Model name: El Oso FatPrice range: $450 to $2,000Style: Fat BikeWheel size (MTB): 26-inch fat
Within the rising popularity of fat bikes for year-round riding, Diamondback has created a quality midrange line in the El Oso, a hardtail fat bike designed for riding on sand and snow. It’s one of the lower-priced fat bikes available, but Diamondback doesn’t skimp on quality. All the full-sized models of El Oso are based around the same lightweight, aluminum frame, a RockShox Bluto suspension fork and hydraulic disc brakes on the upper-end model (the others get a rigid alloy fork and mechanical brakes), and clearance for tires up to a massive 5 inches wide. While great for snow, the El Oso’s relatively low weight means it’s ready to cruise pretty much any trail surface.
The line’s versatility, value, and quality parts led us to include the El Oso Niño in our list of best fat bikes under $1,500 and the El Oso in our 18 best fat bikes of 2018. We consider the bikes one of our top picks for fun trail romps and crushing obstacles—with or without your sidekick on his or her own mini version. When we want traction on pretty much any surface we can dream up, the El Oso is comfortable, capable, and surprisingly nimble despite its huge tires.
Yes, There’s an Oso Fat Bike for Kids, and It’s Rad
There’s even a kids version: the El Oso Niño 20. With 4-inch-wide tires on 20-inch wheels, its for kids who want to shred the world—or just their neighborhood trails, and really, what kid doesn’t want to tear it up in the sand and snow on a bike? The bike comes with four-inch tires and durable steel frame. It’s a quality kids bike for the price with a simple to operate 1x drivetrain and powerful mechanical disc brakes.
A Fully Pack-Ready, Lightweight Frame
The full sized El Oso has a hardtail aluminum frame and a wide main triangle to fit frame bags and bikepacking-friendly rack mounts on the rear stays. Like all fat bikes, it’s a bit of a tank, even when not loaded down with bags—but the aluminum hydroformed tubing keeps it light and agile enough to float over anything you put in its path. Weights aren’t listed on all models, except for the El Oso Grande, the lowest priced of the three models at $1,400, which is said to be 34 pounds, 13 oz. without pedals (size medium).
All About the El Oso Family Aside from price, the biggest difference between El Oso’s highest-end model and its siblings is the inclusion of a RockShox Bluto suspension fork with 100mm of travel to help it absorb ragged terrain and full hydraulic disc brakes.The other three El Oso iterations (the Grande, the Dos, and the Niño 20) have rigid forks. From there, it all boils down to components: The El Oso combines Shimano SLX M615 and Shimano Deore for the derailleurs with Raceface Ride cranks; the El Oso Dos has full Shimano Deore and FSA Comet Mega Exo cranks, and the El Oso Grande uses SRAM X5.
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