Tag Archives: fatbikes

Winter racing in Leadville Colorado

At RideFatbikes.com, we consider our mission to serve as a resource to the fatbike community.  We’ve had great support from readers who’ve taken time to email or comment, applauding our efforts to highlight news and information that they may not otherwise stumble upon.

We’re fortunate that our readers and collaborators also volunteer photos, information and ideas that allow us to bring even more depth to this site.  Our friend Ben Welnak at Twenty2 Cycles (primary sponsor of the Fatbike Frozen Forty) sent this write-up over.  Ben rides and races a lot, so when he makes a ride sound this great, it’s likely pretty great.  You can check out his site too, at BenWelnak.com.

Here’s what Ben has to say about the Leadville Mountain Bike winter race series…

Leadville Mountain Bike Series Race #2 – Tennessee Pass Night Jam

by:  Ben Welnak – Twenty2 Cycles ( https://www.twenty2cycles.com/ )

There are many new winter races in 2012.  Meanwhile, the Leadville Series Winter Mountain Bike Series has been around for several years.  There is a good local and loyal following for this four-race series.  With snow and mountains, who wouldn’t want to race?

This is the description of the race series from the Cloud City Wheelers website ( http://www.cloudcitywheelers.com/events-rides/ )

“These unique and exciting races occur throughout the winter in and around Leadville. Utilizing groomed nordic ski trails and snowmobile trails, these races are a great way to keep riding and racing during the off-season. Three of the races are even held at night! A typical course is 12 miles with a mix of spine-tingling conditions. Cost is $20 per race.

All proceeds from the race series go towards Cloud City Wheelers advocacy efforts. These races always end with plenty of tasty food and beverages, laughter and dang good times. Come on up and enjoy the ride!”

All of the races are open to both fatbikes and regular mountain bikes.  In the past there were a limited number of fatbikes racing, but, as you can imagine, this year there are plenty of fatbikes showing up, which almost makes it necessary to split the regular bikes and fatbikes into their own categories.

The first race of the series, the “Copper en Fuego”, was on January 14th at Copper Mountain.  It was a new race for 2012 and was very popular.  160 racers showed up and learned what the Leadville Series ise all about.  From the sound of all the comments, it was all smiles and all fun.

This past Saturday night, 64 racers braved the near zero degree temperatures and 10,000+ft elevation to toe the line at 7pm under the full moon to crank out 12 miles on the groomed ski trails of the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center http://tennesseepass.com/nordic-center/  . While all the races are unique because of the elevation, temperature, and, well, racing in the dead of winter, this race is especially unique because it’s a great example of the collaboration of a cross country ski specific center with fatbikes and regular mountain bikes.  The nordic center is gracious enough to host the entire event (with a toastly fireplace and cabin surroundings), from sign-in to post race warmup, beer, and pasta dinner….all for $20.

The course was freshly groomed and mostly hardpack.  The first 3-4 miles were a little soft for regular mountain bikes though and I was breaking through too much to keep up with the wider guys.  The rest of the course was nice packed and provided enough traction to put down some good riding.  Over the 12 mile, the course had a total elevation gain of about 1,500 feet, which feels like almost double that at some points because of the snow.  The key of the race was to stay on the skate deck and steer clear of the classical tracks.  The tracks can be dangerous by grabbing your tires and throwing racers off into the soft, unpacked 2+ feet of snow in the woods.

The top three men were Taylor Sheldon, Jordan Carr, and Erik Lobeck.  The top 3 singlespeeders were Jerry Oliver (friend of Twenty2 Cycles, Eric Cutlip, and Barry Croker).  The top 3 women were Stephanie Jones, Amanda Good, and Erin Allaman.  For the full results of the races, you can check the results page  http://www.cloudcitywheelers.com/2012-leadville-winter-mountain-bike-race-results/  .

An event like this proves that cross country ski areas can work with local groups to produce great events for alternate trail users.  It should be interesting to see how the future unfolds for the relationship between fatbikers and cross country skiers.

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Filed under Biking, Cycling, Fatbike Event, Fatbike Trails, Fatbikes, RIde Fatbikes, Snow bike, Snowbikes

Grand Targheee Resort Fatbike Video & Recap

The press release and information below were sent to us by RideFatbikes.com reader, Andy Williams.  Grand Tarhee held a fatbike event recently on the ski trails.  Hopefully this is the first of many stories of cooperation between fatbikes and ski resorts, parks and other recreation areas.  While XC skiiers deserve trails to themselves, it’s also fair to expect that as the fatbike community grows, we should be able to respectfully develop cooperative relationships for shared or alternate use of trails (using selected trails with permission only, on days/times designated by trial managers).  RideFatbikes.com would like to thank Grand Targhee for exploring this world of options, and Andy Williams for sharing this information with us!  While the press release below uses the term snowbikes throughout, we at RideFatbikes.com obviously prefer the term fatbikes!  🙂

Grand Targhee Resort Snow Video

One recent Saturday the Grand Targhee’s lower parking lot was packed with skiers, boarders and bikers.  Twenty or so guests were getting ready to enjoy Grand Targhee’s Nordic Trail System, not on skis, but on snow bikes.   Grand Targhee is the first ski resort in the United States to embrace and endorse snow biking on its undulating and twisty 15 kilometer Nordic trail system.

Andy Williams, Grand Targhee’s Special Events/ Summer Trails and long time snow biker, was pivotal in paving the way for Grand Targhee to encourage snow biking on the Nordic trails.

“After enjoying the mountain bike trails in Rick’s Basin during the summer, I couldn’t help but think that the winter riding would be amazing,” Williams stated.

“Snow biking provides another recreational opportunity for guests to enjoy nature in the Tetons,” Williams says.

The local, and growing, snow bike community agrees.

Dave Byers, a local snow bike race organizer and cyclist, recently blogged “I applaud Grand Targhee Resort for their forward thinking and willingness to try something new. As long as snow bikers follow the rules and respect the trails when conditions are soft, I feel as if snow bikers and the Nordic skiers can coexist peacefully on the trails.”

The snow bike was created to go where standard mountain bikes flounder because the riding surface is too soft.   Similar in look to a hard-tail mountain bike but with fat balloon tires, a snow bike has much wider clearances in the front fork and rear triangle to accommodate tires up to 4” wide.  These large-volume, low-pressure tires provide floatation on soft surfaces such as snow and sand that would make the terrain otherwise unrideable.    Snow biking is increasing in popularity in winter climes as cyclists look to extend their outdoor riding season year round.

Snow bikes are permitted on Grand Targhee’s Nordic Trails as long as riders purchase a Nordic ticket for $10 per day or a Nordic season pass for $115.  Grand Targhee Resort will also host its first snow bike race on January 15, 2012 in conjunction with Teton Valley, Idaho’s Winter Festival.   Grand Targhee’s snow bike race offers three distances, 15K, 30K or 45K in men’s and women’s categories.   Event registration is available online until January 14, 2011 at www.athlete360.com or the day of the race from 8:00 am to 9:15 am.  Online registration is $30 for the 45K race and $20 for the 30K and 15K races.  Day of registration is $40 for the 45K race, $25 for the 30K and $25 for the 15k race.

Snow bike rentals are available at Grand Targhee at Teton Mountain Outfitters or in downtown Driggs, Idaho at Habitat.  Habitat also sells the Surly Pugsley and Moonlander snow bikes.

Snow Bike etiquette for Nordic Trails.

  • Ride groomed ski trails only if they are open to snow bikes.
  • Ride only snow bikes with high floatation, fat tires.  Adjust your tire pressure to avoid leaving ruts.
  • Ride when the snow is firm enough to support you and your bike.   If you leave a rut more than a 1” deep or have trouble ascending or descending, then conditions are too soft and you should not ride your bike.  If you must walk a hill or other section, walk to the side of the trail so that footprints are not in the main skate lane.
  • Yield to skiers.  Give skate skiers plenty of room.
  • Do not ride in the classic ski tracks.
  • Let recently groomed tracks set up several hours before riding.  For example, wait until after 10 am on a morning which the track is groomed at 7 am.
  • Purchase trail passes or make donations to those organizations which groom the trails.

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Filed under Fatbike Event, Fatbike Gallery, Fatbike Trails, Fatbikes, RIde Fatbikes, Snow bike, Snowbikes

Cold Catfish Cup – Recap

Cold Catfish Cup crew

Cold Catfish Cup organizer, Reed Smidt shares his thoughts and recap of the season’s first Cold Catfish Recap with RideFatbikes readers, below.  If you think this event sounds like fun, make sure to come out to the 2nd in the series, this coming Sunday.  Angry Catfish and Reed are known to put on a great event.  Here’s the story from the first event in the series.

The Carver Lake Cold Catfish Cup – Race # 1 was held this past Sunday at Carver Lake Park in Woodbury, MN. Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop + Coffee sponsors the time trial  series that includes 3 races in total.  The weather was perfect and trail conditions were prime. Fat bikes ruled the day and easily were the fastest riders on course. In total 25 riders registered and raced in the first ever mountain bike race at Carver Lake Park.

The Cold Catfish Cup – Race 1

The Carver Lake Park Off-road Cycling Trail opened July of 2011 and has never hosted any other races. The turnout and event were fantastic with riders enjoying the friendly competition and fun atmosphere. The race is set-up as a time trial format with riders being sent off every 30 seconds. The course route this past Sunday was 2 full laps of the 4 mile single-track trail. Riders were flying through the course on perfectly groomed snow conditions that allowed fast lap times. Lap times were much faster than expected with the winner, Heath Weisbrod, clocking 2 laps in just under 41 minutes.

Cold Catfish Cup Wall Ride

Racers were very happy with the course, trail conditions and the event as a whole. This coming Sunday, February 5th will be race #2 and will most likely have a different course set-up. Although the trail and snow conditions will be poor this Sunday due to unseasonably warm temperatures, and many of the trails could be closed due to poor trail conditions, the race will go on as scheduled. The City of Woodbury and Angry Catfish have some very fun alternative routes that will surely challenge all fat bike riders and create a good time. Think single-track, ice, snow, snow packed lake loop, and beach sand. It’s going to be fun and different, no doubt about it. You’ll have to load up your fat bike, head over the Carver Lake Park and find out what’s in store for this Sunday’s race.  We’ll see you there!

Race Series # 2 – Sunday, February 5

Registration: Noon

Race Starts: 1pm


Race Series # 3 – Sunday, February 19

Registration: Noon

Race Starts: 1pm


Swag, fat bike demos, bonfire, premo coffee from Angry Catfish and much more!

Contact Reed Smidt for more information: 651-714-3588 or rsmidt@ci.woodbury.mn.us


Video Link:  http://heath-s.blogspot.com/2012/01/carver-catfish-cup1.html

Photo Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmillion/sets/72157629109468317/

Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/events/255210811211173/

Carver Lake Park Off-Road Cycling Trail Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Carver-Lake-Park-Off-Road-Cycling-Trail/182408298505799

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Great weekend for fatbike events this weekend!

Minnesota finally has a bit of snow cover, and it’s cold.  It’s almost like winter around here, just in time for some great fatbike events.  I’m aware of at least three fatbike / winter bike races this weekend.  In the event you can’t make it to all three, you should try to check out at least one.  They include:

  • Penn Cycle’s Get Fat with Pat event – Penn Cycle in Eagan, MN; Saturday January 28th; 12pm start; details here
  • Freewheel Frozen Frolic at Murphy Hanrehan January 29th – Three-race series + Lake Minnetonka Ice Race, hosted by Freewheel Bike (another great local shop, with a strong fatbike selection and knowledge).  The Murphy races will be mass start events that will include the normal Murphy loop plus a half mile roll out for the start. Studded tires are allowed and encouraged when frequent freeze-thaw temps proceed race day.  Men’s / Women’s open class race.  Registration opens at 10am; Race starts at 11am. Info here.
  • Carver Lake Cold Catfish Cup in Woodbury – This should be a terrific race, put together by the fine folks at Angry Catfish (which is an awesome local bike shop) and the City of Woodbury.  Reed Smidt is the organizer, and information can be found at their facebook page, here.  Here are some details:

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Happy New Year!

Photo credit: RideFatbikes.com (elm creek park 12-31-11)

Happy New Year everyone!  Last year, in the last month of the year, we had over 4000 visitors at RideFatbikes.com.  This site has really grown, and I appreciate those of you who are regular readers, regular commenters, and everyone who has helped with the growth and popularity of this site.

In 2012, we hope to continue to serve the fatbike community as a resource for reviews, fatbike photos (at FatbikeGallery.com), fatbike resources (at FatbikeLibrary.com) and cool events (like the Fatbike Frozen Forty coming on February 25 of this year.

Speaking of the Triple F, some cool things are coming together.  Platinum sponsor Twenty2 Cycles (from Colorado) has played a major role in planning and coordinating various aspects of this event, and we thank them particularly!  Not only have they helped with planning and coordination, but they’ll be coming to MN with a titanium fatbike (their “Bully”) that you can see on the 25th. I was out on the trail at Elm Creek yesterday, and it’s a beautiful ride in a terrific park (Elm Creek is one of the jewels of the Three Rivers Park District).

Sponsors such as Cognition Caps, Bar Mitts and Braaap Bars have all contributed some awesome schwag for prizes and give-aways (all registered riders will be eligible for these prizes).  We’ve got other sponsors in the works who may have additional cool things to give away that you won’t want to miss.  If you want to register right away, registration is going to go through Prerace.com (view the event registration page here).  Note that the fee will go up shortly before the event, so to save a few bucks, sign up early.

This will be a “no profit” event, meaning the hard costs are anticipated to exceed the registration fees.  If we have registration fees in excess of hard costs, we will apply those proceeds to the post-race dinner/gathering open to all riders in the afternoon/evening of the 25th.  We depend on riders and sponsors to help support the costs of this event.

Plan to spend the day on the 25th, as the ride will begin around 9am, and one category (to determine Champion of the Triple F) will be most miles logged by 3pm (for those who really want an endurance test).  After the ride, we’ll have a post ride gathering in or around the Maple Grove/Champlin area.  If anyone has contacts at Surly or Summit, maybe they’d even like to contribute a few beers for us to sample?  🙂

Finally, want to show your support and enthusiasm for the Fatbike Frozen Forty?  We’ll post the ride flyer here in the next few weeks, and you’re welcome to help by circulating the flyer.  In the meantime, maybe you want to wear a New Era baseball cap with Fatbike Frozen Forty custom embroidery?  If so, pick one up for less than $25 from LogoSportswear.com, here.

Happy 2012 – and we hope to see more fatbikes on the trails in the year to come.  Thanks for spreading the word about RideFatbikes.com!

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Filed under Fatbike Frozen Forty, Fatbike Gallery, fatbike photos, Fatbike Trails, Fatbikes, RIde Fatbikes

Lots of new fatbike products & developments

Twenty2Cycles.com - "Bully" snowbike

Photo submitted by Twenty2Cycles.com (RideFatbikes.com reader)

In checking out a few recent posts and updates from Surly, Salsa, Speedway Cycles (home of the Fatback in Alaska), Twenty2 Cycles (handmade fatbikes in Vail Valley, CO) and elsewhere, it appears the 2011-2012 fatbike season is going to showcase significant new and redesigned products.

New Developments.

  • Surly has a new colored (powdercoated) red, white or green Rolling Darryl rim, to add to their new Clownshoe rim, their Big Fat Larry tires, and their other recent developments.  They’ve got a new Black Ops Pugsley, the Moonlander, and some cool new tire options.  Check out Surly’s parts section of their site here.
  • Salsa has a Mukluk 2 complete, a Mukluk 3 complete, and a Ti Mukuluk, so the options for someone looking for a ready-to-go fatbike or those who want to build from a frame are plentiful, even if you look no farther than the Salsa brand.  View the Mukluk options here.
  • Other brands, like the Fatback, continue to revamp and improve their line, and the Fatback blog (here) has some great information about their newly redesigned fatbike frames, photos, and explanation of the benefits of their chosen geometry.
  • Twenty2  Cycles (a sponsor of the upcoming Fatbike Frozen 40, February 11, 2012) has a beautiful titanium fatbike they are just launching, called the Bully.  They’ve just dropped all the new low-down on this amazing looking ride at their site, which you can view here.  These guys are hitting the fatbike world hard, and were just mentioned in a recent Outside magazine blog, here.  The stunning ti fatbike you see featured in this post is the Bully from Twenty2 Cycles (more at Twenty2Cycles.com, on Facebook at http://Facebook.com/Twenty2Cycles  and Twitter: @Twenty2Cycles).

One of each, please.

If any of the above companies are reading this, I’d like one of everything, please.  It all looks awesome.  For readers of this site, please let us know what new bikes and products you think are the most significant developments or of the most interest to you.  If you’re already rocking some of the new stuff, feel free to leave a comment to let others know.  Or, if you don’t want to send me the products for free but would like to get the word out, feel free to send some photos of your new fatbikes or fatbike products to Brad At ride Fatbikes dot Com, or drop me a line letting me know you’d like to sponsor the site.

Where should you go looking for a fatbike? 

If you are in Minnesota, I highly recommend a few local shops.  Milltown Cycles (in Faribault, MN), Angry Catfish (in Mpls), and Freewheel Bike (in Mpls and Eden Prairie) are all “fatbike friendly”, knowledgeable, and good folk.  If you are looking somewhere other than MN, I’d recommend you take a look at the Fatbike Library (FatbikeLibrary.com) and look at the listed shops.  If you don’t see your favorite listed, leave a Comment.


Filed under Fatbike Frozen Forty, fatbike gear, fatbike photos, Fatbikes, RIde Fatbikes, Snowbikes

Milltown, Mukluks & Adventure Rides

Mukluk 2 - Photo credit: MilltownCycles.com


On Tuesday evening, I had the fortune of meeting Ben and Curtis, the good folks at Milltown Cycles in Faribault, MN.  Unless you go there, you won’t believe what kind of amazing bike shop can be found within a town of 20,000.   Both Ben and Curtis are helpful, friendly, and extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about bikes, and his knowledge and enthusiasm are evident in only a short visit.  They’ve also got a great blog, here: http://milltowncycles.com/racing.html.  Best of all, they actually ride fatbikes, so their recommendations and suggestions come from experience.

On Tuesday night, I went to Milltown not only to check out this great shop I’d heard and read about, but to join on a ride they were hosting (an informal night trail ride).  There was a group of about 8 riders, primarily on fatbikes (though the group did not discriminate and was lead by a gentleman who was riding a singlespeed 29er so smoothly and easily that you’d think the bike had its own motor).

We cranked out about 10 miles that felt like 20 (hilly singletrack in the dark turns out to be challenging).  Not only was the ride awesome, but I got to meet some great folks, and found out more about this great shop I’d heard several people suggest was worth a visit to Faribault.  Thanks to Ben and Curtis at Milltown for the great ride and for showing me around your awesome shop.


Many of you have heard about the new titanium Mukluk, the Mukluk 3 (a nicely outfitted but fairly entry level aluminum fatbike), and the Mukluk 2 (an upgraded stock Mukluk with Rolling Darryl rims, eThirteen cranks and other niceties).  They’ve started rolling into local bike shops.  I was in Milltown on the 11th, and they were expecting 10 or so Mukluks on the 12th.   At least half of them were already pre-sold though, so if you want one you should call them or go check them out soon.   One of the gents we were riding with had a nicely outfitted Mukluk 2, and it looked pretty sweet.

For more photos and a description of the new Mukluk 2, check out the post by Milltown here: http://milltowncycles.blogspot.com/2011/10/salsa-mukluk-2.html.  Mlltown was also getting the new Salsa frame bags (designed by Revelate) and various other fatbiking goods.  While it’s hard to believe Faribault could be a fatbiking Mecca, it’s certainly not far from that, with a bike shop and bike shop owner that are very big fatbike advocates.  Check them out!

Adventure Rides

I like the “Full On” blog (deathrider.blogspot.com).  As it turns out, he’s organizing a fatbike adventure ride on Saturday October 15th in Eagan, MN.  While I won’t be able to be there, I’d like to be.  If you have a fatbike and are in or near the twin cities metro, you might want to check it out.  Find details here:  http://deathrideradventure.blogspot.com/2011/10/fat-bike-adventure-ride.html.  If you are organizing a fatbike ride, and can give me a few days’ notice, I’ll try to get it up on the Rides & Races page on RideFatbikes.com.

Until then, enjoy the ride.

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Filed under fatbike gear, Fatbike Trails, Fatbikes, RIde Fatbikes, Uncategorized

Fatbikes get some attention at Interbike 2011

It should come as no surprise to fatbike riders that fatbikes are turning some heads at Interbike this year (2011).  Take a look at this terrific article featuring

the beautiful Fatback bike from Speedway Cycles in Alaska.  I’m hoping to hear more from Speedway and possibly feature some info about their bikes, fatbike photos and more here at Ride Fatbikes, but in the meantime you should definitely see the good press from mtbr magazine.

Fatbike popularity, use, and options available should continue to improve and grow, which is good for fatbike riders, bike/equipment manufacturers, bike shops, cyclists, and bike advocates.  Let’s keep the momentum flowing – tell your friends about RideFatbikes.com or follow on Twitter (@RideFatbikes) so we can spread the good word.


Filed under Fatbike Gallery, fatbike photos, Fatbikes, Snowbikes, Uncategorized

Best Fatbike Rims?

It was not long ago in fatbike land that a question like “which fatbike is the best” or “which fatbike rim is the best” would have only two or three possible answers.  Fortunately, those times are behind us, and with great companies like Surly, Salsa, 9 Zero 7, and Fatback, the options are improving.

Recently, Surly announced that they are upping the ante with the 100mm Clownshoe rim (See the Aug 24th post at the Surly Blog, here: http://www.surlybikes.com/blog/).  Since that rim has cutouts for weight savings and 64 hole pattern for offset or non-offset lacing, it is an awesome option for ultimate flotation.  The only trouble is, it’s due sometime in 2011, and I haven’t seen or ridden one.  If any Ride Fatbikes readers have seen/ridden this rim, please offer some feedback.

As alternatives to the 100mm Clownshoe, there are options like a 100mm or 80mm FlatTop from Chain Reaction Cycles in Alaska: http://www.chainreactioncycles.us/Flattop%20Rim.html.  These also look like great rims, though I’ve not had the chance to ride them.  From the Chain Reactions cycles website, it appears these rims run $125/each in 80mm or 100mm, and $175/each in the drilled (cut-out) version.

Beyond the beefy 100mm Clownshoe and Flattop options, there are the “standby” offerings from Surly, such as the good ole Large Marge: http://surlybikes.com/parts/large_marge/.   The Large Marge rims, ironically, are almost “small” by today’s standards, at 65mm.

If you’re looking for more float, but you don’t think you need 100mm rims (or your frame won’t accommodate them), the Rolling Darryl (also from Surly) is an 82mm wide cut-out rim that can be laced symmetrically or asymmetrically for offset or non-offset frames. As a single-wall welded seam rim, it’s even lighter than the smaller Large marge rim.   I am currently riding the Rolling Darryls, and they seem well constructed, and do the job well.  I can’t compare them to the other rims available, as I haven’t ridden the others.

For those of you who have direct comparison experience between multiple fatbike rims, what are your opinions?  What rims do you run, and for what reasons?  Let’s make RideFatbikes.com a fatbike community – offer your comments/feedback/reviews, and we can all benefit from the fatbike knowledge and experience of others on this site.

Please tell your friends about RideFatbikes.com or follow us on Twitter @ RideFatbikes.


Filed under Fatbike rims, Fatbikes, Snowbikes

Fatbike photos

Jim, a Ride Fatbikes reader, was kind enough to send a few photos by email for me to add to the site.  Jim indicates these photos show a size small Mukluk, built up recently at Milltown Cycles in Faribault, MN.   Piloting the Mukluk is Aimee, a shop mechanic

In the near future, there will be a page of fatbike photos, which I hope to build as the site and its readership builds.  In the meantime, please submit your fatbike photos via comment or email, and I’ll try to post them.  Thanks for sending the photos Jim.

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