Thursday, November 12, 2015

Huffy Goes Plus Size

As I posted last month, some people are calling "Plus-Size" the latest and greatest thing to hit mountain bikes. But in a sign that either confirms that to be true, or possibly heralds that the trend has already peaked and will start trailing off soon, one can now buy plus size mountain bikes at WalMart and other big-box retailers. Yep - Huffy now makes plus size. Huffy 3.0.

The Torch 3.0 is the basic model 29+, selling for $199.99
Huffy seems to have totally embraced plus-size bikes, too, in offering 4 different models in 3 wheel sizes - 26-in., 27.5, and two 29-in. models. I suppose that offering the bikes in 3 different wheel sizes is supposed to make up for the fact that they apparently don't offer different frames sizes. Instead, they seem to be "one size fits most" and the concept of proper bike fit must not be a priority.

The 26+ model, the Tyrant, is $179.99, and the 27.5+ Vantage is $189.99. Two versions of the 29+ sell for $199.99, with a disc-brake-equipped "top-of-the-line" model selling for $249.

Just like department-store fatbikes, it's practically a given that most of the Huffy 3.0 bikes that get sold will be ridden primarily on pavement, where their mid-fat tires will be more or less unnecessary. Still, that doesn't stop them from proclaiming the benefits of  "better traction," "more momentum" and "less exertion."

The 29+ Warhawk is the "top-of the line" at $249.00. Disc brakes and a slightly "hydroformed" frame seem to be the main "upgrades" over the lesser model. All the models appear to have the same, spindly, crappy-looking "suspension" fork.
To announce the new "3.0" line, Huffy put out a new commercial with the very strange tagline "Be the Motor."

In the video we find this guy. . .


. . . on this bike . . .


. . . zipping around this "rugged" terrain . . .


. . . in some kind of post-industrial wasteland:


Most of what the guy rides on could easily be handled with a decent road bike with some tire clearance -- like on this path that under most definitions would be described as "paved":

Good thing he's got those fat 3-in. tires.
But he does encounter a stray rock:

Any rider who wasn't filming a commercial for a "rugged" new mountain bike would just go around it.
Oh -- and there's a gratuitously-placed small pile of loose dirt:


Some unexplained elements include this small man-made "brush fire". . .


. . . And the weird motorcycle engine sound effects throughout the video:

"Vroom - Vroom" -- How old is this guy supposed to be? Six?
Yeah - that "explains" the sound effects -- but the concept still doesn't make a lot of sense.
Does the arrival of department store plus-size bikes mean that the new trend has fully caught on? Or is it about to jump the shark?


You can watch the Huffy 3.0 commercial right here:


Enjoy!

8 comments:

  1. The first pic shows the chain on the big/big, and the derailer looks like it's about a mile too high on the seat tube. It must have been assembled at Walmart...
    I don't even want to think about some guy at a big box store setting up disc brakes in between stocking the toy shelves and mopping aisle 9.

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    1. Those pics came right from Huffy's website. Doesn't speak well to what we can expect when the bikes are assembled at the stores. One of my favorite pastimes is going to big box stores and looking for improperly built bikes.

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    2. Haha, count the backwards forks and flipped handlebars...

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  2. Even if they're assembled right, those bikes don't make any sense.

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  3. Let's not be too hoity toity; there was a youtube video a few years back showing an amateur cross rider beating all the carbon fiber fellows while riding a ss WalMart fatbike,complete with 2 wheel coaster brake drifts. Great video!

    But seriously, I agree; I see neophytes trudging down the bike path on 4" tires and think, "Oh, things could be so much easier and better!"

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  4. The level of bicycle snobby-ness seems to be very high here, is it really that fun looking down your nose at others because they have not been doing something as long as you have. I rode my first bicycle at five years old, but sorry, I did not keep up with every little detail of each new fa fa bike fad brought fourth by the all knowing bike-hipsters of the world. Shut up and ride, or let others ride in peace, nice medal show off.

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  5. Wow, you bike hipsters sure do not like when other people horn in on your world. Don't be jelly cuz you paid $5000 for a bike I can get for $150, and still kick your sorry asses

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    1. Sorry heysoos, but a bike that's put together wrong by some kid working at Walmart is no bargain even at $150. It's not snobbery, and I doubt there are many "hipsters" here, but the last huffy I worked on was built so badly (from the factory -- not just the in-store assembly) that to make it right would have cost more than the bike's retail price.

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