Do I need a Fatbike to go mountain biking in the winter snow?
No, definitely not, a normal mountain bike is suitable for this.
If you want to enjoy the winter landscape on a mountain bike, you don't need a Fatbike. If you know a few small tricks, you can have a lot of fun with a normal mountain bike in the snow without having to buy a tractor.
Tips and tricks for snow biking in winter
- Useful are wide Mtb tires, 2.4 inches wide are sufficient
- Tyre profile helps a lot
- Do I need spikes? No, they only help on ice. Standard hoops with a wide profile are sufficient
- Reduce air pressure. As with a off-road vehicle in the sand, low air pressure in the snow also helps with mountain biking. The tire is thus wider and does not sink so easily. About 1.2 bar are a good starting value
- Do not bring the bike out of the warm cellar and start cycling, otherwise snow and ice stick to the bike. Let the bike cool down before starting
- In too deep snow the rolling resistance is too high. In the winter the forest workers also routinely follow the most important routes. In the 20-25cm wide track the snow is fixed, which works super
- Singletrails are very easy to ride, if the snow has already struck a bit by pedestrians
- Cross-country ski runs are wonderful for snow biking, especially the part for the skaters. In the classic cross-country ski runs, the bike sinks too much, and the track is broken
- On the skate area of a cross-country ski run one is faster with the mountain bike than the cross-country skiers. Take care of the skiers, the track is actually their area, bikers are here only guests.
- Ski slopes and drawing trails are also great. A mountain bike has a lot of grip in the snow, and the slopes are well secured by the piste bullies. You must however expect that the ski lift owners will not lift you up again 🙂 . Downhill is usually tolerated, and is great fun.
- Clothes: Several light shirts are better then one fat one. When cycling up dress as thin as possible, so that you do not sweat too much. When starting the downhill use several thin jackets or shirts on top of each other as required.
- How much grip do I have on snow and ice:
- This can be easily checked with a full brake on the rear wheel. The grip values you reach at the rear wheel, you have approximately at the front as well. If you slide in front, the bike is much harder to control. In case of doubt every now and then braked brakes, then you have a good idea which grip is available
- Snow, ice color note: The whiter snow and ice are, the more air is in it and the more grip the surface has. Ice with white air inclusions also has quite a lot of grip. The grayer the surface the slippery it becomes. Gray bare ice surface means maximum slippery: Descend, unless you have spikes on the bike.
- Anyone who had to cycle on scattered roads on the way home should then rinse the bike with water so that the salt does not cause any damage. Those who were only in the snow may be happy, the bike is cleaner than before!