You may have heard of fatbiking before but not be sure of the specifics. The term might be entirely new to you. Maybe you’ve ridden a fatbike, but don’t know the extent of where they can go. Let’s start at the beginning.
What is a fatbike?
Fatbikes (sometimes called snow bikes) are off-road mountain bikes with thick tires and accommodating frames, designed to take you where a regular bike won’t—namely over snow, sand, and mud. Because of the low tire pressure they’re ridden at, some people say there’s a floating quality to the ride, something you can’t get bearing weight as usual. Something important to point out from the get-go is: people don’t just ride them because they can and there aren’t other options, they ride them because they’re fun. People ride them in place of regular commuter bikes when the weather calls for it. They ride them the way they would a mountain bike, as more of a sport. And they ride them on longer excursions, perhaps day trips or even camping. People have literally taken themselves to the South Pole by fatbike, along with other epic adventures, though we highly recommend you start small(er).
Where did fatbikes come from?
While fatbikes have been around for much longer than they’ve been in the public eye, the interest in them picked up momentum in the early 2000s. That said, it wasn’t until quite recently—2014—that they became easily commercially available, with the option to purchase online, from multiple companies, or at an accessible price point. What was once a niche, or even novelty option, has rapidly become a tried, true, and enjoyable option for anyone who bikes. People have taken fatbikes out in the Sahara Desert, and through the snow in Alaska (where most think of fatbikes having originated from)—and now, on a two-wheeled stroll through Montreal, or out of the city to the Laurentians.
Bike lovers unite
At Fitz & Fowell, biking is at the core of everything we do. Our guided tours in spring, summer, and fall are the bread, butter, and heart of the company. Which leaves us with winter. We love our winter offerings, and have been glad to hear that others do too—our River to Mountain walking tour and Underground Summit indoor tour have introduced us to new people and have been a lot of fun. But we’d be lying if we said we didn’t miss the biking component. Which is why we’ve been ecstatic about introducing fatbikes to our offerings.
What this looks like is two things: the first is our Fatbike on the Mountain tour, which takes participants through a snowy forested park and includes local landmarks, stunning lookouts, and leisurely paths. The other are fatbike rentals, which can vary in length—whether you want to take one out for a spin for a couple of hours and see what everyone’s talking about, take one out for a day or two and take your time, or book one for a week for a bigger trip.
Down the road
Who knows, down the (unpaved) road, you might find yourself to be a fatbike superfan, taking part in the many conventions, races, and summits going on across the globe. Our goal, however, is not to get you there—it’s, most simply put, to get you out to try something new. We don’t take our tours anywhere we haven’t been before and loved, and likewise we only promote new trends we wholeheartedly think are a good time.
At Fitz & Follwell, we weren’t interested in being left behind in the (figurative) dust, or (literal) snow—and we don’t want that for you either. Make your biking season longer. Bike where you’d never have imagined yourself biking. Find a new way out of town. Give something new a try.