Have you noticed those bicycles that look like they are two-wheeled monster trucks? The ones with the huge, knobby tires that look like they could roll over anything?
Known as “fat bikes” they are a great way to get outside and rip it up on the trails. Forget the gym or the stationary bike, go for a ride and a bit of exercise and have a
Worried that riding a fat bike might be difficult? It’s not. Riding a fat bike makes you feel like a better bike rider and instills confidence. Those big wheels let you easily roll over
objects on the trail or potholes in the city, no matter what the season. Their width and low pressure allows them to be ridden on snow covered trails. And they smooth out the
winter potholes when you are buzzing around town.
Often thought of as snow bikes, local riders have found they are the perfect tool for the freeze/thaw cycles we experience on the Seacoast. Snow cover is inconsistent at best
here and trails might be a mixture of snow, ice, muddy potholes and dry trail, all within 100 yards. Conditions that might have made you turn around in the past are suddenly
rideable. (It should be noted that just like a pair of skis, you’ll sink into the snow and even spin your tires if the snow is too deep or loose. If it’s good skiing, it’s bad fat biking
and vice versa.) Just like skiers and snow machine riders, fat bikers migrate to spots with groomed snow when the snow is deep.
Are you looking to test out a fat bike on the Seacoast? You’re in luck, as Stratham Hill Park has a number of bikes for rent. You can also test ride a “fattie” and try out some groomed trails in the White Mountains. Great Glen Trails and Bretton Woods both rent fat bikes for use on their trail systems. When the Seacoast thaw comes and the trails turn icy doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Add studded tires and you’ll be able to keep riding when others stay home, and every icy trail turns into fast single track. It’s an incredible experience.
When riding a fat bike, dress in layers, somewhere between what you’d wear for Cross Country & Downhill Skiing. You’ll be active but feet and hands can still get cold. Bar
Mitts can keep your hands comfy, and booties can help your toes. Big, platform pedals allow you to wear winter boots to stay warm and comfortable. Feel free to experiment
with tire pressure. Higher pressures are great for dirt or pavement. Drop to lower pressures for snow or riding on the beach.
Looking to learn more? Local bike shops have a ton of experience and are happy to get you set up for a test ride. Or head over to Stratham Hill Park. You’re about to discover a
new type of Winter fun.