Borealis Bikes Yampa XX1 (2014)
Superlight carbon fat bike
- Lightweight carbon frame
- Fat bike abilities
- Best in class
- It's love or hate. Fat bikes are still a fairly specific product.
The Borealis Yampa is the most beautiful frame you will ever see on a fat bike. The craftsmanship in the carbon is flawless and the geometry of the frame fits like a glove. It is a hard tail but the massive tires running at 10 psi (yes that’s right, 10 psi) or below add the feeling that you have a couple of inches of travel in your suspension front and rear.
The frame geometry makes this bike responsive but comfortable and the specially designed rear seat stays allow flex for a comfortable ride while the massive bottom bracket creates lateral stiffness. Pressure on the end of the crank creates forward movement very efficiently, at least for a fat bike anyway!
Is it just for snow rides in Alaska? No way. I rode this bike on some quite challenging and somewhat technical terrain: loose river rock, sharp gravel, ruts, mud roots sticking from the ground and even snow. Several slow moving uphill sections required all of my bike handling and balance skills, as did the fast sandy downhills and quick direction changes. It handled everything on the trail like a champ, and climbed surprisingly well. In particular it really performed well in the sand. There were several long sections of deep sand and the Borealis rolled through with no real effort. It tracked straight and didn't sink. This is, after all, the terrain most suited to these types of bikes.
The bike comes with SRAM XX1 or X.9/X.0 components which performed flawlessly as you would expect and are a great fit for a fat bike. The frame in medium size is a mere 1,270 grams. Yes that’s right, 1,270
grams. This incredibly stiff frame, paired with its super model lack of weight makes it stand-alone in its field.
As good as the Yampa is, it still has a limited appeal. One of our testers said it was a great bike and awesome fun but he would think twice about laying out money for one. As a fat bike this is best in class, but you've gotta have the conditions to appreciate it.
The Borealis Yampa XX1 is the pinnace of fatbike racing platforms. This bike features a lightweight but tough carbon frame and fork. This bike is designed to excel in conditions other bikes would fail in...snow, ice, mud, sand, gravel. This adventure beast has the SRAM XX1 drivetrain handling things with skill, and components from Race Face, Truvativ, and WTB round out the package.