Empowering The Bicycle Traveler

It’s A Fat World, Joseph Ahearne Interview

The theme for the 2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show is fat-bikes! At least in the bike hermit’s feeble mind. First up is Joseph Ahearne’s take on the genre. I was able to squeeze in this interview when he wasn’t bombarded with customers and we talked about this bike as well as the other off-road tourer he brought to the show.

Inner tubes stretched over custom fender frames.

Carry All

Joseph Ahearne's Off Road Touring Bike

The double top tubes make the bike more rigid when loaded while still providing the desired ride qualities.

The rack suports the fender, the fender supports the rack. Integration of parts makes for a more reliable touring machine.

Stay tuned. More to come.

6 comments… add one
  • Donald Bybee March 3, 2012, 10:26 pm

    I was amazed at the number of builders at the show with fat tire biks. The trend seems to be getting fatter and fatter also. Now a Pugsly looks like a svelte cross country bike. Next I will have to go try one out somewhere.
    Sacramento, California

    • Bike Hermit March 4, 2012, 12:05 pm

      I am obsessed with the idea of a fat tire touring bike. But I may go with the “skinny tire” Pugsley.

  • Blake March 14, 2012, 8:01 am

    Leave it to America to celebrate Fat Things! I am amazed at the reality of working bike cities like Amsterdam and how the bike they use are much more functional workhorses.

    • Bike Hermit March 14, 2012, 9:29 am

      Good observation Blake. It seems I too get caught up in the tendency to think of bikes as toys or playthings. On the other hand, when looking at the pictures in the latest issue of Adventure Cyclist, I keep thinking how great 4″ tires would be on some of those rocky roads in Tajikistan or the muddy paths of Guatemala. A fat bike opens up a whole new world of possibility.

  • Blake March 15, 2012, 11:41 am

    I can see the application in Tajikistan or Guatemala, but seriously, how many residents of those countries can afford 4″ tire play bikes. My goal in life is not to turn the world in to bike trails so I can travel there to play with my new toy, it’s more about changing the way Americans view bicycling. We need to grow up and be adults about biking in the USA, no more sporting good toy bikes, real world commuters that keep your clothes clean! These FAT bikes are for the weekend warriors that have money to blow, and to overstimulate Americans as they say “how cute”. I am just a working Joe that needs a good bike to commute on, not a back breaking touring bike or fluorescent green mountain bike…


    • Bike Hermit March 16, 2012, 7:45 am

      Craig Calfee from Bamboosero (interviewed in another post here) works in developing countries to help the locals make bikes using indigenous materials. True, they then sell them as toys to Americans, but it also helps make useful bikes available to some who otherwise couldn’t afford them.
      I think it was the Bike Snob who said the best way to advocate for using a bike is being out there on the bike and representing in a responsible way. So thanks for doing that!


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