The Fatbike revolution is here….
Fat-biking has an interesting future ahead, with new bikes, materials and adventures make the headlines year on year. Watch this space…
Where did the Fat bike come from and is it a new trend?
In 1987 Alaska saw the first Iditabike event where riders undertook the challenge of riding 200 miles across the Alaskan backcountry in wintry conditions. Following the first section of the Iditarod dog sledging trail, this historic section would feature conditions ranging from frozen snow crust, soft snow, ice and water flows. Due to the conditions there was a fair amount of walking involved.
Jumping forwards a few years to the present, and the current revolution…
With carbon frames and lightweight materials, rack friendly frames making fat-touring making off road touring a great possibility and the 29+ semi fatbike for mountain biking, there really is a fatbike for everyone.
Riders needed to improve their equipment to handle the conditions, narrow tyres would sink in the snow and have reduced traction on ice. These conditions combined with human ingenuity spawned the birth of the Fat bike. The first fat wheels were made up from pinning or welding two individual rims together side by side and lacing in tandem to a single hub. Custom bike frames were then needed to take the larger wheel size. One experiment was named the “six pack” and used 3 rims side by side front and rear to create a massive footprint!
Where would I use a fatbike, there isn’t much snow in Devon? Snow is just one use for the fatbike, the Fat bike is your “go anywhere”, “do anything” bike! We found the bike excelled in the wet gloopy mud on the top of the moors, the lower pressure and big tyres provided an unbelievable amount of traction. Climbing the hills was no issue and the fat tyres provided a cushioned descent on the rougher stuff! The bike made a trip around Torbay at low tide along the beach great fun and a real adventure. They should be re-named “fun bikes” not Fat bikes! It may not be the best choice for a sportif event if you are competitive, but a good fun ride nevertheless!