Did you catch the bike stoke this year? With gyms reducing capacity and fitness classes moving online many of us decided to hop back on our bikes and check out local trails. If you did as well, we have some good news! The arrival of winter does not mean you need to put that newfound passion into hibernation. Let us introduce you to fat biking!
What is Fat Biking?
A ‘Fat Bike’ is specifically designed for offroading on unstable terrain such as sand or snow with their oversized, fat, tires! It is a great option for winter cardio and a fun way to spend time in the snow.
Fat bike tires also have super low psi which makes you feel as if you are just floating across the snow. Proper tire pressure lets your bike roll quickly, ride smoothly, and avoid flats. Take this for example, for optimum traction you want your road bike tires at 90psi, mountain bikes tires at 25psi, but fat bikes drop to only 2-5psi!
Fat biking essential gear to get you on the trail
Asides from the actual bike and safety gear, there are a few apparel essentials you’ll want to consider before heading out into the snow. When you’re out fat biking you’ll want to stay warm but have the ability to cool down as your heart rate rises. It is highly recommended to wear layers that you can easily add or remove as needed! As well as a proper pair of winter boots – once runners get wet they will become very cold and offer no ankle protection from the elements.
Don’t forget about your hands! To start you can just wear gloves to keep your hands warm but once you’re hooked and this becomes your new winter sport of choice you can invest in handlebar mounted covers for your hands called pogies!
And lastly, your phone or camera! You won’t want to miss out on capturing the beautiful snow-capped landscapes along the way.
Where to ride
We asked Yervana Local, Ryan, where his favourite trails in Canmore are since he has been fat biking since 2011! Here’s what he had to say;
“Our local mountain bike trail system essentially becomes the fat bike trail system once the snow flies. With so many active people walking, running, riding on the trails they get packed down really quickly. I also love riding and guiding in Kananaskis country on various fat bike designated trails. On solo days when I just want to escape I sometimes ride the ploughed ice roads in the area to get some longer days in on the saddle.”
Not in the Canmore area? Consider heading back out to your favourite summer trail after the snow falls and renting a fat bike from a local bike or rental shop!
How to get started
Curious and want to give fat biking a try? Heading out on a guided ride is a great way to start. A professional guide will teach you techniques like terrain awareness and how to identify ice before it’s too late, plus, proper breaking techniques, and more! Check out Yervana Local, Ryan’s guided fat biking Adventure through the Canadian Rockies.