IMBA Releases Fat-Bike Best Practices (First Version)

 Current version – (updated from the firstpublished version below) –



7 Responses to IMBA Releases Fat-Bike Best Practices (First Version)

  1. Frank January 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    I’m sure I’m sounding like a broken record here, but can IMBA get us some guidelines for working with local snowmobile clubs to get fat bikers access to the network of trails that crosses private land. That would increase our riding options ten-fold around here.

  2. Frank January 7, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Just read you’re reply to my previous post. I’ll try to look up who the local IMBA dude is online. Thx.

  3. Maah Daah Hey Hey Hey January 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Minnesota’s hyper-regulated trail system allows 3.7 inch tires or wider for snow – has IMBA been swayed by tire manufacturers to “go bigger,” been threatened by the Moonlander/Beargrease Mafia, or is “wider than 3.7 inches” a typo? My Mukluk at low pressure certainly seems snow-friendly in most trail conditions. In fact, I know from actual experience that a 3.7 inch Endomorph/Rolling D. combo is usually more snow friendly to trails than a “fatter” Bud & Lou combo! Of course, Upper Midwest snow conditions are typically “firmer” given our mean temperatures during most of “snow season.”

  4. Ronsta January 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Kudo’s to IMBA for addressing this!

    The “3.7” size is a little too specific.
    What if a future tire comes out rated as 3.6″, is it illegal in certain places? Rim width affects tire size more than the manufacturers rating.

    Why not just refer to them as 4″+ (molded casing size) or draw the line at 3.5″ so there’s some freedom in tire/rim design. This helps define a line between a true fatbike and a tweener.

  5. jayheins January 9, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    @Frank – it’s not that easy. We approached a local snowmobile club about access to their trail network. Here was their reply:

    “Most of our trails are on private land meaning we the snowmobile club has asked for permission from private landowners IE Farmers to make and maintain a trail on their private land. Therefore only snowmobilers with a Ministry of Transportation of Ontario permit can ride these OFSC prescribed trails on their property. The trails are not public trails for horse folks, ATVers or even dog sledders to use as each person will need to visit each farmer and ask for permission. Those organizations would require visiting each landowner and asking for permission to go on their land and the organization will need insurance. Now for public land owned then it is public land open to the public.”

    In our jurisdiction all snowmobilers need a license from the MTO and that covers liability issues arising from using private land.

  6. Whit Johnson January 9, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    This is a great thing to get out there to land managers and users to let them know we are working to stave off issues before they occur (hopefully)!

    I’d say though that the tire cutoff value is too specific and should be left out. For example, you can leave serious ruts if it’s soft condition snow or groomers even with a 4.5″ tire. Alternatively, if it’s early in the morning or a cold day a 29er with 2″ wide regular MTB tires won’t leave a mark at all!
    There’s really no reason to make people feel like they NEED to buy a fatbike in order to ride on the snow. They’ll choose the right bike and tire size for the given conditions (or they’ll be suffering and walking a ton if not!).
    Leaving it at the basics of requesting permission to ride, yielding to other users, and using common sense seems sufficient….

  7. Shannon February 21, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    FYI, IMBA seems to have changed the language in their Fat bike best practices. You should update your site.

    Seems like they listened to the masses and changed the language in the first section. Thanks for posting this info up though and for the link.