At this year’s Lost and Found Race, Tobin Ortenblad used a Specialized Crux that had been his cyclocross race bike several years ago. Some riders, like Dax Downey, added the extra challenge to the 60-mile race by competing with a singlespeed All-City Def Wish, equipped only with a coaster brake.
Downey wasn’t the only one willing to challenge himself with an odd machine. Despite using alloy Surly Marge Lite wheels, Mark King’s machine probably used more carbon fiber than anyone else on the day as he brought a Framed Alaskan Fat Bike, equipped with a carbon fiber frame and fork. He finished in at a respectable 7:14:19, in the top 100, which ranked near splitting the field.
“Hard,” King said at first of the course and his effort. “I went too hard at the beginning trying to keep up with everyone, and then I just died on the climb.”
His bike is an interesting marriage of cyclocross and fat bike parts, and as Framed doesn’t offer a stock dropbar model, he built it up himself. “I just ended up building it on Thursday night [which was several days before the race], and it is tubeless. I ran it at 14 (psi) and that was actually a little hard for this course.”
The Framed fat bike is one of the few models awarded with an EFBE approval (a rigorous German test whereby nearly 7/10 frames fail to meet their standards.) The company offers claimed weights of the frame at 1460g with the fork coming in at 660g. King estimates that his own full build comes out to 28 pounds.
The front fork can fit in a standard 29 x 2.0 mountain bike tire, but most will likely use it for the fat bike-oriented 26 x 4.8 maximum. Don’t expect to swap the front wheel with your cyclocross 15mm thru axle hub, however, as the fork is designed with a 150mm width in mind.
King, a Livermore, CA resident, owns 15 bikes in total. “I race cyclocross as well,” he reported. “This was harder than Three Peaks. I’ve done gravel races on a 29er, a 26er, a Volagi cyclocross bike, and this bike.”
The real question was whether or not he would race this race on this bike again.
“Yea,” he said, before adding, “well probably.”
See the slider below for more shots of King’s Framed Alaskan build that finished the Lost and Found 100 mile race. More info: framedbikes.com.