Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    51

    Powder Riding question.

    Got a question for those that may ride powder more regularly than me. I'm in the Chicago area and having a blast with all the snow and cold. I was out today and here was my experience:

    The weather was perfect and the falling snow was great....but it was powder everywhere at KK. The multi track was doable, but I still ended up walking some. The single track was a different story. Less traffic on the single track. Initially, I thought it would be better as it looked like there was a 12-18 inch wide section that was tamped down...likely by snow shoers, but once I got into it, it was another story.

    The problem was it was 18-20 in deep of powder on either side of the single track, so if you got out of the track at all, you were done. Stalled, had to get off and push your way back... The actual single track was only slightly better. It was all I could do to keep up 2.5 mph...and if I fell below that, I'd immediately start to stall, sink into the single track and then have to try and power backup up to gain momentum to get going again all while not falling off the bike or touching the ground. Lot's of trackstanding today. On the flats and DH, this was doable, but going uphill, even on a slight incline, you just lost the big MO and it was over. I walked about 1/2 the ST. Not my best showing. Towards the end, I lowered my tire pressure to between 2.5 - 3.00 lbs. That helped but it simply wasn't enough to overcome all the powder. It might be that I was just at the edge of what the bike is capable of.

    I'm curious if that is the case or I just need to get better at riding powder. I've been riding fatbike for 4 + years and as much in snow as possible, so I'm not a newb...

    Thx, sorry for the long post.

    Mark

  2. #2
    NMBP
    Reputation: crashtestdummy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,049
    I can honestly state that at times snow riding really sucks.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    51
    Yea...but as I said in the e-mail to the group of guys that I ride with (most of my above post came from this e-mail), a bad day of Snow bike riding is better that no snow bike riding at all...

  4. #4
    NMBP
    Reputation: crashtestdummy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,049
    Quote Originally Posted by Slarti View Post
    Yea...but as I said in the e-mail to the group of guys that I ride with (most of my above post came from this e-mail), a bad day of Snow bike riding is better that no snow bike riding at all...
    Exactly, I'd rather be pushing my bike through the snow than sitting on my ass inside (which I'm currently doing).
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4
    maybe a str8 up snow tread might do the trick well

    Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    51
    That being said....I do agree with your original comment. It's funny talking to the roadies that I ride with (yes...I ride my pugs with roadies...don't keep up for long, but I'm getting better)...they wonder why I do what I do. But, I've got 5 of them on fatbikes (2 already have them three more are getting them this month.)

    There are certainly days when it really cold and snwoing and I'm wondering why I'm doing it....but I don't wonder for long... :0

    That being said, i'm still looking for some tutalage from someone who is a better powder rider than I am.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4
    im no expert but i fancy myself a good power rider..but im from staten island which has both power and dirty slush this time of year. also i rider my trusty trek tarpon 26er which is beast in these conditions,my buddy rides a camber fsr 29er great bike but i passed him all day long. not sure what that means but for me great balance coupled with a slow steady pedal stroke

    Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Reputation: alphazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,243
    Slarti, you don't mention what tires you are using. It is possible that you just need to let the track set up another day. Also, there are times when going down to 2 psi is needed to ride just a little more.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    51
    I did end up deciding that I need to go as slow and steady as possible...also, would have been great if I could have stayed clip'ed in to make sure I was pedaling circles...that always produces better riding since I'm not bouncing up and down but rather, moving forward, but it was so dicey, at least one if not both feet were constantly uncliped.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    51
    Nate in back and whaterver the stock Surley is in front....I think it's an Endo...

  11. #11
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Reputation: alphazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,243
    Slarti, that is going to be some of your problem. In marginal conditions, the 4.8 tires will out perform the 3.8 tires all day long. You might want to try platforms.

  12. #12
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,004
    Doesn't sound like your snow is very packed yet. Unless the snow is packed, fatbikes aren't much help. As it gets more packed, they get far better. They will do 4-8" of powder, depending on dry the powder is and the surface below, but the primary aspect of fatbikes is being able to ride semi-packed to packed trails in the winter, usually places where the snow piles up and doesn't go away until spring. Right after a snowfall it can be extremely frustrating trying to stay on the trail, because it's like you're trying to ride in the center of a "ridge", where the packed snow is. This is part of the process of getting it packed, but if it's just snowed it may be better to let some more traffic pack it down first and widen it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    658

    Re: Powder Riding question.

    Fatbikes are no good in powder. Skinnier tires that slice through with less resistance will work better in fresh powder over firm surfaces. 4.8 will be even worse than 3.8 in those conditions. Think studded 26 or 29 x 2" Nokians.

    Once the snow is packed down, then the opposite is true. Fatter tires will be more stable.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    4
    steady is more important as speed will keep you light on the snow also body position is so important to keeping grip on your tires. usually i only sit when im in turns and i let my legs take most of the compression. letting my seat do all the bucking

    Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Reputation: alphazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,243
    Quote Originally Posted by ultraspontane View Post
    Fatbikes are no good in powder. Skinnier tires that slice through with less resistance will work better in fresh powder over firm surfaces. 4.8 will be even worse than 3.8 in those conditions. Think studded 26 or 29 x 2" Nokians.

    Once the snow is packed down, then the opposite is true. Fatter tires will be more stable.
    His problem wasn't with powder riding but with riding the track left from snowshoe traffic. 4.8 tires will make a big difference trying to ride that track.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Teton29er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    272
    One of the keys to happiness in marginal conditions is to not get upset about walking.

    Recently I did a 20 mile ride with fresh snow where I had to walk the entire climb which was maybe 1500vert feet. It was a blast on the way down, very hard work on the flats and overall a super fun outing.

    Remember, if you were snowshoeing, you would ALWAYS be walking.

    As far as staying in the narrow tracks, your technical riding skills are the most important thing to work on. Again, think of it as a fun challenge.

    I also moved my rear tire on my necro pugs back 1"--effectively lengthening the chainstay and wheelbase. I can follow a narrow track MUCH better now.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    86
    Quote Originally Posted by Teton29er View Post
    One of the keys to happiness in marginal conditions is to not get upset about walking.

    Recently I did a 20 mile ride with fresh snow where I had to walk the entire climb which was maybe 1500vert feet. It was a blast on the way down, very hard work on the flats and overall a super fun outing.

    Remember, if you were snowshoeing, you would ALWAYS be walking.

    As far as staying in the narrow tracks, your technical riding skills are the most important thing to work on. Again, think of it as a fun challenge.

    I also moved my rear tire on my necro pugs back 1"--effectively lengthening the chainstay and wheelbase. I can follow a narrow track MUCH better now.


    I agree with all of this!

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    226
    When asked how it is riding in the snow I usually respond that any fat bike snow ride which involves 60% or more of actual riding and 40% or less of pushing is a good/great ride. I think new fat bikers, and I was one of them three years ago, get frustrated when they can't ride 100% in regardless of conditions after dropping $1800-$4000.

Similar Threads

  1. VT Riding Question
    By iceboxsteve in forum Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 09-19-2013, 11:06 AM
  2. Question - Night riding
    By Eerie in forum Washington
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 10-06-2012, 08:19 AM
  3. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 08-28-2012, 05:44 PM
  4. Powder coating question
    By Joey07 in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12-12-2011, 06:59 AM
  5. question about riding areas and your $$
    By 151 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-02-2011, 10:37 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •