Less daylight, cold weather and difficulty planning winter workouts all contribute to less time on the bike. But, if you want to get fitter, faster, and more efficient on the bike, then guess what? You got to put your time in. So what do you do? Ride a fat bike! First time fat bike riders may question the bike parts and cycling apparel needed to ride comfortably, so below are our fat bike essentials to make fat biking work for you.
PEDALS & SHOES
Many new fat bike riders wonder if they should use clipless or flat pedals on a fat bike? Guess what? It’s your choice! The biggest problems people have making this decision is deciding how to best keep their feet warm. Having flat pedals will allow you to wear thick winter boots, which are more conducive to keeping your feet warm. However you can buy clipless boots that are designed to handle colder temperatures. Using a clipless pedal could prove annoying in snowy terrain if you have to dismount and remount frequently during your ride.
SMART CLOTHING CHOICES AND POGIES & GLOVES
Obviously, if you are going to be riding out in the cold, you’ll want to dress warm and dress appropriately. But what does that mean exactly? You have to think a little bit harder before and during your fat bike rides in the cold. Generally the most important tip for keeping warm is to layer, and to carry a pack to put your extra layers away. Some people prefer to wear ski goggles and a ski helmet, and lots of people wear winter boots. Poagies, insulated hand covers that slip over your handle bars, are also very useful for keeping your hands warm. Keeping your feet warm is key. Wearing boots, preferably water proof, with thick socks on flat pedals or clipless boots with multiple pairs of socks works.
FACE AND EYE PROTECTION
Obviously, cover your head! You can wear a buff or a cap and headgear. Buffs are really good for neck protection as well. Another option are balaclavas – especially so if you want to keep almost your entire face warm. Remember to wear appropriate eye protection too! The glare from the snow can be blinding. While not as stylish as some of the cycling eyewear we carry on BikeParts.com, you could consider wearing goggles to help protect our eyes and face in snowy conditions.
TIRES AND TIRE PRESSURE
Hmmmm, decisions here – What kind of tires should I use? How wide? What pressure do I run? Tube vs. Tubeless? Here’s what we suggest. You have to match tire pressure with conditions. Softer snow conditions: 6psi. Harder conditions: 8-10psi. (much lower than the normal bike). Fat-bike tires are typically marked as 26 x 4.0 though most are really more like 26 x 3.7 or 3.8. The actual size of the mounted tire will vary depending on the rim width used for the wheel. Many riders prefer tubeless because they reduce over a point of rotation weight and they provide better traction.
A FAT BIKE
You have to have a fat bike to ride one! Finding the fat bike that works for you will depend on the type of riding that you do and, more importantly, your budget. At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we are all big fans of fat bike riding. Stop by to buy a fat bike or demo one. And if you want even more fat bike ideas, or need for cycling apparel, bike parts, and cycling accessories, stop in the shop for that too! We’ve got all the gear and cycling accessories for you riding needs!
Get in on the fat bike action! Take your cycling to another level of fun and sign up for one of the upcoming fat bike races. Check out our 2017 Colorado Fat Bike Racing Calendar. Stop by the shop for bike parts, cycling apparel, and get all your fat bike questions answered!