What is SANDMAN?
Sandman is a Fat bike brand with heritage: We started back in 1997 when our founding father Koen Viaene was planning an MTB trip to Alaska and was in dire need of a bike with bigger tires to better conquer the terrain and go further into the unknown territories.
Koen created the first prototype frame with the help of his Belgian frame-builder Jan Dejonckheere and started testing the bike on his Camino Loco MTB trips around the globe. Koen started a long testing period with several riders that helped him find the perfect geometry for Sandman frames still in use nowadays.
From that came the first Atacama and Kalahari and Gobi models that have been made in Belgium until 2013. Koen was looking for a partner to help him grow the brand and serve as a product manager and along came Marvin Besselink. This Dutchman lives in Taiwan and has been working as a product manager for several brands. Thus he had the experience needed to make sandman bikes grow into a more mature brand with better production capabilities in Taiwan.
Now Sandman is a brand that produces FAT-bikes for Extreme Adventure, bike park, backcountry Enduro/All mountain use and we have a complete line of alloy and titanium frames to cater to all of your needs. Sandman frames can be purchased as frames only, frame and fork kits or as rolling frame kits, Or as a complete bike with either a X5 1×10 or a GX 1×11 build or you make your own custom build. All our frames are built so they can be used with several wheel diameters. Per default our frames come fitted with a 170mm or 177mm rear hub. Our rear triangles are constructed to work with 26x80mm rims and the biggest 26×4.8” surly Bud and Lou tires, still offering a proper chain line. Our frames are also constructed with a different wheel in mind than commonly used. We prefer mounting a 26x55mm rim with a 3.8-4.25” tire installed. With this combination you get a versatile, fast-handling and reasonably light bike with or without front suspension. Still you get plenty of float on sand or snow but a better performing, more agile bike on normal MTB trails !
In 2015 Marvin founded his new company called Bikelab Inc and purchased the remaining shares from Koen in order to give Koen freedom to focus on his outdoor travel agency Camino Loco. Koen stays on as brand ambassador and is still a member of the product development team.
The complete range of frames has been re-developed to better cope with current standards and become even more versatile than before. If you buy a Sandman you buy a bike that is specified better then most other brands with tubeless ready wheels, proper quality hubs that last , plenty of tire clearance to be able to fit almost every rim/tire combo in the market and if you choose front suspension it comes with the FATlab upside down fork with Internal guides that outperforms the other fat bike offerings by a mile and and we know it because we spent 4 years developing it with FATlab and the vendor that makes them.
Our frames can be purchased as a rolling frame or complete bike and then we use FATlab 55mm or 80mm wheelsets, these wheelsets are built with lighter Tubeless rims that are easy to convert and are lighter and more stable then most of the competitions rims due to the lack of extra cutouts. These rims are on average 80grs lighter yet more stable then most out there so they build lighter stiffer wheels. FATlab hubs come with a 6 pawl design with a 40T ring giving you fast engagement and long lasting performance due to the use of stainless Japanese bearings.
In a nutshell we live and breathe FAT bikes !!
Why Buy a Sandman?
Sandman Fatbikes are a different breed then most other fatbikes out there, how come?
We have many years of experience in building , riding and shredding fatbikes, not much all the new coming brands can attest to that other then , yep we saw them watched them and tried to make one too.
Frame construction and Geometry:
We build our bikes differently as our beliefs in geometry are different, a sandman has shorter chain-stays then 95% of the bikes out there at 448mm we know our bikes can fit the 4.0 and 4.8 tires easily while not feeling like a truck but more like a normal MTB. We are firm believers of a smaller rim width paired with a 4.0 (55mm rim) or 4.8 tire (80mm rim), this makes our bikes lighter more agile and friendlier to ride over long distances. We also have the results to back it up , Sandman’s performed very well in the Megavalanche race in France where they where faster then a lot of the riders on full suspensions , we have twice won the Rovaniemi snow race in Finland which shows that 100mm with 4.8 tires isn’t always the right way and the contact patch needed on snow can work fine with a slightly less wide rim. Our frames are designed around multi drivetrain compatibility yet there are some rules because not everything works.
In combination with 55mm rims you can run tires between 2.8” to 4.5” wide and still use all drivetrain combinations, 1×10, 2×10, 1×11 and 2×11 and have a low q factor. When you want to switch to 80mm rims and a max 4.8” wide tire the 2x combinations will not properly work as you will have to space the crancks out too far which is not good for the chain line , yet all 1x drivetrain options work better then on some of the wider spaced frames out there while keeping a lower Q-Factor.
Rear axle dimensions and reasons for it:
So far we build our bikes around the 170 or 177 rear axle width as it works for our smaller rim width theory while maintaining a proper chain-line. Our frames can handle the full range of rim and tire widths, yes even a 100mm rim would work with some tires but do you really need that , no a 100mm rim compared to an 80mm rim with the current tire offerings measures only a 3mm benefit in tire contact patch for the 100mm rim so that isn’t much added traction for a 500gram weight penalty …. Sometimes smaller is better!
Real use specifications:
If you buy a Sandman you buy a bike that is specified better then most other brands with tubeless ready wheels, proper quality hubs that last , plenty of tire clearance to be able to fit almost every rim/tire combo in the market and if you choose front suspension it comes with the FATlab upside down fork with Internal guides that outperforms the other fat bike offerings by a mile and and we know it because we spent 4 years developing it with FATlab and the vendor that makes them.
Our frames can be purchased as a rolling frame or complete bike and then we use FATlab 55mm or 80mm wheel sets, these wheel sets are built with lighter Tubeless rims that are easy to convert and are lighter and more stable then most of the competitions rims due to the lack of extra cutouts. These rims are on average 80grs lighter yet more stable then most out there so they build lighter stiffer wheels. FATlab hubs come with a 6 pawl design with a 40T ring giving you fast engagement and long lasting performance due to the use of stainless Japanese bearings.
The difference is in the spec not in the price, lower spec/priced bikes give you less riding pleasure and empty your wallet in the first year because you either upgrade or sell that bike. Choose wisely Choose a Sandman!!
Buying our bikes is a safer investment as well as we no longer follow the model year trend that changes everything each year so your expensive bike stays at a higher value for a longer period of time and can be sold with less loss after a few years
Wheel compatibility on Sandman bikes:
For a perfect balance of float and agile handling, all Sandman bikes come with tires in a 26”x4.25” mounted on 55mm wide rims (1×10, 1x 11, 2×10 and 2×11 compatible), whilst still offering a correct chain-line. But the frames have been built with plenty of mud clearance to accept 4.8” wide tires mounted on 80mm wide rims (1×10 or 1×11 compatible) as well if you need that extra portion of float for sand or snow.
But that’s not all yet: Without negatively impacting the geometry of your Sandman bike, you can also mount a 27.5 inch-wheel-set with up to 3.25 inch wide tires. We do not recommend to mount wheels with 29”x3” wide tires however as the larger diameter of these wheels lifts the bottom bracket and thus the center of gravity too far up. But if you want it Big 29×3.0 will work for you as well!
Try one and you will know!!