Image Credit: FRAMED
Love mountain biking, and want to do it literally year-round? Fat bikes are the answer; with much wider tires than your regular mountain bike, they create much less ground pressure, so the bike can be ridden across softer ground, like snow, almost like it’s floating. And while most of the best fat bikes out there can be pretty expensive, there are a few excellent models that might better fit your budget – like the FRAMED Minnesota 2.0. 26”
Last year, we crowned the Gravity BullsEye Monster the king of budget fat bikes. This year, hats go off to Framed, who essentially dominates this tier of the fat bike market. We imagine that, as a company based out of Minnesota, they know a thing or two about biking in cold, snowy weather. The Minnesota 2.0 isn’t the fanciest fat bike in their lineup, but it is the most affordable, coming in at well under $1000.
Why’s it so good? It’s got an oversized 6061 aluminum frame, with a tight wheelbase and geometry that makes it easy to control and wield on tight singletrack and loose terrain. This is paired with a Sram X5 2×9 drivetrain for smooth shifting at all speeds; Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes for stopping on a dime (yup, even in snow), and those beautiful 80mm wide, aluminum alloy FRAMED rims. The 26” tires also give it more agility when handling all kinds of terrain and trails, even if it doesn’t have the sheer speed of 27.5’s or 29’s. FRAMED also says a full stock setup comes in at 34-pounds; on the heavier side for sure, but not bad for the price point or the increased wheel width.
Every FRAMED bike frame has a 3-year warranty, while all the components have a 1-year warranty. For well under $1000, this bike is an incredible value – it’s not nearly as fast or premium as higher-priced models, but for most of us who don’t have much to spend on a fat bike, there’s really no better alternative. It’s miles ahead of last year’s pick – the Gravity BullsEye – but doesn’t add much to the price tag.