Summer spells the end of Mountain Biking in Whitehorse…?
Summer has come to an end and in the North, its time to hang up the mountain bike and hibernate… NOT! Hang up the mountain bike and bust out the Fat Bike!
If you’ve never ridden one of these monster truck wheeled, obese snow bikes then now is the time. Geometry is getting closer to a modern mountain bike with features like 1x drivetrains, tubeless tires, dropper posts, front suspension and even the occasional bike with a shock out back; its no longer the sport of diehard lycra clad cyclists but a legitimate way to extend your mountain bike season into a year round pursuit.
So what is Fat Biking like?
Obviously with all that extra rim and rubber rolling underneath you its never going to perform quite like your race-bred single track weapon. The increased rotating mass and rolling resistance will mean you have to put more effort through your pedals but hey, it makes you fitter and stronger for when its time to pull out those “skinny” 2.4 inch Minions.
That extra mass means turning is slower too and the low pressure (around 5psi in the snow) means the tires are always playing “catch-up” as you lean the bike. This may sound like negatives but it brings a new challenge to a sport you thought you had wrapped up.
Why you should try Fat Biking
There are many legitimate forms of motorsport, Formula 1, Dakar Rally, Moto GP but why do Monster Truck Monster Jams keep selling out stadiums? Because pretty much everyone has an inner Red Neck that loves big tires with the ability to roll over anything! Its so much fun riding over surfaces and obstacles that you never thought of tackling on a regular bike
As mentioned before, not only will it keep you fit in the “off” season but it could actually build your cycling fitness and help you start the summer season stronger than ever. Bonus.
Even with those big fat silica tires, you’re never going to have the same levels of grip as a nice loamy trail in the summer which means technique is key!
If you’re intention is to shred snow packed trails then your cornering, braking and trail scanning skills can only get better by riding a fatty. Correct bike/body separation is key to keeping the bike rubber side down. If you’re not sure what that even means or you want to improve your technique then give Terra Riders a shout, we’ll have you railing snowy corners in no time.
A Fat Bike’s use isn’t restricted to just riding on snow so If you’re looking for a reason to convince your significant other that you should add “another” bicycle to your quiver then I have prepared the following list.
Hard Tail - You’ve always wanted a hardtail bike, now you can have a hard tail and a fat bike in one, its basic economy.
Sand - Those big ‘ol squishy tires work great in sand too! Live near a beach or vacationing in the Sahara next summer? It just makes sense.
Touring - If you’re considering a touring trip that will take you off the beaten path then Fat Bike could be a great option in-spite of the added rolling resistance. Those tires roll over pretty much anything and will get you through pretty much any surface you happen upon.
Winter Commuting - What better way is there to spend money than on something that may (or may not) lower your yearly commuting costs! Sure it might take 10 years to pay that off in gas money but who’s counting?
Fat bikes are definitely a decent chunk of change so if you’re curious and would like to give it a go before splashing out, go ahead and give us a shout at Terra Riders and we can hook you up with an intro lesson and a bike for a few hours and you can make a more informed decision.
If you’re passing through Whitehorse or coming to check out the Northern Lights and would love to see our epic scenery from another point of view then shoot us an enquiry and we’ll see if we can provide you with a cycling tour that you’ll remember for life. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned rider, we have you covered.