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Thread: Utah fat bikers

  1. #1
    CoopsDad
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    Utah fat bikers

    Just throwing it out there to see if there is interest. With the popularity of fatties I wanted to see if anyone in SLC-Park City is intrested in getting weekly or bi weekly rides once the trails firm up, with the new snow that means sooner than later. We will see if there is any takers on here and go from there. Thanks

  2. #2
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    If you promise to act as the human shield of the group, taking the dirty looks, under-the-breath curses, and outright hostility of skate skiers and snowshoe'ers, then I'm in.

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    I'm bigger than average, and very slow. I can get almost anywhere on weekends, but I'm based out of the downtown SLC area during the week.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SprungShoulders View Post
    If you promise to act as the human shield of the group, taking the dirty looks, under-the-breath curses, and outright hostility of skate skiers and snowshoe'ers, then I'm in.
    I've wondered how fat bikes or any bike in general are received by typical groomed trail users. I assume there is some contention there?

  5. #5
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    Wait, I thought this was a group for riders who were fat. I'll just go hide in the corner.
    Justin
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor Lord of Thunder View Post
    I've wondered how fat bikes or any bike in general are received by typical groomed trail users. I assume there is some contention there?
    That, sir, would be an understatement. Fat bikers are perceived as the FR/DH crowd of the winter season.

    ...Actually, it depends on where you ride. The forest service threw me out of Millcreek Canyon two years ago. Specifically, riding the (groomed) road between the winter gate and the yurt. Up until then I had numerous...."discussions" with skiers - classic and skate - that were in firm belief that the road was "theirs". They also, apparently, had big fat mouths. When I got ejected from the canyon the ranger cited "a couple complaints about fat tire tracks" disturbing the equilibrium of the skier Universe. I went a couple rounds with the FS district manager (I forget her name...Kathy somebody I think?...) over the winter use spec's for the MIllcreek Road, and in the end it basically came down to that she had a grant to groom the road for skiing, and that gave her the right to implement whatever winter use restrictions she saw fit. And given that the same manager is a notorious MTB hater, it was no surprise that fat bikes were on the top of her hit list for winter use limitations.

    Generally the trails users in/around Park City are a lot more accepting of fat bikes. I've only had a couple rows with skaters @ Round Valley. And people I've encountered on Rob's/Collins are more often than not completely fascinated by the bike, and that it's possible to ride that trail at all in the winter.

    Like in the dirt, certain individuals think they should have exclusive usage rights. And when they perceive that you -- just by being there, legally, enjoying yourself -- are infringing those rights, they get cranky.

    Despite its convenience, I've given up on riding in Millcreek at all. Even on Pipeline, which isn't (yet) signed with a fat bike with a giant red "X" over it (the road @ the winter gate gets signed with "No Bikes"; if not yet, then soon, I'm sure). I therefore only ride in Park City, mainly Round Valley. @ Robs/Collins once it gets packed down enough (it's usually better for riding than Glenwild). I really do try to ride at RV only when I'm pretty certain my tires won't kill the groom on the skater trails, usually in the early AM while the pack is frozen solid. I see the groomer driving the PistenBully often, have had a number of chats with him/her, and have always been pleasantly surprised at the person's enthusiasm for seeing fat bikes on the trail system.

  7. #7
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    Places I rode last year:

    1. Glenwild a number of times. Mostly out and back from the main parking lot to the radio towers and back down. I ran the Surly Nate tires (huge lugs) at very low pressure just to make the climb possible.

    2. Round Valley after the snow was to deep at GW (late Jan). I rode both the groomed trails and most of the singletracks. Everyone was really very nice. On the groomers I stayed off the ski tracks, and there's plenty of room to do that. Everyone was quite nice.

    3. Shoreline was good as long as it was frozen (early AM). Actually didn't have much snow on it. I mostly rode my regular MTB.

    This year I live closer to Draper. I hope to ride the Corner Canyon area a lot, but only if it gets snow. Last year only the lower 2/3s of Ghost Falls was good for riding. The rest of the area was muddy.
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    There is an increase of interest in Cache County and there are efforts being put forth in communicating with Nordic United here to alleviate negative interactions. We have also been working with the local USFS folks to stir some excitement about winter Fat Biking.

    Hoping snow will be a bit more abundant this season myself as it was sparse most of last. Not the SLC area but we would welcome additional riders if you should find yourself further north! LBS shop is going to have a few Fatty's for rentals as well!

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    I am heavily considering getting a Fatbike this winter, so a get together every now and then would be rad.

    How about riding on snow machine trails? That seems ideal and I doubt that group would mind much...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by atekt View Post
    I am heavily considering getting a Fatbike this winter, so a get together every now and then would be rad.

    How about riding on snow machine trails? That seems ideal and I doubt that group would mind much...
    Sled trails generally work great, depending on the snow conditions and amount of traffic. I've done some miles north of Jackson, in Moran WY, where the FS maintains a huge network if groomed snow machine tracks. Just wear flashing lights front and rear so you can be seen, and hold your breath when a large group of 2-stroke sleds passes by.

    Generally the snow machine crowd is much, much nicer than your average skier. And a lot are fascinated by the bike. During a race in WY there were actually groups sledders that passed us, stopped, and waited to take photos of the crazy people with clown tires riding in a snowstorm.

    Good fun.

  11. #11
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    Are people seeing a difference in type of trail that can be ridden with the extra fat tires on bikes like the moonlander versus the narrower pugsly sizes? It would be awesome to just ride singletrack and avoid groomed trails completely. Otherwise, I'll find some other sport to do in the winter.

    As someone who has done a bunch of XC skiing in the past I totally get the anti fatbike on groomed and maintained XC ski trails. It totally screws up the surface and makes it much less enjoyable...same problem with snowshoes. If there is room to be both not damaging the classic track and the main skate surface that is different as Scott pointed out. Or if it's so rock hard that no indent is created. After all, money is being spent to make that surface as good as it is for that special purpose. Just like I get annoyed to see people rolling the lips of jumps on good jump trails

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the insights, guys

    I was considering doing a semi-fat frame built around the Knard tires for the winter (with the RV trail system in mind) but I have zero interest in upsetting the nordic folks or ruining the trails for other users so... guess I'll build something else and go for some runs instead. Or maybe ski...

    Seems like it doesn't make much sense here unless conditions are just right on the shoreline, bummer.

    Oh, and FWIW, I'm aware you can ride fatbikes on dry trails too. Done that. Not fun enough to justify over a "normal" XC bike for me.

    -Walt
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  13. #13
    CoopsDad
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    The thing is guys, Round Valley is free to all users, purchased by the town for all to use. I ride there all the time as well as being an avid xc skier. Use your best judgement in terms of riding on soft snow, and tell the Lycra clad xc skiers to go to white pine to complete their level 3 intervals if they give you lip. I much more prefer to ride the single track at RV and only ride on the groomed trails to access single track. Half the winter the trails are bulletproof hard anyway. The more numbers of fat bikes that we half and practice good etiquette the more we will be accepted. Being intimidated by xc skiers is like being intimidated by road bikers...

  14. #14
    formerly shabadu
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    I don't have much fat bike experience, so not sure how well this would work...but what about 'grooming' our own trails? Like packing some mellower singletrack with snowshoes? Or maybe even 'creating' trail by setting some flat-ish skin tracks with wide skis?
    I dunno, just throwing some ideas out there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowtron View Post
    I don't have much fat bike experience, so not sure how well this would work...but what about 'grooming' our own trails? Like packing some mellower singletrack with snowshoes? Or maybe even 'creating' trail by setting some flat-ish skin tracks with wide skis?
    I dunno, just throwing some ideas out there.
    I'd be down for testing the theory out in my neighborhood (Draper) once there is enough snow. I've got fat skis and beater skins to abuse. I then wonder if spiked tires with 26" or 29" wheels would be enough. I've ridden non-fat bikes on groomed ski trails with studs back when I lived in the da U.P. and didn't care about anyone but me. The riding was fun as hell as long as you kept out of the tires and it even wheelied easy because I had so much grip.

    I will have to demo a Pugs from Go-ride if we get enough low snow. I wish he had Moonlanders as well, cause I'd love to see the difference on snow as that would be my whole reason to own one of these in Utah.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by srescigno73
    I much more prefer to ride the single track at RV and only ride on the groomed trails to access single track.
    That's exactly what I do. The single track is a lot more interesting and fun. And it usually takes only a day (or less) after a storm for the snowshoe crowd to pack the trails enough to ride on "normal" fat wheels (60-80mm rims with the now practically road-tire width Larry or Endo or Nate 3.8's).

    Quote Originally Posted by srescigno73
    Being intimidated by xc skiers is like being intimidated by road bikers...
    That comment definitely made me LOL. Cheers.

    As for "super-fat" wheels... I haven't tried them personally. I've heard accounts that for intermediate conditions, they're not only overkill, but also introduce some undesirable handling characteristics that make them un-fun for any but the most extreme flotation situations. Again, that's heresy. Just haven't felt the need to try them, even for some of the stuff I've ridden around Jackson. YMMV.

  17. #17
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    Any other suggestions for good trail rides? Thanks to Scott for the suggestions for GW and RV.

    Don't have a fat yet, but will rent one this season to get a taste.
    Last edited by phsycle; 11-23-2012 at 12:13 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by phsycle View Post
    Any other suggestions for good trail rides? Thanks to Scott for the suggestions for GW and RV..
    Robs/Collins, You can usually make it to the saddle without a problem. Most people seem to stop their snowshoe/hike at that point, so I've never been successful in making it all the way to the Mid Mtn in the snow.

  19. #19
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    Oh man and now you tell me...

    That after spending so much money and energy I can not ride on the trails I want on my new and super fun fat bike.


    My inlaws rent a house every year for newyears close to Solitude and I was dreaming of riding the cross country trails up there, but I guess it make sense they don't like fat biking.

    I just hope the trails near my house stay open (dry creek, city creek, etc) during the winter, if not it will be such a waste of resources..

  20. #20
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    That's one sick bike!

  21. #21
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    I have yet to spend a full winter here but AFAIK the Shoreline isn't often in packed-snow conditions that would be good for a fatbike. Think more like alternating mud and ice, depending on aspect and hiking traffic. Maybe decent conditions a day or two after a big storm, though.

    I could be wrong, of course, but I'd be pretty surprised if anything in the Shoreline network in SLC was really very good for fatbikes (ie lower elevation, lots of southern exposure, lots of steep grades, heavy foot traffic that packs snow down rock hard and/or unevenly - pretty much a hit list of what you *don't* want). I'd probably ride a normal XC bike and get out early/late enough that the mud is frozen.

    -Walt
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  22. #22
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    You're quite right, Walt. With rare exceptions the BSL is often best on a "skinny bike", while frozen, oftentimes with studded tires make easy work of the ice.

    Fat tires deal with the ice and relatively steep grades little better than normal tires.

  23. #23
    Really I am that slow
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    Pretty fun times to be had around Sand hollow state park near hurricane with a Fatty
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  24. #24
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    I was hoping I could find a willing group to do American Fork Canyon early on Saturday mornings. Most of the "trail" is snowmobile packed fire road but it should be cool. I'd also love to try the Round Valley trails.I have 3 other Surly Moonlanders for rent if anyone is curious and wants to join in.
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    Riding near Solitude after the big storm Yesterday..

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