Winter riding can be catagorized under two distinct disciplines. One being general commuting and the other being fat biking. While any bike can be used throughout winter, not all can be riding successfully or even legally on snow trails.
So what makes a fat bike a fat bike? Tires over 3.8″ wide are the easiest way to call a fat bike a fat bike. As tire width widens, so must the frame and fork of the bike to make room for the extra rubber. This also makes a fat bike specific, meaning not every bike can simply be converted to fit the extra wide tires. Fat bikes allow the user to ride on packed snow trails by giving the rider an enlarged surface area on top of the snow. It is the same idea as a snowshoe, just put into the form and function of a bicycle. Tires that are narrower than the 3.8″ standard cut through the surface of the snow trail and act like a pizza cutter, causing damage to the trail and making the ride experience quite difficult for the rider. We carry the best from Specialized with their Fatboy and Hellga models, and additionally Rocky Mountain’s Blizzard and SuziQ.
The other side of winter riding is commuting. While studded tires can be added to practically any bike to make slippery roads more managable, certain types of components, like interally geared hubs and disc brakes can help make the entire experience of riding to work, class, or errands much more managable.
Interested in learning more about riding outdoors when the temp is beyond freezing? Drop by, we’d love to offer our expertise!