Fatbikes are not fast. Yes, there are more nimble options for navigating trails. Yes, they may feel a bit clunky. Yes, believe it or not there is actually a learning curve on how to set up and ride one to get the most out of it. And yes, and if you are out to find the most efficient all around ride for the most part, this is not it. But if that is what you are seeking then you are missing the whole point.
This should not be your only bike as riding enjoyment comes in many forms. The fattie is a bike reserved for those who are seeking a specific kind of ride. In my case looking to make winter rides enjoyable and add a variety to my remaining 3 season ride routine. For those of us in the north or midwest we face something every November that the other half of the country truly cannot comprehend. The impending doom and depressing gloom of a long cold winter. This is how I combat that dark dreary season. That said, I have been regularly riding in sub freezing snow-covered routes since I picked up my fattie. BECAUSE MY FAT BIKE ENCOURAGES ME TO CHANGE MY RIDE MINDSET.
When the cold days of old man winter begin to show up for long dark hours, successfully staying on the bike is all about adjusting the mental outlook. It’s about finding a new fuel for your hearty winter spirit. You can no longer ride the way you did the past 8 months as weather and conditions physically do not allow it. And if you are like me, there is only so much you can stand on the indoor trainer. No computrainer or training video can replace the feeling of my Fat bike night rides. Plowing through snow, snot dripping, feet and hands numbing, and heart pumping , as snow kicks up into my face. I focus my efforts on powering my rubber-souled steamroller through anything that challenges my efforts. Somehow it keeps me motivated and excites me as I venture forth during my evening rides. Crystal white flakes shimmer as they float across my headlight while I carefully select which snow-covered path I should hold or attempt to create. All while the eerie quiet silence is pierced by the crunching and creaking snow under my cushioned fat rubber “shoes”. It’s purely magical and slightly surreal.
It’s good to get FAT over the winter.
I also believe that it will make me a better all around cyclist. I am using areas of my body, core arms and legs that I do not use as much while riding the road. I also focus mentally on my decision-making which exercises my mental ride processer. Plus if you’ve ever pushed yourself to do 2o miles in snow you will feel ike you just did a full day of interval sessions.
The fattie is about discovering a new way to ride. Like re-experiencing what it was like to ride a bike when you were a five year old first pulling off the trainers. There are many things I would like to experience again for the first time or through the eyes of a child and If I can do that every time I jump on my fat bike I think it was worth every penny. A bit quirky, a bit silly, and extremely liberating it is an ideal routine to add to your ride repertoire. Enjoy it for what it can do for you. My new mindset- It’s good to get FAT over the winter.