If you have a mountain bike, you must know how hard it is to ride it during the winter. Snow normally covers the tires and it becomes hard to move over it. There’s also the risk of slipping when riding. This is why you need a fat bike. It comes with wide tires (4-5 inches wider), thus easy to move over snow. The wider tires give your bike better traction to withstand sliding and floatation to prevent the bike from sinking in the snow. However, the secret to getting a better fat biking experience is to get the most out of the wide tires.
- Keep the Tire Pressure Low
For a standard bike, you can’t have an easy biking experience if you lower the tire pressure to about 8PSI. With a fat bike, however, such pressure limit is recommended during cold temperatures. Low tire pressure allows you to have better control of the fat bike when moving over ice. You could actually reduce the pressure to below 5PSI to create better shock absorption. This also improves tire traction by about 50%.
Lower the Pressure in the Outdoors
If you lower your tire pressure indoors, there’s always the likelihood that it will decrease further when you go out. This is because the cold temperatures of the outdoors are not as kind as the indoor temperatures. So, better go out with extra tire pressure and get to lower it after biking for 20 minutes or so.
3PSI Against 3.5PSI
If you want to enjoy better traction and to avoid slipping when the temperatures are really cold, the secret is to use different low pressure for both tires. For the front tire, you can start with 3PSI and for the rear, 3.5 PSI will do. Since more weight is concentrated on the rear tire, its pressure has to be more.
During the winter, it’s common for snow to pack on the riding trails. The problem with this is that the snow also packs on your fat tires and this makes riding really difficult. The secret to avoiding this is adding studs to the tires. This ensures that you are able to move over the snowed trails with minimal resistance.
Ride on Powder
Usually, powder forms on snow packed surface during the winter before the storm. Fat tires usually have better traction at such a time as opposed to post-storm. Therefore, take advantage of the availability of snow powder deposits to go biking. You will not have to worry about slipping.
Lastly, you should learn to clean your tires and other parts of your fat bike after every outdoor ride. If there’s dirt or snowballs on the tires, make sure you remove them. After cleaning, ensure that the bike dries properly to avoid rusting. This helps significantly in improving the life of your tires and bike.
Generally, a fat bike is a perfect substitute for a mountain bike when it comes to riding during the cold season. Since the difference between the two bikes (fat bikes and mountain bikes) is the tire, you have to know how to get superb performance from your fat tires.