A fatbike is an off-road bicycle with oversized tires, typically 3.8 in (97 mm) or larger and rims 2.6 in (66 mm) or wider, designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on soft unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, bogs and mud. Fatbikes are built around frames with wide forks and stays to accommodate the wide rims required to fit these tires. The wide tires can be used with inflation pressures as low as 5 psi to allow for a smooth ride over rough obstacles. A rating of 8–10 psi is suitable for the majority of riders.
Fatbikes were invented for use in snow and sand, but are capable of traversing diverse terrain types including snow, sand, desert, bogs, mud, pavement, or traditional mountain biking trails. In several US states and provinces, fatbike-dedicated groomed winter trails have been created.
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On a fat bike, you can burn up to 1,500 calories an hour in soft conditions—seriously. But you’ll also recover faster than if you went for a hour-long run.
“Because it’s not weight bearing, the recovery time is less despite the balance and core strength it requires,” says Andrew Gardiner, former head Nordic Ski Coach for Middlebury College.
I live in the Himalayas and we get over two feet of snow every winter. Fatbike is the only alternative for me to get out cycling in summer. Over time I’ve realised that a fatbike is a bit more versatile than just a winter / snow alternative. It can be used across the year as long as your aim is not to ride fast. It suits my style I never race anywhere on a bicycle, I usually stop often and enjoy places and the people.
Can we use a fatbike for a 1000 kilometre bicycling road trip in India? Stay tuned for more on that!