Game changing. I know it’s bold to start off a review with a statement like that but its true. What if I told you that there was a bike you could take lines that look insane, climb, descend, race and take to the park. 27.5? Plus? Boost? 1X? 150mm of suspension? Yes, the Specialized S-Works 6Fattie has all of the buzz words and the hot tech the current market has to offer. What does this mean for the rider though? A nearly mistake free ride. I had my reservations about the big tires, but for years I had been riding 2.35 29er tires. I would try to cram the biggest tire in my frame and fork, so how was this any different? I am an official convert. The big tires make everything better.
I had a bad crash about a year prior on my mountain bike where I separated my shoulder. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous riding at all, let alone full gas on this monster of a bike. The initial set up of the bike took only minutes, thanks to Specialized’s Auto Sag feature. This allowed me to quickly dial in the rear end of the bike without added fuss or time, making tiny adjustments. I set up the Roval wheels tubeless and dropped the pressure down to 13 PSI front and 15 PSI rear. At first its a bit daunting looking at that giant three-inch tire underneath you, but what the heck it’s just a bike. Within minutes of riding though, I had a massive smile on my face. I was able to corner, climb, and accelerate as if I had been riding all season. I stopped a couple of times to tweak the rebound, but other than that it was a dream to set up.
One of my favorite cool tech features to note is the SWAT system, (Storage Water Air Tools), where the frame itself becomes your storage for all things in your saddlebag. This becomes a necessary feature with the age of dropper post. I have used backpacks and hydration systems for years but its really nice to have your kit all set to go for a quick hour and a half ride. For long rides you still would need a bag, but for a quick ride there is nothing better. And yes, I did fit a burrito inside, if you were wondering.
The 6Fattie is an extremely well rounded machine. I found myself climbing much faster then I had originally thought. Moving up the trail was effortless on the technical side. The three-inch tire crawled its way up and over roots as if they weren’t even there. I found myself taking silly sections just to see how it would feel, where normally I would have to do a bit more planning. The Fox 34 was extremely smooth on the descents, allowing me to descend with confidence. I was able to clean sections that I have never even attempted before. The bike was extremely responsive. I was surprised considering that it had massive tires and massive suspension.
It’s a bike for the rest of us. I am not, nor will ever be a mountain bike racer. So why should I buy a race bike? While on the trail I was honestly thinking of the best way to describe what this bike felt like. With its sheer size and massive tires all I could think of was a Mercedes S65 AMG. Big car with massive power and all of the capability of its racy brothers, but not purpose built for the track. Its an all around machine that will allow you to go to Mountain Creek or out west or ride in the snow, but at the same time hang out with your cross country buddies and go fast.