Carbon Fat Bike (first of its kind)

In Minneapolis today, just a mile from GearJunkie headquarters east down the city’s famous Greenway Bike Path, an exciting chapter in the fat-bike story was unveiled.

At Freewheel Bike Shop, during the second-annual Winter Bike Expo, the self-proclaimed “world headquarters of winter riding fanatics,” Freewheel owner Kevin Ishaug lifted a black sheet off of a prototype bike to oohs and ahhs from a crowd.

murphy fat bike.jpg

Minneapolis Bicycle Co.‘s Murphy carbon fat bike

The bike, code name “Project Murphy,” is a spanking new prototype carbon-frame fat bike. The Murphy is not just a lighter, more expensive way to go fat. It has some details that could change the way people ride fatties, including its unorthodox design with raised chainstays that allow an 83mm bottom bracket.

This bottom bracket is the same width as used with standard cranks, not fat-bike specific cranks, which are set wider to the chagrin of some riders. The setup will help get rid of that bow-legged, knee-straining pedal stroke that currently plagues some ultra-wide bikes.


Murphy at the Winter Bike Expo

The Murphy will be sold under the banner of Minneapolis Bicycle Co., a new brand announced by Ishaug. The startup company has no web site. Contact Freewheel Bike Shop for more information.

The bike is compatible with SRAM’s new XX1 drivetrain. In case you aren’t privy, that’s one front chainring and an 11-sprocket rear cassette. It’s a great setup for light, simple, full-range gearing.

Geometry lands squarely between the current standard options of the Surly Pugsly and the Salsa Mukluk.


Unorthodox design with raised chainstays

Its 44mm headtube and suspension-corrected geometry will allow the use of Cannondale’s Lefty suspension fork. Never before has saying “I’m fat and squishy” caused such envy among your riding buddies!

Finally, think chains are outdated? The Murphy will work with belt-drive systems.

The one-off skunkworks model shown at the Expo today weighed 27 pounds on an in-house scale sans pedals. The maker said a production model could shed as much as another pound, making it among the lightest fatties ever built.


SRAM XX1 drivetrain

Production is under way and Murphy bikes may be available from Freewheel Bike Shop as soon as the end of January, Ishaug noted.

Made-in-the-USA bonus: The frame construction takes place in Minnesota. The Murphy will cost $2,400 (frame only) when it comes to market early next year, ready to roll on snow as one of the stealthiest fatties ever made.

—Contributing editor T.C. Worley reported from the Winter Bike Expo in Minneapolis. He reviewed the Salsa Mukluk fat bike last winter. On GearJunkie, the “fat” category got coverage last week in the article “Nation’s Largest XC Ski area opens to ‘Fat Bikes’.”

carbon frame fat bike.jpg

Murphy frame for sale starting this winter for $2,400

Posted by Ted - 12/08/2012 10:27 PM

Carbon FAT isn’t new.

Posted by T.C. Worley - 12/08/2012 10:38 PM

They are not claiming “first carbon fatbike”. They are bringing new innovations to the fatbike and happen to be building them in a carbon platform.

Posted by Ted - 12/09/2012 06:33 AM

but the title for this entry is claiming that. That is what I am saying.

Posted by Sean - 12/09/2012 11:34 AM

They have laughable prototyping skills. Graeme Obree achieves a better level of finish and build quality with recycled saucepans and washing machine parts.

Posted by Dave - 12/10/2012 02:10 PM

It was a prototype for proof of concept (that worked and was raced) and was part of an event to show people where things could go for the fat tire world and see what people had to say…look at a Shimano prototype picture of the recent Saint group or the prototype pics of Sram’s XX1 group…they are not pretty by any means but allowed an idea to become a reality and move the industry forward.

Posted by tj - 12/10/2012 04:59 PM

It is new. Who else has raised stays with an 83mm BB on a fat bike. The title is totally accurate. Laughable prototyping skills? Let us see your contributiong to innovation in this area. Stop trolling and be more open minded.

Posted by Drew - 12/11/2012 09:03 AM

I was fortunate enough to ride the bike last Saturday. It was nice to pedal a fat bike and not have pains in my knees. Also it doesn’t flex around when your climbing like other fat bikes that I’ve rode. I want one.

Posted by - 12/23/2012 08:31 PM

holy crap those tires are huge!! i bet it is awesome on some jumps.

Posted by Tom Hallam - 12/29/2012 08:27 AM

11-tooth rear cassette? I think you mean “11 sprocket rear cassette”. There is nothing new or unusual about 11 tooth.

Posted by Editor - 12/30/2012 02:19 PM

Tom, made that correction, thank you.

Posted by Del V - 03/03/2013 05:16 PM

Ted, you missed the words, “(first of its kind)”. Perhaps, you missed elevated chainstays, and standard sized bottom bracket, too?

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