Posted by Logan Watts
In 2016, the Otso Cycles brand was unveiled along with its flagship bike, the carbon Voytek. With a tuning chip in the rear dropout, the Voytek can be set up with full-fat, 29+, or 27.5+ tires. But, at it’s heart, the Voytek is a fatbike with a unique, narrow pedal stance afforded by a relatively small bottom bracket shell. The Voytek was “made to handle snowy trails just as well as it does summer singletrack.” Folks have since been using it for everything from winter fatbiking to long distance bikepacking along the Andes mountains—namely, our friends and two-time Bikepacking Journal contributors, Mark and Hana Black.
Otso just announced the 2020 model in four different colors—gray, purple, mustard, and navy. While the previous Voytek models have been based around a Shimano 11-speed drivetrain, the 2020 Voytek is equipped with a Shimano SLX 12-speed, with options for XT, XTR, or SRAM 12-speed drivetrains.
We haven’t covered this bike since it’s launch in 2016, although we keep hearing good reports. So, as a reminder here’s what differentiates the Otso Voytek from other fatbikes:
1. Narrower Q-factor
A narrower Q-factor (the distance between the crank arms) helps in both handling and comfort. With a narrower stance your weight is closer to the centerline of the bike, allowing for responsive control when cornering; the wider Q-factor found on most fatbikes spreads out the pedals and can feel a bit more floppy and unstable. Using a PF107 bottom bracket and an 83mm crankset, Otso was able to keep a relatively narrow Q-factor. And, the Voytek can still clear up to 26 x 4.6” tires.
2. Tuning Chip
The Tuning Chip rear dropout allows you to extend or shorten the wheelbase of the Voytek by up to 20mm, which also changes bottom bracket height by up to 4mm. The forward position (430mm chainstay) provides an aggressive, responsive geometry. The rear position (450mm), adds a bit of stability to make it easier to ride in deep snow or adverse terrain. All Otso bikes are equipped with the Tuning Chip. This amount of adjustment allows plenty of tire sizes, including 27.5+, 29+, and up to 26 x 4.6″. Otso claims that that they can’t quite decide whether the Voytek is a plus bike that can handle fat tires, or that it’s a fatbike that has the handling worthy of a plus bike.
The 2020 Otso Voytek starts at $3400 for a complete or sells as a frame/fork combo for $2299. Find all the details and photos over at OtsoCycles.com.