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Snow Ride- I Want a Fat Bike

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You are an animal, getting out there in those conditions. I really love your passion for riding, needing to get that exercise adrenaline rush in.
    Thanks for educating me on, as I've said before, something I know little to nothing about. Never heard of a 'Fat Bike' until just now. I hope you find the one you want and need!
    2277 days ago
  • ANDY_54
    You're pretty awesome! Love the pictures from the snow and the bikes--something I'm not sure I could convince myself to do! Great blog! I have a question, at some point I want to get a bike--not a trail bike, though--do you have any good links to go look at? Thanks much!
    2277 days ago
    You, my crazy SparkFriend, are indestructible.
    Sounds like an awesome adventure. But, ya, get a tracking device so people can find you out there.
    2278 days ago
    Congratulations on getting out there and getting a ride in despite the bad conditions! 8 degrees is colder than I would venture out, on or off a bike LOL! Hope you are able to get what you want.
    2279 days ago
    Nice ride!!
    Good luck with the Fat Bikes!!
    2279 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Happy to see you are still getting out there. Love those bikes. emoticon
    2279 days ago
  • NWFL59
    Sounds like a great addition to your inventory of bikes. emoticon
    2279 days ago
    Snow, dark, and below 10 degrees. Boy you are a glutton for punishment, aren't you? My limit is about 35 degrees and there can't be anything on the ground or falling out of the sky LOL I guess that makes me a wuss by your standards. Enjoy the bike shopping!
    2279 days ago
    Cool bike.
    Read my blog about Christmas Nightmare!
    2279 days ago
  • BILL60
    Goos luck with the fat bikes.
    2279 days ago
    Good blog. Interesting. Since you love riding so much and live in Colorado, I bet you would get your money's worth out of a "fat bike."Riding comfortably in the snow would be really cool!!

    I am so glad I love running and don't have to spend those big bucks to get my cardio!!! I spend enough on shoes, outfits, entry fees, etc. I do ride about once a week for cross training, but since I'm in Florida my one comfy bike serves me well.
    2279 days ago
    Couldn't help but hope you take some sort of tracking device with you when you ride out like that by yourself. Looks like it would be hard to find you out there if you crashed!
    Glad you enjoy biking so much!
    2279 days ago
    You must really love to ride.
    I'll take our warm, 35 this morning, Texas winters.
    2279 days ago
  • ACTIVE_AT_60
    I am envious. But, I think I will stick to my road and cross bikes - with their limitations. Merry Christmas.
    2279 days ago
    Cool riding, as long as your bike can take it! Those other bikes are sweet, I like the black one, but of course you are the expert with them.
    2279 days ago
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