If you like bike challenges, how about riding across Antarctica? Christini Technologies has created an all-wheel-drive fat bike for Australian Expedition cyclist Dr. Kate Leeming to ride on the first bicycle crossing of the South Pole.
You can pre-order an exact copy of Leeming’s bike or one of several varieties of the AWD fat bike, including electric-powered models via a Kickstarter campaign, which contributes a portion of every bike sold to support the Antarctic trek.
Christini, a specialty bikemaker in Philadelphia, claims to be the only company in the world that makes all-wheel-drive mountain bikes. All Christini bikes are hand-built and assembled on site. The patented mechanical AWD system uses a series of gears, shafts, and chains mounted on and within the frame to transfer power from the rear of the bike to the front wheel.
There are both 4-inch and 5-inch versions of the AWD fat bike. According to the Christini team, headed by owner Steven Christini, it took “some tricks from our full suspension bikes to get the wide tire to work with the drive shaft.” In the end, the 5-inch AWD fat bike weighs just 32 pounds but is ready to go with unmatched traction.
Christini Technologies started producing AWD mountain bikes in 2001, with full suspension and hardtail models. The company also developed AWD motorcycles. When Leeming contacted Christini in 2013 about designing an AWD bike with fat tires for an Antarctic trek, the company first designed a 4-inch tire version with a split frame. After successful testing, the team applied the design and engineering to the 5-inch bike.
Both sizes are available via the Kickstarter campaign, starting at $5,000. So right off you’re starting with a big ticket, but you get a chance to buy unique bikes that, not only can you ride pretty much anywhere, but that you can also brag will be riding straight across the South Pole.