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Inside the Outdoors with Steve Kaczmarek, Borealis Fat Tire Bike - Video Interview

In this episode of our Inside the Outdoors, I interview Steve Kaczmarek, Founder and CEO of Fat Bike, LLC, maker of the Borealis brand of fat bikes.

Steve formed Borealis Fat Bikes in 2013 by utilizing his track record of successful start-ups to implement operational procedures that drove the Colorado Springs-based company through exponential growth during the first two years. 

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Borealis is the title sponsor of the World Fat Bike Championships, held in Crested Butte, Colorado.
“Fat bikes are the hottest thing on two wheels, and Borealis is thrilled to be a leader in this category.” Our goal is to produce the lightest, most technically advanced fat bike products while offering our customers the best service, best price and largest inventory for all their fat bike needs.
Steve is an avid outdoorsman and grew up in the competitive sailing arena where the lightest, fastest designs and products were demanded. After moving to Colorado where large bodies of water are hard to find, Steve identified mountain biking as his preferred activity. Just following Steve’s first Fatbike ride, he was able to combine mountain biking with his extreme understanding of carbon fiber and exotic materials from sailing into what is now recognized as the World Leader in Fatbike Technology.
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As Steve explained, fat bikes have revolutionized the ability of cyclists to get outdoors in the winter. When the snow falls, cyclists no longer have to swap their bike rides outdoors for indoor trainers or spin studios. Fat bikes have tires between 4 and 5 inches wide. This allows bikers to run on super low tire pressure. Lower tire pressure, wider tires allow a much higher level of traction, making it easier to ride on snow.

Fat bike riding requires you to engage your core muscles more than when riding a normal bike and we all know how important core power development is for maintaining our health. Even with wider tires and lower pressures, the snow presents a more slippery surface creating increased balance challenges which require a strong core to maintain balance. A stronger core helps you make smoother and more efficient pedal turns.


Some things you should know about the brand are:

1. Their product line-up expanded a ton this year

Maintaining its rapid upward growth trajectory, Borealis has added two new bikes and a high-end carbon fiber fat bike wheel to its product line-up. The Crestone is the company’s self-proclaimed “state-of-the-art” carbon fiber fat bike frame aimed at giving riders the best possible riding experience thanks to fun-inspired geometry tweaks and lower overall weight. Borealis says it challenged staffers to utilize an entirely new computer generated design process, which helped reduce waste in manufacturing along with reduction of the frame’s heft.  

2. Quality control is extensive

Like all but the smallest of bike makers these days, Borealis’ bikes are made in Asia. Obviously that can be problematic when a company resides so far from where its products come to life. But Borealis stresses vigilance at every step of the production process, as witnessed by their extensive quality control checklist that guides the staff at its Colorado Springs workshop.

3. They sell a lot of wheels

Judging by the stacks and stacks of rims, fat bike wheels are a significant portion of the Borealis business plan. Indeed, the Fat Bike Company sells both house brand carbon and alloy wheels, along with HED’s high-end Big Deal wheelset. Good wheels, of course, are integral to the fat biking experience, both providing adequate width to allow these wide tires to realize full traction enhancing girth, and keeping weight down. The difference between a carbon wheel set up tubeless and a budget alloy rim plus tube is huge. Tubes alone can weigh a pound apiece.

For a full recap of additional write-ups about the Borealis brand, see the MTBR article and the article in Competitive Cyclist


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