The fatbike is here to stay. The increase in users and the growth in the number of trail networks in Québec tell the tale: the demand is there. No need to be a mountain biking fan to enjoy it. It’s enough to like playing outdoors, to want some variety in your outdoor activities depending on conditions and the number of people, or to want to keep your thighs in shape for the coming summer.
If you’re among those who like to bike on snow, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you buy a fatbike.
On average, how many times a winter do I fatbike?
Despite the increase in demand, it can get expensive, particularly when you already have a mountain bike, a road bike, cross-country skis, downhill skis, etc. An entry-level fatbike costs about $1,000 in a specialty shop. You’ll find some that costs less, but don’t forget that the good makes have thought differently about the geometry and the components, to ensure that you have a good experience.
Do you live close to a trail network?
The fatbike is a big bicycle. The tires, which are a minimum of 3.5” wide, take up a lot of room and don’t fit onto a regular car bike rack. Some makes have thought of accessories (basket and cover) so that your big bike can be transported by car and be protected from road salt, but those have to be considered when you’re drawing up a budget.
Do you have a place to clean and store your fatbike?
As with any bike, it needs cleaning, regular maintenance, and a warm place to sleep. The more you bike on the road, in the salt and slush, the more loving care your bike will need.
In the meantime, renting is always a good option. In Mont-Tremblant, there’s “bike-in/bike-out” and the bike is washed, stored…and some shops will even credit your rental against your purchase if you decide to buy one. What more could you ask?
Having said that, let’s add that if you have any concerns, visit a shop. They’ll enlighten you!