I’ve had a Big Fat Dummy for almost two years now. Before that, I had the original Big Dummy for about seven years. I have already gushed about these bikes in a blog post, which you can find here. I have a little more to add to that post now that I’ve recently replaced my big fat wheels with 29-plus wheels (from 26 x 3.8 to 29 x 3). I imagine the 29+ configuration isn’t right for everyone, but it sure suits my needs. The character of the bike changed quite a bit, and since the Big Fat Dummy is currently available in both wheel sizes, I thought it worth the time to relate my experience with both.
Let’s say you’re trudging through an unfamiliar wood, encumbered by an unreasonably large satchel of magic beans that you’ve procured from market for your grandmother. You should’ve been home hours ago, and if you don’t soon find your way you’ll be sleeping in this forest, which you know to be overrun with marauders, wolves, violent fungi, and flesh-eating gnomes. You set down your unreasonably large satchel to wipe your brow, and happen to see a little round window set into the side of a large tree trunk. The window is lit from within. If you place your unreasonably large satchel underneath the window and stand upon it, you can see through the window a small, abandoned residence. Releasing the latch, you call into the warm room beyond, and your call elicits no reply.
There are three bowls of porridge on the table. One is too hot, one is too cold, and the third is just right. You eat all of them because you’ve been trudging through an unfamiliar wood all damn day, and your two-headed chicken didn’t fetch enough at the fair to earn you both an unreasonably large satchel of magic beans and a meal. After finishing the porridge, you find three enormous combs full of thick, gnarled hair. You do not use any of the combs. A small door at the back of the room lets you deeper into the tree trunk, and down there you find a garage. It’s mostly full of Conundrum unicycles, propeller beanies, and juggling pins, but toward the back you find three Surly cargo bikes. You are saved. The unreasonably large satchel will fit aboard any one of them, and you’ll have no trouble making it through the forest before dark.
The first bike says Big Dummy on the toptube, and it’s just a little too small. The unfamiliar wood is thick with roots, loamy soil, and creepy, sinister warnings spelled out in broken twigs. The bike would undoubtedly do the trick, but it has been outfitted with slick tires for some kind of road surface that will not be invented for centuries. You would likely struggle to clear some of the obstacles ahead, and perhaps sink into the soft earth.
The second bike seems much more appropriate. This Big Fat Dummy has 26x3.8 tires, and could haul your emaciated cow to market straight up the side of the settlement’s outer wall. This bike would most certainly do, although dark would be fast approaching when you reached the forest’s far side.
Fortuitously, there is a third option. It’s another Big Fat Dummy, but this one has 29x3.0 tires. It suits your needs to a big fat T. Magic beans aren’t all that heavy, and you need a cargo bike that’s fast enough to cover much uneven ground while escaping the clutches of various witches’ ovens, and yet have the traction and tire volume to ride over fallen, wilting beanstalks.
It’s all a bit academic, because while you’re busy test riding the cargo bikes around a small clearing behind the tree trunk, three bears return from their walk and eat you. And you deserve it, too, you bicycle thief.
Had I realized that this blog would end in your death, I’d have chosen another analogy. I apologize. Please take some comfort in knowing that everyone who lived lived happily every after. The bears made the best porridge of their lives from your magic beans and your delicious quads, and I have a most excellent cargo bike.