Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Snowshoeing on a bike – Fat Bikes a Freakin’ Fun Ride!


By Sheila Ascroft

Rating: *****

This article was awesome!  The article is about another way to get active in the winter. The author gives great information on off-road cycling in the snow.

In this article, the author describes that fat bikes are a type of mountain bike, with outsized forks and stays, fat rims with double-wide tires, front and rear disc brakes and small chain rings. The total frame weighs about 16 kilograms. In short, it looks like “a mountain bike on steroids.”  The tires, ranging from a small 3.7 inches wide to 4.7 inches wide, are designed to be large enough to “float on snow”. There are only two stores in Ottawa that carry these monster bikes – Tall Tree Cycles and Phat Moose Cycles. They both offer a couple of brands and even have rentals available to try one out before you buy.

Now, I suppose you might wonder where you can ride these bikes? Can you ride them to work or school?  Well, they are not really meant to be driven on the road. The fat, low-pressure tires do not do well on plowed roads or in slush. The best place to ride them is on groomed trails and anywhere you would mountain bikes.  There are a few trails scattered around the city. The author mentions some mountain bike trails at Kanata Lakes, but I bet you can find more if you were to google ‘mountain bike trails Ottawa’.

So, if you don’t like the slowness of snowshoeing or just haven’t got the knack for cross-country skiing, you should give fat biking a try. Sometime in late January, one of the stores, Tall Tree Cycles, will be planning a demo day at a downtown park. With any luck, I certainly plan to be there.

Ascroft, Sheila. “Snowshoeing on a bike – Fat bikes a freakin’ fun ride!”, Ottawa Outdoors ( Winter 2012), page 36-37, Print.

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