|My Mukluk: It's more than just a "snowbike"|
(Or variations upon that theme including questions about the tires, and where I got them, etc.)
So, I figured a lot of you folks visiting here probably are shaking your heads wondering what in the world all the fuss is about these enormously tired bicycles. I know this is true because of the questions I get all the time, and the fact that "non-endemic" media is coming around asking a lot of the same questions.
So I figured I would put this little ditty together for all of you that do not quite understand what all the fuss is about.....yet. Hopefully you will understand a bit more after this.....
- Fatbikes are not just for snow: This was something I used to think, and it held me back from getting one sooner than I did. I was stupid. Don't make the same mistake I did. Fatbikes are imminently capable mountain bikes. I like to call them the "Human powered two wheeled ATV".
- Fatbikes Are Not Slow: The tires and rims on these bikes are really big and heavy looking. Yes- they weigh more than most bikes, but many bicycles on bike shop floors weigh more than, or similar to a fat bike, and you never hear folks complain about them. The perception is those wheels must be cumbersome and slow. Nothing could be further from the truth. They take more work than some bikes do, but the pay-off is well worth the extra efforts.
- Fatbikes are not for shy, introverted people that do not like fun: Seriously, if you are a curmudgeon, or if you can't stand being the center of attention, don't buy a fatbike. You will hate life with this sort of bike. If, however, you are a gregarious, outgoing fun-hog, you really are wired for a fatbike ownership. Get one and watch the attention come in like waves on an ocean. You will love it! You also will have so much fun riding a fatbike you might get giddy and laugh out loud. Really!
- Fatbikes like to run in packs: It's kind of like magnets to steel, or white on rice, but these bikes seem to like getting together and rumbling together. The riders seem to just come along with it. If you like doing things with other people and making car tire noises on gravel, or floating over snow, or if you veer toward mad creek riding adventures, you will find other fatbikes will want to come along for the fun of it.
- Fatbikes take you to places you can't get to on other bikes: This should be obvious, but those "ATV-like" wheels can float over sand, chunky rock, woodland debris, snow, mud, and other surfaces that trip up an ordinary mountain bike. Road bikes? Whatever. Let them have the pavement- fatbikers will go where cars can't even go! Want some solitude after all the group riding and attention whoring? A fatbike can crawl back into places no one else will ever look to find you, if you want to go there.
- There are lots of choices in fatbikes now, they are not all "Pugsleys": Used to be that the only turnkey fatbike choice available to the general public was a Surly Bikes Pugsley. They pretty much dominated the scene unless you happened to know the inner circle of Alaskan based fatbikers that knew about Wildfires, Fatbacks, 9 zero 7's or a few others. But the times have changed and now you can easily get your hands on Salsa Mukluks, Surly's newer models, the aforementioned Fatbacks and 9 zero 7's, and now On One is coming out with a fatbike. Tire choices have also ballooned, (no pun intended), in choice over the original Endomorph fatty tire.
- And yes.......they are good on the snow!: Of course, the fatbike excels at riding over soft surfaces, including sand, mud, and snow. In fact, the bikes were pretty much evolved from the desire to race bicycles on snow. Yes.....racing on snow. There is a great series of fatbike races in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, plus the long running races on snow like the Arrowhead 135 and Triple D events.
Oh, and that question I got? I stopped and answered it. The entire time I spoke with the gentleman who was asking me he was fixated on my front tire, ignoring the wails of his toddlers coming through the front door.
Never underestimate the power of the fatbike!