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  1. #1
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    New question here. Winter fat biking

    So I've had my Surly Neck Romancer about 9 weeks, I've done 500+ miles and loving it. I don't want to stop riding in the winter so what do I need to be prepared for the cold harsh snowy conditions?

    I live on the border of NH and VT so it gets pretty cold and the winters can be nasty.

  2. #2
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    Theres lots of things that can be useful, and you'll find a lot of variations.

    Depending on the weather I use a combination of:
    Balaclava/scarf/neck warmer thing/hat with ears/headband/skullcap.
    Always wear eyewear - sunglasses/safety glasses/ski goggles.
    Various gloves depending on the weather/temperature.
    various shoe wear - SPD's/boots/shoe covers/wool socks
    Pants - jeans/winter cycling tights
    usually an underarmor style base layer with various jackets - my favorite are two castelli winter cycling jackets that are 100% useless if you're not making your own heat. On a bike, I can easily go with the base layer and jacket down to 0F.

  3. #3
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    Do some research dude. Tons and tons info out there.


    Edit: I was in a bad mood when I responded.
    Last edited by jonshonda; 09-24-2013 at 06:42 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    Do some research dude. Tons and tons info out there.
    And how many threads have that info all in one place? Now I'm subscribed.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  5. #5
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    I have done research, and most of the results are from people doing road biking. I'm looking for hands on experience with fat bikes riding snowmobile trails and or nordic trails.

    Do people typically use a regular helmet or do they go with full face downhill style helmet?

    I was thinking of going with the downhill style for extra warmth and the added safety when I inevitably fall.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diaonic View Post
    Do people typically use a regular helmet or do they go with full face downhill style helmet?
    I either wore a normal bike helmet or a snowboard helmet and goggles.

    If it was icy or rocky I'd add in knee and elbow pads.
    Safe riding,

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  7. #7
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    I Live in Maine, so same idea...

    my setup is:

    Under Armor
    Thin Thermal jacket and a Winter Coat
    Thermal pants and Outer snowboard pants (super thin)
    I have i Fur hat Not Helmet cuz on snowmobile trails if i fall i fall into snow, Ski goggles and Fur mittens
    LLbean Boots

    I ussually layer up a bit more on colder days and bring a backpack to shed clothing on hot days

    i alway like to carry extra hand warmers just in case....

    Add a bit of vodka to you water so it doesnt freeze...
    carry some snacks

  8. #8
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    Wool is your friend with a breathable outer layer.

  9. #9
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    Head: Burton snowboard helmet with a synthetic sweatband under for moisture. I get too hot in anything above 30 degrees.


    IMG_2392 by jonshonda187, on Flickr

    Upper body: synthetic thin base layer for moisture control, then a cheap goodwill found merino wool layer, then maybe a underarmour cold gear layer over that. I wear a p.I. windbrarrier jacket over everything.

    Lower body: still a work in progress, but p.I. barrier pants with a p.I. barrier wind breaker layer pants on top. I still get a little cold in the thigh area. Anything too bulky makes it hard to pedal.

    Hands: Answer gloves work awesome. But I have sweaty hands that don't get too cold. Never needed much more even when very cold. (Below zero)

    Feet: keen 200 gram insulated boots. Not very bulky, not too tall to limit movement.

    Lights: Gets dark fast in the winter months. Get lights w/ batteries that will last in the cold

    Large Saddle Bag: Store another pair of gloves and some hand warmers.

    A way to get out of the water If you fall through the ice you might be in trouble. I bought some retractable ice pics that are connect with a cord. Slide one down each sleeve, and they are there when you need them.
    Last edited by jonshonda; 09-24-2013 at 06:42 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diaonic View Post
    I have done research, and most of the results are from people doing road biking. I'm looking for hands on experience with fat bikes riding snowmobile trails and or nordic trails.

    Do people typically use a regular helmet or do they go with full face downhill style helmet?

    I was thinking of going with the downhill style for extra warmth and the added safety when I inevitably fall.
    If you are talking about real winter riding, a helmet is going to make things more complicated. Are you talking about riding on snow? If so, how fast are you normally going to be going? There are some rare times of insane speeds but generally you will be going not much faster than you can run and I don't see any runners wearing helmets. Remember, when you fall, you will likely be falling because you stopped and forgot that you are putting your foot down on unpacked snow.

    I rarely see a need for a helmet on a fat bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    If you are talking about real winter riding, a helmet is going to make things more complicated.
    What constitutes "real winter riding"? I ride my fattie daily on a groomed MUP as a commute during the winter. Is this not a "real" winter ride?

    I agree that if you're riding snowy single track that often a helmet isn't really needed. But if part of your winter riding is on the roads that a helmet is probably a good idea. I just use my regular helmet with a hat under it.

    A full face helmet, except for the added warmth it might provide, seems a bit overkill for most any winter biking, real or otherwise.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    If you are talking about real winter riding, a helmet is going to make things more complicated. Are you talking about riding on snow? If so, how fast are you normally going to be going? There are some rare times of insane speeds but generally you will be going not much faster than you can run and I don't see any runners wearing helmets. Remember, when you fall, you will likely be falling because you stopped and forgot that you are putting your foot down on unpacked snow.

    I rarely see a need for a helmet on a fat bike.
    My plan is to ride some single track, some double track and dirt roads in the area. Honestly I wouldn't ride without a helmet, I can see your point with the single track being slow.

    Up here there are group rides and the group "rides" on Tuesday and Thursday. If the trail snow is too deep they'll snowshoe first and the following group ride they'll take the bikes out.

    This is my first season so I'm just trying to get a handle on it. I saw someone on youtube using ski goggles and a full face helmet, seemed like a good idea on cold days. But I guess a face mask would work fine too.

  13. #13
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    We wear helmets all winter, snow hides rocks and ice and we ride fast and believe it or not we crash at pretty decent speeds. Helmets do not hamper extreme cold weather riding at least for myself and everybody I ride with.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    We wear helmets all winter, snow hides rocks and ice and we ride fast and believe it or not we crash at pretty decent speeds. Helmets do not hamper extreme cold weather riding at least for myself and everybody I ride with.
    +1 - I am not a helmet Nazi for all biking missions, but I fall a lot more in the winter than I do in the summer so I rarely skip the lid.
    Safe riding,

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    I will add to the list--Those nice large insulated mitts for the handlebars your hands slide into (I use them for anything below 25 degrees). They also keep the shifters a little bit warmer (keeps them from getting sluggish as the temps approach 0F)

    As others have stated, layers, moisture wicking fabric.
    In the cold, cotton is bad (no blue jeans)--gets wet and stays wet, then you get cold and wet.

  16. #16
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    Here are some links that might help you out.

    One is on winter riding skills. How to Ride Through the Snow | Bicycling Magazine

    This one is on staying warm
    How to Dress for Cold Winter Mountain Bike Rides | Bicycling Magazine

    Hope this helps. :-)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    If you are talking about real winter riding, a helmet is going to make things more complicated. Are you talking about riding on snow? If so, how fast are you normally going to be going? There are some rare times of insane speeds but generally you will be going not much faster than you can run and I don't see any runners wearing helmets. Remember, when you fall, you will likely be falling because you stopped and forgot that you are putting your foot down on unpacked snow.

    I rarely see a need for a helmet on a fat bike.
    If a helmet seems complicated to you, you definitely can't afford to risk a head injury. (Just kidding ya-- couldn't resist messin with you with that ....)

    Seriously though, I can't see ANY argument against a light helmet. At slow speeds on single track, a spill could land you headfirst into the pokey end of a branch. On groomed trails or snowmobile trails I frequently get up to 30 mph and a wipe out could easily cause a head injury if you hit your own bike or ice or whatever. Around town, we're talking ice patches which also don't mix well with brain tissue.

    Finally, I like to wear one to set a good example for kids and knuckleheads who think they don't need one.

    My favorite winter helmet is a climbing helmet. It instantly adjusts to different hats and secures a head lamp.

  18. #18
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    I wear a couple layers of under armor thermals, and maybe a microfiber wool vest up top and winter cycling tights and bibs down below, with thermal hiking boots & wool socks. Ski gloves on my hands, a scarf and a hardshell helmet with a knit watch cap and goggles. It's been fine down to 10

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    I agree with the helmet being much more important in the winter. I've gone down much harder more often in the winter on patches of ice. Trees pose much more of a danger when you're skidding along on ice.

  20. #20
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    I just started riding last year in the winter on my fat back and learned a lot by reading through these forums. The biggest thing I learned was to dress warm! Follow the advice given above, it's all great. The biggest issues I had at first were keeping my feet and hands warm. I solved these issues by buying a set of Keen Brixen boots and getting a set of Trails Edge Moose Mitts. Now I can ride all day with proper layering as well. I love riding in the winter!
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  21. #21
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    Teton, yes, there are times that higher speeds are possible. Part of it is that during winter rides (in places where winter is really winter) sweat and temperature control is KING if you are riding for more than a few minutes. A helmet is just another piece of clothing and one that doesn't allow for moisture and cold control very well. I don't wear a helmet when I walk, run, hike, ski, or ride my fat bike. I try to be aware of dangers but any one of us could trip walking through our houses and die, yet we don't often hear of people wearing a helmet for walking.

  22. #22
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    icebike.org

    Not fatbike specific, but helpful for general winter riding gear information: Icebike Home Page

    On the helmet question, I would never advise someone else to ride without one, but I play the odds and use mine less in winter for the same reasons as others have stated: slow speeds, softer landings. If I plan to ride road or encounter ice I wear a helmet. Can't imagine using a full face helmet in winter due to fogging issues. Hard enough with glasses/goggles.

    Oh yeah, moisture/sweat management is everything: start out cool; layers are a must (add/remove as necessary; have a system for carrying the layers you aren't using); merino wool, capilene, and pogies are awesome. Consider platform pedals and boots/mukluks (warmer in winter IMO), but plenty of people ride clipless with good results.

    Experiment. Pay attention to materials (wool, capilene, etc.), but don't get hung up on brands or cycling specific stuff. Adapt your other outdoor gear when and where you can. Find out what works for you.

    The first photo was taken at about -20F, the second was taken at about +25F.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Winter fat biking-20-below.jpg  

    Winter fat biking-img_3793.jpg  

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  23. #23
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    I took care of a teenage boy for about a year with TBI. That stands for traumatic brain injury. I always wear a helmet now. When I was younger helmets weren't even invented for bicycles, nor were they used at all by anyone for skiing. I use my ski helmet for winter biking at freezing or below. I don't use ski goggles on my bike as I get too hot, but I rarely bike in single digit temps or below.

    I made the mistake of buying a Castelli jersey once. Now I own a lot of Castelli. The Castelli Espresso Due Jacket has exceed my expectations over a wide range of temps from 40's to single digits with a couple of layers of thin microfiber below it. The combination of materials (like windstopper) with the napoleon zips in front and shoulder vents in back work far better than "pit zips" could ever dream of. Air channels in through the front breast zips and out the backvents when you get hot and sweaty. Zip em back up if you cool down too much. I own Showerpass, Gore, Patagonia Asssos, Suogi, and as great as they are, I pick the Expresso almost everytime. Castelli fits tight so go at least one size larger than normal.

    For pants I prefer Pearl Izumi amfib winter cycling tights. They shed off freezing rain like you wouldn't believe and work well from 50's to single digits with microfiber beneath.

    Some people like the full winter bike boots but I just use my normal cleated bike shoes with 2 sets of bike overshoes, one quilted and another with goretex "rain" protection. I have the replacement soles with heated battery power but rarely use them.

    I've been biking winters before fatbikes were invented, with various combinations of studs and/or tirechains. I love winter.

  24. #24
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    Re: Winter fat biking

    Whatever you wear, the MOST important thing - is to be slightly cold when you are just standing outside. Do a test outside before you leave. I like to feel chilled, and it's hard to fight the "I need something warmer" feeling. But if you are warm and fine with no chill - you are going to get too hot when you are actually exerting energy and sweat. Sweating is the enemy in winter, which is why materials like wool are so good because they don't get as cold when damp.
    Last edited by duggus; 09-25-2013 at 01:38 PM.
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    K.b., I share your enthusiasm for the Expresso Due jacket and the the PI amfib. My go-to winter gear. On the "warmer" days I'll wear normal bibshorts with a pair of cold weather castelli tights, good to about 35F.

    I grabbed a pair of neoprene shoe covers with some sort of extra water proof layer on the outside that looks like fake leather (the logo fell off a few years back and I cant figure out what they are). On the really cold days I'll put a pair of fleece-lined shoe covers inside my junky pair of SPD-cleat shoes as a secondary sock.

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  27. #27
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    Moose mitts were my favorite purchase for cold weather last year. Not only do they work very well, they are priced reasonably, and they are handmade at a bike ship in Michigan. Cool stuff.

    Moose Mitts - Flat Bar - Trail's Edge Milford Plymouth MI

  28. #28
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

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  29. #29
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    A spare, dry first layer is nice to have, especially when you spent a while longer enjoying the winter sun (doesn't take much space).

    Also the wear of an kidney belt is something I can warmly recommend.

    A bandana to protect your neck/throat/face/head.

    A neopren-insulated bottle with hot tea (black'n'rum).

  30. #30
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    Very interesting...

    I'm suscribe this post!!

  31. #31
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    Mostly my hands stay warm with some cheap leather gloves from Menards. In below 20 degree weather I have some Planet bike borealis 3 finger gloves that were inexpensive, but my fingers sweat if it is above 32 degrees as they don't breath very well.

    I have something similar to the pogies called NRA Pursuit Handwarmers - Black EX000433 that have a zipper for cell phone or chemical handwarmers. They are on Amazon for $24.95. Without the zipper they are on Evilbay for $18.95 and are called Moose Persuit handwarmers

    For a couple bucks the chemical handwarmers can be a lifesaver to carry along if you get a flat or something when biking out in Timbuckthree.

  32. #32
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    What's up New Hampsha for damnsha!! I live in the Whites, and rode my necro exclusively last winter (instead of a car that is). My advice, start cold, you'll warm up. I like my Barr mitts with light gloves underneath. Cold weather tights, wind proof on front. Wicking layer up top and layer accordingly. Goggles if it is really super duper cold, but generally not, yes glasses. Flat pedals with good warm boots. An anything cage with a water bottle parka and hot drinks inside. I like hot Tang...mmmmm. Carry a puffy layer and warmer gloves in case of a mechanical. Put a Bud on front. Message me if you want some great riding, and keep your eyes peeled in the local forums, and here, as we are organizing a fatty xcountry race. Good fun.


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  33. #33
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    One thing to note is the fact that most of your winter clothes will work for winter riding. You don't really need to have the latest and greatest to ride.

    Keep it simple, dress in layers, don't use anything made of cotton. Wool socks rock.

    Have fun.

    Winter fat biking-428537_3350745336637_233531534_n-1-.jpg

  34. #34
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    Dressing to be a little bit cool at the start is good advice, but if you're going out on your own, take a warm garment.

    That goes on as soon as you stop - don't wait to cool down.

    It's also useful if you have an accident - you need to keep warm. Just make sure it's a zip up jacket, not a pullover type. (I once dislocated my shoulder out on the back of a mountain when I hit some ice. It was very very cold. Only problem was I couldn't get my pullover fleece on )
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  35. #35
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    Ski helmet and goggles are a must.

    I ended up adding fenders. Those giant tires can throw a lot of water and slush. The fenders were more to protect the bike, as my components took a bit of a beating...

  36. #36
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    I don't know if you Nordic Ski or not but that is a good guideline about what to wear. It is easy to overdress when you are exercising in the winter. It can be critical if you sweat and get your base layers damp. I like to have a big pack or a frame pack on the bike so I can quickly add or remove a layer. somehow 20 degrees and sunny seems warm in winter and I might get down to bib tights and a thin wool base layer for a climb. Other days you can't wear enough.

  37. #37
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    Here's an excellent article about winter clothing, written from a mountaineer's perspective but very applicable to winter cycling.

    Since reading it, I've taken to underdressing torso and limbs while still protecting my extremities. I also carry a down sweater and other bailout clothing, should things go wrong. Not soaking myself in sweat has worked out very well.

    As for helmets, I wear a regular road helmet with a North Face Skully skullcap underneath. Works great.

    For glasses, a pair of foam-gasket motorcycle glasses treated with a thin film of baby shampoo is about the best solution I've found so far.

  38. #38
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    Great thread. Got my Moonlander ready for winter. This info will definitely help!

  39. #39
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    Face gear for really nasty weather:
    Winter fat biking-541854_895006972143_588779809_n.jpg

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloborealis View Post

    The first photo was taken at about -20F, the second was taken at about +25F.
    First one looks like Bethel or Barrow. Screw that!
    "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

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  41. #41
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    What do you guys recommend when it comes to packs? Is a frame bag a better idea? Depending on the ride and temps, my back can start to get sweat under my camel back. Not a big deal in the summer but arctic winds can make can really chill you down if you sweat through your cloths at all.

  42. #42
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    Although not specifically designed for cycling, I think you may want to consider these gloves for winter mountain biking:

    KONG® COLD WEATHER

    Here is a video about the design of the gloves:

    The Evolution of KONG® - YouTube

  43. #43
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    I came up with an idea.
    Cut the top of a skully cap open,(sew up the frazzles if you like),and pull it down over your neck and up over your nose.
    ...Then put a second one on your head under your helmet,and tuck the one on your neck under the one on your head as much as possible...so only your eyes are exposed.
    Cut a small slit for your mouth if you want. Then put a pair of ventilated ski goggles on.
    Now you whole head is covered.
    ...also- a few drops of anti-freeze in your chain lube (and cable lube) will keep your chain/cables fron icing up I hear.

    You can do muliple layers if you choose.
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  44. #44
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    Winter fat biking

    ^^^^seriously? Way a great idea!! So great, it's been around for centuries! It's called a balaclava. 45 north makes a killer one, but you can find them anywhere.


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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    What do you guys recommend when it comes to packs? Is a frame bag a better idea? Depending on the ride and temps, my back can start to get sweat under my camel back. Not a big deal in the summer but arctic winds can make can really chill you down if you sweat through your cloths at all.
    I ride with both, but I have gloves, my hat and my shell in the frame bag. It makes it very quick to put them on or take them off.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

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    I'm thinking the best thing I could do for winter fat bike riding is getting corrective eye surgery. Riding with glasses in the winter just complicates things. Wearing a balaclava you need to remember too only exhale through your mouth. Accidentally exhaling through your nose means instant fog over.

    The fall is a good time to start trying out your clothing before it really gets cold. Instead of waiting until the afternoon for it to warm up before going for a ride, head out early for an hour when its colder.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schott View Post
    ^^^^seriously? Way a great idea!! So great, it's been around for centuries! It's called a balaclava. 45 north makes a killer one, but you can find them anywhere.


    "You're like a Ferrari engine driving a dump truck"
    i have a couple of balaclavas...but i like my idea better.
    Maybe it's just me.
    You can pull the neck part down or off if you want...like a convertible.LOL
    Seriously though...it's just another means to an end...that's all.
    roccowt.
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  48. #48
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    Re: Winter fat biking

    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    What do you guys recommend when it comes to packs? Is a frame bag a better idea? Depending on the ride and temps, my back can start to get sweat under my camel back. Not a big deal in the summer but arctic winds can make can really chill you down if you sweat through your cloths at all.
    Best deal on a reliable frame bag... I've been using mine for almost a year now. Ibera frame bags - super cheap and great fit
    Ibera frame bags - super cheap and great fit
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    First one looks like Bethel or Barrow. Screw that!
    Nome, actually, and there are times when I share your sentiment.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    What do you guys recommend when it comes to packs? Is a frame bag a better idea? Depending on the ride and temps, my back can start to get sweat under my camel back. Not a big deal in the summer but arctic winds can make can really chill you down if you sweat through your cloths at all.
    Gnar, we have to get together this winter now that you are fat. In some of the temperatures around here in the winter, I think the pack would be a killer. The frame pack does two things. It allows for storage and it keeps the wind off of the bottles if you keep them in there. My bottles don't start having issues in the Revelate frame pack until it is nearing -10 and then sometimes I'll put a chemical warmer next to the bottle in the pack.

    By the way, skip the Ibera frame pack. Looks like a waste of $20. Get a bag that will fasten securely on all three tubes and is built to last. Unless you are putting it on a Walmart bike.

    By the way, there is fresh snow in the high country today. I'm going to check it out tomorrow.

  51. #51
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    Re: Winter fat biking

    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    By the way, skip the Ibera frame pack. Looks like a waste of $20. Get a bag that will fasten securely on all three tubes and is built to last. Unless you are putting it on a Walmart bike.
    Whatever... Did you even read that thread?

    For 20 bucks they are perfect for those of us who go on local rides only. I explained all that in the thread. Lots of people ordered them and have been happy with them. I stuff mine full of all sorts of crap, its been covered in snow, rained on, packed with mud... and holding together fine. And the large fits my Moonlander (walmart bike) PERFECTLY.
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    And the large fits my Moonlander (walmart bike) PERFECTLY.
    You're Moonlander is a Walmart bike?
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    I've got a second Revelate frame pack that came with my Moonlander. Let me know if you would like to borrow it to see if suits you. I have found nothing better for packing along all of the extra gear you want to have for more remote rides. Also, the width of the bag make it very functional as a front fender.
    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    What do you guys recommend when it comes to packs? Is a frame bag a better idea? Depending on the ride and temps, my back can start to get sweat under my camel back. Not a big deal in the summer but arctic winds can make can really chill you down if you sweat through your cloths at all.

  54. #54
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    Re: Winter fat biking

    Quote Originally Posted by marathon marke View Post
    You're Moonlander is a Walmart bike?
    I was kidding. I have a $20 frame bag on a $2300 bike and works fine.
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  55. #55
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    OP...lots of great advice on here. But enough talk of what to wear, eh?...get psyched to RIDE! If you can manage the drive to Rutland, (about 45 mins from White River Junction), you need to check out Pine Hill Park...a blast in the snow.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugeye View Post
    OP...lots of great advice on here. But enough talk of what to wear, eh?...get psyched to RIDE! If you can manage the drive to Rutland, (about 45 mins from White River Junction), you need to check out Pine Hill Park...a blast in the snow.

    Sweet, that's only like an hour from me. Maybe we can get a group ride together.

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    Jandd Frame bags work well and are only $35

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    Gnar, we have to get together this winter now that you are fat. In some of the temperatures around here in the winter, I think the pack would be a killer. The frame pack does two things. It allows for storage and it keeps the wind off of the bottles if you keep them in there. My bottles don't start having issues in the Revelate frame pack until it is nearing -10 and then sometimes I'll put a chemical warmer next to the bottle in the pack.

    By the way, skip the Ibera frame pack. Looks like a waste of $20. Get a bag that will fasten securely on all three tubes and is built to last. Unless you are putting it on a Walmart bike.

    By the way, there is fresh snow in the high country today. I'm going to check it out tomorrow.
    I have been taking my Moonie to Gowdy lately on normal dry trails to get a feel for it. Looking forward to some winter rides and yes, we will have to ride. Trying to get some group rides organized too.
    That Ibera pack sounds tempting for a few reasons. It is $150 cheaper than most frame packs I have seen and it's small enough to where I wont have to remove it to put my Moonie on my bike rack. If anyone is aware of any cheaper alternatives to the frame pack on the Surly website, I'd like to know.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diaonic View Post
    Sweet, that's only like an hour from me. Maybe we can get a group ride together.
    Would love to...but I only get up to Rutland a couple of times a year (I'm in Joisey). I'm sure some of locals will post up as the snow starts to fly. Good luck with the Necro...you'll love it in the snow. Puts a whole new "spin" on winter.

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    I live in MN and pogies are what I use for my hands. I just wear my normal full fingered mtn bike gloves and stick my hands in the pogies.

    I layer up as everyone suggested and I wear snowskate shoes - they are hightop shoes with a gater to keep the snow out. I usually wear Col d'Lizard (Col d'Lizard) polartec tights and long underwear if it's below 20F (which is most of the time in MN). For my upper body I wear under armor thermal, a fleece vest or jacket and then a showers pass elite jack with the zips open. On the head it's a Sugoi cap, helmet and a polar buff for my face.

    It works great. I don't use a frame bag but have been thinking about it a lot. My hands would quickly freeze outside of the pogies so I need to bring gloves with me. I'll check out the frame bags listed above. I'm not too fired up about $200 for a surly bag.

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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnlh View Post
    I've got a second Revelate frame pack that came with my Moonlander. Let me know if you would like to borrow it to see if suits you. I have found nothing better for packing along all of the extra gear you want to have for more remote rides. Also, the width of the bag make it very functional as a front fender.
    Cool. Thanks, John. I think I am gonna get the Ibera for now, and if we end up doing a fat ride this winter I can see how that fits and maybe get one. At the very least the Ibera can live on my commuter bike.

  62. #62
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    thinking about going fat this winter since last winter was such a bust for training. I use studs on my mtb, but I'm wondering if getting a fat bike will open up enough terrain that is ice-free that I will not need the studs. If regular fat tires are expensive, the studded ones are, ah, more expensive. The fire roads I ride on have ice for the first half mile or so and then gain enough altitude that it's just packed snow. And not well-packed snow at that. Thoughts?

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    thinking about going fat this winter since last winter was such a bust for training. I use studs on my mtb, but I'm wondering if getting a fat bike will open up enough terrain that is ice-free that I will not need the studs. If regular fat tires are expensive, the studded ones are, ah, more expensive. The fire roads I ride on have ice for the first half mile or so and then gain enough altitude that it's just packed snow. And not well-packed snow at that. Thoughts?
    I had similar questions last season. I decided to rent a fat bike (Necro Pug) from my LBS. After an afternoon on it, I knew I had to get one. And I just got my Moonlander last month.
    Fat Bikes are the best way to get out in the winter. My Moonie has big rubber teeth that bite into snow pretty well.
    Dont think you can float over soft powder though. These bikes work best on snow that is somewhat compacted. Here in Wyoming I ride snowshoe trails, XC ski trails, dirt roads, and groomed snow machine trails.
    You will find if you get a fat bike, you will wanna take it out on dry trail rides too. It's just too fun.

  64. #64
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    I have a revelate frame bag for my pugsley.. Its large volume is great for storing clothes, a 2L bladder, and bunch of other stuff like tools and a flask.. I also have a Jandd frame bag and it is much much smaller.. Not sufficient for storing a water bladder. However the size of framebag is dictated by your bike's frame design.. Those 907s have hilariously small triangles...

    You dont' need to wear too much.. biking in snow generates a lot of body heat.. I'd wear a medium weight baselayer and a wind breaker all the way down to the teens..

    Pogies are a must since your body will draw heat away from your digits even in moderately cold temperatures.. When it's really cold, I find myself needing thermal gloves in addition to pogies. THis is because the alum handlebar conducts cold. Carbon handlebars are better in this regard but I don't trust carbon

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    Here in Wyoming I ride snowshoe trails, XC ski trails, dirt roads, and groomed snow machine trails.
    How's the impact on the langlauf trails from your tires? Have there been any conflicts by your using of their trails?

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    I had similar questions last season. I decided to rent a fat bike (Necro Pug) from my LBS. After an afternoon on it, I knew I had to get one. And I just got my Moonlander last month.
    I had a blast riding fire roads last year on my mtb, but it was limiting because once I got off the main roads onto the lesser traveled roads I couldn't go very far. I am sure that a fat bike would get me much farther. My main question centers around studs. I don't see much discussion of them even though they are available.

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    I'm able to fit a stormy Kromer hat under my helmet and that works really well. If its just warm enough to have bare skin, a layer of sunscreen actually works as a slight barrier.

    But the stuff I wear through the year is constantly changing and I think the best thing I've learned is how to read the weather and conditions and be prepaired. takes some practice.
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    Gecho I got corrective eye surgery a year and a half ago in part for this very reason. Very glad I did.
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    I rode most of last winter at temps down to 11F. I found I could ride with a similar compliment of clothes to skiing. Here's my list for that temp:
    Upper Body
    - regular bike helmet
    - balaclava
    - base layer - under armor cold gear long sleeve
    - mid layer - long sleeve poly shirt
    - top layer - low loft fleece
    - outer layer - lightweight wind breaker with vents
    - Ski goggles if it's blowing too much
    - Ski gloves
    Lower
    - base layer - regular bike shorts
    - mid layer - summer bike tights
    - top layer - winter bike tights
    - wool socks
    - Lake 303 boots w/toe warmers (I clip-in)
    - extra fleece in backpack

  70. #70
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    a neck gaiter is one thing that really makes riding in the cold a lot better. I also like to use a balaclava that isn't quite so warm in combination with an ear band. That worked down to -24F a couple of times without injury. Don't recommend riding in temps that low, frostbite can be nearly instantaneous.

  71. #71
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    I just ordered my cheap-o Ibera frame bag. After all the money I dumped into bikes in the last year, I can't justify a $170 frame bag JUST yet. If I don't like it, it will live on my commuter bike. Probably will spray it down with some 3m waterproof spray for good measure. My winter rig is coming together!
    Also, lots of good ideas for winter gear on this thread.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Winter fat biking-moonie.jpg  


  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    I had a blast riding fire roads last year on my mtb, but it was limiting because once I got off the main roads onto the lesser traveled roads I couldn't go very far. I am sure that a fat bike would get me much farther. My main question centers around studs. I don't see much discussion of them even though they are available.
    don't put too much thought into it. Not many of us are using studded tires for winter riding. With 5psi in the tires, there's so much traction that I haven't felt the need for studs. The tires that I ran last winter, Larry in front and a Vee Mission in back were hardly the grippiest tires, either, but offered more than enough traction for me. get a fatbike first and if you need studded tires, get them. You're over-thinking this right now.

  73. #73
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    What are you guys wearing for shoes/boots? I see some people put lining over their normal shoes. I think I need something totally waterproof. I have waterproof boots but they go halfway up my leg and are pretty heavy and stiff. I can probably live with that since I am not busting PR's or anything on my Moonlander, but just curious to see if there is anything better out there.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    What are you guys wearing for shoes/boots? I see some people put lining over their normal shoes. I think I need something totally waterproof. I have waterproof boots but they go halfway up my leg and are pretty heavy and stiff. I can probably live with that since I am not busting PR's or anything on my Moonlander, but just curious to see if there is anything better out there.
    My buddy and I both fought trying to use shoe covers and gave up. They didn't last but one season and don't keep us warm riding in Michigan winters.
    He rides platforms and now wears the 45Nrth Wolhammer. He likes them but doesn't use the clip-in capability.

    I ride the Lake 303 and clip-in. I think they are great and bought them a bit larger to permit a nice thick wool sock. When it's really cold (below 20) I add a chemical toe warmer.
    They are not waterproof but I've never had them get wet when riding snow.

    Both boots are expensive but given the number of shoe covers that have been destroyed they're worth it. Add the better comfort and it's a no-brainer.
    Last edited by tjdog800; 10-07-2013 at 03:44 AM.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    What are you guys wearing for shoes/boots? I see some people put lining over their normal shoes. I think I need something totally waterproof. I have waterproof boots but they go halfway up my leg and are pretty heavy and stiff. I can probably live with that since I am not busting PR's or anything on my Moonlander, but just curious to see if there is anything better out there.
    Many on the forum have discussed footwear in previous threads. I have found nothing better than Keen Brixen boots for the very cold winter conditions in our area.

  76. #76
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    Re: Winter fat biking

    You can go to any local farm and fleet store or even sporting goods stores and find good boots there. Just get some that aren't bulky but have room for thick socks. Waterproof too. I got a lightweight pair and and also a second up to -50 rated pair for $100 less than one pair of the special cycling winter boots. This of course only if you are running flats.
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  77. #77
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    I ride clipped in rather than platforms. Time pedals are awesome in snow/ice. I wear Sidi Storm's in a size that's 2 bigger than my size (50 vs 48). I wear XC skiing socks, and place a toe warmer on top of my toes, then cover the shoes with an high-top neoprene bootie. I've ridden in -7 F with no issue (doesn't get that cold usually in NJ...coldest is usually mid teens).

  78. #78
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    I use a pair of Keen Brixen boots. They worked really well for me last year and I only paid $65 I think.
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    What are you guys wearing for shoes/boots? I see some people put lining over their normal shoes. I think I need something totally waterproof. I have waterproof boots but they go halfway up my leg and are pretty heavy and stiff. I can probably live with that since I am not busting PR's or anything on my Moonlander, but just curious to see if there is anything better out there.
    In Scotland we don't have the extreme temperatures, but we tend to have a lot of wet slushy riding between 0C to -10C. I find it harder to stay warm in those conditions than when it's colder. I prefer it when it's below -10C because it tends to be drier.

    The big problem with ordinary boots is once the snow is deeper than the top of the boot some inevitably gets in and then your boot is a waterproof container for freezing water.

    I wear Keen sandals with calf length waterproof stockings and this works for those sort of conditions. The sandal does not retain any water. Just make sure the stocking is a loose enough fit not to stretch the membrane when it's on.

    This pic is me testing the idea. My foot stayed dry and warm for the rest of the ride.

    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    I wear Keen sandals with calf length waterproof stockings and this works for those sort of conditions. The sandal does not retain any water. Just make sure the stocking is a loose enough fit not to stretch the membrane when it's on.

    This pic is me testing the idea. My foot stayed dry and warm for the rest of the ride.
    Excellent idea!
    And well, thanks for taking the risk of testing.

    Earlier this year I thought about going the same route for hiking in wet, marshy terrain, like Scandinavia, to avoid wearing bulky shoes.

    What kind of sock are you using? Is it an insulated one? Or do you wear another one underneath?

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgould View Post
    Excellent idea!
    ...What kind of sock are you using? Is it an insulated one? Or do you wear another one underneath?
    The brand is SealSkinz and they come with merino lining. I get them big enough so that I can wear another thick wool sock underneath.

    Some people complain they leak but the only time I had that problem was my first pair which were tight, and since then I have taken care to get them roomy enough so they don't have to stretch.

    Oh, and if you wear sandals in bogs, I suggest tying a bit of line to your sandal and tucking it up the inside of your trousers. Then when your sandal gets sucked off in the bog you simply have to reel it in instead of guddling around blindly armpit deep in freezing mud. Probably work with boots too
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    What are you guys wearing for shoes/boots? I see some people put lining over their normal shoes. I think I need something totally waterproof. I have waterproof boots but they go halfway up my leg and are pretty heavy and stiff. I can probably live with that since I am not busting PR's or anything on my Moonlander, but just curious to see if there is anything better out there.
    It won't be long and you'll need to worry more about warmth than waterproof, so you'll want a warm boot that is waterproof. This last snow was like spring time riding the day after it fell.

  83. #83
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    Keen Brixens are discontinued right when I was about the pull the trigger. D'oh! Any other shoes you guys recommend?

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    I bought some Brixen's last Fall and LOVE them. I saw that they quit making them this year and am disappointed. Had several buddies that wanted to get some after seeing them on me all last Winter. Best boots I could imagine for Winter riding. Warm and waterproof with great soles for pedal grip and traction.

    Wish they made them again, I'd buy another pair right now for when these wear out.

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    Sorel makes some boots that look similar to the Keens but I've never tried them. I like my Solomon Snowcats, they are warm, light, waterproof. Feel good on the pedals.

  86. #86
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    I managed to snag a pair of Brixens online that were not yet sold for some reason. Never bought a pair of shoes without trying them on but I precisely measured my foot according to Keen's website and sizing chat.

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