You Can Still Ride A Fatbike Without Snow… Right?

Dirt and mud and sand and ice and gravel and wood and pavement. No snow, though!


I went out for the longest ride I’ve had on my Pugsley yet. Jonathan and I were out for about 6 hours of riding, give or take, on everything from gnarly doubletrack to gravel power line roads. What an effort. I never really stopped to think about whether the bike felt heavy, or whether the tires were slowing me down. At the end of the day, it was just great to be out and great to affirm a lot of the reasons I picked a fatbike up in the first place. From rock crawling to log hopping, the fat tires make for one awesome bike.


Jonathan is a local bikepacker with way more experience than I have, and a constantly rotating collection of great bikes. He runs, with lots of trip reports. He’s an expert in navigating a lot of the local trails (well, nearly all of the local trails), and he took me around on an epic bikepacking loop right out of our front doors in Amherst. Jonathan was smart enough to bring his phone, so the pictures are courtesy of him. He was camping Friday night, so he’s got full bikepacking kit while I’m running some basic tools, spare tubes, a pump, lights, and a spare battery (useless without the phone).


Our bikes were both pushing 40lbs with gear, but you wouldn’t think so, the way Jonathan rides. I like riding with someone substantially better at mountain biking; watching him pick a line up a steep rock-strewn streambed, and chasing his tail hucking up and over the staircases of boulders teaches me more about bike handling than ten trips on my own. Jonathan is a little bit reckless, too, so I definitely pushed out my comfort zone. Still, I rode pretty conservative, and the big tires compensate for a lot of riding skill gaps.

We’re both running 4.0’s, but Johnathan’s Surly Nates look huge compared to my Husker Du’s. No complaints, though; the tires never slowed me down!


All in all, it was an epic ride, perfect weather, and the best time I’ve had on a fatbike yet. Snow or no snow, the Pugsley rules.

Keep Riding!


4 thoughts on “You Can Still Ride A Fatbike Without Snow… Right?

  1. When I bought my Pugsley, I was worried it would be slow, but on my first time riding it to work I set my best time ever for my morning commute, based on almost two years of Strava records. It was months before I beat that time on my touring bike. Now, I must have had an amazing tailwind, but the point is they’re not necessarily slow for the utility & commuting cyclist. Sure the guy who averages 20 MPH on a road bike will be way slower on fat, but for a guy like me who averages 12-14, I make 11-13 on the fattie. No big deal.

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