What is fat biking
A truly unique means of exploring snow-covered trails has emerged in recent years: fat biking. Made to ride on snow, sand and other types of terrain, fat bikes are equipped with over-sized tires and rims. To accommodate this generously-proportioned wheelset, the bike is also fitted with over-sized forks and chainstays. In short, fat bikes look ridiculous.
A brief history.
Simon Rakower of Fairbanks, Alaska, is said to have created the wide handmade rims found on original fat bikes by welding two rims to each other. When he developed and produced a 44mm rim soon after that worked with most commercial mountain bikes, winter cycling was transformed. Designer and producer, Surly Bikes, would make fat bikes available to local bike shops around the world with their Pugsley frame and specialized rims and tires.
Today, fat bikes have evolved from being used specifically for ultra-endurance winter events to being commercially available throughout the world in independent bike dealers.
So, what are they for?
A fat bike will take you places no other bike can, as they excel where all-terrain mountain bikes fall short. As mentioned above, fat bikes are specifically designed to ride over snow, sand, roots, gravel and other unstable terrain.
How do they work?
The wide tires on a fat bike allow it to “float” over loose conditions like snow and sand. Due to their big footprint, just a small amount of tire pressure is needed. Fat bikes typically perform best under 15 PSI depending on rider weight conditions and terrain. You’ll need to experiment with the PSI to find the ideal traction. The benefit of crazy-low pressure is unmatched traction over rocks, roots, sand and, my favorite, snow!
How much do they weigh?
This is going to vary, obviously, depending on quite a few factors, including frame material, size and components. Of course, because fat bikes are bigger than your average mountain bike, they’re going to most likely weigh more than it too. However, with the various frames and parts available to consumers today, it might be lighter than you think. The 2013 carbon Borealis Yampa frame weighs in at 1,270 grams, or 2.79 pounds (painted, finished, size medium frame, including derailleur hanger). Other lightweight carbon and titanium options are available as well.