Part 1: Cold, Wind, Snow and Me on a Bike
Yesterday, December 24th, I wanted to go for a bike ride. I was getting really tired of doing my Cardio workouts inside. The snow was deep near my house. I hoped if I drove to a lower elevation I could find a few clear trails.
I loaded my squeaky clean Specialized Camber Comp mountain bike "Little Cam" on my Thule bike rack and headed to Beaver Ranch in Conifer, Colorado.
Here is Little Cam ready to go at Beaver Ranch. The conditions are not great but there is a slight chance I can get in a good ride.
This photos shows that the conditions are a bit challenging. The temperature is 8 degrees F. The wind is about 10 miles per hour. The snow is powdery. But I have good tires. The trail is steep at about 30 percent.
The strange rear weight bias of the Camber actually helps with traction in the snow. The back tire has good bite but the light front tire packs with snow. The handling is skittish to say the least.
And, No, I didn't crash!
This part of the trail is pretty flat. When I snapped this photo it was getting dark and the temperature was dropping quickly!
Here is a look from my riding position. I could only make about 5 to 6 mph. The bike was just too hard to control on the snow.
These are my tire tracks. The 2.35" wide Kenda Nevegals have good bite but the bike is sinking too much into the snow.
It was pretty dark when I got back to the car. You can see my headlight is blazing away. Snow started to come down during the last few miles. We got about 8 more inches of snow. I was glad to make it back to the nice warm car before the snow got so deep I couldn't pedal through it.
Part 2: I Want a Fat Bike
My snow ride on Little Cam convinced me that, as competent as my mountain bikes are, they cannot handle snow very well. There is a breed of bike that can handle snow, deep sand and very loose conditions. These snow tamers are called "Fat Bikes".
I like the Salsa Beargrease racing Fat Bike.
The Salsa Beargrease has an alloy frame and 4.7" wide low pressure tires.
I am also considering the 9:Zero:7 Nome racing Fat Bike.
This 9:Zero:7 Fat Bike has some great components.
These "light" Fat Bikes are custom made by small full-service local bike shops. The Golden Bike Shop in Golden, Colorado is THE place for Fat Bikes in this area. You can get Surly brand Fat Bikes off-the-rack. The Surly Fat Bikes are chrome-moly steel frames and are a standard offering.
Here is the popular Surly Pugsley Fat Bike. This is a very nice bike with good components.
I am going to demo a few of these Fat Bikes and see if I like the way they feel. The price range on Fat Bikes is $1,650 to $4,000. The wheels and tires drive the price up. These Fat Bikes cannot use V-brakes (rim brakes) and must be fitted with the more expensive disc brakes. I am thinking I want to ride in all weather conditions. A Fat Bike may be the answer.
Thanks for reading my blog.