The fat bikes we ordered from SE last spring finally arrived. At $899 they stretch the definition of affordable a bit, but they offer a lot for the money. These are 2014 models. The 2015s list for $1089. Once they pass the $1,000 mark they need to stand up to other strong, established models in the fat genre. But at $899 they can still play on price.
First of all, congrats on concise naming. F@. Get it?
Componentry is impressive out of the box: triple crank, hydraulic disc brakes, two water bottle mounts, burly rack bosses, double wall rims, outboard BB bearings and real replaceable chainrings. Also, before you install the stupid wheel reflectors the wheels themselves are very musical. Ting that brake rotor and the whole thing rings like a gong. I tried to record it with my phone, but its microphone did not capture the depth and complexity of the sound.
So far we have built up a Surly Moonlander, a regular Surly Pugsley or two, the Framed Minnesota 1.0 and two of these SE F@ bikes. My impression after test riding was that the Surly models rode surprisingly normally. The Framed bike felt kind of sluggish. The SE feels quite agile around the indoor test track. This is not just a joke. To clear the corners without knocking over a ski rack, a row of comfort bikes or a display of assorted sports paraphernalia, a bike has to be stable but responsive.
I still can't justify the acquisition. But if someone else wants to, here's a good option.