Drawing of the Pole Taiga frame

When I discovered fat bikes in 2019, I decided to build one. It took time to find the right things, and in April 2020, I started.

I ordered a Pole Taiga L (Pole Taiga page) frameset. It is slack, low, and long, and I can run really big tires, specifically the Surly Bud and Lou.


That drawing above doesn't even remotely show how long, low, and slack this frame is!

Actual photo of the Pole Taiga frame

Look at the cable management!

Taiga top tube cable management

As of July 28, the bike is partly assembled, and I'm missing a bunch of adapters (for the front brake, 2 1.5mm spindle spacers, and a spacer for the freehub)

The Taiga with wheels, but missing cranks


It takes a surprising amount of parts to build a bike from scratch. Here is my list:

Frame & Fork
Frame Pole Taiga L
Pole Taiga L frame
Fork Manitou Mastodon Pro Ext 120mm
Manitou Mastodon fork
Bottom Bracket Race Face BSA 83mm for CINCH (I couldn't find that for 120mm, so I got the 83mm version and just removed the plastic tube)
Race Face bottom bracket
Crankset Race Face Crank Set Turbine CINCH System FAT 190 with 170 mm cranks
Race Face cranks
Pedals OneUp Components Comp flat pedals
OneUp pedals
Chainring Race Face Chainring Direct Mount CINCH System Steel Narrow Wide black 30 Teeth
Race Face chainring
Shifter Shimano XT SL-M8000
Shimano XT shifter
Cassette Shimano Deore CS-M5100-11 11-speed 11-51T
Shimano Cassette
Derailleur Shimano Deore RD-M5100 11-speed Shadow Plus
Shimano derailleur
Chain Shimano XT CN-HG701-11
Rims Surly Clown Shoe 100mm set up tube less using fattystripper (Surly discontinued the Clown Shoes, so it was a tad hard to find two)
Surly Clown Shoe rims
Hubs Hope Pro 4 Fatsno Front & Hope Pro 4 Fatsno Rear (in orange, because)
Tires Surly Bud 26x4.8 (front) / Surly Lou 26x4.8 (rear)
Surly Bud and Surly Lou
Mudguard Beaver Guard Mudguard - Mastodon
Brakes Hayes Dominion A4 4-piston with Hayes D-Series 203mm rotors front & back
Hayes brakes
Grips Deity Knuckleduster
Deity grips
Handlebar Truvativ Descendant Downhill 25mm 31.8 800mm
Truvativ handlebar
Stem Truvativ Descendant 31.8 40mm
Truvativ stem
Headset Cane Creek 40 (came with the frame)
Cane Creek headset
Seatpost OneUp Components Dropper Post V2.1 210mm
OneUp dropper post
Saddle Ergon SM Enduro Comp Men M/L
Ergon saddle

The wheels are built by Stefan Buser of Lifestyle Cycles in Arlesheim. I simply don't trust myself to do wheels.

Just when I was about to order a 12-speed XT drivetrain, Shimano released the 11-speed Deore group set with a 51 teeth steel cassette. I decided to use that, mainly because that way, both bikes are 11-speed and I can exchange parts, if needed.

On top of the list above, I had to buy tools (Race Face 16mm/8mm adapter, Race Face BB tool, Hayes DOT 5.1 bleed kit) and small parts (garmin holder, brake disc adapters, cable end caps, outers end caps, cable ties, and such), and I only got away with this few because over the time I was riding the Vitus, I had already bought a lot, e.g. a bike repair stand.

Hobbies are expensive when you're in your 50s.

Made with Kirby and