You Can’t Fake the ‘Fatbike Smile’

Experience the adrenaline rush of a good wipeout!

Fatbike zealots are almost worse than singlespeeders. Both groups are pretty similar; the demographic generally consists of beer-loving, campfire-building, free love baby boomers and hipsters, and both are polar to the traditional full-suspension mountain biker. It’s counterculture at its finest.

Just ask any fatbiker: There is NOTHING, and I mean nothing, that a full suspension bike can do that can’t be done on a fatbike. They’re more comfortable, more reliable, faster, and more beautiful than any other bike on the market, and at half the price!

Am I drinking the kool-aid too? Not quite.

When I bought my Pugsley I was highly suspicious of the fatbike hype. I was pretty certain I’d give it the old college try and then sell it on Craigslist. One year later, to the day, and the SS Pug is now my only mountain bike.

Now, don’t confuse me for a fatbike zealot. I will be the first to tell you that my Pugsley is slow, and I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s heavy (29lbs with the summer wheelset, 34lbs with the winter wheelset, 37lbs when I throw a pump, tubes, and toolkit into my framebag. Ouch!).

And all that said, and knowing full well that it’s slower and less capable than a FS mountain bike on trails, I find myself grinning ear to ear on every ride. I can’t deny it, and I can’t really explain it, but I really, really, really love this bike.

Kelley is definitely feeling it too. It’s been a couple of months since she picked up her new Krampus, giving her plenty of time to ride it. Dropping her tire pressure down to the teens really makes a huge difference in grip. She’s not getting the benefit of flotation with the plus tires, but she’s definitely been bitten by the traction bug.

We spent our Thursday afternoon shredding Earl’s Trails. Or, rather, Earl’s Trails was shredding us — a lot of the trails were iced over. I’m not talking about the occasional patch of compressed snow, either; I’m talking sheets of thick, mirror-smooth ice cascading over entire stretches of the trail.

In light of the particularly brutal freeze-thaw cycle we’re in, we decided to stick to the pine duff along one section of Earl’s to avoid wiping out on the slicker stuff. It didn’t really work, and I still fell twice, but an inch or two of snow goes pretty far in cushioning an unexpected fall.

But on a day like today, it’s worth risking a crash or two. This much snowfall this early in December seems to bode well for the season. And boy, was it perfect today!

Kelley has been playing around with her new camera a lot, giving me an awkward look at myself. We took turns trying to catch each other getting rad, and I can actually get a lot more height on a bunny hop than I thought. With the summer wheels on, I’m getting the bike a good foot off the ground, and more with a lip to ride into. The rest of our little photo shoot is included here, in case you’re digging the snowy forest as much as we were today.

Oh, one more thing!

Kelley and I did something else this week… I asked Kelley if she’d consider being my riding partner long-term, and she said yes. We’re getting married! I can’t imagine a better person to explore the world with. If you only tune into this blog for the pictures of Kelley doing cool shit, you’re in luck!

Keep sliding!

10 thoughts on “You Can’t Fake the ‘Fatbike Smile’

  1. Max and Kelley,

    Congratulations! I wish you the best in all future travels.

    Your snow pics are almost making me wish I lived somewhere cold enough to actually get snow.

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