USA's First Ever Fat Bike National Championship

Feb 16, 2015
by Steven Lloyd  
Powder Mountain hosted the inaugural USA Cycling Fat Bike National Championships on Valentine's day. Passion was in the air and people traded in their roses and boxes of chocolates for fat tires and single speeds. Utah has been in a warm spell for some time now and this weekend was no different. Clouds and cool winds kept the snow cold to start out, but as the day went on, jackets came off and sunblock came out. It was the perfect day to hold the Fat Bike Championships. It seems like fat bikes have been around for a while, but today marked a beginning of a new era for fat bikes. Racers of all ages showed up. From age 15 to 70+ racers came to share their passion for racing bikes and shredding in snow. Snow cats had groomed a trail through the rolling hills adjacent to the ski resort. The trail length was 6.1 miles and had multiple berm and jump features. Although the heat turned up mid way through the day, it seemed that the course held up well and riders were stoked.

Amazing view of Snowbasin Resort from the top of Powder Mountain.
  Amazing view of Snowbasin Resort from the top of Powder Mountain.

This guys keeping an eye on his competition.
  This guys keeping an eye on his competition.

These guys set up right at the starting gate. I bet that made a few riders hungry.
  These guys set up right at the starting gate. I bet that made a few riders hungry.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

Das Auto sponsored the race and had plenty of cow bells to had out to the crowd.
  Das Auto sponsored the race and had plenty of cow bells to had out to the crowd.

Biking makes people happy
  Biking makes people happy!

Even the ski patrol got into the fat bike thing.
  Even the ski patrol got into the fat bike thing.

Smiles and warm coffee had people stoked.
  Smiles and warm coffee had people stoked.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

Nat Ross shredding corners with an epic Snowbasin backdrop.
  Nat Ross shredding corners with an epic Snowbasin backdrop.

Fat bike licence plates.
  Fat bike license plates.

It was cool to see skiers and bikers hanging out together on site.
  It was cool to see skiers and bikers hanging out together on site.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

the Turner boys will be some talent to watch for in the future. Dillon Turner putting some style into the finishing jump.
  The Turner boys will be some talent to watch for in the future. Dillon Turner putting some style into the finishing jump.

Lander Turner making fat biking look easy.
  Lander Turner making fat biking look easy.

Even the snowboarders were stoked to check out fat bikes.
  Even the snowboarders were stoked to check out fat bikes.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

Skiers and bikers shareing the slopes.
  Skiers and bikers sharing the slopes.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

The snow was getting hot and quickly turned into this.
  The snow was getting hot and quickly turned into this.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

Quite a few drones flying around at the starting line. Interesting to see what the FAA will have to say in the next year.
  Quite a few drones flying around at the starting line. Interesting to see what the FAA will have to say in the next year.

Pro Mens start.
  Pro Men's start.

Amanda Miller might have been slow out of the gate but she made sure she came if first on the return.
  Amanda Miller might have been slow out of the gate, but she made sure she came if first on the return.

Winds were a factor as shown here by the local kite boarders riding only a few hundred yards away from the track.
  Winds were a factor as shown here by the local kite boarders riding only a few hundred yards away from the track.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

Nat Ross charging on his Borealis bike. Borealis had quite a few folks on the podium.
  Nat Ross charging on his Borealis bike. Borealis had quite a few folks on the podium.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

Kind of got loose on the burms toward the end of the race but most people held it together.
  Kind of got loose on the berms toward the end of the race, but most people held it together.

Debbie Mortensen with a big smile after winning womens master 30-39.
  Debbie Mortensen with a big smile after winning women's master 30-39.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

The legend Ned Overend still killing it at almost 60 years old and winning the first fat bike nationals.
  The legend Ned Overend still killing it at almost 60 years old and winning the first Fat Bike Nationals.

Putting some energy back into the body after the race.
  Putting some energy back into the body after the race.

Amanda Miller with a big hug at the finnish line.
  Amanda Miller with a big hug at the finish line.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

USA Fatbiking National Championships.

Rebecca Rusch stoked on a first in womens master 40-49 and a second in womens pro.
  Rebecca Rusch stoked on a first in women's master 40-49 and a second in women's pro.

Nat Ross trying to keep that bike clean.
  Nat Ross trying to keep that bike clean.

Everyone into the mud pit to see the results.
  Everyone into the mud pit to see the results.

Amanda Miller giving interviews after her big win.
  Amanda Miller giving interviews after her big win.

the parking lot looked like chocolate milk by the end of the day.
  The parking lot looked like chocolate milk by the end of the day.

Lots of awards to give out with almost 200 competitors.
  Lots of awards to give out with almost 200 competitors.

Amanda Miller taking first in womens pro. Rebecca Rusch second and Amanda Carey third.
  Amanda Miller taking first in women's pro. Rebecca Rusch second and Amanda Carey third.

Ned Overend Takes first in USA Cyclings first Fat Bike Nationals.
  Ned Overend takes first in USA Cycling's first Fat Bike Nationals. Brad Bingham second and Travis Brown third.




The Bikes of Fat Bike Nationals



Salsa Beargrease single speed.
  Salsa Beargrease single speed.

Borealis Echo
  Borealis Echo.

Salsa Beargrease
  Salsa Beargrease.

Borealis Yampa
  Borealis Yampa.

Trek Farley
  Trek Farley.

Fat Bike Nationals 2015
  Specialized Fat Boy.

Dillon Turners Specialized Fat boy
  Dillon Turner's Specialized Fat boy.

Landon Turners Specialzed Fat Boy
  Landon Turner's Specialzed Fat Boy.

View the full results here.


93 Comments

  • + 52
 I've said it before, haters going to hate, while others ride. Fatbikes are the best winter outlet for mnt bikers that live with their dirt being snow covered.
  • + 3
 I love it, it's a great way to have a good time during the winter! During the summer they're really fun on flow trails too...lean it over without a care in the world and you'll never slide out!
  • + 8
 This looks like so much fun. I wonder if ski resorts will ever have dedicated fatbike runs on the mountains during the winter seasons
  • + 2
 If I couldn't be on a bike for a couple months cause of stupid snow, I would go crazy. Totally understand why people rock those bikes.
  • + 1
 Several resorts in Utah have opened up their Nordic Centers to Fatbikes...daily grooming like the Nationals course keeps things interesting! It's totally a thing! There was a guy during my race that had bacon hand-ups for the racers. Pissed I didn't take one.
  • + 7
 Life is too short to pretend you don't like catchy Taylor Swift songs.
  • + 20
 They hate us cause they anus
  • + 6
 funny thing is there is like no snow in utah. You could prolly be riding dry trail 45 minutes from where this took place. I like riding fat bikes, but the conditions have not been good for it in northern utah this year or last. Im glad i didnt spend the money on one. Long live summer!
  • + 3
 #juneuary

Ogden bike park is about 20 minutes away...totally dry Smile
  • + 3
 Exactly, trails are dry that aren't even 45 minutes away. I was able to ride BST/Bobsled and trails in Corner Canyon this weekend. Except for a few smug dirt roadies and careless dog owners the conditions were great.
  • + 3
 Here in Minnesota, it's either 5' of snow, or 4" of ice covering everything. The soil composition is right round 4-6' of black dirt, so really, by time trails dry out, we have less than 4 months of decent riding. For those of us who can't afford riding trips out west when it gets crappy here, fatbikes save the season. Also, it's a great way to get away from the city and drink beer with your buddies in the woods.
  • + 4
 you can hate and ride other bikes
  • + 2
 When snow covers my dirt, I go skiing.
  • + 2
 I agree with first comment...but someone needs to come explain that to those fatbiking in the african sun!
  • + 1
 haters gonna hate. ainters gonna aint.
  • + 1
 I wish it snowed enough in Asheville for me to even consider renting one from a shop... Doing a snow DS course on a 24inch fat bike would be the bombdiggity.
  • + 2
 rode a fat bike once .. this bike has it's own excitement when you gapping a 20 footer

www.pinkbike.com/photo/11895454
  • + 1
 Agreed, fatties don't need snow to be fun, after all they're not called "snowbikes". I think Chris Akrigg proved the whole "no snow needed" in his Mongoose fatbike vid.
  • + 0
 Awesome event but make riders wear baggy clothing fat bikes look sick but with a bloke perched on top in crotch tight lycra they don't look so cool.
  • + 2
 Was on the weekend fat bike riding on dedicated fat bike trails in the ski resort on Silverstar in Vernon, BC. Lots of fun.
  • + 37
 Ned Overend will be a beast forever.
  • + 12
 Dude climbs like a gazelle with rocket boosters on his back...in a Specialized jersey.
  • + 2
 Ned is a bad ass
  • + 3
 Stop racing and you just get fat..... Deadly Ned just proved the point, awesome!
  • + 1
 Where's the tashce gone? He used to be like Magnum P.I. on a bike.
And little did I know... He was made in Taiwan. No warranty issues after 59 years.
  • + 19
 FB's are a perfect way to get your bike fix during snowy conditions. Dildo's riding them around town in spandex in states like Texas and Florida is where the hating comes from. But then again, Texas and Florida are the dildo capitals.
  • + 0
 ...& here I thought it's mostly the people who are like "fatbikes are only for snow, stop having fun!" are the dildos...
  • + 19
 If they would have a fatbike 4X race down a boardercross style course with big ruts, that would be sick... until then, theres no way i will buy one haha
  • + 2
 I'm just stoked to be able to ride anything I want in the winter...fire roads make me more stoked than I thought they would haha! Now I guess all I need is some mirrors on my helmet and a gel seat cover to round everything out!

Have you ever ridden one? Like on a real ride in good snow conditions?
  • + 9
 I really like the built up features in the snow. If resorts started building purpose built fat bike trails in the winter, I would buy one.
  • + 10
 Fat bikes are gaining traction.
  • + 1
 and they already had plenty of it to start with...
  • + 7
 The spread of attention is getting wide.
  • + 3
 Hopefully things don't get blown too far out of proportion
  • + 8
 Getting massively tyred of these puns now
  • + 5
 Utilitarian, practical, mother of necessity, the Fatbike. I get it...its the apropriate beast of burden for certain parts of the country...

Fatbikes are for real adventure...Ididarod...massive things any other bike will suck at...

But this??? a standard, boring short XC race on snow and call it a National Championship???? what a farce!!!!
  • + 6
 That and a free ride course with jumps and berms? Some people just have no sense of propriety. Next they'll be eating he main course with the salad fork!
  • + 4
 @tadgercat You weren't there were you...? There is a good amount of the course with 8 foot tall rollers and a few 10 foot tall berms that Steven didn't get any pictures of. Plus, nothing makes sense, it's USA Cycling haha
  • + 4
 Can people really not see the potential for snow dh here? In conditions that suck for snowboard and are mediocre for skiing fat bikes are awesome. No they aren't for powder days, but on the groomed cordoroy with jumps, drops, berms, and wide open fields they are awesome.
Kelly Canyon in Idaho does fatbike lift service in the winter, and people ride them in the terrain park. I think it is the best thing to hit winter since snowboarding, especially since winter seems to have left the rockies and moved to New England.
  • + 7
 Fatbikes and spandex = Awesome?

Has the whole world gone crazy
  • + 2
 Just checked, the pope does still wear a dress.
  • + 2
 Tried the fat bike fad this past weekend. It far surpassed my expectations we've gotten storm after stom here in Maine and the snowmobile trail network is huge so I had plenty of miles to shred in any direction more options than what I have in the summer time I was worried the fat bike was just hype but it most certainly not. I've had some of the most fun I've ever had mountain biking this past weekend with my rented fat bike I'm defiantly going to have to buy one of these babies!!
  • + 2
 Powder mountain had great snow back around Christmas, but with the warm weather I have been wondering how the lift service places were going to manage. This looks like a great answer to a serious problem. If they start designing portions of the park to suit fat bikes maybe more resorts will stay viable as the world thaws. Of course back east they are finally tasting powder that has been the sole purvue of the west since winter sports meant sliding rocks on the frozen rivers of Norway. Now to just get a fat bike. . .
  • + 5
 Was thinking of getting one for xmas then summer showed up here in the PNW so I just bought a XX1 drivetrain instead.
  • + 6
 Cheers to El Capitan. Mr. Ned Overend.
  • + 2
 Rode a fat bike with neither front nor rear suspension on a double black diamond run in Alaska and though it was certainly out gunned, not to the degree I would have expected. Incredibly confidence inspiring, fun playful bikes, Haters gonna hate, but I'm getting one for my local ski slopes. Getting my kicks on two wheels wherever I'm at is my highest priority. fun Fun FUN!
  • + 2
 Look at all the great pictures, so much joy! Especially that person in the picture with the green fat bike and the rock shox fork up in the air, look at that smile! Got to say, took my buddy's fat bike for a ride once, it was a ton of fun, fat tires=big smiles
  • + 4
 Lycra, fatbikes and aero helmets all in the one picture... Pinkbike knows no limits! Smile
  • + 3
 So...what happens if they get dirty? I've seen less bike "carrying" at a cross race, oops I'm sure I've angered someone with my sarcasm.
  • + 1
 Great competition. A lot of beautiful fat bikes. Actually, we are one of fat bike frames, wheelset and fork producer in China. If some of you guys want to know more about them, please contact me through anglesports@hotmail.com. I am Kevin
  • + 5
 I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
  • + 2
 Mars One is still taking applications. But, be warned, they plan on bringing a fleet of fat bikes.
  • + 1
 I would like to invite each of you to compete or spectate at the upcoming USA Cycling Fat Bike National Championships on February 27th at Powder Mountain Ski Resort. For more information visit www.visitogden.com/fatbike. It will be combined with the USA Snowshoe National Championships in conjunction with a Warren Miller show and Yeti Bash in downtown Ogden. Epic snow this year for an epic event. Don't miss.
  • + 3
 Did anyone compete on a "normal" tire mtb? Just wonder if a lighter bike/tires would have been able to hang.
  • + 1
 They have tire sizes you can't go under to compete.
  • + 6
 I'm just honestly curious if a 3.8"+ tire is actually the "fastest" around such a course. Kinda wish they'd let competitors sort that out.
What other race discipline dictates tire size? If a guy can beat me in an xc race on 32mm slicks, more power to him, and/or shame on me for racing a lame course.
  • + 2
 that sucks, I don't think that's the way to go. You should be able to compete on whatever bike you wanted. "but JoseBravo this is a fatbike race, only fatbikes should be allowed" If you make a track that suits fatbikes better there shouldn't be any problems right? that's why you don't see bmx bikes on DH courses.
  • + 2
 yup.....lets just hold a snow mtb championship...see what person and bike wins....might be cyclocross bike... Its the bike requirements that make this a farce..
  • + 1
 Is the entire "26ers forever" contingent buried in a snowbank? Proof positive that mankind will race anything with wheels. It would be better if everyone had to dress like a clown.
  • + 4
 Quality photography Pinkbike! Respect
  • + 2
 Everyone knows that Taun-taun's are the best for snow racing. Not fat bikes.
  • + 3
 Great way to have bike races year round, specially on the east coast.
  • + 3
 Drinking IPA the whole time.
  • + 1
 Except the east coast has snow this year and the west is dry. An hour south of this race people are riding Rush, and super long flow trail in Corner Canyon. The place is usually too midy until the end of march or April.
  • + 2
 And y'know i ride my bike in the snow. It's not a fat bike and it ploughs on no problem.
  • + 2
 tyuilkjhgferwtyghfilp;kujhfgdsghjil.;kuyjtil;pefgwherjtkylu.;oikjuegwfvbgh sorry was cleaning the sick off my keyboard.
  • + 1
 Dudes, some of those fatbikes are ridiculously light. My high school team had the chance to demo some Borealis fatbikes at green mtn in CO and they were sub-22 lb.
  • + 1
 That's cool. Fact remains if you can build a sub 22lb fat bike, you can build a sub 19lbs bike with 2.4" aggressive rubber. And most of that weight reduction is going to come at the rims and tires, which significantly changes how a bike accelerates. Would 2.4" tire have had adequate traction to win such a race? We'll never know.
  • + 1
 where the hell was Brian Lopes? He likes to be the first person on winning anything!
  • + 3
 Had to be in the USA!!!
  • + 1
 Is this Mountain Bike Action? Where am I? Seriously tho, if you live in a place where you can use a fat bike, then give'er!
  • + 2
 To look fully crazy those bikes may have double brake in front
  • + 1
 Lander Turner.... He really sounds like a rider right when hearing the name for the first time Big Grin
  • + 1
 Damn. A couple years ago I skied at Powder mountain and now they get fat biking? If only I had gone this year.
  • + 0
 It will be interesting if chaps like Atherton or Smith compete in this in the near future...
  • + 1
 Will Ross holding it down for 907!
  • + 1
 Awesome pics. Would also love some video coverage...
  • + 3
 Fat biking & fast parts?

lol
  • + 1
 I rode trail with Amanda Carey yesterday....ooof, so fast.
  • - 2
 I love mtn biking, racing, enduro, long trail riding; but I take a break during winter to ski and snowboard. I don't get this at all.
  • - 4
flag taletotell (Feb 16, 2015 at 22:50) (Below Threshold)
 What's not to get?
  • + 4
 I agree. I'll stick to my snowboard for winter.
  • - 3
 Well then you guys arent as dedicated to mountain bikes as other people. Its not even a dig at you but you really arent if you can just give it up for 4 months of the year. I know I would not give up mountain biking for winter if i had the choice and I have spent a winter snow boarding. I wanted to ride my bike every day.
  • - 1
 @kuna26 I still don't understand what is not to get. Why would you not ride if you can? It doesn't mean you don't love skiing or snowboarding. I personally would choose biking over skiing, but if you don't that doesn't mean you can't understand why people would choose to ride tubby tires through the freestyle park at the local resort.
  • + 2
 The Ski or board in the winter crowd doesn't get it. When the snow sucks, like it does now, it hasn't snowed in about a month, its hard and icy all over the mountain then Fat biking kicks ass. But if the snow is good, then fat biking is gonna suck, even the fattest tires don't handle 15cm of fresh snow well. So out west this year in the Rockies, Fat biking is killing it. Skiing and boarding, not so much. Let me admit though, that I'm a total snow-snob and live in a town with a ski hill. Plus night riding is awesome too. Only need half the light cause the snow reflects so much.
  • + 0
 I'm gonna have to buy one of these newfangled fatbikes next year
  • - 1
 Fatbikes making snow sexy ;p
  • - 3
 horrible
  • - 3
 Pretty damn ridiculous. But also pretty damn rad!
  • - 2
 Who cares?
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