Field Notes: Our test rider on the Borealis Flume had a bright yellow jersey on, matching perfectly with the fall colors that surrounded him, so we had to take lots of photos. Luckily he loved the solid feel and quickness of the bike, and the big tires helped him up his game and land some sweet hucks – all no doubt thanks also to some extra “kodak courage” he felt as our model.
Pros: The shape of the top tube allows for generous standover height, especially on the smaller sizes, which improves confidence and makes for safer “ejections” from the saddle. This can be especially helpful for smaller riders and many women, particularly with the higher position of Fat Bikes due to the large tires. This Borealis bike is also very lightweight for its price point, quick turning and accelerates well, and the ability to custom order specs means you can personalize the ride. Excellent components for the price round out this strong value – this is plenty of bike for all but the most serious and aggressive riders.
Cons: The 4” Fat Tires might provide a bit less float through loose snow, although they’d be fine on packed snow, and 80mm rims may not perform well with wider tires. The 160mm front rotor is a bit small for larger frames.
Tester Quote: “Wow, that extra standover height was really useful over one section when I had to bail. My wife will especially appreciate it – without the extra room we would’ve had to cancel tonight’s date night!”
Key Attribute: Ride Quality
Bottom Line: With the very smooth and reliable SRAM GX1 11-speed drivetrain, a lightweight and agile frame, and a low standover, this is an excellent choice for women and smaller men who want a high-performing but value-priced bike that will handle all but the most aggressive trails, and would even do fine on a race course. Also a highly comfortable geometry for longer rides and expeditions.
- Fork: RockShox® Bluto
- Cranks: Race Face Ride; 22-36t
- Front Derailleur: NA
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX1 11s
- Shifters: SRAM GX1 11s
- Brakes: SRAM DB5; 160mm
- Cogset: SRAM GX1; 11-speed, 10-36t
- Rims: Turnagain FR80 alloy; 80mm wide
- Tires: Hüsker Dü; 26×4.0”
Weight: TKTKlbs (Small)
Frame: Borealis Flume 6066 alloy; 197x12mm spacing