Roll a fatty.
Fat Bikes are a great way to spend quality time outside, and ride all winter long! Similar to a traditional mountain bike, fat bikes pack a 4-5" wide tire in to a special frame for a ride anywhere ride experience.
First time going out on a fat bike? It is similar to your typical mountain bike experience, with some changes for winter.
What to wear?
Riding fat bikes is an aerobic activity, and it is best to dress in moisture wicking layers. One should dress as if going XC skiing or snowshoeing.
Torso: A base layer is essential to keeping you warm and dry, helping your body to regulate heat and humidity. If it is particularly cold, also bring a thermal insulating layer for additional heat retention. Your outer layer should be a windproof or even waterproof lightweight shell.
Legs: A softshell pant or normal snow pants will work just fine paired with a baselayer pant.
Footwear: A sturdy winter boot or hiking boot is preferred. Try for something that will keep the snow out, and insulation if possible.
Headwear: A thin hat or balaclava underneath a normal bike helmet, or wear your ski helmet. Goggles can be nice, but easily fog up.
When to go?
Never pass up a good ski day, because Fat bikes work best on packed snow. Right after a snow storm may not be the best time to go. Once fresh snow has been groomed and packed down, conditions are ready for fat bikes. Please do not ride when trails are soft! It damages the trail for other uses and future users. If your tires are leaving a rut deeper than 1" , the trail is too soft to ride. Riding soft trails is much more work, and not as much fun, as well as disrespectful. Please let trails set up directly after a groom and/or significant snowfall. Check in with us for condition updates.
Where to go?
Our rental bikes are located at our store at 91 Main Street in Montgomery Center, right in the center of the action. Our groomed trail network leaves from the shop, and offers great options for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders.
Fat Bike Best Practices
- Wide tires — deep snow coverage may require tires wider than 3.5 inches.
- Tire pressure will often be less than 10 PSI. MAX 12 PSI. It is not uncommon to run as low as 2 psi, depending on tire size.
- Enough floatation that you can travel over snow without leaving a rut deeper than one inch.
- Sufficient traction that you are able to safely control your bike and ride in a straight line.
- Only ride at ski areas that allow and encourage biking.
- Yield to all other users when riding. Skiers don't have brakes but you do!
- Ride on the firmest part of the track.
- Do not ride on or in the classic tracks.
- Leave room for skiers to pass (don't ride side-by-side with all of your buddies blocking the full trail).
- Allow the track time to set up after grooming and before riding.
- Respect alternate-use days for bikers and skiers.
- Some areas require riding only a purpose-built fat bike, not any old mountain bike. There may be a minimum tire tread width.
- Be an ambassador for the sport: stay polite, educate other riders, discourage bad behavior and follow the rules.
- Help out and get involved by joining your local nordic club.
- Consider donating money for trail grooming.
- When riding on snowmobile trails, use a front white blinker and rear red blinker at all times. Wear reflective material on both the front and rear of your body.
- Stay to the far right of the trail and yield to snowmobiles.
- Know and obey the rules of your local land manager. Understand that some trails may be on private property and might not be open to alternative uses.
- Be prepared. Winter travel in the backcountry requires carrying proper gear and dressing properly. Be self-sufficient!
- Use extreme caution when riding at night. Be visible and use the brightest lights you can find.
- Be friendly! Fat bikers are the newest trail users. Be courteous and open to suggestions from snowmobile riders.
- Help out by supporting your local snowmobile club.
- Consider donating to trail grooming and maintenance efforts.