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.
1. Fat Free
Unless you have actually ridden one, it can be hard to wrap your brain around the allure of fat biking. Heavy wheels, cold weather and sluggish handling are just some of the negatives associated with the fattest of fat tire disciplines.
But take it from us here at Mtbr: Under the right circumstances, riding these behemoths (which can actually be pretty light) is a ton of fun, especially if you happen to be snowbound during the winter months. Think about it. You can sit on the couch and get fat. You can ride your trainer and get bored. Or you can bundle up, go outside, and have fun. We’ll take the later every time. For a little more fat bike stoke (and a demonstration of these bike’s myriad capabilities) we’ve pulled together 10 of our favorite fat bike videos starting with Rocky Mountain’s Fat Free (above).
The crew at Rocky Mountain was initially hesitant about the whole fat bike trend. But not longtime Rocky rider and freeride legend Wade Simmons, who was an instant convert, saying, “Everyone thinks they’re so f@#&ing cool and serious, but it’s really just about having fun on your bike anyway.” Soon he had convinced others and this video featuring Simmons, Geoff Gulevich, Brett Tippie, Andreas Hestler and Fraser Vaage was one of the results. Shot in British Columbia’s stunning Coastal Mountains, it illustrates that the only limitations for these bikes are our own preconceived notions.
Watch all these great videos, then go ride your bike — outside in the snow!
2. Tough at the Top 24” Shredit
The definition of what constitutes a proper fat bike is still evolving. And while we don’t think the 24” standard will rule the day, this edit featuring On-One Bikes staff member Ross reveals what the mini-fat life could be like.
3. Rowdy the Clown
Though it didn’t diminish our inherent fear of clowns, this video from Borealis proves that fat bikes are neither slow-a-foot or flightless. Indeed, this clown can fly.
4. Cold Rolled: Marquette, Michigan
Arguably the most significant fat bike film made to date, Cold Rolled is a quirky documentary that explores the history and progression of winter cycling culture in the small Lake Superior harbor town of Marquette, Michigan. The people behind the Noquemanon Trails Network have nearly perfected the equipment and techniques used to build the Snow Bike Route, a 15-mile winter singletrack developed specifically for fat bikes. The fast, narrow trail features flowy terrain, steep descents and large bermed turns, and is believed to be the first trail of its kind.
5. Chris Akrigg Goes to the Beach
If you don’t happen to live near a rocky mountain, fear not. Fat biking can be equally enthralling at lower elevations (especially sandy ones). For proof, check out trials superstar Chris Akrigg shredding the shore line.