Fatbike Like You Mountain Bike

Are you riding your fatbike like a mountain bike?

If you aren’t, you should be. All the skills we teach in the spring, summer and fall can be applied to fatbike season in the winter. We see too many mountain bikers riding their fatbikes like a road bike all winter because the terrain is smoother.

Use your fatbike as a tool to improve your mountain bike skills all year long. Consider body position and bike-body separation while cornering. How much weight do you have on the front wheel? Are you driving your bike or are you defaulting to being the passenger?

If you are working on pumping and jumping in the summer, there is no reason why you can’t be working on that in the winter too. With the groomed trail networks, there are plenty of fatbike trails to work on pumping, jumping and flow.

Remember the braking drills we do in lessons? With the large front tire and tons of traction, it is the perfect tool to really get comfortable using the front brake on descents. Ruts are created when riders lock up their rear wheels and if you’ve taken a lesson with us, you know how to use both brakes effectively.

Do you equip your fatbike like a mountain bike?
We are all about having more fun on bikes. Is your fatbike setup limiting what you can do? Get a dropper post, seriously. If you have one on your mountain bike, there is no reason to have a rigid seat post on your fatbike. They will work perfectly fine in the winter and you don’t need the most expensive brand (we use PNW). You will have so much more fun cornering when your seat is lowered and you will be able to pump and flow over rollers with more confidence (and speed!).

It isn’t 1995 anymore and getting a suspension fork for your fatbike will make it feel much more like a mountain bike. If the trails are a bit rougher from foot traffic (Gatineau Park is right now!), the fork will absorb all the little bumps and give you more traction. Having the front suspension will also help you to pump and accelerate through corners. Think of how often you preload the fork in the summer - so why stop in the winter or why limit yourself with a rigid fork?

Muscle memory is an important aspect to any sport. If you ride your fatbike like a mountain bike than the transition in the spring will be seamless. If you don’t, the first few weeks of spring riding will feel tough since you are not used to any bike-body separation during the winter. If you are were working on manuals, front or rear wheel lifts, or track stands in the summer it will help you keep your technique solid and muscle memory strong to keep working on those maneuvers in the winter.

So remember, if you are riding singletrack mtb trails on your fatbike, then use your fatbike like a mountain bike to maximize your fun!!! If you are coming from a road or gravel bike and new to trail riding, join a lesson in the spring on your fatbike!

Le Harfang - Fat bike & Raquettes The Kona Bicycle Co. 45NRTH Tannus Armour Full Cycle Ottawa
Jan 15, 2023 5:32:00pm

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