Pinkbike Poll: Fatbike Racing is Inevitable

Aug 1, 2014 at 19:53
by Richard Cunningham  

When the guy who invented the bicycle encountered the man who was riding the second bicycle ever made, at that moment, the first World Championship cycling competition was staged. Cycling is racing. Every solo ride is a time trial. Two riders always becomes a match race. Three or more is at least a regional championship. Look no further than Strava for proof - for what is the value of a personal best if only to soothe the sting of being a sorry loser who can't post a KOM? Pretend it's not true if it makes you feel better. Hug your trees, profess your yogic, universal at-one-ness, and hump unicorns all you want, but if you ride bikes, you race bikes. No amount of convincing can refute that fact. Which begs the question: How, when and where will professional fatbike competition be staged?

www.downhillbrigade.org

World Rally competition takes place during all four seasons - something that fatbike racing can bring to the sport of mountain biking. More practically, venues can be held in spring and fall months when traditional mountain bike racing venues are rarely staged due to the probability of foul weather.



Sickening thought? Perhaps, but before you reach for a barf bag, you may consider reaching for your credit card instead, Face it, there are only about two hundred paying jobs for professional mountain bike racers worldwide and all of them have been taken. Historically, the only time additional slots appear for pro cycle racers is when a new venue is born. If you are an aspiring racer seeking professional employment and have been passed over, it probably happened for a reason. If you are an experienced pro who has "overstayed your welcome" you are not going to get any faster sitting on the bench. A new racing venue can be a meteoric career booster for young losers and fast geezers who jump in early and start racking up victories before more talented pros who can't break into the top-ten spots of traditional mountain bike venues smell the money and move in for the kill. The last such opportunity for mountain bikers was the Enduro World Series. One needs to look no further to witness how the equation plays out. Before fatbike racing picks up steam, I suggest that all you hopefuls (you know who you are) buy a fatbike, start training in earnest and make some important phone calls. Specialized has a carbon fatbike, so Trek can't be too far behind.

RockShox Bluto

Unlike traditional mountain bike races, fatbike courses do not necessarily require a trail - or even a traditional race course - something that the promoters are actually counting upon. Mike Levy puts the RockShox Bluto fatbike fork through its paces.



Already in the Planning Stages

Molding an appropriate racing venue around the fatbike is already well into the planning stages, and while I am sworn to secrecy as to who is involved and where the series will be scheduled to take place, I can write about it in general terms:

Multi-stage race courses: Fatbike races will be staged like enduro events over one to two days, and accumulated times will determine the winners. Each stage will be kept secret until race day and there will be no practice allowed. Competitors will be furnished with sealed GPS units that, in addition to providing assistance to guide competitors to each checkpoint, will record their movements and ensure that each stage is completed under sporting regulations. GPS monitoring was originally instigated as a means to prevent racers from seeking short cuts through sensitive wilderness areas that are deemed to be out of bounds.

Nicolai Fatbike with Pinion gearbox transmission

Could fatbike racing be the venue that finally showcases the advantages of sealed gearbox transmissions? Nicolai already has one ready to rock.



Two-person teams: Male/female, two-person teams were originally proposed, but the UCI has been historically "less than supportive" of females in professional competition - beyond podium appearances in very short, green, yellow, and red polka-dot dresses. It was ultimately decided that men and women will race separately in two-person teams. The team format was chosen because it has been a hugely successful formula for simulated-survival television reality shows, and also because most fatbike competitions will take place in terrain where trails are either unmarked or nonexistent, and having another brain on board should greatly assist the navigation and decision making process.

Primitive venues: Taking a lead from the short film, "Where the Trail Ends," the promoters unanimously decided that fatbike venues will be staged in pristine, primitive landscapes with limited trail networks and few, if any roadways. Venues are likewise slated to take place in both summer and winter conditions. Taking advantage of the fatbike's wide, floatation tires and all-terrain capabilities, the routes between stages will not be marked nor indicated in any manner. Racers will employ GPS and other navigation skills to race to each consecutive check point. Ingenuity is encouraged, as competitors are expected to deviate from existing trails and set out across virgin territory, crafting the fastest, most direct route to each destination. Visual assistance to competitors in the form of twenty-meter illuminated flags marking each checkpoint is expected to inspire all-out, to-the-wire efforts from teams as they converge on each goal.

bigquotesFatbike racing isn't about rogue mountain bikers popping toads and skidding up endangered habitat. These are modern-day Lewis and Clarks, navigating through untracked landscapes on bicycles that tread lightly, pitting themselves against nature and man in a contest that is a true adventure race.
- Quote from promoter's presentation

Rocky Mountain Blizzard

Wade Simmons drops in on a Rocky Mountain Blizzard. Contrary to popular belief, fatbikes don't pedal all that well on snow, unless it is a prepared surface, or has a supportive crust. That said, fatbikes perform better than any other mountain bike on the stuff, so races could be staged in Alpine snow and descend to finish in more rideable terrain.



Made-for-media event: Fatbike teams will be required to wear POV cameras and a POV camera will be mounted behind the number plate of each bicycle. The timing system's telemetry will automatically switch the recording devices on and off as teams start and finish each stage. Downloads will be used to enhance video coverage of the event. In addition, telemetry will be used to broadcast real-time footage of riders at speed on course, and to capture the emotional and personal moments that will inevitably occur as teams battle against nature and the clock. One of the three promoters said during the meeting: "For the first time, television viewers will get to experience the raw essence of mountain biking - man versus nature - as the saga unfolds in the context of head-to-head competition. Can mountain bike racing be better than that?"

Pinkbike will keep you informed as the series moves forward. Until then, all we can add is that the first professional fatbike race in the history of mountain biking will most probably take place in Iceland, and while the promoters have made some big claims about the venue, if it goes off even half as well as we are led to believe, fatbike competition could become a very popular event. We shall see, but in the meantime, we'd like to know how you feel about fatbikes and fatbike racing in general.



Do you own a fatbike?





Would you consider racing fatbikes?







161 Comments

  • 50 2
 C'mon guys, can't you spell check your article titles?
  • 9 14
flag fedz (Aug 8, 2014 at 2:11) (Below Threshold)
 Ha ha your right, it's the first thing I noticed when the page loaded ... not good really, I thought I had landed on an autistic blogger's page for a minute !!
  • 12 1
 I thort it woz Unevitable. ....
  • 28 1
 "your right", right...
  • 3 7
flag regdunlop38 (Aug 8, 2014 at 4:12) (Below Threshold)
 weak enduro pun attempt?
  • 14 1
 After test riding one at the last fat tire fest I can honestly say, hell no. If I had millions of dollars to throw away I would get one to run over tourists on the brooklyn bridge. In that case a race would be appropriate, and it would be World class because your running over people from every continent.
  • 2 11
flag bkchef2000 (Aug 8, 2014 at 7:11) (Below Threshold)
 You are. Or you're
  • 3 1
 As much as I dislike Fat Bikes, I don't feel it is a fad anymore... almost all bike companies now have one and there are companies that specifically make Fat Bikes. I live in MN and and about 1 in 4 people that MTB own a fat bike and probably 1 in 10 that is their main MTB... People go crazy for them.. all the XC trails are open year round and there are weekly races all over the place in the upper midwest.
  • 5 4
 There are a lot of fat biker enthusiasts here giving negative props to even the slightest bit criticism to these ridiculous monstrosities.
  • 9 1
 Yooo that Mongoose "Phat Bike" is fat as hell for $200. Coming to a hood near you!
  • 30 3
 "Cycling is racing." No. No it's not. Race if you want, but the majority of people on bikes do not race, regardless of how dominant race stories are on bike websites.
  • 7 0
 I totally agree. But everyone has that one riding buddy who thinks he's king shit and a afternoon ride quickly becomes a WC qualifier. Lol!
  • 1 0
 I ride dj, street and park and can say i have never considered racing someone over a line of jumps, cause there is a right speed not the faster the better
  • 2 3
 lol thats because your a dirt jumper dude. how often do you see a dirty jump race. your totally irrelevent
  • 3 0
 totally relevant cause it is a discipline of cycling and the author said cycling is racing but as i explained dj street and park are all cycling that are not racing. that was completely my point cycling is not necessarily racing so it was relevant.
  • 1 0
 Race to get over the line first or race to be the first one to land that backflip....I can see his point.
  • 23 1
 Who cares crankworx starts tomorrow!!!!!!
  • 22 5
 Yes!!! Bring it on! The ironic bit about it is that we mtbers are tied to trails, it has more to to with cave exploration than mountaineering. So it will be more "freeride" than most of the stuff we saw in the past Big Grin I want a fatbije damn it!
  • 12 1
 Well I for one don't really get it. I like the idea of 'race from A to B however you want' but unless it's on the beach I don't see what you couldn't do better on a lighter AM bike. Are you sure you didn't write this Waki, it reads like one of you satire pieces...
  • 6 1
 I meant every single word!!!
  • 16 1
 Next WakiLeak: Fatbike specific clothing, protection and components Smile
  • 3 1
 Wiki wrote this! Using the nom de plume "RC"...
...And no spell check....Or grammar...
  • 5 1
 I don't know about that, but if we could have a race in the middle of winter with snow on the ground I'd be down.
  • 11 5
 Dang! I ain't taking no sht from an english native speaker, particularly from a Brit! Hummericans are at least forced to learn a few words in Spanish, while all you can say in language other than your own yer sheep interfering, bacon munching, pork licking, island bond buggers, is "chicken tikka","on suite" and "autobahn". There I said it!
  • 3 3
 "I don't see what you couldn't do better on a lighter AM bike."

Well I dont think you have seen the full potential of a fat bike then. At the European Marathon MTB champs here all the top pros pushed up the steepest part of the course which is well above 20% and very loose. It can be ridden but it is very tough and takes a lot of energy. The only person to ride up it out of 300+ riders over the two days was a non elite Irish rider on a fat bike and he continued on his way immediately without too much trouble. They are unbelievable to travel and roll way better than people give them credit for. In a boggy/muddy race I dont think you would see one again once the race started.

In cairns this year I dont think that it is beyond the bounds of possibility that a fat bike with a front suspension (and a world class rider) could have set a reasonably competitive time considering the times were 1 minute slower in the mud that they were in dry practice.
  • 5 0
 "una cerveza por favor", Its all about priorities Waki, we only learn the important stuff.
  • 3 0
 Waki, you forgot "garcon"! Can't very well call yourself a proper Brit if you cant even have your meals brought to you by Johnny Foreigner. And I don't doubt the cheeky bugger will want paying for his efforts...

You must feel sorry for us though. Its very difficult to learn a foreign language when no matter how hard you try, the condescending native will hear one's awfull accent and reply in fluent English anyway. I once spent a good minute or two formulating a very garbled french version of "hey family! your children should not be allowed to walk up that steep track with pictures of cycles on it because it is very dangerous due to very rapid cycles coming the other way!" They very politely waited for me to finish manhandling their language before replying. "cheers mate!" bloody timewasters Razz
  • 2 0
 Agree with the above - whenever I attempt another language and people suss out that I'm a Brit they always reply to me in English/broken English - as kind a gesture as it is, it really doesn't help with the learning process Razz
  • 1 0
 No way in hell would a fat bike been competitive in cairns.
I love racing. I don't understand why you would make specific races for just fat bikes. Does that mean they wouldn't be allows in other races? Can I enter my trail bike in a fat bike race? How can you possibly allow people to go straight from point a to point b on anything but private land? Why require people to wear cameras, just supplying the option seems sufficient? If only fat bikes are allowed is there a minimum tire width? Can you make a full susp fat bike? I think it's fine to race a fat bike in normal races, I don't understand why they would have their own unique series
  • 2 0
 The fastest hardtail riders in the UK Dragon DH/Pearse cycles races were often within 20 seconds of the elite winners on a 2 minute course. Lets assume that Cairns in the dry was a 3.15 minute track which i think is what they were doing on thursday practice. A world cup skilled hardtail rider would probably do it in 4 minutes in Cairns. The fat bike would not be slowed down much at all by the mud in comparison to the ordinary hardtail. A 4.37 would have been a top 50 time in Cairns.

Considering a fat bike isnt really any slower than a normal hardtail I definitely think a fat bike would easily be capable of that so I really dont think its a case of "No way in hell". It would be a lot closer than you seem to think. A good suspension probably needs to be developed for one though.
  • 2 1
 So you're arguing that if a top level athlete road the same course on a fat bike he would have been about 20% slower. Why would someone at the top ride something that put him down into the top 50? I think aside from fire road XC fat bikes are more capable than regular hardtails, and are probably amazing for riding in snow but there is no way in hell you will see one be competitive in WC DH.
  • 3 1
 He's arguing that if a top level athlete "rode" the same course on a fat bike, he/she would be about 20% slower WHEN IT"S DRY (sorry, can't do italics). The same athletes on a regular bike apparently were running about 30% slower when it was muddy, and he's proposing a fat bike wouldn't be slowed nearly as much and would thus be competitive with regular bikes in the mud. Who could know until you try it, but the logic is sound.

Also, I think you could enter on any type of bike you want, but if you win, that would be an indication that the course wasn't appropriate for the intended type of race. There certainly are conditions and surfaces on which fatbikes out-perform any other type of bike, so it's certainly feasible. Same as if a WC downhill event was won on a hardtail, or a CX race was won on a road racing bike. As far as my limited knowledge goes, only CX (and single speed races, obviously) places some specific restrictions on what type of hardware is permitted but it's still fairly broad (correct me if I'm wrong). For the most part, disciplines allow the rider to select the tool that gives them the best chance of finishing at the top, and a well-designed course is the one that has the ideal type of bike in the name of the event.
  • 2 1
 Thank you for understanding the point I was making.
  • 1 0
 How about you guys don not know how the courses will look like? I can easily think of terrain where a fat bike will be a better option than a DH bike and defo better than Enduro29. Scree slopes maybe? Shallow streams? In general: unprepared, relatively genuine off-trail surface. I can actualy think of a trail or two around my place, which are next to impossible to ride on a regular MtB, because there are so fkng many baby head rocks, clay and mud that super wide tyres at low pressures may be the equipment actualy making it rideable.
  • 1 0
 snow,sand,deep gloop,marshland,wet cattle trails full of hoofprints? just some of the places enourmous tyres esily outpace thier skinnier brethren. as i often say to customers asking why that insane bike at the front of the shop has car tyres on it (a surly pugsley that gets 50customers into the shop just to look at it for every 1 that the gambler brings in) "its a fat bike....it wont go anywhere fast but itll keep on plugging along no matter what you put in its way."

ive never tried one myself but personally i like them. and fatbike races sound awesome. just get a map, mark start and finish points with as varied terrain as possible between the two, then shout go! if any of the terrain i mentioned above is present i wouldnt mind betting a fat bike would win that race.
  • 5 0
 I rolled on a parking lot on the one from Specialized. It bunny hops and turns like... a bicycle? I remember my first ride on a 29er after reading about how bad they jump and sht, while they roll over anything... what a load of bollocks. These are all bikes, tools for having fun, exploring nature and mind. Thank God we get things like fatbikes, 29ers or lefty forks at least there is some diversity, Not this 15mm axle, 650B, tyres in 20 versions per model, frame every 0,5" of travel bullcrap - waste of time and money called optimization.
  • 1 0
 yeah the Pugsley is surprisingly "normal" to ride around the shop on. Would love to take it out for a proper spin.
  • 19 7
 Fat bikes are a great time for the winter. But, I don't understand why people even consider riding them over a normal bike during the summer months. I hear fat bike enthusiast all the time talking up fat bikes as if its a year round thing. But I think those are the same people who played with Tonka trucks until they were 13 years old. Yes the big tire looks hella fun and your friends will think its cool but there are more disadvantages to using it over a normal trail bike over the summer months so please park the dam thing and get out the Trail bike.
  • 9 6
 Sounds like you've never ridden one in the summer. You might understand better when you've tried it a few times.
  • 6 3
 I think you're thinking about it the wrong way. Yeah, fatbikes are cool in the snow, but on regular mtb trails it's kinda like what's the point? But think of all the places in the summer that are still too boggy, loose, soft, sandy, etc to enjoyably ride an AM bike. Fatbikes are way more capable than regular mtbs when you actually want to ride off-trail in the backcountry; all those mountain meadows, tundras, and bogs that get slick, soft, and spongy will slow down or outright swallow a regular mtb tire, but a fatbike will roll easily over them. The stuff that's too loose and steep to climb on an AM rig is no problem with fatbike traction. I don't own a fatbike, but I think this race format sounds really cool (more like adventure racing), and really only realistic on a fatbike.
  • 2 2
 If wider tyres track better in soft ground, why are mud specific tyres narrow with taller, high profile knobs?
  • 4 1
 The same reason that winter car tires are narrower than summer tires, they're skinny so that they can cut through the mud to the harder ground below.
  • 7 4
 Weird, my last post was down-voted because it suggested that fatbikes are better understood once people have ridden them. Seriously, try riding one a few times in the summer. That's not saying everyone should prefer fat bikes in the summer. Only that, if you don't understand why people are doing it, trying it yourself is educational.
  • 4 1
 I have, it wasn't that great,
  • 2 1
 I have one. In early spring when the trails are muddy it is the way to go. Once the trails dry up then they are just too slow. I think everyone should have one. The people that only have a fat bike are mis-understood. Kind of like die hard single-speeders.
  • 2 0
 You're preaching to the wrong choir bro
  • 16 2
 Soon we will be seeing "Fatbike Specific" components/clothing/helmets etc. (besides wheels/tires/frames)
  • 13 5
 The first brand should be labeled Fadbike.
  • 2 1
 Fat bike specific lol
  • 3 1
 given enduro specific helmets are visor only, it only makes sense for the fatbike specific helmets will be squid lids. i envision padded fingerless gloves and motocross chest protectors over top of tank tops as well. i cant give away too much though - bike companies feel free to message me for help designing your fatbike specific product lineup.
  • 2 0
 I was planning on renting one this winter with friends just for fun. To be honest I'm quite indifferent toward the whole fatbike thing because it doesn't seem to really make much sense around here but man... If they're going to start shoving it down our throats like they did (or should I say do...) for enduro/29ers/650b I swear I'll swear to never buy one, ever, just out of spite.

P.S. I already have 2 bikes to maintain/upgrade/replace, I am absolutely not interested in spending 2k$+ to acquire a third moneysink I'll probably only use a few days a year.
  • 11 0
 I'm fine on fat bikes, but little less on racing, and here's why:

MTB racing disciplines shouldn't be defined by what bikes must be used. You can use a unicycle if you want on DH races, but the track makes you use a downhill bike if you want to go anywhere.

Now if we make bikes the criteria for the discipline, that would put them under regulation, especially on WC level, and would make new inventions, geometries, wheel sizes, etc. very much more difficult to adapt to. In short, it would stagnate development of the bikes.

If you can make a track where fat bikes have obvious advantage over all other bikes, than that's the way to go. But until then no way.
  • 3 1
 Well the idea behind it is that a fat bike WOULD be the advantage, as there is no real trail to follow, just a gps. The terrain could be extremely unpredictable, with snow, mud, swamp, etc. so the fat bikes tires floating over stuff would be the obvious advantage. Limiting what the bike can be doesn't stop innovation, you can see that with road and track racing.
  • 10 0
 I have been away from biking for a few years and returned this year to find something called Enduro racing everywhere , goggles with xc helmets like its 1993, and now this, something that used to be a tradeshow laugh now being considered as a legitimate thing. I may be confused but you certainly can't claim mtb is boring!! I may not like the look of fatbikes but long live the break from the norm. Still not sure about goggles and xc helmets though...
  • 2 0
 goggles and xc helmets are like beer guts and spandex
  • 10 0
 tl;dr

Stopped reading after "If you ride bikes, you race bikes"- mostly because I ride, but I certainly don't race.
  • 6 0
 Is this a WikiLeaks article? It seems absolutely ridiculous. Here's my prediction: that will last one racing season. The only viewers will be six Canadian guys in a cabin somewhere. Fatbike racing will eventually take off, but it will be started by local clubs staging races, not by a handful of guys discussing how they can market it the best.
  • 5 2
 Ill never forget the time I saw a fatbike. Some lycra clad dude rolled passed the jump park at glentress trail centre. EVERYONE stopped and watched him ride past, in absolute silence. Then burst out laughing once we though he was out of ear shot. Looks like he was on to something.
  • 2 0
 Ha ha ha, thats funny. Maybe there are some hidden sand dunes near glentress?
  • 4 1
 you forgot one option. no, but I will have to resign myself to getting one because all my riding/skiing buddies are getting them. I'd rather ski (even xc) than fatbike, but my group of friends sees it otherwise.... so even though I will eventually get one, I will be very ashamed every time I climb aboard.
  • 1 0
 i heard there a bunch of people jumping off a bridge. just saying don't be a SHEEP.
  • 3 0
 As I see it, anyone involved in making fat bikes need to direct their attention to promoting these bikes to resorts in the winter, and lobbying said resorts to allow fat bikes on the groomed runs, and provide lift access for them. This will produce the most favourable response towards these bikes that these bike companies could hope for. I prefer backcountry snowboarding to any resort skiing, but have to go to the resorts while my kids take ski lessons. Local hills like nakiska are boring as hell, but if I had permission to ride a fat bike to do runs on while my kids were in lessons, I would be one happy papa. And I would buy a fat bike immediately.
  • 2 0
 Around here, the ski resorts haven't been doing so good the last few years. Add the 21% drop in snowboard sales in america during the last 4 years, it's starting to look like they just wont have the choice to accept new clienteles soon enough if they want to stay afloat, wether its the bikeski thing or fatbikes.

Seeing how snowskates are having a hard time getting accepted in a lot of resorts, I don't really see the old geyser owners giving in to biking though. A lot skiers are retired old people and change is scary.
  • 2 0
 around here- well, in BC, resorts are buying into lift access biking, and its becoming ubiquitous. i can imagine in winters to come either re engineering the existing chairs to add a hook onto the side so that any particular chair might be able to carry a fatbike, or maybe one in every....six chairs is a bike lift. if they allowed fatbikes.
this would not be a huge hurdle to visualize for said, ahem, geysers/ geezers, since they already allow bikes in the summer, and one thing these geezers are scared of is poverty. and losing money every season would make even the staunchiest old coot consider other methods of getting people on the lift.

snowskates are ghey.
  • 1 0
 Be glad you live in a more progressive area, where the big number of MTBers make it relevant for a ski resort to host biking trails. Out of the 30ish resorts relatively close to here, less than 5 offer lift access during the summer for biking, which is why I believe the respective owners will take a while to change their minds. Don't get me wrong, it's great if it works in B.C. but I don't see this catching on with pinkbike enthusiasm levels except for a few select areas.

Not a snowskater but seeing them hit 50' table tops and hitting over 80km/h on the slopes, I think they're on the way of becoming a legitimate sport but that's another debate.
  • 1 0
 Well said. Cheers mate.
  • 8 1
 Fat bike enduro?
  • 8 10
 Only if it comes with a fanny pack and 650b
  • 3 1
 Judging by the title, I thought this article was going to be some Fat Bike / e-bike racing thing which would never work.

It may well be 'inevitable' in the US/Canada where terrain permits this sort of thing but over here in the UK I think I have only ever seen 1 fatbike out on the trails.
  • 3 3
 Good luck starting up a scene anywhere using this format too, every competitor needs a GPS and a POV camera provided to them, and where are you going to go that DOESN'T have roads and tracks in the UK, the Scottish Highlands for every single race?
  • 2 0
 @Veero, the thing is fat bikes riders are probably not going to be riding the same trails as skinny/slim bikes so you're less likely to see them 'on the trail'.

There are quite a few guys locally who have them.
  • 7 2
 As much you UK folks like to 'brag' about your mud I'd think a Fatbike would be the perfect tool ??
  • 2 0
 Oh snap.
  • 2 0
 haha spot on, Mallet. The whole point of this format is that it isn't on trails, terrain where it sucks to ride a normal bike.

The GPS thing isn't that unrealistic. If you're not too far from civilization you could just have all the racers download a smartphone app to track their movements. I've been to local tracks that keep track of course records on Strava already so it's not that wild of an idea. And tons of people have gopros now anyway. When you look at the amt of money people spend on race bikes already, asking them to buy a camera won't stop anyone who's interested in this type of racing (imo). Plus I think the camera thing is just for the pros, you could easily put on an amateur race with just the GPS units.... nobody would want to see most of that footage anyway.
  • 1 0
 Actually now that I think about this, it's like the bike version of ski mountaineering/ randonee racing. Navigation, line choice, fitness, and technical skill all in one race!
  • 2 1
 I don't think this format is inevitable in the US either: no land manager is going to permit off-trail riding unless it's in a desert.

Snow slalom/4X at a resort in winter, sure! Hundreds of amateurs rambling over the countryside on fat bikes, and all chasing a fat bike 'pro' class for glory and a medal? BS
  • 2 0
 Wow people take comments seriously...

I'd never have guessed I have only seen one fat bike because I live where it's quite flat.

I had no idea " we Brits" bragged about mud.

If we had meters of snow, I'd love to have a go at riding a fat bike across it.

They say every day's a school day...
  • 2 0
 Not to blow your mind, but as the article said they're not that great in real "meters of snow" type snow. Hardpack conditions only for the most part. Pretty funny to see them all furiously grooming the (multi-use) trails all winter around here so they can actually ride the things, and then going apeshit when some unknowing guy marches right down the middle of them in plain ole boots. Post holes for miles, lol.
  • 2 0
 The folks at my local scene are convinced they're gonna replace the 29'er. TEE HEE!!! I'm freakin' serious though. There seems to be something the industry is doing right is convincing these people they NEED it NOW!!! And what's wrong with Autistic Bloggers. Thank god for em I say. Hell sight better reading than on most sites PINKBIKE. Fatbike racing... what about XC snowboarding fer crisake.
  • 2 0
 I have Nokian tyres with 320 metal spikes on each - put on my "obsolete" 2005 Prophet with a Lefty and this heavy pig is GREAT in CANADIAN ICE STORMS. Try a fave trail after freezing rain and you'll see. NOW I wonder what a Fat Bike with full suss and spiked tyres would be like there!!!!!! I BET FANTASTIC ------BUT HEAVY!
  • 3 0
 I'd be willing to bet, first official "Fatbike Class" racing will be at Sea Otter. On terrain not entirely suited to Fatbikes. Such is the way...
  • 2 0
 There was a picture of a DH racer on a fat bike at this years Otter.
  • 1 0
 Rally format seems cool Mike, but I more would enjoy short track. Just to change it up from time trials all the time. Fat bike winter series exists already and is apparent awesome. You can also shovel snow and pack it to make any kind of jump or pump track you want
  • 2 1
 Ummmm, fat bike racing is already happening, and given how many of the participants are UCI Elite and Expert licensed riders the rest of the year... and there are sponsors providing prizes that have substantial dollar values attached to them, and people are getting sponsorships... that pretty much makes it professional already.
  • 1 0
 Bikes are bikes. Period. You ride yours and I will ride mine. Are Fatbike specific races silly? Idk and I don't really care, though they have been around for years in AK and MN etc... I ride all kinds of bikes and I see value in each of them.
  • 4 0
 I saw the title and all I could think was:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXeqmBVRlIw
  • 1 0
 This race format actually sounds really really cool. Backcountry wilderness racing on bikes! I think the whole idea of navigation and "line choice" on a massive scale (not the A-line or B-line, but which face of a mountain to ride) would be super interesting; so many consequences to consider in terms of terrain choice. And as much as fatbikes are getting hated on here, they're the perfect kind of bike for this event. They can climb, hold speed, and grip on surfaces that are too soft or loose to ride enjoyably on an AM bike. Think about taking your own line through mountain tundras and bogs, over sand dunes, or through soft forest deadfall. People think fatbikes are only for snow, but think about all the other soft, mushy stuff you would never want to pedal through on a regular bike.
  • 1 0
 We are mountain bikers, here in my shop I sell mountain bikes and now fat bike I have a track in back of my shop were we test are bikes an we are testing fat bikes like crazy and they rip big time I hope someone like FOES comes out with a long travel F.B. frame so we can get bike jumps on them, have fun a keep on riding _____O^O_____
  • 5 0
 ....better than an E-bike!!
  • 5 0
 great. another form of bike racing I can suck at.
  • 1 0
 The author should know that there are many, many fatbike races already taking place and they have been for over a decade. Ultra-distance fatbike racing such as the ITI 350/1000, Arrowhead 135, Tuscobia 150, 200km Fat Pursuit, etc have been joined in the last 4 years by many shorter length XC style winter races. These events are taking place on snowy singletrack trails in many parts of the country, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, and more.
  • 1 0
 Um, we already race them against skinnies, people are already looing at racing them in XC national races against non fats and the weights are coming out the same. We sell fatbikes every week to people who formely had a full suss, they love the damn things once they swing a leg over. Racing is here, i would race mine in a nbormal mtb race, not a prob at all. Once you go fat, you never go back, its a fact. why wouldnt you want all that grip and the ablity to ride through, over, down, and u anything. IT IS THE TRUE MOUNTAIN BIKE!
  • 1 0
 Didn't bother to look at all the posts, but wouldn't racing a fatbike be like racing and riding a fat chick down a mountain? Not sure if you crash, those fat tires would be any softer than hitting a fat chick from front or back.
  • 1 0
 back in the 80's roadies bashed fat tire bikes, so I started riding my mountain bike more than my road bike.In the 90's hard tail riders bashed suspension,then full suspension,so I started riding my fully more than hard tail. Now that you mountain bikers are bashing fat tires, I think it's time to ride my fatbike more often
  • 1 0
 I traded my rarely used carbon cyclo cross bike for a surly moonlander a few months ago. I ride north shore trails on it knowing full well that it's slow. But that's ok cause I'm a new dad and can't afford an injury and I ride primarily with my dog who can't keep up to the dh, and all mountain bikes so it's actually kind of perfect. The way all the trails on Fromme are getting paved smooth works out well also :-(). It's running tubeless 4" wide tires, has a old school dropper post making it very rideable on most any trail.

After 25 years of riding and racing mountain bikes. I've had pretty much every kind of bike from rigid single speed to 9er full suspension. They are bikes that ride off road I don't understand why you guys are so upset about other mountain bikers having fun in the mud outside?

It's not like anyone riding a fat bike,29er,650b,1x10/11 or single speed is pushing their values on a 26" 3 ring 27 speed rider. When I ride it I get lots of fun conversation with other riders and non riders also which when riding my most standard mountain bike would never get so it's a win in my eyes.
  • 1 0
 Here in southern AZ the trails are just AWFUL during the summer monsoon season. It rains hard, and everything is just a washed out pile of kitty litter for like two months. I traditionally just turn into a roadie for this time period, but a fatbike would be super fun right now, whereas a lot of the main trails are miserable on my standard bikes.
  • 1 0
 I'm just waiting until the price becomes reasonable. 2K for a rigid, aluminum bike with mid grade components is silly to me.

When they have a Bluto and are around 1200-1500 I'm a serious buyer. Looking at the new bikes direct bikes with a Bluto currently. It would be fun, but I would only ride it about 25% of the time I ride.
  • 1 0
 Considering all the dumb shit people do, like pie eating contests & potato sack races & golf, I don't see this being too far fetched. Why not mix the two breeds & mix the terrain they excel on & see what's be the haps?
  • 2 1
 Maybe when its like 100mm of rear wheel travel then ill think about getting one. Hit up some snow drops do some Real Freeride snow is super forgiving to would be fun to have one and race them.
  • 3 0
 Salsa has a fully fat bike
  • 2 0
 I thought fatbikes had come about because of racing. Aren't they already the bike of choice on those arctic adventure races like Iditarod?
  • 3 0
 The amount of stuff the fatbikes open up is crazy, so racing in deep snow? BRING IT ON!
  • 2 0
 it doesn't work in powder, trust me, you'll need groomed trails, fun NOT
  • 2 0
 There have been a few guys racing them locally at XC races. Looks like fun, I wouldn't mind trying one for a while before purchasing though.
  • 2 0
 Yeah there was a dude at a race in the Catskills a month ago who was flying on a SS fatbike. I'm pretty sure he placed pretty well in Cat2, even compared to the geared riders.
  • 2 0
 I love the idea of fatbikes, but I'm waiting for fatbike 29er rims cuz you're nothing without a 29er. My LBS says so! ps- i know fatbike tires can be larger than 29ers btw
  • 1 0
 You know they exist, right?

Look at a surly krampus. The tire size is called 29plus. You should go buy one now you've found the bike of your dreams!
  • 1 0
 Found it, pretty sweet, name creeps me out. Would that make it the equivalent of a 32? New standard maybe?
  • 4 1
 Beach racing = Brilliant!
  • 2 3
 Personally I think it's a hype right now. Mayne there will be races and everything, but I don't think it's there to stay for most riders. I guess 2 or 3 more years, and then only people who really need one will own one (for example if you live in an area where there's snow 6 months a year or you live in a very sandy area and all the offroad you can do is in the sand)
  • 1 0
 edit button doesn't seem to be working again?
  • 2 0
 looks like mountain bike orienteering made a little more awesome..... if the MTBO guys got involved with this they'd rock
  • 2 0
 We are done with the wheel diameter game. Now let's start with the wheel width game.
  • 2 0
 As I was reading this I couldn't help but think it was satire at times. Like some of these things weren't serious.
  • 3 0
 what is the bike industry coming too?
  • 2 3
 I have my interest in fatbike for winter snow riding solution only. This would be ultra light, ultra simple, really fat, low preassure tire bike that I hope would flow on instead of through snow. Probably hardtail and front, probably belt driven with shimano alfine 11 hub or a single speed. I would choose some Hope trail brakes, which are more low temp. resistant than shimano. There's not too much snow for snwobroaring in winter at present years, so having some wheels could be interesting.

I never consider a fatbike being any rival to a typical mountain bike in such. Fat tire means a lot or rolling resistance, even too much traction and no damping on bumps, just because there is only air to spring. There are no tires that would provide me eight inches of travel, and adjustable damping. So fat bike for snow riding, or sand riding, maybe swamp riding, but since there was no snow last winter where I live, I don't need to buy it.

Racing a fatbike? I never race at all. Racing is for other people, who need to know who is better.
  • 1 0
 inevitable perhaps, but it doesn't seem that exciting
yes, the photo of them riding in the snow would be fun... but no more fun than a dh/fr rig
  • 2 0
 That's what's really missing in the world of Mtb, a new tire size debate. I can see it now: 2.2, 2.3,2.5,2.7,3.5,4.0 !!!
  • 2 0
 I feel like long, fatbike expedition races could be cool. Like an Iditarod type thing for bikes or something
  • 1 0
 This would be so cool if they combined it with something like orienteering so you race without trails through the backcountry finding your own route to each checkpoint
  • 1 0
 XC fatbike racing would be an awesome new event for the Winter Olympics! Hold it on the day after the XC skiing races. No need for all the tech that way.
  • 1 0
 It's about riding...who gives a $hit if it's a 20" or a 29'er, geared or singlespeed, road or Mtn...It's about the freedom and adventure that cycling brings.
  • 3 1
 That Sandman guy will win.
  • 3 1
 It would be interesting to try one
  • 1 0
 only ever seen two fat bikes. and that was at Antur Stiniog last year. would still like to give it a try
  • 1 3
 It should be a ONE design formatt, otherwise its just a joke, no suspension forks, steel fames, keep it simple low cost, back to basics of rider not bike, already too many other forms of bike racing where technology is the focus, this is perfect for a ONE design concept, it will be bigger more popular especially long term if it is to have a future, otherwise it will rape itself out.
  • 1 3
 Well that's not gonna happen, every day we see some new tecnology that is supposedly worth it's weight in gold. Secondly people want new tec, have you ever seen someone racing downhill on a rigid 26er with a 2x5 drivetrain
  • 2 0
 I'd actually watch morbidly obese people "racing" fat bikes down VDS.
  • 1 0
 I'd like to see more if em out there as they'd def help massage our trails!
  • 2 1
 If you wanna race in winter or spring come to California.
  • 1 1
 Yes fat bikes will great with sealed drives, not just sealed gearbox transmissions which is less efficient
  • 2 2
 I'd rather go with a 4 wheeled bike than go to a fat tires...

gearjunkie.com/four-wheel-pedal-bike
  • 1 0
 Sounds cool - does this remind anyone else of the Hunger Games?!
  • 2 1
 I'd love to see someone on a fat bike win the Tour De France.
  • 1 0
 How can you be undecided about whether you own a fat bike or not?
  • 2 0
 never go full retard.
  • 1 0
 Did Waki write this and put RC's name on it??? Unreal.
  • 1 0
 Already had the worlds in Wisconsin this year.
  • 1 0
 discussion closed: Aug 10, 2014 at 1:50. Fatbikes win
  • 2 2
 Too bad the FAT has passed an exotic product to a consumer product!
  • 1 0
 Is it april fools?
  • 2 1
 I don't get this.
  • 1 1
 fat bikes should stick to the snow
  • 1 0
 No way gets me to my favorite surf spot rides legend on sand Good day mate!
  • 1 0
 fair enough. i didn't consider sand. but people shouldn't be riding trails on them stick to a trail bike for trails
  • 7 8
 Cycling IS racing? wow is Lance Armstrong writing for PB these days?
  • 4 5
 Is it April fools already?
  • 1 1
 at least its not a 29er
  • 14 16
 fatbikes in general are an abomination
  • 4 5
 Then you have never ridden one.
  • 4 4
 dont need to, it disgusts me
  • 1 0
 Good to know riding a bike disgusts you.
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