Fat Bikes Winter Rides 2021/2022

firebanex

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Posts
634
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
Be it on a fat bike, plus bike, fat unicycle, or commuting in the winter post it up! If its got snow, cold, or dark and happens between now and sometime in spring take a picture and show off!

Starting this off with tonights after work ride, putting in the singletrack with the fat tires at the closest set of trails to my house.
20211005_185558.jpg
 

Tom K.

HRPufnStf
Skier
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Posts
4,468
And it begins!

We might see a bit of snow this weekend...... :ogbiggrin:
 
Thread Starter
TS
firebanex

firebanex

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Posts
634
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
It's totally XC skiable, they've already started to put grooming and classic tracks in at the couple of the trail centers around town and kicked all the multi use people out. We were on a multi use trail system that night and totally was following a couple ski tracks. I personally don't XC ski.. would much rather be on a fat bike or downhill skiing when it comes to snow sports.

Today, stayed home sick with some food poisoning but felt better by the later afternoon and went exploring some of the power lines and neighborhood roads. Crashed a few times as everything is soft and I DEARLY miss having a dropper post.. Crashing on the fatty in winter is pretty lame, you pretty much just slide out and fall over somewhat comically. I did skin my knee though..

20211006_163153.jpg
 
Thread Starter
TS
firebanex

firebanex

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Posts
634
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
The snow got rained on. Now it's ice and I'm super glad I spent the money on getting studded Dillinger 5's a couple years ago. Friend and I are keeping these early season rides fairly low key, the trails are still not filled in or even frozen solid enough to make it very far back into the woods.

Also finally got my hands on a Fox Transfer SL (Factory) dropper post, it's all mechanical and I think it will be just about the only dropper that will continue to work no matter what temperature I ride in. So far it works great and actually only adds about 100grams total with the remote lever over the stock carbon seat post my bike came with.

20211012_200039.jpg
20211012_192247.jpg
 

Slim

Making fresh tracks
Skier
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Posts
2,231
Location
Duluth, MN
@firebanex , I was just going to say, get a dropper, and in your climate, make it full metal(coil spring and mechanical lock).
Is the Fox coil? thought it was air? I got the coil sprung Tranzx post for that reason. It is confusingly named the same as their air-sprung version. Typically the price is the first clue, it's about $20 cheaper than the air spring version.
It does have hydraulic lock out though.
I had a previous generation E13 post that was coil sprung and mechanical lock, but I always had issues with it.
I also had Gravity Dropper posts, that have coil and mechanical lock, and they worked well, but the price/refinement is poor.
 
Last edited:
Thread Starter
TS
firebanex

firebanex

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Posts
634
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
Fox Factory Transfer SL. It is a spring with some sort of mechanical lock! Despite the box packaging that clearly states that it is a hydraulic post with infinite position adjustment.. it's two position only and fully mechanical. Anyways, last spring I had been reading up on the current crop of mechanical droppers and the various problems and issues that everything had so far. I was not very impressed with what was available and pretty much shelved the dropper idea. Then in June I saw that Fox had announced dropper post that they billed as a new super light XC oriented post. While they didn't make a big deal about how it was spring powered I saw it in the fine print and had a bit of a light bulb moment. It took three months of trying to get one of the dropper posts into my hands, my LBS wasn't able to get me one and eventually I found it in stock online two weeks ago. The post and lever is slightly heavier than the carbon Whisky seat post that came with my bike but it's not really a huge deal since my fat bike weights around 30lbs with an alloy frame and alloy wheels.

I went with the Kashima coated Factory version partially for the bling factor, but also because I think the Kashima coating may help keep the post working when it gets really cold. One would think for a $400 dropper post it would come with a freaking remote lever, cable, and housing but no, it did not. Decided to use a Wolftooth remote lever with the longer paddle as the Magura brake clamps on my bars were by my measurements, going to be in the same spot that I wanted the remote clamp on the standard lever length. The longer lever lets the clamp sit inboard of the Magura clamps. Also, I could get the Wolftooth remote lever in gold for a bit of matchy matchy style points. The actuation of the lever and the post is surprisingly light and the post itself does not take much force to drop. It's also pretty loud and really fast when extending! So far, at about 25* it's worked perfectly. But so has both of the Bontrager Line droppers we have on other bikes, although they move significantly slower in these temps.

I did a handful of changes to my fatbike over the summer that really have helped the overall feel of the bike. I swapped out the carbon fork the bike came with for the one I pulled off my wifes' Farley, mainly so I had a thruaxel that actually worked and didn't irritate me. Old one was a weird QR thruaxel with an easily lost insert on the threaded side, hated it with a passion. New fork has a regular DTswiss thruaxel that has way less moving and no removeable parts. It raised the front of the bike by about 10mm and slackened it to about 68* but since the steerer tube was shorter it lowered the bars overall . Swapped for a shorter stem and flipped it to bring the bars back up to about where they were. Then I added this dropper and a set of Magura MT8 SL brakes to replace the SRAM Level T brakes. With all of these changes it's really made the bike feel so much better. I'm excited for a set of brakes that actually work and has carbon levers so I don't frost bite my fingers again from using my brakes! That day sucked.. needed to use brakes but I could feel the bitter cold from the alloy levers through my gloves inside my poagies.
 

Tom K.

HRPufnStf
Skier
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Posts
4,468
Generally not a fan of SRAM brakes, but I've had fine luck with the cheapo Levels that came on my Beargrease, so have not swapped. Trying to resist the bike whore urge on the fat bike -- but did fall into the money pit when a set of carbon wheels came up at a reasonable price.

Those studded Dillingers are the bomb on ice, for sure! I did a fair bit of riding last year on ice that I'm not sure I could have walked back on, if a mechanical had struck. Astounding grip!

Ice 2021.JPG
 
Thread Starter
TS
firebanex

firebanex

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Posts
634
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
The Levels are totally sufficient brakes for a fatbike in winter. We generally travel at slower speeds and don't need the same sort of power or modulation that is needed on dirt. Mine worked fine to about -25* where they would start to lose braking power and pretty much give up past -30. Again not a huge deal since you don't really want to be traveling very quick at those temps. But! The alloy levers would get painful to pull in those temps and our riding group had started to do more elevation in our rides than in the past. Kinda needed brakes that didn't hurt and worked. I also had been battling brake contamination and noise for like two years, just wanted it to be over and start fresh.

Don't know if any of you follow the winter fatbike endurance races up here in Alaska, but Tyson Flaherty works at the
Local shop that I patronize. Didn't know he was kinda a big deal till recently, ive known him since middle school. He pretty much summed it up that shimano brakes don't work in (our) cold, sram works but is pretty okay, and the shop have had the best luck with Hopes and Magura brakes in lower than -20 conditions. With major points to the Hopes as the master cylinder is small, the hose is bendy, and they have a carbon lever. They play well with poagies and have much less issues with damage to the lines because of how flexible the brake line is and how small the master is. Poagies kinda crush the lines coming out of SRAM master cylinders because of the angle of them. After a season or two the line starts to leak from the connection to the master.
 

Tom K.

HRPufnStf
Skier
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Posts
4,468
I've lost touch with the winter endurance racing thing, but consider Mike Curiak a good, if too infrequent, friend. He used to do very well in those events. Down here in the lower 48, there is a big race called the Arrowhead 135 that used to be darn near in my backyard, but when I lived in Northern MN, I had no awareness or interest in that kind of thing. Just a kid, looking to twist dirt bike throttles!
 
Thread Starter
TS
firebanex

firebanex

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Posts
634
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
Didn't have any responsibilities for the day, so I went for a bit of a drive to higher elevations to find more snow to ride on. Was along the top of a ridge that connects the top of Moose Mountain ski area to an old road/trail and passes by an old NIKE site. Not much left there, and its all buried under 18" of snow now.
20211016_171429.jpg
20211016_144059.jpg
20211016_135212.jpg
 
Thread Starter
TS
firebanex

firebanex

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Posts
634
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
Kinda stretching it to call it "winter" tbh. Its below freezing, but hasn't snowed since the beginning of the month and all of the snow is getting really crunchy. Got the summer crew back together for a fat bike ride this weekend so our wives can start figuring out this years layering and gear requirements.
20211023_143342.jpg


My wife has to soak in the sun, there isn't a whole lot of it now days.
20211023_152140.jpg
 

Andy Mink

Airborne Andy
Moderator
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 12, 2015
Posts
7,541
Location
Reno
OK, so not technically a ride but I did push the bike out to the front yard for a photo op!
20211025_114155.jpg
 
Thread Starter
TS
firebanex

firebanex

Out on the slopes
Skier
Joined
Apr 16, 2018
Posts
634
Location
Fairbanks, Alaska
It snowed an inch! Not enough for the nordic skiers to kick us off the ski trails yet, but our nights are numbered. With any luck when we can't ride the ski trails, there will be enough snow on the rest of the mushing and winter trails to make them rideable. Otherwise we will have to get creative and just make it work.
20211102_194823.jpg
20211102_193905.jpg
 
Top