Once an outsider sport, fat biking is no longer just the latest way to play on two wheels. Rather, it has become an integral part of the mountain biking experience. Fat bikes are bikes with oversized tires designed for low ground pressure, which allows for riding on soft, unstable terrain like sand, mud, or snow. Essentially, the tire’s greater surface area “floats” rather than digs into the ground as a skinnier tire would do. What fat bikes have done is given riders the opportunity to go where and when they never could before, extending mountain biking into a year-round activity rather than a seasonal one. More importantly, the groomed, multi-use trails that snowmobilers and cross-country skiers use are now open for fat bikers, which means there are miles upon miles of winter wonderland to explore from the comfort of your bike.
With fat biking’s popularity on the rise, competitive events are sure to follow. Crested Butte, touted as Colorado’s Mountain Bike Capital, jumped on board and established the Borealis Fat Bike World Championships, which will celebrate its second year this January 25th through the 29th. Over the course of four days, there will be team relay races around an alpine lake, a pub crawl, food, bon fires, and of course, some serious racing events to determine who’s the best in this up and coming sport. Industry vendors will also be selling some amazing goods and demos will be available for those looking to give fat biking a try.