Winter is here and to quote Guitar Ted, "White is the new dirt". Cold weather brings on a whole different experience and there are a lot of fatbike accessories to make riding a little more comfortable and easier to carry the gear needed for those longer rides. Below are some of my favorite items that I use regularly throughout the Winter.
Gaiters are a great way to keep legs from the knees down warm, dry and boots from taking on snow. I like the Crocodile Gaiter from Outdoor Research because they are extremely durable, waterproof and breathable. Breathability allows transfer of vapor keeping my tights and baselayer dry underneath, which is key on long rides in the cold. Blocking the wind and providing a little extra thermal protection are added bonuses to keeping the snow from working its way into my boots. For deeper snow and frigid temperatures gaiters make a great addition to your fatbike riding apparel.
Keeping your tires properly inflated is key to speed, control and traction. Colder temperatures can cause tire pressure to decrease as much as 2% for every 10° F drop, so checking your tires to ensure proper inflation should be done before each ride. A change of as little as a pound or two of psi can make a huge difference to how a fatbike tire reacts to the conditions you are riding.
I carry a G.H. Meiser Low Pressure Presta Valve Dial Gauge to give me accurate readings at very low pressures that regular gauges might not be able read. This model reads tire pressure from 0 to 30 psi and is not affected by cold temperatures unlike some digital tire gauges. This gauge is an excellent choice for fatbikers looking to dial in that that precise inflation for the conditions, whether they be soft/hard pack snow, "mash potatoes" or fresh powder. With a little experimentation you will learn to set tire pressures exactly to your liking.
When temperatures get above freezing riding a fatbike can get a little messy. Mud, sand, slush and puddles can get a rider all wet. To combat this and keep riding dry and comfortable, Portland Design Works has made Dave's Mud Shovels. These lightweight, quick-install fenders are wide enough to keep water, mud and muck from being flung all over your legs and backside from those big tires.
The front and rear models install quickly and accommodate a wide variety of tube diameters. They are reasonably priced, lightweight and really do keep you dry, even when splashing through big puddles. If you're an all-weather rider like me, you'll come to rely on Dave's Mud Shovels for those messier rides.
I will continue with more of my Faviorite Fatbike Accessories in one more upcoming post.