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  1. #1
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    Fat bikes in the backcountry - Mileage?

    I'm planning an upcoming trek along Vermont's Catamount Trail via fat bike. Would love to get some feedback on a few things to help the planning process:

    1. What's reasonable mileage to expect on crust vs. 3-6 inches of fresh snow?
    2. What's the maximum possible grade you can climb with a fat bike geared in extremely low?
    3. Any good aftermarket ski pulk type systems for bike use? Or a DIY mounting kit for an existing pulk?

    Thanks for the info. Trip reports will be posted here (Nor'Easter Backcountry: Vermont's Catamount Trail on a Fat Bike) over the next few weeks.

  2. #2
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    Fat bikes in the backcountry - Mileage?

    On question #2 I can say , depending on a few factors, snow depth and quality, with the gearing I'm running 18/36 with Nates , stupid steep !

  3. #3
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    Ok 4th question. Apply a tow load. Pulk with skis and light overnight equipment.

  4. #4
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    Fat bikes in the backcountry - Mileage?

    I pulled two 7 year old boys on there sled up a groomed ski hill, was better than 10% grade , and I was aired down to 7psi , they were impressed , and so was I !

  5. #5
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    wait until they're 9. they'll be heavier, and harder to impress

    ok, so, mileage? lets say any given 25 mile chunk of the Catamount Trail has at least 1800 feet of climbing. some have upwards of 4000.

  6. #6
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    Fat bikes in the backcountry - Mileage?

    Well are you a climber? That's a big factor, hills can mess with your mind if your not dialed in for a bit of pain, I'm a obsessive climber, so I can tell you, having climbed massive hills with 1.95 XC tires on my XC bikes , and now with the low gear combo , massive foot print and aggressive tire pattern of the Nates and with the ability to run very low air pressure, I'm constantly surprising myself , I've never had a bike with such sick traction , you will be grinning all the way up some Rediculous climbs, but again , snow type and depth is a Major factor , snow that's really powdery is pretty tough going past 4 inches, wetter snow offers real good traction as it forms Around your treads and makes a interlocking grip that really gets you up some pretty Steep stuff, having a super low gearing really enables you to milk the traction, and if you have good slow speed balance you can really finesse up technical steep climbs .

  7. #7
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    The Catamount Trail incorporates Nordic trails in numerous Nordic Ski centers. To date, no Nordic centers allow bikes to use their trails in winter. In addition, the Catamount Trail traverses private land and is allowed access in winter for skiing & snowshoeing. Biking across private land would be trespassing.

    It would be best for of all of us winter bikers if you checked with the Catamount Association before proceeding with your trip. Riding illegally through these areas could ruin winter biking prospects in the future.

  8. #8
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    My plan was to skip the nordic centers entirely for that reason. Seems trespass on land easements is only specified as snowmobile use and dumping. Entirely private land may be another story.

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