Fat Bike Best Practices
Please do your part to maintain trail access for fat bikes! You can help by respecting all trail closures, other users and facilities. Remember, we work hard to maintain trails, both groomed and packed, and often damage created is not easily repairable.
Use your best judgment when riding, and if you are leaving a rut, please DO NOT CONTINUE TO RIDE!
These guidelines have been developed by IMBA as an international standard.
DO NOT RIDE unless you are sure that biking is permitted by the land manager! Always be courteous to other snow travelers.
What are some basic equipment guidelines for a fat bike that will be primarily ridden on snow?
- 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.
- 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.
Best Practices for Fat Biking on Groomed Nordic Trails
- 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.
Best Practices for Riding on Snowmobile Trails
- 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.