Six Months with the Surly Ice Cream Truck: A Three-Season Review – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor unless otherwise noted.

Six months ago, I hung up my modern mountain bike and began riding a fat bike with thumb shifters and cable brakes as my only bike. Accustomed to the niceties of lightweight wheels, four piston brakes, and an 11-speed drivetrain, I’ll admit I didn’t have a lot of faith in this experiment. I had a feeling I would be itching to get back on my other bike long before the snow melted.

You see, not especially long ago, I held some fairly strong opinions about fat bikes. I worked in mountain bike media, had access to all the newest technology, and was convinced that fat bikes were so far outside the realm of acceptable mountain bikes that I chose to write them off.


Deep down this conflicted with my ideals about biking. Honestly, I really would prefer to see people out riding anything than not riding at all. And who really cares what kind of bike someone wants to ride? Becoming a mountain bike reviewer had also meant becoming a snob.

I can’t say I wasn’t already a bike snob. Yes, any bike is better than no bike, but even amidst that very inclusive statement I am constantly determined to help people have better experiences on bikes. I seek not only to dial in my own bike’s ride but that of my riding partners. No matter what kind of bike you ride, the conversation of tire pressure and selection is constant – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


My early feelings on fat bikes were formed after riding the only bikes of the day, bikes from Surly that were developed out of touring platforms. The dilemma with rigid fat bikes is that huge undamped spring which results in a bouncy ride quality and noticeably unusual handling characteristics. To find balance between a tire that was too firm or too squidgy was basically impossible.

As bigger companies began to introduce fat bikes and market them as mountain bikes, I just wasn’t convinced that they were good mountain bikes. Claims like “with this much tire you don’t need suspension” are simply untrue. Airing down the tires caused its own issues outside of unpredictable performance: fat bike demos had a comically high number of people doing the deflated walk of shame.

Yet as this was happening – as my narrative charged forward – the undercurrent of simply finding fun on a bike was still there for me. John posted some photos of Ty Hathaway blasting his Pugsley, and I will admit this now: I revisited that photo set over and over for months, in awe of how unpretentious and playful it felt.


Last spring, RockShox announced the Bluto fork, and I recognized this as a turning point in the history of fat bikes. Rather than an inflated touring platform being marketed as the next thing in mountain biking, fat bikes could now accept some of the technological advancements that were truly making mountain biking better. Things like hydraulic brakes, dropper posts, and clutch derailleurs. Things I’m still admittedly a bit of a snob about when it comes to mountain bikes.

While I had initially objected to the marketers’ attempts to pitch off road touring bikes as mountain bikes, the fat bike market diverged with the advent of a widely available, affordable suspension fork. In July I had the chance to put in some hours on the Bluto on Surly and Salsa’s 2015 range of bikes, and my tune changed almost overnight. As my own place in life shifted from the coast of BC to the interior mountains, the pieces had finally come together to begin my practical research upon the true usefulness of the mountain fat bike.


It was late September, and things had just settled down after the craziness of Interbike. I was keen to get familiar with the Ice Cream Truck before our trails were covered with snow. The classic black Surly paint indicates that this is the Ops version of the ICT, with narrower 82mm rims and 3.8” tires as opposed to the 100mm and 4.8” combination on the eye catching, sparkly blue ICT we first saw back way back at FrostBike.

While I had been sitting on the Bluto for a while already, I figured I should give the ICT a shot in its stock garb. And you know what? It rode not unlike other rigid fat bikes. Sure, the longer top tube and shorter stem felt more mountain-bikey, but the problems inherent in the big undamped spring were still apparent. One ride and I knew I wanted some squish – and that Ty Hathaway is a boss. While I was doing the fork swap, I poached a few of my favorite parts off my trail bike: dropper post, higher rise bar, and grips.


I’m not sure if I can express this clearly enough: the Bluto absolutely transformed this bike. I went with 100mm of travel and the resulting head angle was a hair under 67º. The spring and damping up front allows much higher tire pressures without that bouncy feeling, with the added benefit that you won’t get as many flats. In fact, I’ve had one flat in six months, and that was due to laziness. I’m running 9-10 psi, which is quite a bit more than most people run on 3.8s.

Once the fork was on, it only took a few trail rides for me to conclude that Surly nailed the geometry with the Ice Cream Truck. Yes, the wheels and tires still have that weighty feeling, but the bike absolutely shreds descents. The insane grip provided by the Nate 3.8s is augmented by the Bluto’s smoothness and control. Off camber corners suddenly flatten out. And the compliance of the steel frame is strikingly apparent, even through big tires.

The Ice Cream Truck is long, low, and designed around short stems. The medium frame has a 615mm top tube, which is quite generous for its 18” seat tube – most companies would call that a large. I’m usually on the largest or second-largest frame a company makes, yet Surly makes three larger sizes of the Ice Cream Truck. In contrast to this, the head tube is relatively short across the board. I’ve got 30mm of spacers below my stem and a 25mm rise bar. If you’re tall, don’t cut your steerer blindly!

Thanks for the great shots, Vince! Photo Vince Boothe.

After a couple of months I was loving the bike so much that I was willing to overlook its perceived shortcomings. The weirdest thing was that I didn’t feel the need to replace the retro-grouchy cable brakes and thumb shifters. Sure, the BB7s are mushy and I can pull the levers right to the bar, but they have plenty of power even in steep terrain. And while the quality of the Microshift thumbies is excellent and they are a joy to use, they are not conducive to quick shifts in undulating terrain.

The only thing I really can’t excuse is the loose fit of the tires and rims. Sure, you can change a tire without levers, but setting these things up tubeless is like stepping back five years in the normal mountain bike world. I’m over it. As more companies put their efforts into fat bike technology, and more people want to ride them as mountain bikes, the wheel and tire interface will have to tighten up. Another quibble: Surly’s modular dropout system is more adaptable than a rear-facing dropout, but their 197×12 through axle – which uses bolts at both sides – is somewhat clunky in practice.


As winter came along and commuting in the snow became a reality, I switched up the Nates for Surly’s Bud and Lou 4.8s. 250 grams a tire is immediately noticeable, but these tires also ran significantly smoother and quieter than the Nates on pavement. However, when I had the chance to ride the 4.8s on trail back in Vancouver, I found myself wishing for the 3.8s. While the ICT is built around accommodating the biggest tires on the market, I personally prefer the way it rides on smaller rubber.

After a few visits to our local XC loop for some fun winter riding in December, we were hit with an absolute wall of snow. We had almost two feet of the stuff out our front door – so I built a pumptrack off the front deck. That was fun – but to be honest that dump of snow was debilitating. Fat bikes aren’t that great for riding in deep snow, which means packing trails.

As the only person with a fat bike in a 50 km radius, I felt pretty overwhelmed by the snowpack, and stuck with my front yard pumptrack for a few weeks. I was kickstarted off the couch by a ridiculous, yet awesome idea: a fat bike enduro race at the Rossland Winter Carnival. Just over 100 km from where I live, the fat bike communities in Nelson and Rossland are really jamming. We had almost 40 racers on a two-stage race with lots of camaraderie.


Soon after this we were actually starting to see ground again, and some of the lower elevation trails in the area were opening up. I hastily and happily switched back to the 3.8s and was stoked to shred brown pow instead of white. The prediction that I would be itching to get back on my 2.3s simply didn’t materialize. Instead, I’ve been scheming on what else I can do with this bike.

With a mountain bikepacking trip shaping up this summer, I feel like the Ice Cream Truck – with either the Bluto or the stock steel fork – would be a great choice. Yet I still question what to do about the wheels. The frame fits the largest tires currently on the market, but does that necessarily mean you need to fill all that space all year long? Sure, a fast-rolling, lightweight 26×3.8 tubeless setup would be rad, but what about experimenting with 27×3.0? I’m confident this bike is more of an all-rounder than it may at first appear.


You know that feeling of being one with a bike, riding it everywhere without worrying whether it’s perfect for the application? I’m there with the Ice Cream Truck. Six months of riding, through three seasons, has me seeing the platform’s versatility rather than its limitations. All in all, the Ice Cream Truck is classic Surly: bombproof, if a bit industrial, but with a familiar, homey feel once you’ve spent some time on it.

  • Doug Landers

    strong images.

  • Ted Barbeau

    Great essay. Once my east coast relocation settles down I’m hoping to throw a leg over a fat bike and rip some New England root and rock. I neeeeeed to know more about that cabin (did you build it yourself?). Also, I’m not sure who’s having more fun, Morgan or the duck toller :-)

    • Morgan Taylor

      Our little cabin is the legacy building on my aunt’s lakefront property. It was the only building here when they bought the land. She and her partner lived in this cabin, without running water or electricity, while they were building their house up the hill.

      We have cold water, heat with wood, and have an outhouse out back. A few years back they put in a breaker panel and a couple of small baseboards set to 5ºC so the place doesn’t freeze. It’s a pretty sweet gig!

  • Mike Lammers

    That’s useful feedback despite the lack of snow in Holland

  • Ultra_Orange

    I want one already but this was a great review.

  • Katherine Fuller

    I finally pulled the trigger on a fatbike in January to help survive the Colorado winter. It’s just a lowly Pugsley with an entry-level build kit but, hot damn, what fun! I, too, work in the bike industry and I, too, thought fatbikes were outrageously stupid when they came out. But now, I honestly think most people could easily get away with the Ice Cream Truck being their only bike … if they can keep a Bluto, rigid steel (or carbon) fork, dropper post, and two sets of rim/tire combos: 29×3″ and 26×4-4.8″ on hand for winter, summer, touring and everything in between. Or any fatbike, really. There’s just something extra rad about Surlys, and their steel frames ride great.

    • Morgan Taylor

      The diameter of 29×3.0 is surprisingly big! Given that I like the way the ICT rides on the smaller tires, I’m inclined to go with 27+ and play around with 3.0 and 3.25 etc. I fully agree that this could be a single bike quiver for some.

      • Katherine Fuller

        Good point. I think I’m being brainwashed by new industry “standards.” I’m looking to try 27.5×2.8 on my 29’er hardtail. Seems like it could be a sweet spot. Thanks again for the writeup! Seriously cool adventure you are on.

        • Michael

          Dropping to b+ especially 2.8 will have the obvious opposite effect of lowering the BB wether that matters to you depends on the terrain and riding style. I suspect that the purpose of the B+ vs full fat is to have a more trail friendly bike, around here (Vancouver Island) we tend to prefer higher BB for rock clearance. This issue could be further exacerbated by the wide BB pulling the pedals closer to the ground when leaned over…

          • Morgan Taylor

            Sorry, what do you mean by “the obvious opposite effect of lowering the bb”?

          • Michael

            Actually Morgan I don’t think I meant to say “opposite” just obvious. :)

          • Morgan Taylor

            Cool. Yeah, I hear what you’re saying about lowering the BB.

            The 27.5×3.0 is slightly smaller than the 26×3.8 – about 8mm in radius – but you have to run more pressure in the tires which means less sag from the tire itself. The lower BB (of either of these) has not been a problem for me, much less so than the significantly raised BB of 26×4.8 or potentially the even higher BB of a 29×3.0.

            This has been a fun experiment with a bike that is super adaptable due to its huge clearances. I
            really like the way the ICT rides on the 27.5×3.0 setup, as well as the
            26×3.8s, and as I wrote in this review, was not enamored with the 26×4.8s.

            If you wanted to geographically pigeon hole other people that like
            this kind of set up, I set up my hardtails Sea-to-Sky style. Regardless of where I’m riding, I like a bike that shreds, and slack and low is a good combo for that. I don’t have problems with pedal strikes, and love tech climbing.

          • Michael

            I dig your write up and experimentation, its great to learn from folks who have pushed the envelope on things like this. I recently built up a Krampus, I had low expectations coming from a so called all mountain 29er hard tail (I also ride your typical full squish AM steeds). I found the frame set to be practically elegant compared to the Nimble 9, a lovely twang when you tapped it vs the thud of the N9 and a similarly much more lively feel on trail. Despite the decidedly less AM geo of the Krampus and the massive wheels (I built up light) it rocks the trails and feels and rides light and the geo is spot on. I freakin love this thing its the first bike in a while I think about wanting to ride when I’m not riding and catch myself taking a glimpse at it whenever I walk by the garage… :) Whats the frame set of the ICT like thuddy or twangy ;)? I wonder how the new Wednesday compares?… Surly has definitely made me a fan, I’ll now consider more of their offerings.

          • Morgan Taylor

            Likewise, it’s comments like yours that help push my experimenting to its next stage (because it’s never done, is it?) and to hone my talking points for the next time I publish. The funny thing about this is I hand off my bikes on the regular to the people I ride with, so they can put an experience to the nerdery that I am always on about, and have some input.

            I can’t tell you if the ICT makes a thud or a twang, but it’s the ride quality that speaks for me. I’ve ridden numerous steel and aluminum fat bikes and the ICT rides very smooth. You’d think that 3.8″ tires might dampen the harsh feel of aluminum, but it’s still there, and the ICT stands out there.

            It does have decidedly “trail” geometry – long top tube for a given seat tube, very slack head angle – but it rides well. Companies are honing in on the ideal angles and offsets, but the Q brands were ahead of that curve. The Wednesday is Surly’s second iteration of their trail fat geometry, and while the numbers are slightly less aggressive than the ICT, I’m sure it rides great.

          • Jana Mansour

            Morgan, great to see this thread is still alive – I, too, enjoyed your writing and pictures very much. I am seriously considering the new Wednesday as my first do-everything mountain bike in over 25 years, and itching to read views on it. With its own “in-between” geometry, I am a bit lost about picking a size that will fit me right. I am 5’10” and felt I was “on the cusp” when I recently tried a Large ECR (not too many Surlys to try out around here). My sense was that I would enjoy a Medium most if picking a Krampus, which is the model I was leaning towards before I read more about the Wednesday and its versatility – I am thinking I’ll start having fun with the rigid fork and purchase a Bluto once I’ve figured out the lay of the land. What would you think is the right size Wednesday for me, given its geo? Cheers!

      • Enzo N.

        Sorry for the noob question, but you can put 27.5+ and 29+ tires on an ICT, right? What rims should I have?

        • Morgan Taylor

          Not a noob question, as this is relatively uncharted territory. I actually just got my 27.5+ setup on to the ICT last week, and will be reporting back in depth soon. But, since you asked… we went with WTB’s i45 Scraper rims and I’m using 3.0″ tires. This lowered the bb slightly which is ok by me! You probably want rims 35-45mm wide internally. Like Surly Rabbit Hole or WTB i45. 29×3.0 has a larger diameter than 26×4.8, for what it’s worth. I prefer the way the bike rides on smaller diameter wheels so I went for 27.5 – which Surly doesn’t make… yet. Given Salsa is now making a 27.5+ bike in the Pony Rustler, it’s safe to assume the QBP family is working on developing this size also.

          • Enzo N.

            Sounds awesome! Will wait for your review on the 27.5+ tires. I assume you used 150mm and 197mm hubs too for both the front and rear wheels respectively? I’ll be getting my ICT soon and am pretty much stoked to find out that it’s possible to fit plus-sized tires to the frame. If anything, check out the 29+ ICT build I saw in the net – It seems that the ICT is pretty versatile bike in the fat category.

          • Morgan Taylor

            Yes to 150/197. And yeah, the 29+ just barely clear the Bluto, which is a good indicator that they’d raise the bb higher than I’d like.

          • Enzo N.

            Hey Morgan! Hope all is good! Just wanted to ask, can you also put normal 29″ rims on a 197mm hub? Is it possible to convert the ICT to a normal 29er with wider hubs? Got my ICT a few weeks ago and I’m already considering different setups particularly for long distance rides by going half fat. Looking forward to your review also on the 650b+ tires!

          • Morgan Taylor

            You can build the wide hubs to whatever rims you want, as long as the outer diameter is in the right range. Surly and 45NRTH have tire geo charts for their fat tires which are helpful. Of course the smaller your tires are, the more out of place they will look. With all of the options in 27.5+ coming along now, I don’t think I’d bother going to a regular 29er tire on the ICT. What tires are you on now that are so slow? Nates possibly? I picked up a Maxxis Mammoth for the rear of my 26×4 setup and it rolls significantly better than the Nate. Just considering some more affordable options than an entire wheelset…

          • Enzo N.

            Spot on the Nates and I agree normal 29er would look out of place. Will check out those Mammoths for long distance rides. Thanks!

          • Morgan Taylor

            As I said I just put it on the rear. I still like the traction of the Nate up front, but I’m mountain biking it and not doing big distance.

  • boomforeal

    i REALLY enjoyed this! awesome review and photo set morgan

    • Morgan Taylor

      Thanks Omar, appreciate it!

  • Peter Hanchak

    This was a GREAT read!! More reviews like this please!

  • Hope Cyclery

    You killed it brother!

    • Morgan Taylor

      Couldn’t have done it without you, Jarrod! D.Fender going on for spring splashing!

  • Isaiah Kramer

    Nice review– avoids championing fatbikes as the penultimate bike while not discrediting their capability. What I really want to know is what kind of dog that is (the small one).

    • Morgan Taylor

      Denver is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriver. He’s about 35 pounds and 18 inches at the shoulder. And he’s wearing a Bluto in my avatar picture.

  • Nathan Schmoekel

    I see your complaint about the dick brakes being mushy…. It’s not the brakes it’s your cables!
    You NEED JagWire Ripcord “compressionless” housing.

    Back when bikes had interrupted cable routing cable housing compression was less of an issue, but now that we are running full length cable housing front to back the “flex monster” is a serious problem once again.

    Compressionless brake cable housing is basically shift housing that’s beefed up with a Kevlar braided jacket. It is seriously so effective that you will think you upgraded to hydraulics!

    • Morgan Taylor

      This is a good point, and one I would probably follow if I had to keep the BB7s on this bike. I’d also need to change the levers if I was to keep these brakes. Mushiness aside, I don’t love the ergonomics of these ones.

      Instead, I’ll pillage the 4-piston Elixirs off my carcass of a trail bike, and keep compressionless housing in mind for future projects. Thanks!

  • Ewain Wyatt

    Further to Nathan’s point, I found that Ashima S.O.S. multi compound pads to work really well with BB7 calipers, which along with compression-less cable outters totally transformed the brakes on my CX bike.

    And even though I’ve changed to SRAM hydraulics now, I’ve just installed better pads as the stock ones didn’t feel as good as the old properly set up BB7’s (with Shimano levers)!

    Well written article, was a joy to read and looking forward to reading how you get on with 27.5+ wheels and tyres, as suspect that could be a killer summer trail and dirt touring setup.

    And nice to see such happy looking dogs too! :D

    • Morgan Taylor

      One of the best things about BB7s is they’ve been around so long – and for a long time were better than hydraulics – that people really know how to get the most out of them. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

      I’ll pass the comment on to the dogs ;)

  • ABW

    I’m curious about the assertion that first gen fatbikes were an evolutionary branch off touring bikes. Within Surly, I’d always assumed the Pug’s foundation was the 1X1. Do you mean they literally worked from their touring geometry to arrive at the Pug? Or that the Pug was intended more as a touring rig than a mountain bike? Note – none of that is snark. All honest questions for my edification.

    • Morgan Taylor

      I think your second question gets at my thinking a bit better. The Pug was an adventure bike, not a mountain bike.

      We are all well aware that you can ride trail on anything with wheels, but dirt under knobby tires does not a mountain bike make. Geometry-wise, the early non-suspension-corrected fat bikes have more in common with touring bikes than with modern mountain bikes.

      Surly’s bikes have always been great at adapting to a wide range of purposes, and my assertion is that the 44mm head tube, long top tube, and slack head tube angle make the Ice Cream Truck not just a knobby tired bike on a trail, but a good mountain bike.

  • Darwin Hoel

    Nicely written, nicely balanced, well done!

  • Jay

    Nice Morgan, I really enjoyed reading that. I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent on the Specialized Fatboy (On 4.6″ tires) and found it much more adaptable and fun then I thought it was going to be.

    While it monster trucked over difficult terrain and had gob loads of grip, the one bone of contention I had was slow steering when trying to change direction quickly, which could be likened to trying to turn a big boat. I came to the conclusion this was due to low pressures needed without a fork and the large tire, but it could be down to geometry too.

    I’m interested to know if you found these traits with the smaller tyres and fork, or is it just a characteristic of fat bikes?

    I know I want a Fat or semi fat (27+ or 29+) bike, I just don’t know which…

    • Morgan Taylor

      That slow steering you describe is referred to in the fat bike world as “autosteer”. Part of the reason you feel it is because the huge contact patch really likes to stick where it is, and that is compounded by the high amount of rotational inertia.

      The other factor is the magical number we refer to as trail: the relationship between wheel diameter, fork offset, and head tube angle. Low tire pressures exacerbate the issue, while higher tire pressures like I run make for a very bouncy ride with a rigid fork.

      Trail is super important, and not something you can just guess on. Fat bikes are a unique engineering problem. As a result, not all fat bikes are created equal! In addition to aluminum frames riding harsher, that autosteer feeling is inherent in some designs.

      In some cases a smaller rear tire, slackening the head angle and increasing trail, can actually help to get these bikes handling a bit more “normally”. Running more tire pressure has helped me with this, but I couldn’t do it without the Bluto.

      However, make no mistake, beyond that feeling the weightiness of the wheels will still be there. I had the chance to ride a Bucksaw with Whisky’s carbon rims and it left me hopeful for the future of fat bike wheels.

      As for the bike in your future, I don’t think you’ll be short on options!

      • Carter K. Quinn

        A bit off point but, do you know what kind of dog Denver is? He looks a lot like my pup!

        • Morgan Taylor

          He’s a Duck Tolling Retriever.

  • CJones

    Poor Denver… traded for a Specialized!

    • Morgan Taylor

      One of my regrets in moving away from Vancouver is not having time to film a follow-up to that video where I got him back. Doh!

  • Adam Shine

    I was on the line between a Krampus or The ICT Ops. This piece pushed me more towards the ICT! I would just make it a single speed at least for non-winter riding. Truth: The pictures alone are so awesome that I almost forgot there was text to read…

    • Morgan Taylor

      I think a Krampus would be awesome! I’d love to ride one with a suspension fork back to back with the ICT on 29+. I’m positive the ICT has a slacker head tube angle, while the Krampus has a marginally shorter rear end. The practical research must continue!

      • Hope Cyclery

        I have a Krampus buil tup single speed right now. Its a bit faster but without the new MDS dropout (12×142-horizontal) the bike is a bit long feeling in the rear. I ran a Krampus last year with the vertical drops and although it was good, it just wasn’t quite as rowdy as the new bike.

        • Michael

          You meant with the mds the rear is longer right? The Mds drops unfortunately extend the rear end by a significant amount. If you want a short rear Krampus you have no choice but the swamp green machine with the horizontal drops.

          • Hope Cyclery

            I meant, what I said. The original MDS dropout was a bit long feeling, my krampus felt better single speed, with the wheel slammed forward. However there is a new MDS dropout 12×142 sliding that maybe you haven’t seen, that puts in closer to the slammed position of the horizontal dropout. Alas I’m just going to ride the krampus for a few more weeks, so it will just stay single speed, because I picked up a Salsa Deadwood to replace it.

  • Craig S

    I just put a Bluto on my ICT ops after riding it rigid since last November, and I have to say my findings are right in line with yours. It feels much more playful, and I can’t resist hopping it off every rise and drop along the way. Climbing up rooty sections is improved as well with the fork.

    I also did the Wolf Tooth 1×10 and switched the thumbies for an SLX trigger unit, as I was getting a sore thumb joint on some of our twisty up-and-down trails.

    The bike is a riot, and even though I’m the only person still on 3.8’s now that the snow is gone, I don’t really miss having a ‘proper’ mountain bike. I’m even less concerned with the weight now, but would still like to look into tubeless.

    Great photos and writing – glad someone else is having as much fun on this bike as I am.

    • Morgan Taylor

      When I did the tubeless experiment with the Darryls, Nates, and Gorilla tape, I came out saving 80 grams a wheel over the 0.8mm tubes. Just wasn’t worth the hassle. With the Bluto you don’t have to run so little pressure that you risk flats; I’d say just grab a faster rear tire and the 0.8mm tubes, unless you’re building a separate summer wheelset on 65-70mm rims.

  • DJ

    Hey there. Awesome write up. Curious about your height and your fit on the medium. I’m between sizes, had a large and sold it, thinking about another ICT frame but I’m on the fence between L and M. Leaning toward medium this time. Any advice?

    • Morgan Taylor

      I’m 6’0 and generally prefer my frames larger than smaller. The 615 top tube, as I mentioned, is relatively long for an 18″ frame – I’d hesitate to call it a “medium” compared to other bikes, even though Surly does. I could handle the 630 top tube on the 20″ bike but would probably need a 50mm stem. My Chromag has a 620 top tube and I run a 50/750 combo on it, which I just swapped straight over to the ICT. I would need to know what bar and stem you were running on the 20″ bike to help you choose a frame.

  • Hunter Garrison

    More dog pictures plz.

    • Morgan Taylor

      I think that can be arranged.

  • earle.b

    Damn you Morg and your praises of big ol fat tires. Reading this is making think I should build a 29’er capable of handling some B+ sized tires. It feels odd getting back on my 26’er ht after riding my slack monster 27.5. Like the bike gets stopped by every root and hole.

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  • Doc Ryan

    Great article! as a big guy 6 4, 280 the fat bike was a dream come true. I usually look like a bear riding a bike on my 08 GF Wahoo 26. I was debating the Moonlander Spec Ops or the ICT. Your review swayed me and I pulled the trigger on a ICT today, will arrive next week. Pics are awesome! Cheers!

    • Morgan Taylor

      Rad dude, sounds great!

    • Harold Thiers

      Doc Ryan, at 6’4″ what size did you go with and was it a good fit? I’m 6’7″ 260lbs and like the ICT versatility so keen to hear from other tall rides.

      • Doc Ryan

        I went with the XXL frame in the Jack Frost Blue paint. Because my hands would go numb on a regular basis I ordered a Jones H Bar and it was the right fix for me. I am surprised by the nimble ride. This thing is eating up everything that comes before it. I live on a military base with tons of training area to ride in (tank trails, land nav courses and miles of rough terrain to push it to whatever extreme you feel like. My ICT does not falter or fail. Yesterday I went down a steep trail that ended in a hard 90 on deep gravel, I went into it thinking I was going to eat it but the tires did not even skid. FAT BIKES RULE! Harold go with the XXL frame, you will have a comfy ride. Side note I pull my to boys (3,5) on a adams tandem trail a bike and I have found it easier to go up hills with the ICT than my Gary Fisher.
        Take care

        • Harold Thiers

          Thanks for the feedback. H

  • Timothy Davis

    I put a Bluto and a set of 29er 3+ rims on for the summer and the ICT is now my only bike. Super,super fun. It’s a custom build w 10 speeds and a seat dropper. Less levers, less thknking, more fun.

  • Scott

    I just put a bluto on my ICT Ops. I’m new to this, so it took the better part of a day, due to the need to make a couple runs to bike shops for parts. You’ll need a 52/40 crown race and bearing. The crown race on the original fork is the wrong size for the bluto. The original bearing is seated onto the original crown race and seems pretty impossible to remove. Also, I thought I may want to reinstall the original fork one day and leaving the parts on it made sense. You’ll also need a spacer kit for your brake caliper. The Bluto is set for a 160 rotor. The ICT has a 180. I also added maybe an inch of spacers to height, in case I want to leave the bars higher. I’ll cut the fork off again later if this turns out to be too high.

    • Hoz

      When I swapped in my 120mm Bluto last month, I ran into the same issue with getting the lower bearing off the rigid fork. It was stuck pretty solid but eventually came free with judicious application of brute force! Knew about the crown race so was set to go a tapered race ready to fit. Like you I’ve left my steerer high until I sort my sweet spot. I did find that the 50mm stem I was running was a little short so once I added the Bluto I changed to a 60mm – just right with 800 bars. It’s no light-weight but it sure is fun….even more so with the Bluto on it! Have fun with yours…..

  • Enzo N.

    Is there a reason why you stuck with a 100mm fork over the 120mm version? Can the frame still handle the longer travel? :) Thinking of getting a Bluto as well.