Fat Tire Flyer: Repack and the Birth of Mountain Biking


since it wasn’t addressed specifically, I’ll chime in and explain that it’s called “Repack” because the nature of the race and the equipment used necessitated repacking the rear hub with grease during the race to prevent seizure.

prior to custom builds, the only frames that could handle the terrain were big-'ol newsboy bikes, which all came stock with coaster-brake hubs. since the race was all downhill, the riders brutalized the brakes, leading to friction and temperatures that borked the hub. hence the need to repack the grease.

not that I was there, but I’ve read this over the years from what I assume to be credible sources. if anyone has better info, by all means spill it : )

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Could this be handled by reengineering the bearing with e.g. solid-state lubrication? Tungsten disulfide, perhaps?

well, they just started customizing the frames with rim brakes, and making custom frames with rim brakes stock, which made for more accurate braking than coasters could provide anyway. now they all come standard with discs.

as to the viability of your theory, I’d have to defer to your authority there : )

I thought New Belgium Brewing Company was announcing a limited edition Fat Tire variation. I was really thought I was looking at box art for a six-pack.

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I wrote the book. My use of the term “Fat Tire Flyer” started in 1980 with the publication of the first mountain bike magazine, which used that name. New Belgium borrowed it, but that’s okay because now they are advertising for the book.


Awesome to see my book here. I’ll take questions if there are any, or you can visit the page for the book on Facebook.

I would humbly suggest a blooper-reel followup, “Flat Tire Flyer”.

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