2016 Mtbr Ultimate Guide to Winter Mountain Biking

Everything you need to know about having two-wheeled fun in winter

Fat Bike Tires Wheels Winter Guide
Please withhold judgment on the merits of fat biking until you've ridden true snow packed singletrack.

Please withhold judgment on the merits of fat biking until you’ve ridden true snow packed singletrack (click to enlarge).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the Mtbr Ultimate Guide to winter mountain biking, fat bikes, gear, apparel and trainers. In the first two months of 2016, we are taking a deep dive into all manner of cold weather mountain bike gear, with round-ups and reviews of fat bikes, tires, wheels, apparel, trainers and more. To see all the articles, head over to our Winter Guide Hub Page.

Winter. For some cyclists it’s just a word. You live in one of those perpetually sunny, warm locales where cold means having to slip on arm and knee warmers, maybe a pair lightweight gloves. For the rest of us, winter is real. It’s that time of year when we are forced to make hard choices. Maybe you put the bikes away and take up skiing. Maybe you put the bikes away and sit on the couch. Or maybe, if you’re like us, you find ways to keep riding even when it’s freezing outside, there’s snow on the road and trails, and all common sense says you have no business having fun on two wheels right now.

Riding in winter means spectacular views such as this of Mount Crested Butte (with Specialized Fat Boy Expert Carbon).

Riding in winter means spectacular views such as this of Mount Crested Butte (with Specialized Fat Boy Expert Carbon).

If you fall into the later category, or even if you’re simply considering a trip to a cold weather locale and want to ride while there (try fat biking on snow packed singletrack, and we guarantee you’ll be grinning ear to ear), the 2016 Mtbr Ultimate Guide to Winter Mountain Biking is for you. Over the next two months, we’re taking a deep dive into all manner of cold weather gear, as well as offering up tips on winter riding skills (outdoors and indoors), and getting you up to speed on this year’s most exciting cold weather cycling event, the first annual Borealis Fat Bike World Championships, January 27-31, in Crested Butte, Colorado.

They may appear slow and lumbering, but under the right circumstances, fat bikes are nimble, fast and all kinds of fun.

They may appear slow and lumbering, but under the right circumstances, fat bikes are nimble, fast and all kinds of fun (click to enlarge).

Up first is a three part look at the 2016 Hottest Fat Bikes. We’ll also post reviews on a number of these big wheeled behemoths, provide expert advice on how to pilot them, and give insights on what gear will keep you most comfortable when the mercury is so low you can count the degrees with one hand. Other upcoming features will include a round-up of the best lights for riding at night, a look at the top fat bike wheels and tires, and an extensive look at indoor trainers, because yes, sometimes it is just too cold to ride outside.

Though its primary focus is certainly on summer, the cycling industry does a fine job of opening up the doors to wintertime fun.

Though its primary focus is certainly on summer, the cycling industry does a fine job of opening up the doors to wintertime fun (click to enlarge).

Of course we also want to hear from you the reader. Whether in the comments section below or via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (hashtag #mtbrwinter), let us know your tips and tricks for riding outside in winter, as well as your favorite cold weather gear and places to pedal. And most important of all keep riding. Because there’s no such thing as bad cycling weather, just bad clothing, gear and attitude.


About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the Mtbr staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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