Fat Bikes

Fat Bike

Photo Courtesy of Anthony DeLorenzo


The photo shows an example of a “fat bike.”  These bikes are essentially mountain bikes that are specifically designed to handle very wide tires . . .  like four inches, and more, wide. You can see how the fork and the rear triangle must be considerably wider than your typical bicycle.  These types of bikes are becoming increasingly popular as cyclists look for ways to extend their season.  The wide tires and low pressures, down to as low as five psi, work great on very rough terrain and sand as well as on snow.  However,  they don’t work too well in very deep or powder snow.  Riders prefer packed snow.

The tires offer traction, but will still slip away on icy curves so aggressive riders need to be cautious or willing to take a spill.  Fortunately crashing into a snowbank beats crashing into rocks every time.  Studded tires are also available to reduce sliding.

If this sounds like an interesting activity for you,  I suggest you start by reading Fat Biking 101: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Biking in the Snow. Next,  stop by your local bike shop and see what they have to offer.  You may be able to rent one to try out.  I was going to offer a purchase option through Amazon.  Frankly, they don’t carry anything I could recommend to you.

As a final note,  the ability of these bikes to get out in the snow brings with it some responsibilities.  The problem is sharing the snow with other users.  A bike can destroy a cross country ski track in no time, so its best to stick with snowmobile trails and other areas not frequented by skiers.


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