All I want for Christmas is to ride my electric fat bike in the snow

December 25, 2019
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I feel incredibly blessed to have the life than I have. I get to write about ebikes, lots of people seem to enjoy what I write, and I get to ride my ebike every single day. Riding in the snow is one of the few delightful extravagances that my life has afforded me. I feel like electric fat biking in the snow is a completely new sport that I have been able to ‘figure out’ the last several years. I get to hear from lots of people who are out in the snow enjoying powering through the woods all winter long in almost any conditions. This article is about my gratitude for discovering this sport, how it keeps me sane during the long winter months and why I think electric fat biking in snow might someday be ‘the next big thing’.

Riding fat bikes in the snow is one of the most fun things I have ever done

I get so excited when I wake up and I see that there is fresh powder on the ground. For me, it’s like being a little kid again. The joy and wonder of seeing the snow falling on the ground takes me back to a place where everything seems amazing, magical and wonderful. I have a routine when it comes to winter fat biking that rarely seems to change at all. I get up early and get my backpack battery and bike and throw them in the car. I find the warmest gloves I can and then velcro my right pant leg so it won’t get caught in the chainring. If I’m at my wife’s house I literally just roll my fat bike out the front door and hit the trail I made that is 100 ft from the front door. I tend to ride uphill first so if there is a problem with my bike it is easier to get back to the house. If the snow is super deep I have a steep downhill trail that I run then I slog back up the 1.2 mile plowed driveway 800 vertical feet to the house (our snowplowing bill is insane). Having steep downhills when there are more than 6 inches of snow helps a lot with how much strain is put on the drive unit.

I can literally just ride right from my door, the trail starts about 100 feet away

Climate change is bringing about the age of the end of the snowmobile

The winters are getting noticeably milder as the decades churn on. There is also tending to be more warm & rainy spells in the middle of winter which ends up completely destroying the base. This means that winter sports like XC skiing and snowmobiling are far less enjoyable than they used to be. Nobody wants to go out in marginal conditions and trash their equipment. The best part of riding fat bikes in the snow is that it doesn’t matter if there is no base or if there are large patches of bare ground. You just roll over everything like nothing.

The woods are a magical place to be after a snowstorm

Although I XC ski when there is fresh powder, I find that I often have a lot more fun riding my electric fat bike than I do skiing. Good conditions for skiing are much more narrow than they are for riding a fat bike and often it will be too icy or too slushy to have a good time. Riding first thing in the morning when I get up is often the best way to enjoy the good conditions. Typically as it warms up the snow gets mushier and creates more drag. Fluffy powder and a crisp crust are great combinations as the powder produces hardly any drag and the crisp crust allows you to ride on the surface, often without falling through. Having trails that are groomed will allow you to go much farther, but I rarely groom my trails and I find it is a lot of fun just plowing through the snow. Often on the uphill stretches, I will ride in the path that is already packed down to save battery power, but on the downhill sections, I always aim for the fresh snow which is much more fun to ride in and allows me to control my speed without using the brakes as much.

Get out and ride

Now that I spend 2 hours in the woods electric fat biking in the snow, winter gone from becoming my least favorite season to my most favorite one. Anyone who can ride a bike, can learn to singletrack trail ride in the snow. The key is to have a powerful mid-drive with a tiny chainring and a big battery that is 20Ah or bigger. Like many things, the more powerful, the better as you can never have too much power.

Ride On.

Karl Gesslein is a degenerate hooligan of the highest caliber living in upstate NY. His passion for e-bikes and all things sustainable causes him to be obsessed with climate change and finding solutions that will keep humanity from becoming extinct from our own hubris. His personal blogs include electricbike-blog.com, awaken-spirit.org & chestnutparadise.com.


7 Comments

  1. You write more about snow than other bloggers, but we need you to progress. Get a front ski and go steeper and deeper until you rip off a derailleur. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I am out to get some White Christmas freshies.

  2. Great article and great energy 👍. I have an electric fat bike with the same tire on the back too! My first winter with it and I enjoyed two great show rides already 😁 that were amazing. I agree with everything you said and I wouldn’t have known how great and fun it is until reading this or trying myself. Even without snow is fun but in the powder it is that much better. I have changed my while mentality since I sold my truck for this Ebike and have adopted a new sense of purpose for the way I live my life, travel and what I see on the way. Thanks for the article. I hope to see more of yours.

  3. Wow , I remember seeing the snow first at age 20. I was very happy playing all the day. For that, I understand why you really want to just ride your bike 🙂

  4. We have about 30 km,s of fat bike trails near my home in Winnipeg. The snow last’s from Dec to Mar and more and more people are riding fat bikes all winter. I have one of the few fat e-bikes and it runs the BBSHD. One thing we have found is riding at night through the wood’s is very cool.

  5. Riding a bike with knobby tires crunching down on powder is better than sex. You don’t believe me? Try that shit; you will find out I’m right, or you are having some incredible sex! Hats off to you for living life either way.

  6. Love this write up thanks for sharing your I feel the same way. 4 months ago I built a fat tire bike, I put a 3000w cyc x1 pro mid drive, it’s so much fun at our cabin in Lake Tahoe climbing the Snowboard trails and then riding down. I can get up faster than the chair lifts on the milder slopes. I have put a front ski on mine just for fun and it’s a blast. It basically just straps to the front wheel. I only use it going up hill as it has lest resistance, then remove it going down hill. Fat bikes are my favorite hands down especially in the snow and hard packed beach sand on the waters edge.

    Hope it does become a big thing, I think it’s already on it’s way 🙂

  7. I think the real take away is that you are riding the motobecane bike and not the Christini awd bike.

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