Gear of the Show 2015: Specialized Fatboy Sidehack
The fat-bike version of the motorcycle and sidecar
If you’re not familiar with sidehack racing—an esoteric and terrifying two-man sport—it’s worth a few YouTube minutes. And though the sport is done on both motos and bicycles, we’d venture to bet that this one, created by Specialized for rally-car racer and D.C. Shoes co-founder Ken Block, is probably the only fat, electric sidehack on the planet.
This custom Frankenbike is a fusion of a Fatboy—Specialized’s 4.6-inch-tired aluminum snow bike—and the Turbo S—the company's speedy pedal-assist electric commuter. The passenger seat is a custom, mandrel-bent steel frame with aluminum platform and skid plates styled after a rally car. It runs on one of the 20-inch kids Fatboy wheels. And though braking duties are mostly taken care of with onboard eight-inch disc brakes, Specialized installed a handbrake on the sidecar styled identically to the one in Ken’s race car (right down to the Hoonigan logo machined handle) so that the co-driver can participate in the good rally-car fun.
The project, which involved two of Specialized’s best engineers and one of its finest paint-box masters, was 100 percent custom. But the company’s global PR manager, Sean Estes, says the company is considering a feasibility study on a limited run given the number of people who've asked where they could buy one.
And though Block has yet to race the bike—he uses it mostly for pit detail at rally events—his two huskies, Yuki and Bentley, have logged plenty of co-pilot practice.