Santa Cruz Stigmata: Skinny Bikes are Cool Again

An addition to a brand’s product line hasn’t driven this much traffic and conversation since tubes were shaped to cheat the wind, and aero road bikes became a category. Comments I’ve read about the Santa Cruz Stigmata include

What has Santa Cruz become like Spesh and are making Coastal bikes?

Gravel bikes are to bicycles what the El Camino is to cars: a vehicular hermaphrodite.

and “Skinny bikes are the new fat bikes.” For the record, I was dissing fat bikes, as being over-marketed beyond a few select purposes, before it suddenly became cool.

In Issue 21, we have two stories – both for and against – about fat bikes.

From Matt Haughey

Fat bikes are machines that emit joy, both for the rider and everyone that encounters them.

and Nathan Wright

It is not that fat bikes are bad, the truth is they are great for their intended purpose (as Matt shared with us in Issue 17 and 21), but the way they are being marketed will be their undoing and illustrates the biggest issue facing the bicycle industry, an issue that can be summed up with a joke. How do you make a small fortune in the bike industry? You start with a large one. Welcome to the reality of the bike industry.

And with much of the country snowed in, it’s expected fat bikes are having a great season.

A fatbike isn’t gonna ride through a snowbank either, but it will handle the thaw better than most; except perhaps a good cross bike, like you can expect the Stigmata is.