Garneau Gros Louis 0

Trimmed (a bit of) the fat, but still all that

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - re­viewed by Matt Stet­son

Trimmed (a bit of) the fat, but still all that

For those Cana­di­ans who en­joy get­ting out dur­ing the win­ter but not nec­es­sar­ily slid­ing around on frozen wa­ter, it’s fat-bike season. What bet­ter way to en­joy the Great White North than on a bike born in a frigid and snow-cov­ered re­gion of Que­bec. Louis Garneau’s Gros Louis 0 is that bike. Garneau set out to make a ded­i­cated race ma­chine with the Gros Louis 0, start­ing with a full car­bon frame and rigid car­bon fork. Also help­ing to keep the weight down is a host of light­weight com­po­nen­try in­clud­ing an 11-speed sram driv­e­train paired with a Race Face Aef­fect crankset sport­ing a 28-tooth ring. sram Guide RS brakes with a 180-mm-di­am­e­ter front and a 160-mm-di­am­e­ter rear ro­tor have plenty of stop­ping power to slow down the wheels and let the Kenda Jug­ger­naut Elite tires bite into the snow. With a set of Shi­mano M540 ped­als, the Gros Louis weighs in at a lit­tle more than 30 lb. – not bad at all for a bike sport­ing 4.5"-wide tires. Af­ter my first ride on the bike, I was im­pressed with how easy it was to get the Gros Louis up to speed. I am used to rid­ing slightly heav­ier fat bikes. The Gros Louis ac­cel­er­ated no­tably more quickly, in part thanks to the hjc mp80 rims, but also thanks to Garneau’s cross coun­try-style ge­om­e­try. I al­ways felt that I was in a good po­si­tion to put power down to the ped­als. I was also com­fort­able when the trail turned tech­ni­cal and needed to pull a foot out to avoid slid­ing side­ways too much. I usu­ally fit a size large frame, which holds true for the Gros Louis. The bike has a slightly longer reach than some other sim­i­lar frames.

While the Gros Louis and I didn’t line up at the start line of a fat-bike race, I can see what Garneau was try­ing to do with this ma­chine. The bike is light, fast and nim­ble in a cat­e­gory thought to be heavy, slow and lethar­gic. Pre­vi­ously, I might have opted out of a win­ter fat-bike ride with thoughts of grind­ing through snow slowly on a poorly main­tained snow­mo­bile trail. The Gros Louis, how­ever, has reignited my pas­sion for win­ter rid­ing be­cause it feels closer to a cross coun­try race bike than a full-on fat bike, al­low­ing me to main­tain a pace that is faster and as a re­sult, much more fun. This fun does come with a price. For most cy­clists, a fat bike is usu­ally a sec­ond or third bike, but at $3,750, the Gros Louis is a pretty big in­vest­ment for what is com­monly a sea­sonal ma­chine. It would also be nice to get a branded cock­pit with such a price tag, but those parts didn’t seem to take away from any per­for­mance. If you are a ded­i­cated fat biker who spends a lot of time rid­ing in the win­ter, pos­si­bly rac­ing as well, Garneau has made the Gros Louis for you. It is a great mix of the char­ac­ter­is­tics that makes fat bikes func­tional in the snow, but also the technology and innovation that makes cross coun­try moun­tain bikes fast on the dirt. Hold onto your toque, the Gros Louis is one fast fat bike.

“The bike is light, fast and nim­ble in a cat­e­gory thought to be heavy, slow and lethar­gic.”

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