This month I have chosen the first video I made of my fat-bike. It was the first big ride on my new bike apart from the ride around the block just to be sure nothing fell off. I had just finished building the bike 2 weeks earlier back in February 2016. I had only ridden one fat bike before and that was for a few hours on a demo hire, a Genesis Caribou (from Bothy Bikes Aviemore) but even that short test ride convinced me that my choice of fat bike was going to be good.
I had a lot riding on this trip. I had spent a lot of money on a bike I had not ridden before and had gone one step further by building it myself to my own configuration; a frame purchased from Charlie the Bike Monger, other parts from various places based on what I knew and what I wanted and those were mostly British parts (Hope Tech) for longevity in the rubbish riding conditions. The fat-bike replaced my previous Rohloff equipped WhyteE5. I spec’ed the bike to be light yet easy to get fairly cheap high end consumable parts. My intention was to be able to go anywhere and ride anything my normal mountain bike would do and allow me to try a spot of bike packing too. I had faith I had made the right decisions and it turns out my faith paid off. This ride proved I had built myself a good bike. It is now December 2016 and I have not touched my ’normal’ mountain bike once (and no I am not selling it). The tyres are the only things I have changed since building the bike, a few times over.
For this first ride, I had the weekend to myself and the opportunity to ride in the white stuff. In fact I was itching to ride in the snow having visited Aviemore the weekend before on a snowboarding trip and having a good idea what was on the ground. There was urgency in my desire to get back to Aviemore as winter conditions can in a blink of a week disappear to become just wet mush. As you can see my maiden ride was in snow.
I had two days to play with. The first day I hooked up with Dave from Bothy Bikes in Aviemore (a total fat bike enthusiast). He had kindly invited me to join him after I showed him my bike and purchased my boots. I treated this day as a reconnaissance day for filming the next day. I got to put the bike through its paces. The best being climbing to the top of a steep hill to only turn 180° and plough drift down through 2 to 3 feet of powder. That was a first. Dave was riding a Surly Ice Cream Trucker and I quickly noticed how his 5” tyres were more capable than my 4”. Still, it was far better than my normal mountain, I would have been pushing that bike!
So why show this video now almost a year later? The winter season is almost upon us once again and like many others reading this blog I expect you all are looking forward to taking your fat bikes to parts where no bike has been before. For me it is just the fact I want to ride in winter conditions and as I mentioned on the Fatbike.com radio show #111 I want to expand my winter snow activities. So I am looking to do more than 2 rides this winter.
The video shows the riding from the second day. A long day but what fun. I hope you enjoy watching as much as I did riding. And oh and yes the snow did disappear by the next weekend. You have to move fast to catch the snow here in Scotland!
Fat Action – Contest!
Send Fat-Bike Action photos and videos to uncle firstname.lastname@example.org and everyone that includes their snail mail address, will receive some stickers. We’ll also hold a drawing of all of the folks that send us photos or videos to win an assortment of schwag. Put Movember in the subject line of your email and don’t forget to remember to include your address. We’ll award prizes to 5 lucky winners that will be chosen at random. We’ll draw the winner on New Years Day 2017.