2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Crested Butte's annual bacchanal of all things fat better than ever

Fat Bike News Race Coverage
2018 Fat Bike World Championships

There’s still plenty of snow for great fat biking in Crested Butte. Photo by Neil Beltchenko

The adage that when the skiing is bad the fat biking is great has reached new levels across Colorado in 2018. According to the National Resource Conservation Service the state’s current snowpack is 60% of normal, and only 40% of where things were at the same time during last winter’s monster snow year.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Nearly 200 riders toed the start line for the third annual Borealis Fat Bike World Championships.

While that’s obviously bad news for Colorado ski resorts, it’s resulted in some fantastic fat biking opportunities, especially around Crested Butte, which last week played host to the third annual Borealis Fat Bike World Championships. Instead of being covered in powder, area trails are dry or packed in, making for superb two-wheeled adventures in the woods.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Heading out for five laps of the East Valley loop.

The four-day bacchanal of all things fat kicked off with the North Village Classic, where a looping circuit challenged 36 solo riders, plus a dozen 2- and 4-person teams. The 1.5-mile course was near perfect, as the track stayed firm and there were plenty of places to pass throughout the hour’ish long race. The story was similar two days later for the world championship race, where 196 riders (111 in the long race, 85 in the shorter affair) chased glory around a perfectly groomed 5.8-mile loop just east of town in the shadow of Mount Crested Butte. Here’s a video from the folks at Borealis that captures the action.

Ashley Carelock and Tony Baca took this year’s women’s and men’s world titles, with Amy Beisel and Ami Stuart rounding out the women’s podium, and the ageless Travis Brown and Daniel Johnson completing the men’s top three. (Full results from both days are HERE.)

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Away they go. That’s MTB Hall of Famer Travis Brown on the Trek. He ended up second overall and easily won his age group.

In between racing, there was lots of beer drinking (thanks, Upslope) and a demo day and grooming expo. After racing was done, Crested Butte Mountain Resort opened up one of its chairlifts and skier-cross courses to fat bikes for some high-speed and high-bermed action. Perhaps full-time fat bike lift access is the answer to what to do in these low snow years. Check out this Instagram post to see what we mean, then scroll through the photo gallery below for more from Fat Bike Worlds.

Fat Bike DH. It’s a thing. @cbfatbikeworlds @skicrestedbutte #hucktoflat

A post shared by Mtbr (@mtbr) on

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Getting some air. Photo by Neil Beltchenko

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Fat bike attire ran the gamut. This guy was ready for the after party from the get go.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

The Borealis mobile office was in the house. The well-regarded fat bike maker served as title sponsor for the third year in a row.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Plenty of Borealis demo bikes were available.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Upslope was in the house pouring adult beverages all weekend.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

No shortage of amazing scenery at the North Village venue.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Plenty of burger and brats, but no branding this year.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Racing under the shadow of famed Mount Crested Butte.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Scooby-Doo made an appearance.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

There were also plenty of vikings.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Another viking. Too bad about the NFC Championship.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Racers were all ages, including this unstoppable 69-year-old.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Just need to add a zero and it’d be the perfect Colorado number plate.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

45NRTH was among several winter brands showing off their wares.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Ice (sweat) beards were commonplace on race day.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Mtbr features editor Jason Sumner spinning laps on the highly capable Canyon Dude.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Local fat bike pied piper Dave Ochs was the man on the mic during the North Village race.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

One of several grooming devices on display during the demo day. Creating great fat bike track is truly an art.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Travis Brown spent much of the day off the front.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

A good place to be.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

The local trail association (CBMBA) has helped make Crested Butte a true fat biking destination.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

The North Village race commenced with a Le Mans-style start.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

The four-day event wrapped with some lift served riding at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Not a sign you see everyday at a ski resort.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Not the lift line we’re used to seeing.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

No fat bike racks yet. Instead you load on your lap.

2018 Fat Bike World Championships

Cheers to another awesome Fat Bike Worlds. We can’t wait for next year.


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 Tour de France, the Olympics, 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 daughter Cora in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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