My first exposure to fat bikes was a second-hand Salsa Mukluk. I had it through the winter and loved it, but toward the end of the year, it had me wondering what it would be like to have a high-performance fat bike as opposed to something that’s purely made for getting out there? And honestly, that’s where the Otso Voytek stepped in, and I’m glad it did.
Here are my thoughts in summary: the Voytek is a bike you could comfortably ride all day and on just about any terrain. Round Valley, UOP, the road to WOS, and other places around Park City are really fun on the Voytek. I don’t think you could say the same thing about other fat bikes out there, which makes the Voytek a unique bike, not just because it is a fat bike.
It feels like there is a lot that goes into this bike to make it more than just a standard fat bike. Even just looking at the Voytek you can tell that the people at Otso really cared about the bike. The details are really dialed. Their connection to Wolf Tooth Components, in my eyes, makes this bike feel like a passion project, like something they obsessed over until they got it just right. Q-factor is an obvious piece to point at, but the flip chip system among other things feels polished and considered.
I personally wondered going into buying a Voytek myself whether or not their flip chip was marketing. It really does make a difference, however, and it helped me find my ideal size. I bought a small – I’m typically right in between a small and medium – because I liked how it felt with the chip all the way back. I feel like I’m more in the bike rather than on top of it. I’ve ridden the medium quite a bit as well, but I went with the size small because I like how nimble and maneuverable the smaller bike is even with the longer wheelbase.
While some might call Q factor marketing, I’ve always felt like Q factor makes a difference in how naturally I can ride a bike. I am particular about things like this, as I’ve tried to make sure my road bikes have a low Q factor and other fat bikes had my feet wider apart than I would want. But on the Voytek, I felt immediately comfortable. Smaller riders like myself will definitely appreciate this, but I’m sure taller riders will appreciate this as well.
Besides that, the Voytek is playful. It’s light too, more so than just about any other fat bike out there. This is particularly nice as I come from a road bike background. my preferences off-road skew toward flow rather than tech, and so I tend to be more conservative on a mountain bike than the average mountain biker might be. But because it handles closer to a traditional mountain bike, the Voytek makes it easy to rail into berms and ride down trails way pointier and rockier than I would otherwise feel comfortable riding.
Did I refer to rocks when talking about a fat bike? I did, and that’s because the Voytek is so good that it became my mountain bike. Part of it is the bike’s design, and part of it is that I have 4” tires that stick to loose-over-hardpack like velcro, but I take more chances on this bike than any mountain bike I’ve had in the past. Obviously, tire pressure is important here – as it is on most any bike – but here your tires are very obviously your suspension, so getting that right will make or break your experience on the Voytek much less any fat bike.
I get that “today is the day” feeling all the time on this bike, and the more I feel that way the more I want to go out and ride. It is difficult to find that feeling on a regular basis, and I think that’s why a lot of people buy new bikes even when they might not necessarily need one. But in the instance of the Otso Voytek, it really does things other bikes can’t. I think you’ll feel that way on a Voytek as well.
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