BIKE SHOP DIARIES: RIDING A FATTY IN THE SNOW
RIDING A FAT BIKE IN SNOW
Fat bikes are a BLAST! And even more fun in the winter snow! Now that winter is officially here, let’s answer a few questions we regularly get from our customers.
IS IT HARD TO RIDE A FAT BIKE IN THE SNOW?
If you’ve ridden mountain bikes, then you can ride a fat bike. The snow will give you some rolling resistance, but fat bikes are very stable and easy to ride.
WHERE TO RIDE?
Think summer mountain biking. Follow the established trails. In Phils, Wanoga and Swampy’s they are all well marked. And the ideal trail is hard packed snow. Small patches of ice are okay – but treat any ice longer than the length of the bike with respect. Otherwise your bike will slide out from under you.
A local favorite is the Wanoga Sno Park Fat Bike Trails. Depending on the weather, there are 3 and 6 mile groomed loops. They are really fun and easy to get around on.
Also check out Gary’s Top Fat Bike Routes
FLAT PEDALS OR CLIPLESS PEDALS?
We always suggest flats. It is so much easier to get started and step off if you are in a pinch. That isn’t to say that you can’t wear clipless. But for the folks who are renting are don’t have the confidence, flats are a no brainer. And use pedals with the pins in them like those used by summer downhill shredders. They will keep your feet in place versus a standard pedal.
Our friends at Bend Trails also have this to say about flats:
HOW SHOULD I DRESS?
Think layers and carry a pack to store those layers. Also, it’s just as easy to overheat and sweat in the cold as it is to under-dress and be miserable. Clothing will vary depending on user comfort and the weather, but a good rule is to protect your hands and face first
Bend local and professional mountain bike guide,
Russ Risdon has a three tips for all fat bike folks:
Russ Risdon in Valdez, Alaska. Reach him on Instagram @pedalfitruss.mtb
WHAT KIND OF SHOES?
You don’t need to invest in special riding shoes as long as you have well-insulated, waterproof shoes and wear thick insulated socks You can definitely buy some winter biking shoes. However, if you are a weekend warrior or just riding occasionally, a waterproof boot and some warm socks will work fine.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO RIDE?
Ride when it is cold enough that the snow doesn’t get soft. Preferably 32 degrees or below. Your tire shouldn’t sink more than 1” into the snow when pedaling. If it does, turn around and head back to the car and go get a coffee at Back Porch Roasters.
WHAT ABOUT TIRE PRESSURE?
This will vary based on the surface you are riding on. But the general rule is not to leave ruts in a groomed trail and you want a big contact patch for traction. For rentals, we usually set them up at 6 psi. When in doubt, let some air out.
John Stark - Hutch's Store and Online Support
Adaptive mountain biker / 3x Ironman Triathlon finisher / Fmr. Ultrarunner / Fmr. Long distance swimmer / Lover of Jibarito Pork Carnitas from Barrio in Downtown Bend