Review: Diamondback El Oso Dos & El Oso Grande

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This is a review of the Diamondback El Oso Dos, and the Diamondback El Oso Grande.  Before buying these two fatbikes, I had no idea that the mere idea of fat bikes was so contentious.  I won't get into all the contentiousness however, instead I will highlight the main reasons why choose these two bikes and how they have held up to our needs and expectations.

 

Our main requirements were: 

-Large tires to float over soft ground while hauling a lot of weight.

    -Which also means we can ride in the ditch or on sandy/muddy service roads with ease and stay out of traffic.

-2 Wheeled bikes for going on mountain biking trails.

-Ability to upgrade components, such as adding a front suspension fork.

-The largest deciding factor was of course cost!

(You must also keep in mind that all of these requirements meant having to bring 4 little girls along.)

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    Katie and I have been cycling for the past year on a Terratrike tandem pro with 2 Croozer kids trailers pulled behind it.  This is our replacement for our mini van.  After enjoying and using the tandem, we bemoaned the fact that we were missing out on some really beautiful off road trails that cannot be traversed in a bike set-up that is longer than our 2007 Toyota Sienna.  Its skinny touring tires are like riding on pizza cutters on anything but pavement or (dry) hardpacked gravel roads.  Being that as it may,  we looked at our list and fat bikes were fitting the fit for our family.  If you want to see these things in action check out ForestryForest on youtube.   

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Yes those are some big tires!

While remembering what it was like riding our tandem on wet gravel,  I took my first ride on a fat bike on loose sand.  It makes you want to cry from happiness!  Pulling a heavy load and going on wet or dry sand up is no longer a torturing experience.  Even riding in a ditch on wet or dry grass is even more easy now.  There will be future reviews of our tires and our experiences with the purposes that we needed them for.

 

2 Wheeled Bike!

This sounds like a no brainer, but please hear out my logic.  Recumbent trikes are so stinking comfortable that after having one you would have to be nuts to put yourself on a prostate torture device, namely the saddle of a normal bike.  Except that when touring sometimes if you are on a road or sidewalk, 2 wheels is better for riding that fine white line, or navigating singletrack.  After all there are fat trikes on the market, and someday I would love to try one, but 2 wheels was what we needed.

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Ability to upgrade and cost!

I wanted the option of being able to put a suspension fork on the bike someday if needed, and with Diamondback's Black Friday sale these 2 fat beauties were the cheapest entry level fatbike at the time.  They came with good shifting equipment, and can fit a 5" tire.  

 

We met John, a fellow cyclist, (pictured above) while camping at Osceola National Forest.

We met John, a fellow cyclist, (pictured above) while camping at Osceola National Forest.


Our new bikes came in the mail nicely packaged and very easy to put together with the supplied manuals.  If you can't read, or don't want to read you can also watch assembly videos at Diamondback or probably on the youtube.  When they arrived everything was adjusted perfectly and didn't need to be adjusted till about after 200 miles of riding.  One bad thing about the bikes, are the included saddles.  It's like riding on a piece of angle iron.   Getting a new saddle with the purchase of these bikes is a must!  These bikes are our pack mules and we treat them as such.  When you have 2 bikes, and 6 people with gear and FOOD! There is some flexibility in the frame.  However that is only when not riding, and when trying to keep the bike from falling over, because if it fall over it takes 2 people to get it back up again haha.  The bikes have been great and I am now a new believer in the fatness.  They fulfill their role as a pack mule and a vehicle to allow our family to travel where families have never been before!  And to make carrying the kids and gear over soft and unsteady ground easier.  Having this flexibility has offered us some spectacular views of the wild of northern and northwest Florida.  Inviting many more wonderful experiences to be had together as a family.

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