Fatbikes are certainly passing through a period of immense popularity, and KTM found a way to make these bikes even more palatable. The company that holds first place among e-bike manufacturers released the Macina Freeze, a bicycle that puts their electric know-how in the service of the oversized wheels, thus resulting the e-fatbike. Or the fat e-bike. Name is not of the essence, either way!
Technical problems and their solutions
Given that this bike runs on 4-inch wide tires, KTM scrapped the 29-inch rims, and, in order to further avoid unnecessary weight, fitted the bike with a 6061 alloy frame featuring a chainstay mount for the rear brake, and a tapered head tube, two performance-enhancing items as well. With a claimed weight of 2.700 grams, the central component employs a customized rear triangle that matches the requirements of a fat bike, while mounting the rear wheel is done thanks to a 12x120mm thru-axle.
Like the leg-powered version, the Macina Freeze was equipped with a RockShox 80mm suspension fork that comes pretty in hand when the large wheels cause a lot of wobbling. The down tube also has the mission of accommodating the battery, a thing which it elegantly does, and KTM also turned to the refined option of inner cable routing. The company produced in-house the saddle, seat post, stem and handlebar it equipped the e-fatbike with, while a Shimano Deore XT rear derailleur sends the chain across the 10 sprockets of the cassette. In stead of a cransket you would have to push yourself, Macina Freeze features an electric Bosch motor that can work in several modes: eco, tour, sport and turbo, switching between them being done by a simple push of a button.
The ultimate All-Terrain Vehicle
We don’t have a thing for ATVs either, but this term describes best what the Macina Freeze is really capable of. Despite its bulky appearance, Macina is very easy to steer, and can (and will!) handle any type of terrain, as long as it runs in turbo mode. The Star Trek-like humming noise will also make you feel special when riding this bike, but we reckon that effortlessly powering up on switchbacks with a speed of 25-28km/h is the part that will make you fall for Macina. It’s the kind of bike for which you should leave your prejudices at home, basically…
The Bosch electric engine is responsible for a couple of tricks: firstly, it makes the considerable weight of the bike disappear, and then it makes cornering as easy as pie, with the huge tire print allowing you to tackle bends with no fear of losing grip. Furthermore, Macina resembles a lot a caterpillar tracked vehicle, this thing being discovered by me when crossing over boulders, roots and other such stuff. Traction was provided almost entirely by the bike, the engine sitting way above harm’s way, while I only had to be careful not to lose my balance. However, you have an extra mode to engage, named push-bike, that is recommended to be used when you are in danger of crashing or the battery runs out.
KTM’s Macina Freeze makes your blood melt of joy once you get to really know it, and is the solid proof that there aren’t any real limits when it comes to bike buliding. I mean, who would have thought years ago that a bicycle with 4-inch tires and electric engine would appear and be on track for becoming a smash hit? It’s not a cheap means of fun, this Macina Freeze, but we reckon that it will appeal to some wacky thousands-of-euros-account holders.