Powder Pedaling: The Best Fat Bikes
Just because snow is falling across the country it doesn’t mean you have to put up your bike for the season; or worse, relegate yourself to pedaling on an indoor trainer during the winter. In the lat few years fat bikes have gained a huge market share in the cycling industry. From long bicycle tours to powdery downhills, fat tires are proving themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Whether you are looking for your next winter hobby to stay active, or are a seasoned snow rider, we’ve got the best fat bikes for you.
The Bucksaw combines the best of a full suspension bike – plush, comfortable ride, and serious downhill chops – with the stability of a four inch wide tire. Mix in a full carbon frame, and you’ve got a bike that can roll through everything from the slick red rock of Moab to packed powder trails in Jackson Hole. This is the bike for adrenaline junkies.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Surly’s Icecream Truck is built from the tires up for hauling gear. If you’ve ever wanted to pedal all your camping gear into a winter basecamp, this bike has it all. WIth fender and rack eyelets, this bike is ready to strap a myriad of accessories on board. Surly built the frame from their proprietary 4130 CroMoly Steel, ensuring the Icecream Truck can handle years of serious abuse.
On the speed demon side of things, the S-Works Fat Boy is a full carbon snow rocket. Kitted out with their venerable XX-1 drivetrain and agressive geometry, the Fat Boy is a bike that is built to win races (albeit in the snow rather than something like the Tour De France). HED wheels and Specialized’s RS Carbon brakes provide excellent control in all conditions.
If you’re just getting in to the fatbike scene, the sticker prices may be a little shocking. Fore the rider who is looking to go for a few rides a season and gauge interest, Framed Bikes’ Minnesota line is perfect. Baseline SRAM components, a 1×10 drivetrain, and 6061 aluminium frame make for a great bike that beginners can get out on the trails and beat on. It is comfortable enough that you’ll be loading it up on the bike rack all winter.
From hauling skis up closed mountain roads to attaching a trailer and riding in to high fly fishing camps, the El Oso is our bike of choice. Riding the line between cost effective and luxury, this bike hits all the high notes for its price range. It has handled everything from packed powder trails to muddy quagmires as the winter in the Rockies has gone through storm cycles. The RockShox Bluto fork provides 100mm of travel, which is plenty when combined with the nice rebound of the fat tires. There are lighter bikes and faster bikes, but none of them combines all the comfort and features of the El Oso.