When you think of winter in Breckenridge, you may not think biking as popular past time in the snow. Big tires means big adventures all year round, even in fresh powder. Fat biking has become a new trend to stay fit outdoors in the winter months, and with a variety of wheel sizes to trade out, you can ride around all four seasons. That being said, here are some starter tips to get you on the mountain for some two-wheel action this winter.
The Q-Factor is something you want to be mindful of, as this is the distance between the pedal attachment points on one crank arm of the bike to the other. Fat Bikes have a larger space to allow room for the tire and bigger shoes to keep you warm. Some people in the bike trade prefer to use a value for ‘stance width’ — which refers more directly to the distance between feet on the pedals. Should your distance be to wide, it could be like riding a horse. However, should you tighten up that distance for speed, it can turn out to be a terrible ride just the same. Getting the right fit for you is the best place to start in bettering that bike for your ride.
Riding low is the way to go at when you’re biking at elevation. Those tires are fat, but you want to go low on the pressure. PSI is super important to how your bike will ride through all of the fresh snow. The general rule for snow is 5 to 8 psi, though there is no set formula and is adjusted based on the riders preference. For a general trail, you’ll want your tire pressure to be between 8 to 12 psi. Colorado-based pro mountain biker Amy Beisel, who won the women’s elite race last year at the Fat Bike World Championship, says, “in a race or on a ride, the snow conditions can change dramatically, so don’t be afraid to play with your tire pressure until you really understand what increasing it or decreasing it a pound or two will do.”
With all that being said, the most important part of fat biking is to dress for the weather. Layers are key in the mountains as the weather can change in an instant. A good piece of gear to have with you would definitely be CamelBak’s insulated Podium bottle. Fill it with some coffee for a morning energy boost while you’re out on the trails.
Next time you’re out in the Breckenridge area for a ski trip, give fat biking a go. You can rent a fat bike at Breck Bike Guides, Avalanche Sports or at the City Market location of Alpine Sports. Fat bikes are limited, so make sure to contact the store in advance to confirm availability. Grab your gear and get rocking with this new sport!
*Featured image courtesy of single tracks.