Fatbike: Essential Gear

To have fun cycling in winter, you have to dress and equip yourself properly. You will probably be riding trails in the forest, at low speed and with considerable effort, so you can wear clothes similar to those you would wear when cross-country skiing or snowshoeing for the same temperature.

A balaclava under your bike helmet and your usual bike glasses will be sufficient in pretty much all conditions. In very cold weather, a helmet and ski goggles are indicated.

On a fat bike, the feet freeze first. Since they are exposed to the wind and wade through the snow, they won’t survive long in clip-ons and overshoes. So don’t make this mistake. Use a good pair of winter boots with fairly rigid soles, coupled with fairly wide and well-cleated platform pedals. If your budget allows, equip yourself with reliable SPD winter boots. Order them one point larger than usual, to wear with thicker bottoms. Very chilly people can add heated insoles.

Your hands are also very exposed, resting on the cold metal of the handlebars and shifters. You will therefore need to bring very warm gloves that cut the wind well, or equip your handlebars with insulated mittens such as SPHERIK mittens. These mittens make it possible to wear thinner gloves, more practical for controlling brakes and gears.

Your outfit would not be complete without a pair of gaiters, which will insulate your boots during the inevitable swerves in the loose snow.

Good equipment will allow you to go out more often and have more fun. The other side of the coin is the high cost of these specialized accessories. The SPHERIK brand is already busy testing the 2019 line of fat bike accessories, in order to offer alternatives that are just as efficient but at a more reasonable price.

Michel Dalpé, Kinesiologist

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