Like indicated by its name, the fat bike is a big bike, it is like a classic mountain bike but equipped with big wheels that have particularly large tires (5 inches) that is used under-inflated. The advantage of this utility of large wheels and under-inflation is of great importance: you can thus use it on snow or sand and sinks deeper than a classic mountain bike. The inconvenience is of course that you have to put in more effort making it a very tiring activity.
It starts with choosing your bike with care: the tires of 5 inches must be installed on rims of 100 mm, so it can support the complexity of the terrain. The pressure must be adapted to the nature of the track. We recommend 7 or 8 PSI in general but you can also use 5 PSI.
Because the fat bike is a tiring physical activity, it addresses the real sportsmen with a good cardiac and vascular shape because the fat bike uses all the body muscles. It is imperative to hydrate well before starting the track and to warm up for 10 to 15 minutes.
What is really important to have is a bike that is robust enough to support the under-inflated tires in a snowy environment. You can find them from €400 for simple models but the price can go up to €5000 for a bike with electric assistance. Think of taking small necessities with you in case of a problem during your trip: a pharmacy kit lets you handle small injuries, a ration of water and food in case, a front lamp to find your way at night (nights fall fast in winter) and a pump to inflate the tires.
Comfort and security
Opt for warm and light clothes to move easily: take polar and textiles of high technology and avoid the ski outfit since it slows you down. Gloves are obviously essential to not find yourself with frozen fingers around the handlebars. Don’t forget sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun and wind, or the helmet which is mandatory to protect your head.
Thanks to its success, many resorts already have tracks and bike rental. We have selected a few.
If you like to ski in a wild landscape in the Pyrenees, you can go to Peyragudes, to Grand Tourmalet or to Ax 3 Domaines with the possibility to rent a fat bank to discover the mountain.
Fans of alpine resorts have a lot of choice. Most clubs offer centered tours before descending but the sportsmen can initiate in a track of rando, accompanied by an experienced instructor. You can find tours easily in Villard de Lans, Montchaving, La Plagne and Peisey-Vallandry, Saisies, Courchevel, Chamrousse and Grand Bornard.
Massif Central lovers can find fat bikes in Volcans d’Auvergne in Mont Dore.
In most cases, the equipment is ready and included in the fat bike pass for one or half day. Just think of wearing warm clothes and provide your lift pass.