Riding a Fatbike – Reasons to Give It a Try

By Jiri Kaloc

Have you been seeing more of these strange bikes with fat tyres lately? With the first snowfall, fatbike owners are getting to enjoy some really fun-looking rides again. And maybe you should too. Here are a few reasons you should consider giving fatbikes a try.

Fatbikes are fun and exciting

Fatbikes are perfect if you’re looking for a new way to get out and explore. The wide tyres provide extra grip and traction, allowing you to traverse terrain that would make conventional tyres sink. Fatbikes use low tyre pressure that allows them to roll over obstacles with more stability, making them suitable for riding in various conditions, including snow, sand, mud, and wet pavement. Simply put, you can venture out on the most exciting trails and explore so many new environments when using a fatbike.

Fatbikes go well with other winter sports

Staying fit in the harsh winter weather can be harder. Fatbikes can help with your winter fitness in two ways. They offer a great way to add intense workouts that burn a lot of calories but don’t require a lot of recovery time. Riding out in the cold requires your body to spend a lot of energy on keeping the core temperature up but you’re still doing a non-weight-bearing activity so the recovery is that much quicker compared to running or cross-country skiing.

Talking about skiing, fat biking can be a great way to cool down after cross-country skiing. And not only that, you could use it for commuting to your favourite winter sports. In the city of Oulu in Finland, they have over 350 km of skiing paths and many of them are easily accessible by bike via more than 950 km of cycling paths.

You get to experience a really low tyre pressure

How well your bike rolls through the sand or snow is all about your PSI. When using a fatbike on the snow, you can go as low as 5 to 8 PSI. For general trail use, riders tend to run between 8 to 14 PSI. It feels a lot different when compared to the typical 30-50 PSI used on mountain bikes or 80-130 PSI on road bikes. Tyre pressure this low doesn’t only improve stability but it’s amazing for comfort too. Trail obstacles like roots and rocks are no match for a fatbike. You’ll be able to stay on the bike for much longer without feeling the terrain fatigue.

They give you confidence

Do you know what more stability, better handling, and increased comfort result in? More confidence! Riding a fatbike gives you the confidence that you can ride anything off road. A muddy river crossing, fresh snow or sketchy descents? No problem. And you will enjoy the perks of a fatbike even in a city. You won’t have to worry about hitting a pothole, a crack or a bump in the road. Fatbikes can handle those with ease and let you smoothly weave in and out of traffic.

A new reason to make use of your winter gear

Winter is the perfect time for trying a fatbike, which makes it a great opportunity to wear all your winter clothing and gear in creative ways. You can basically dress like you would for Nordic skiing with some changes. Layering is crucial in cold temperatures, so take advantage of all your cycling clothes as well as repurposed gear from other sports. The key to fatbike comfort is a warm head, feet, and hands. Go for two pairs of gloves, booties over cycling shoes, and buffs on the ears and neck. If it’s really cold, you can even swap your bike helmet for a ski helmet. Also, it’s the best opportunity to give those insulated bottles a try, warm tea with honey really hits the spot.