My Favorite Winter Fatbike Gear-Part 3

Winter is my favorite time of the year to ride my fatbike, it opens a whole different world of exploration possibilities.  But, cold weather does present its own challenges that that can be overcome with the right gear.  I have tried a lot of products over the last four Winters and have come up with a new list of some of my favorite items that I use regularly.  This is part three of a three part series where I highlight my favorite Winter fatbike gear.

Garmin Edge 1000

After using a smartphone with Strava for the past few years I finally upgraded to a Garmin Edge 1000 for ride tracking and navigation.  Battery life was always an issue using a smartphone but with the Garmin Edge 1000 I don't worry about it anymore and it doesn't seem to be affected by very cold temperatures like other rechargeable battery devices.  It's full of functions for both road and off-road riding making it a great choice for cyclists that ride a little of everything.

This unit comes preloaded with Garmin Cycle Map and has a round-trip routing feature that allows the input of a ride distance and it will calculate three ride options to choose from.  Ride statistics are very accurate and after a ride they can be uploaded to Strava through a Bluetooth connection with my smartphone.  Incoming call, text and weather alerts are also displayed when connected to my smartphone.  The large 3" touchscreen display is easy to read and with an ambient light sensor I can view it in a variety of lighting conditions.  Creating routes on Garmin Connect is easy and they are synced with the Edge 1000 so I'll never miss a turn or get off course again.  

These are just a few of the many features the Edge 1000 has making it my every bike, every ride cycling computer.  Available from Garmin, Penn Cycle and other fine bike shops for $499.99.  A bundle version (speed sensor, cadence sensor and heart rate monitor) is also available for $599.99.

45NRTH Wölvhammer Boots

45NRTH's Wölvhammer cycling boot is my choice of footwear during Winter fatbike season.  Redesigned for 2016, this boot is easy to get on and off with its new gusseted tongue lace-up drawstring that does away with zippers.  I pair the boot with the appropriate thickness of wool sock based on the outside temperature.  My toes tend to be the first to get cold so sock choice does help and with a larger toe box the Wölvhammer has room to wiggle my toes increasing blood flow.  This boot claims a 0°-25° F comfort rating and my feet stay warm for hours with just light to medium weight wool socks when temperatures are in the 20's° F.  When temperatures dip into the teens and single digits I will switch to a medium or heavy weight wool sock.  For longer rides, the addition of chemical toe warmers give that little bit of warmth to extend my time outside by hours.

This is a very comfortable boot that is waterproof and breathable.  200g of Primaloft ECO Gold insulation with a fleece lining wick away moisture keeping feet dry and warm.  It can be used with flat pedals or install 2-bolt cleats for use with clipless pedals.  The NASA approved Aerogel insulation of the footbed eliminates cold transfer from cleats.  A deep lug pattern Vibram sole provides plenty of grip on a variety of snow and ice covered surfaces.  Pair these boots with gaiters for extra warmth and to keep the snow out when bushwacking or making first tracks.

45NRTH Wölvhammer boots are now available in Mens extra wide 38–50 (no size 49), full sizes only at Penn Cycle and other fine bike shops for $325.

Outdoor Tech Wired Chips
Universal Helmet Audio

I enjoy listening to podcasts and music while I ride but the use of earbuds can interfere with hearing approaching vehicles or passing cyclists.  I recently got a Smith Vantage helmet and like most snow helmets it has snap fit earpads with an audio drop in.  Immediately I purchased Outdoor Tech's Wired Chips snow helmet audio kit to take advantage of this feature.

The Wired Chips have 40mm drivers for great sound and plenty of volume.  They function fine in cold temperatures and the right ear chip button controls everything form playing/pausing a track, changing tracks and answering phone calls.  There is also a built in microphone, secondary control button and volume wheel control.  They even have Siri and Android voice activation.

I have really come to like the Wired Chips because of the great sound quality, the simple controls and they still allow me to hear outside sounds so I can be more aware of my surroundings.  If I receive a  phone call I can take it  while riding without having to stop and grab my phone or take my gloves off.  It's a simple design with great sound that is easy to use.

Outdoor Tech Wired Chips Universal Helmet Audio are compatible with Bern, Giro, Smith, Anon, Pro Tec, Bolle, and others that have slots for audio drop ins.  Available from Outdoor Tech and sporting goods retailers for $39.95.  A wireless version is also available for $129.95.

Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3 Pedals

This is my second Winter riding with Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3 pedals and I absolutely love them.  I never have any problems with them or my cleats packing up with snow where I have difficulty clipping in.  I like their minimalistic design that lets me unclip quickly if I need to put a foot down or perhaps misjudged a technical feature.  Made of stainless steel, I don't have to worry about corrosion or the occasional pedal strike.

Eggbeaters can be customized for angle of release (15° or 20°) and still allow some float while pedaling.  I have my cleats set to release at a 15° angle so I can get out of the pedal in a hurry if I need to.  They have become my year round choice for mountain biking in all kinds of weather and conditions.

Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3 pedals are available in four color choices from Crank Brothers, Penn Cycle and other fine bike shops for $120 to $135.  For the more budget minded there is the Eggbeater 1 for $59.99 and the Eggbeater 2 for $94.99.

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