Californians can attest that last winter was unforgettable. Countless powder days of bottomless snow up in the mountains and tacky dirt near the coast. However, Lake Tahoe’s weather cycle is feast or famine. This winter has been slow to start, and there’s few signs of fresh snow on the horizon. This is the perfect opportunity to explore a new sport: Winter Fat Biking!
What is Fat Biking?
Named for their monster truck like tires, they allow you to ride in places you wouldn’t think you could. Picture riding along sandy beaches or even a mountain meadow snowscape! The frames are specifically designed to fit around wider, squishier tires. Unlike regular mountain bikes with a full suspension, the tires themselves act as the suspension. This is achieved by filling them with lower pressure, typically around 5 to 15 PSI. Due to their massive volume, it allows them to glide effortlessly atop soft surfaces.
Are They Harder To Pedal?
With low PSI and big poofy tires, the biggest question that comes up is, “is it harder to pedal than a mountain bike?” The answer isn’t as simple as it might seem. On smooth surfaces like asphalt or uphill climbs, the heavier build can indeed make it tougher. However, if you were to ride your regular mountain bike on similar terrain and trails, chances are you’d struggle with sinking or have a tough time staying on the snow.
The Next Step For Your Mountain Biking
If your preferred chariot is being on two wheels, winter fat biking serves as a natural transition akin to going from surfing to snowboarding. It becomes an ideal option for those seasons when mountain biking isn’t feasible or enjoyable. It not only helps maintain your fitness but also opens up riding opportunities on terrain that is typically inaccessible on a regular mountain bike. If you’re near Lake Tahoe resorts like Northstar and Tahoe Donner, you can rent them to try it out or even Bear Valley Cross Country and Adventure Company in Alpine County.
So, instead of waiting for the snow and riding the same trails, try something new – Winter Fat Biking! It might be your new favorite thing.