on my commute to work and the end got all frayed out. The front derailleur is mounted really close to the rear tire. The rear wheel is a pita to get lined up and into the dropouts are rear caliper. It fits bud and Lou tires just fine but there isn't much room left available for a larger/wider rear tire. Specialized lied when the advertised the bike could take 5" wide tires. It can't and because of that I won't ever buy another Specialized again. I don't like being lied to. It's a big deal to me now because I want to install, larger wider tires and I can't on the rear of this bike. I'm now looking to buy a different bike that can accept wider tires.

Bottom Line:   
I've owned and ridden mysmall frame '15 Fatboy SE since February of '15. I mostly ride it during the winter and also commute to work on it. I upgraded to 4.8 Bud/Lou tires last winter and they helped the bike float better than the stock 4.6's. Overall it's been a good bike. I've had to adjust the derailleurs for it to shift better. It came from the dealer not shifting properly onto the big gear without throwing the chain half the time. The brakes are noisy and kind of grabby. They work but BB7's are nicer. I was surprised to find that my wides Minnesota 2.0 came with some nicer components than my Fatboy. Considering my Fatboy cost 1/3 more money that bothered me a bit. I see they've dropped the MSRP down to $1400 this year but it is still around a1/3rd more and the frame isn't that much nicer.

I ride my bike more in the winter than summer and it's done well on explorer type rides. I've got a rear rack and bag on it so I like that it came with rack mounts. The triangle is a little tight for water bottles but I like that it has three mounting locations. If this bike was able to fit the new 2XL snowshoe tire I'd be content but because it can't on the rear I'm now looking at different bikes. Wanting bigger, wider tires so I can float better and not being able to fit them on this bike is my biggest gripe.

I read a number of posts about people having rear hub issues with the Fatboys. I've not had any problems but I also don't pop and bang my gears when hammering on it in deep snow. I try to shift as smoothly and gently as possible and that's not always easy to do when you start sinking and bogging down in snow.

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Duration Product Used:   2 yrs

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   The Bicycle Shop Anc

Similar Products Used:   Boris x5
Framed Minnesota 2.0 women's specific

30+ years of owning and riding bike shop quality rigid, hardtail and FS mtbs and 10 yrs around road bikes.

Bike Setup:   Bud/Lou tires, rear rack and bag

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by cwalton a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: August 22, 2015

Strengths:    1. Sand 2. Sand. 3. More sand.

Weaknesses:    1. Can't climb up a steep hill in soft sand. 2. Can't climb straight up a dune face.

Bottom Line:   
I have never bought a new MTB in my life, having always looked for a deal ever since my very first Schwinn Sierra. When I moved to the desert, I pretty much stopped riding except occasionally after a big rain storm because the sand here is so bad, the riding was just not fun. My old '96 Cannondale just sunk and churned through most of the riding. I was a little nervous buying a bike without testing it in the actual conditions I ride, but went ahead because of all the positive feedback.
YESSSSSSS! This bike can go anywhere and ride through anything the desert has to offer. The two weakness I put in above are somewhat tongue in cheek. You need a moto to do those, but I never expected to be able to ride through the dunes near my house and even those were easily passed. Basically, the fatbike has opened up the entire desert to me in every direction from my house.

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Purchased At:   Palm Desert Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   None. First fatbike.

Bike Setup:   Stock Specialized Fatboy SE

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bret Watson a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: August 11, 2015

Strengths:    4.6 tires
Power on hills
Supreme handling on tight, technical rides

Weaknesses:    Rear hub failure
Brakes could be higher end

Bottom Line:   
I ride a M (17.5") modified with longer stem and riser bars. I'm 5'10" with short legs and long upper body. Have had factory supplied hub replaced twice in first 4 months and now have Hope EVO hub. Hope hub recently had to be rebuilt - grateful both Specialized and Hope stood behind hub warranty. When Hope hub failed it took out SRAM X7 derailleur so replaced w/ X9. In spite of these early failed parts issues, the bike is a blast. Much more power and traction on hills than my 29-er and just plain safer on technical rides. For longer rides you will need to inflate to over 10 psi. I ride 8 in back and 6 in front on shorter more technical rides. In winter I rode 4 in back and 2 in front. Great fun on packed single track or snowmobile trails for year round riding.

Because Specialized is one of the better fat tire bike companies, I think they will work out kinks along the way that I experienced or look for a second hand bike like mine that has better replacement equipment than original.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by PrairiePeddler

Date Reviewed: April 14, 2015

Strengths:    Geometry, price, and tires

Weaknesses:    Chain suck issues and brakes

Bottom Line:   
Bought new in 2014 got the standard model (not expert) in a medium (i'm 5'9"). My buddies have fat bikes so i rode a salsa mukluk and surly pugsley. I thought the salsa was just as good especially if you want smaller tires right away, but for the price the specialized has it beat. I'm not a specialized fan boy because they are such a big company i've stayed away from their mtb's. I've had some chain suck issues right away and i think i have it fixed now after taking it back to the shop for maintenace. The brakes are terrible so factor in another $200 for xt brakes (totally worth it). At times i wish my tires were smaller than 4.6 because i have to lower and add more often than my friends with less width tires. Great on sand with the tire size though. 3 water bottle mounts are nice and i added a cane creek thudbuster seat post for my back on mtb singletrack. The gearing and grip lets my climbs things i can't on my mountain bike.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by john a Racer

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2014

Strengths:    Reasonable weight, carbon fork, wheels and tires

Weaknesses:    Brakes, top tube shape.

Bottom Line:   
I converted the wheels to tubeless fairly easily using gorilla tape. I consider this a must for rocky and rooty New England. The bike bounces around much less with lower pressure and I have better traction and less flats. I also cut the bars to 710 mm. and will eventually switch to a carbon bar and ESI chunky grips. It is my personal preference to make the ride a little less harsh on my hands. I also put on my own pedals.
The components on my 2015 base model that I am reviewing work well except for the Tektro brakes which seem as if they came off a box store bike. They do work, but those who are used to better brakes will not be satisfied. I banged the inside of my knee twice on the top tube in technical sections and while the flat horizontal shape looks cool, it creates an edge that is quite painful when whacked hard. It is not something that has happened often, but the possibility is there.
The bike is a blast to ride. The Specialized tires work well and and at 4.6 in, you don't have to choose a line, you are the line ! The shifters work fine and the seat is surprisingly comfortable. I have ridden it with my team mates when they are on their race bikes and still keep up. I think people new to Fat Bikes would be surprised to see how well they do up hills and how fast they are despite their appearance. I have yet to ride it in snow. Overall the bike is a great value for a reasonably light entry level fat bike.

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Favorite Trail:   Putney race course

Duration Product Used:   2 weeks

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   lbs

Similar Products Used:   Rented a pugsly on vacation, fun but very heavy

Bike Setup:   stock except converted the wheels to tubeless, cut handlebars to 710mm and put on my own clipless pedals

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Doug Sloan a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 30, 2014

Strengths:    Value, traction, function

Weaknesses:    A little bouncy

Bottom Line:   
I bought the Fatboy last week and did a 2 1/2 hour ride on a very difficult singletrack I've been riding since 1997. I have been riding a Giant NRS Air carbon since 2006.

Bar none, this is the most fun I've ever had on a bike. It simply goes. No drama. No having to goose it hard to get up short, steep, loose sections. No balancing act climbing 35% grades. No front tire washing out on sharp turns in loose dirt. Can brake on the steepest dh sections with only back brake and no skidding. Plows right through and across ruts, rocks, roots, and off camber side slopes. Grip is absolutely incredible. Feels much more secure, but still responsive when you want it to be.

This is what mountain bikes should be. Capable of going anywhere with confidence. Can't wait for snow this winter.

Mechanically, the bike works perfectly. Gear changes crisp and certain. Steering is surprisingly light and quick. Do plan to change out the brakes for XTs with 203 mm rotors front and back, as I ride on some very steep and long hills in the Sierras. The stock brakes seemed to be over heating.

Noticed a little bouncing when pedaling higher rpms with low resistance. This is running 8 psi in both tires. Not a bad tradeoff for everything else the bike does.

These bikes, to me, are all about the tires. The Specialized 4.6" tires are extremely grippy in dirt and loose conditions, at least. They feel like having about 2" of suspension, albeit without damping. I chose this bike in particular because of wider tires, rims, and frame. Go big or go home.

Did have to modify my 1 Up rack (the kind that clamps only the tires at each end) to fit the tires. Just went to the hardware store and bought some spacers and longer bolts. Also, getting an adapter for the wider fork spacing for the roof rack. Not difficult, but got to plan on that.

Love the bike.

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Favorite Trail:   San Joaquin River Trail near Fresno, CA

Duration Product Used:   week

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Stevens in Fresno

Similar Products Used:   None, really. Giant NRS Air with 2.5" tires "similar"?

Bike Setup:   Specialized Fatboy, stock. Candy pedals. I'm 5'9", and the medium fits fine.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tommillermn a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: May 13, 2014

Strengths:    weight, price, ride quality, 4.6" tires and 190mm hubs quickly becoming THE fatbike standard

Weaknesses:    10sp gripshift too fat for my small hands. Stems very short in all sizes.

Bottom Line:   
I am a Specialized dealer, so I am somewhat biased, but I've also been on a Surly Pugsley since model year one and put thousands of miles on fatbikes in all conditions. Specialized did their homework and produced one of the best values in a fatbike out there. Features like the 4.6" tires mated to their own 95mm rims and 190mm hubs, and a carbon fork all mean they put out some serious effort to produce this bike.
I did swap out the stem for the reach I prefer as well as a slightly narrower bar with more bend and my favorite saddle. I was so disappointed in the 10sp gripshift. I could barely wrap my hands around them in warm weather and this was made worse with heavy gloves. I ride 9sp gripshift on my other bikes and had never had any problems. I swapped them out for some X-7's which have made things much more comfortable.
On the trail, this is the first fatbike I could actually stand up to pedal and not feel like it was a waste of time. Geometry is quick, which is good or bad depending on where you ride and who you are. There is a huge improvement in soft snow riding over the 4" tires I was previously on. Balance on the bike and handling is impeccable. After my last pinch flat in the rear, I did notice that the wide tires with 10-13psi in the rocks are actually much softer riding than the 8-10psi I regularly ran in Pugsley, and with better traction climbing and cornering too. I simply love this bike and feel it's the newest generation in the evolution of the fatbike. What you're getting for your dollar is better than any other bike I've seen. I even sold my carbon hardtail 29er and never regretted it. If you deal with six months a year of bad weather like we do, this could be the only mountain bike you need.
It will be interesting to see where Specialized goes from here; S-Works carbon Fatboy, Fatboy FSR, Fatboy 29+, please, please, please make some studded tires that people can actually buy.

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Favorite Trail:   Toten Pond, CdA, Idaho

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   The Bike Shop at Hug

Similar Products Used:   Thousands of miles on Surly Pugsley

Bike Setup:   Modified stem, shifters and handlebar, as well as trigger shifters

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Doug a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2014

Strengths:    Best bang for the buck
Climbs well
Shifts well

Weaknesses:    Low handlebar
Cannot change out the rear cassette carrier
Expert model not worth $500 more (maybe a strength)

Bottom Line:   
Wow. Just fun! Needed- definitely not. Great build for the money on the base model. Even the Draco 2 brakes work well. Switched them out for Formulas and then put them back on. The Sram 7 twisters shifts better than all my upper owned components. A Oneup 42t cog will fix whatever that rear carrier limits. Riser 30* swept back bar, riser stem, Gravity Dropper, clutch derailleur and tubeless put it in the OMG state. I'm tempted to switch my profession to paper boy.

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Favorite Trail:   The one I'm on

Duration Product Used:   4 months

Price Paid:    $1850.00

Purchased At:   Wheatridge- they're

Similar Products Used:   Parking lot rides of most

Bike Setup:   See above

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jisch

Date Reviewed: April 14, 2014

Strengths:    Relative light weight, excellent geometry, great tires

Weaknesses:    Short stem, no spacers

Bottom Line:   
I have ridden a Pugsly for a few rides and owned a Motobecane FB4 for a few months, so my fat bike experience is somewhat limited. I had done some low cost stuff to bring the FB4 down to 35lbs or so and I thought it rode better than the Pugs. After owning the FB4 for a few months I knew that a fat bike would be a great second bike and that it was worth dropping the cash to get the Fatboy. I did this without ever riding one, based on what I read about them, perhaps not my smartest move, but it proved out.

I have ridden the Fatboy for about 100 miles on snow and another 50 or so on dirt. It is a REALLY fun bike, I know its only 4 or 5 pounds lighter than the FB4, but it feels a lot faster and easier to whip around. I converted the tires to split tube tubeless (easy money) and saved some serious rotating weight. I also swapped out to riser bars and a stem with rise on it.

My only complaint about the build from Specialized - if you're going to spec a zero degree rise stem and handlebar at least leave some spacers on top for the taller riders - the steerer tube is cut short and leaves no room for adjustment. Not to mention if you crash the brake lever comes in contact with the top tube (and I have the chips in my paint from my second ride to prove it!).

Other than that small nit, its a great bike, really enjoying riding it both in the snow and in the dirt. I have friends who hate the whole fat bike thing, so its not for everyone, apparently. When it comes time to pick a bike for a racer-boi or technical ride, I'll pull the RIP9 off the wall, but if its a ride where I want to have the most fun possible and speed is not important, then the Fatboy gets the nod.

I ride bikes because its fun, its hard to imagine having more fun than I have on a fat bike, and the Fatboy brings that up a notch from there. I highly recommend this bike!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Paul a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2014

Strengths:    Light weight frame and carbon fork. But let's be honest, fatbikes are pigs, so a pound or two in either direction isn't a deal breaker in my book.

I can't remember the last time I rode platform pedals, but they are entirely appropriate for a bike like this. And these pedals have some serious bite.

The drivetrain shifts flawlessly.

This bike has an XC feel to it. XC riders will feel right at home. Trail riders may opt for a wider riser bar.

Weaknesses:    My biggest complaint is the tires. The size and tread pattern are fine. It's the tire quality that's the problem. Specialized tires are notorious for having blemishes that create a wobble or hop. I've ran into this with their XC race tires, road tires, and now with their 4.6" Ground Control tire. It can be really annoying on pavement above 10 mph. The rear of my bike has a nasty hop. However, off road you won't notice it.

I consider Specialized a high-end brand, so the lack of a chain-stay protector seems kind of silly. I wrapped the stay with an old tube to quiet the chain slap.

Being used to Shimano XT or XTR brakes, I find the Deore BR-505 unimpressive. However, there's so much tire on the ground that when you grab a handful of brake, executing a stoppie isn't out of the question. So, I suppose I can't complain.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the Fatboy Expert.

The bike may have 26" wheels, but when placed side by side with my 29er, there's no difference in height. These tires are really big. Subtle changes in tire pressure can have a huge impact on ride quality. The bike was delivered with 13 psi front and rear. My first ride was harsh and borderline frightening in the rough. I'm currently running 9 psi in the rear and 8 in the front. That mellowed things out considerably. In snow it can go even lower.

I wouldn't buy this as your only bike, but I have no regrets whatsoever. Fatbikes are just plain cool.

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Favorite Trail:   Exploration Trail, Running Springs, CA

Duration Product Used:   2 months

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   Bear Valley Bikes

Bike Setup:   Bone stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tim Walsh a Racer

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2014

Strengths:    Best value in fatbikes
On snow performance is a signature strength - fast, stable, easy to maneuver, great climber
A proven snow bike race performer

Weaknesses:    None compared to my previous snow mounts

Bottom Line:   
I was considering upgrading my current fat bike until I saw the specs of the Fatboy. For about the same price as my sought after upgrades, the Fatboy offered all the items under consideration and at a considerably lower weight. Specs are not riding, so I took advantage of a number of on snow fat bike demo opportunities (lot’s available here in Minnesota) and purchased the Fatboy. In my opinion, nothing was even close to the Fatboy in performance at this price point.
I made two upgrades at time of purchase, both free from my LBS. First, I replaced the stock inner tubes with Specialized 2.3-3. The weight savings was 1.5 lbs., bringing the total bike weight to 30.2 lbs. with my Candy 3 pedals. The second upgrade was a 90mm stem. The stock 60mm was almost painfully short for my 5’8’’ height. The improvement in comfort and handling was significant.
I have put about 200 snow miles on the bike so I will share a few observations. The bike’s handling is more XC than most other snow bikes; aggressive riding position, faster, more responsive handling. On snow performance is excellent, with the lightness apparent uphill and the wide tires/wheels offering excellent on snow float and stability. There are more aggressive tires than the Ground Controls, but so far they reflect a good balance of easy rolling and solid grip. I may eventually want something with greater uphill snow bite for the rear, but so far, they have worked well. I am impressed with the drive train performance. The shifting is both smooth and precise and the Grip shifters work extremely well with pogies. Brake performance (hydraulic) to date is much better than offered by mechanicals and the hydraulics have worked well in temp’s ranging from 40F to -8F. On an ascetic note, the bike reflects an impressive attention to fit/finish detail and is beautifully crafted.
Specialized has made an impressive entry into the snow bike market. The Fatboy is well worth you consideration.

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Favorite Trail:   Elm Creek

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Eriks

Similar Products Used:   Surly, Salsa, 9:zero:7 owned or demo

Bike Setup:   Stock

Reviews 1 - 11 (11 Reviews Total)

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