Video: Not Your Average Fatbike Ride at Highland MTB Park

Feb 2, 2019
by Jonathan Emery  



Winter in the east brings a form of hibernation, from that first cold snap where your fingers sting for the first few minutes of a ride to the end of mud season. I've often wondered "why do I live where the air hurts my face?" I don't really know why, other than it's where I'm from.

Local pro enduro rider Tucker makes all his own bikes out of steel and isn't afraid to test his welding skills by sending reef drop


Some choose to leave the bike, strap some planks to their feet and throw themselves down the slopes. It's a nice change of pace, cross training if you will. Team Granite members, myself included choose to continue the enduro mentality, earning our turns even on the skis or snowboard.


Highland Mountain OG Glenn swore he would never ride a fatbike, I guess pigs do fly


We jumped at the opportunity and came out of hibernation to earn some descents on the fatbikes at Highland Mountain on groomed bike park trails. Fatduro? As some may know they are our main sponsor, it's our home base, our training grounds, and we love them.



Left: Yours truly has been riding fatbikes for years waiting for this kind of stuff to open up to fatbiking Right: Tuckers 2nd attempt at the frozen seesaw, the first try didn't go so well


So come out of hibernation as the lifts will be spinning for DH fatbiking, Saturday February 16th for the annual Winter Woolly Event And contact the mountain for other opportunities to Fatduro.



Left: Tucker picking lines on Maiden Right: Nathan with his signature power frown, maybe it's because he's sending on a full rigid


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Thanks to
Highland MTB Park
Highland MTN Bike Shop
Red Brick Clothing
Daniels Equipment
Zoic Clothing
Handup Gloves
Ryno Power Sports Suppliments
Cycles Etc.
Vittoria Tires
ODI Grips
Nox Composites


100 Comments

  • + 80
 Wife: ...a Fatbike?? WTF, Just how many bikes does one person need?
Me: Just one for each of YOUR personalities dear.
  • + 9
 Hahaha! Wow ????
  • + 13
 Rick Flair rides better than I thought.
  • + 27
 Aaaaaaand divorced.
  • + 5
 N+1
  • + 0
 Too expensive for my blood.
  • + 7
 Always room for one more, esp a fat bike!
Er in doors has given up with trying to keep up with the number of my bikes. Currently wearing a tee shirt with n+1 on it given to me for Christmas from er in door and the kids. They know the score, totally pointless tryin to keep up!
  • + 4
 N+1 baby.
  • + 2
 @dobermon: right?
  • + 2
 as you grab pillow and blanket heading for the couch
  • + 2
 @Samuel-L-Jackson: "I need as many bikes as you need throw pillows that end up on the ground, dear"
  • + 0
 N+1 does not apply here, In this case the more appropriate formula is S-1.. the number of bikes that would result in separation.. less one. Now you just need to massage your delivery.
  • + 2
 Fat bikes needs love too.
  • + 37
 dear rock shock here's why you need to put a 35mm stantion on the bluto! fatbikers can rip too
  • + 7
 This is always going through my mind when sending stuff. A fatbike pike would be perfect. Honestly never felt the need for a full suspension while riding this stuff, but peace of mind on the fork would be good.
  • + 5
 Great pictures and video. I would love a fat pike. I wonder sometimes if my bluto is going snap in half but it’s still kicking.
  • + 2
 @benmcgill: same... mines still going strong as well. But it is on my mind on these bigger features
  • + 6
 I feel ya. Thinking about upgrading to the manitou mastadon (34 mm stantions) soon for that reason
  • + 3
 @underhillz: mastadon is on my wish list as well
  • + 6
 Mastodon! Been sending it as hard as I can this winter in AK and am happy with the performance. Only downside is the weight. But at 40lbs, bike with lights and gear, no record breaking climbs will be had but it keeps me in good shape for summer.....
  • + 3
 Another mention for the Mastodon. 34mm.
  • + 5
 If you are satisfied with 4" tires than you can use a normal 27+ fork.
Few guys in germany riding Fox 36 27+ like that.
It's tight but it fits.
  • + 2
 @underhillz: It is a great fork, have the 150mm myself.
  • + 2
 @OneTrustMan: Yep, have a
Manitou Magnum set up w/ 4” Jumbo Jims that work out
  • + 2
 I agree, but I actually use the RST Renegade that is much cheaper and just as or more capable.
  • + 2
 You do not need bigger stantions for 100mm fork, sold my bluto as can fit 4" tyres on my fox 34s!
  • + 3
 The right fox 34 is great on a fat bike. Can run up 27.5 up to 4.0 tires.
  • + 1
 @aljoburr: when you are pushing the boundaries of a 120mm bluto with 4.8 tires, you want bigger stantions. ideally the 140mm mastadon is the future
  • + 10
 I bought a fatbike after a harsh snowy winter, then broke my other bike. I have the fatty and a DH bike, and while it may not be the best bike for every situation is been my primary bike for years. I have yet to find a situation where it is not a blast to ride!
  • + 13
 How badly did you break you other bike that after 'years' you haven't fixed it?!
  • + 2
 @clarky78: cracked frame, got it warranted, but it was 10 year's old at the time and all they could replace it with was a similar model. I wasn't happy with the replacement and had a buyer, so I sold it while the selling was good, and put a Mastadon pro on the fat bike.
  • + 9
 I love getting loose on a fatbike, get to drift all you want without damaging the trail, everything gets sketchier at speed. Its just super fun, although the climbs are worse
  • + 8
 Where can I see detailed geek-out levels of all of Tucker's custom bike creations? Does he race the stuff he builds? Don't hold out on me man!
  • + 18
 I guess I'm gonna have to do a blog just on Tucker and his bike building. He literally has like 5 or 6 bikes. Hardtail fatty, full suspension fatty, enduro 29er, slack trail 29er, and a few more. And yes, he races most enduros in the east in the pro class on his custom handwelded steel frames.
  • + 8
 @projectnortheast: Please do this! It's super interesting to read about people making their own bikes.
  • + 3
 @chachmonkey: good feedback thanks man! Ill make it happen!
  • + 3
 If you guys wanna check out some of Tuckers bikes hes posted a few on his profile @hmbprider61
  • + 6
 @kymtb0420 ....DH fatbike ya say sir? allow me to help you out there!

www.pinkbike.com/news/guillaume-bouts-bonkers-concept-bikes-1.html

Granted this zebra F,F.E DH fattie doesn't ACTUALLY exist, but hey its still nice to dream, and wonder what if...Smile
  • + 2
 Yes looks great, but can not ride rendered 24" x fat 4" wheels?
  • + 1
 @aljoburr: who knows? if it existed, I for one would like to find out if 24" fattie wheels work or not Smile
  • + 1
 @joolz7: Can tell you that 24" fattie wheels work great as have a pair of on one fun fattie wheels in 24"just not many tyre options
  • + 8
 Such a feel good video! Great sends!
  • + 3
 Thank you! Appreciate the positive feedback.
  • + 2
 Awesome riders and great down hill trails. No such luck here. If you want a down hill run, you first have to climb up. The snow conditions look quite firm and offered great lateral traction. Riding looser snow is another ride altogether. You're always at the edge of lateral traction, which makes for some interesting riding. With the amount of snow we have here, 2.5 ft or 75 cm, if you get it wrong, the landing is generally soft, assuming you don't hit a tree, ha. From my experience, 4-5 psi up front and 5-6 psi out back is the sweet spot for my 4.8" tires.
  • + 5
 I rode there for the first winter woolley in a blizzard.... Good times!! wish the conditions were this good!!! Great vid
  • + 3
 Hell yeah, Great job Jonathan and the rest of the Team Granite riders. Hope to see you all on the race circuit again in '19 !
  • + 3
 Oh we'll be there!
  • + 1
 I only lasted one winter (about 90 hours) on a 5" tire fat bike. It was no fun. On flats, in snow, I was just too heavy (230lbs) and my tires sank too deep, created too much friction. I rode largely snow mobile trails on decommissioned train rail beds, some frozen creeks. My peers, who weigh on average 45 pounds less, did not have this issue. While I easily keep up with them on summer dirt (descents and flats but not climbs), I had no chance on snow. I kept bogging in, loosing forward momentum far too often. Another thing they don't tell you about fat bikes is ice accretion on the drivetrain. It easily makes high end components feel like department store bike shifting. Its also easy to fall and damage parts on the bike. My experience was an epic shit show.
  • + 1
 I've had the same experience on softer surfaces. Lighter people float through while you get to punch or endo your way across, or in the case of a snowmobile track, slowly churn and plod along. That said, fat biking is an entirely different experience on hard, slightly soft or groomed trails and paths. So much fun. You should try it again on a groomed singletrack trail if you get a chance.

Take for instance, these trails of ours www.pinkbike.com/photo/16839343 or www.pinkbike.com/photo/16839344
  • + 3
 Such a killer day... Even if we were fatbiking. Thanks for sharing in the moment Johnboy and Tuck.
  • + 2
 great video and awesome riding. hope we get those conditions at wooly this year. Last year was...... anyone hit pinkbike? Was it open?
  • + 1
 I dont know it was 50 degrees and almost slushy last year so I doubt it... but who knows year Ill be sure to have the camera charged!
  • + 3
 I wish that was my average fatbike ride! Resorts should let us have the hill on odd days.
  • + 2
 Not quite the same but closer, this is my every day ride!
www.pinkbike.com/video/498337
  • + 3
 Great article! Rode with Tucker and got to see a bike he built a while back, very impressive!
  • + 3
 My face is hurting from smiling, that was awesome.
The guy with his saddle up the whole way down.... legend Smile
  • + 2
 My kind of fat biking. Although... With that amount of snow you could probably ride skinnies.
  • + 1
 Hard to tell in the vid but the first trail yes, the other trails, no as there was about 6" of loose with a hard crust. Fat tires work great on it, skinnies would get stuck and wouldn't float on the crust.
  • + 2
 And no faux ski "pow slashing"! Might be a first; actual cool snow/mtb vid.
  • + 1
 I want a DH fatbike.....after making my primary trail bike a fat bike---there is no way back. I've even debated selling my Trek Ticket for a PK fat ripper
  • + 2
 When you have way too much faith in snow and ice... And your thin single wall rims...
  • + 2
 I've bent scores of skinny rims, but have yet to do more than ding one of those huge single wall rims. The tyres really dampen the big impacts.
  • + 2
 @AllMountin: I destroyed one quite easily ... Here is the real winter, our trails are covered with a large amount of snow. They are groomed. We ride, on average, between 5 and 8 psi ... With low pressure, the tires do not really protect the rim ...
  • + 3
 @fred0: 5 psi might be the problem Razz
  • + 2
 @mtbikeaddict: on soft snow 5 psi or less is a necessity.
  • + 2
 @freerider11: Was that 5psi before you took it out side & cold drops pressure down to 2psi?
  • + 2
 @aljoburr: Nope, that's 5psi adjusted outside at the trailhead. And quite often end up dumping more pressure once on the trail. A 1-2 psi difference on 5" tires is very noticeable.
  • + 2
 @freerider11: Yes, I bought a digital pressure gauge, but never got round too stopping too change pressure
also more happy on 27.5+ than full fat bike just rolls better & dont get much snow here!
  • + 2
 @aljoburr: Yes, accurate low pressure gauge is key. IMO getting the right pressure is one of the most important things to successful winter fat biking. Totally agree on full fat rolling slow, but in my case I'm only using it for riding in snow so the fatter the better. Would always rather ride the regular mtb if conditions allow.
  • + 2
 Whoa, you can totally skid all u want with no consequences. Off trail doesn't do anything either, just rearranges the snow.
  • + 2
 Fun on a fat bike is contagious?
youtu.be/m8qcQObfYo4
  • + 2
 Maiden on a fattie - hot stuff! Send it TG
  • + 0
 ‘Fatduro’ ... when it was on the tip of your tongue, and it is what you have been living the last 3 winters, and another nabs it from you...
  • + 1
 Theres probably tons of people that have been livingnit for years... been fatbiking local hiking trails for almost 5 years but this is the first year we've enjoyed groomed trails for "fatduro" at highland
  • + 1
 That is awesome! Looks like fun Big Grin @theminsta @BakerDusty @turco999 when we going next????
  • + 2
 Shredding on fatbikes and having fun? Inconceivable....
  • + 3
 No Pinkbike drop?!?
  • + 2
 What's not to like here? Ride on!
  • + 1
 I was probably skiing or boarding but that did look awesome! Nice work guys!
  • + 2
 Wow, that looks like fun!
  • + 2
 Looks like so much fun! Awesome article and video.
  • + 2
 Looks fun. I would definitely get a fat bike if I lived in the snow.
  • + 1
 Those of you fatties on rigid seat posts take note.
  • + 2
 Ugh, I want to put a dropper on my Farley but can't justify it. Mostly because most of my fat biking includes my daughter on the Mac Ride.
  • + 2
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: for riding like this we just drop our posts at the top... we domt.run droppers. Keep it simple when its only 20 degrees
  • + 2
 @projectnortheast: Roger that... QR collar FTW.
  • + 1
 "Pretty primo!" Goddamn hippie
  • + 1
 I know that guy!!! Nice bike Tucker, too bad the skiing here is so good =)
  • + 2
 Studded winter tires?
  • + 3
 No, not for me when it gets too icy I just find something else to do. Weather changes so often around here conditions change from day to day
  • + 5
 I run studs up here in AK. I would lose 90% of my riding days if not. Icy climbs without studs are impossible. It only takes a few tire buzzes on the butt to get your body position right.....then it’s on!
  • + 3
 @OldschoolAK: Wow, I'd never considered that... studded tire buzz... ouch. Eek
  • + 2
 Studded up front.
  • + 2
 Faaack yeaa Tucker!
  • + 2
 Fun indeed!
  • + 1
 Nicely done!!
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