Winter is finally here and and that opens up a lot of new opportunities to ride fatbikes. Some of these opportunities are made even better with the right gear. This will be my fifth year of winter cycling and I have a few favorite items that help make fatbiking out on the snow and ice much more enjoyable.
45NRTH Dillinger 4 Tires
This Winter has started off extremely icy and a pair of studded tires has almost become a must if you want to get in any riding. Most of the Twin Cities area singletrack is currently unrideable without studded tires until we get a decent amount of snow to pack down on top of the ice. I've crashed on icy patches in previous years and vowed that I would go studded this winter for better traction and to ride areas that I couldn't before.
I recently purchased a pair of 45NRTH Dillinger 4 studded fatbike tires and set them up tubeless so I could run lower pressures when needed without the risk of pinch flats. From the very first ride I was amazed at their grip on the ice. Now I can ride the slippery stuff with confidence thanks to their 240 concave studs. These tires now allow me to go places I would have never thought of before. Frozen lakes, creeks, marshes and icy singletrack are no longer off limits thus extending my opportunities to ride. They will definitely be put to use during some fatbike ice fishing ventures to come.
Revelate Designs Mountain Feedbag
The Mountain Feedbag from Revelate Designs is a favorite cockpit bag of mine. I use a pair of them year round for different practical applications. They're small, but big enough to carry the things I need for the ride. I can easily fit my tool kit in one with room to spare for keys, wallet or snacks. The other one usually carries a spare tube, water bottle or other gear needed for cold rides. They allow quick access and hold very secure, even on the bumpiest of rides. I like to travel light and these bags allow me to do that without feeling cumbersome.
Bontrager TLR Flash Charger Floor Pump
The Bontrager TLR Flash Charger Floor Pump is one of the best floor pumps I've ever owned. This high capacity pump works great for filling high volume fatbike tires and also has a pressurizable chamber that makes seating tubeless tires a breeze. I recently set up a pair of Bontrager Barbegazi 26x4.7 tires tubeless and was able to get them to seat easily without the use of a compressor. I check my tire pressure before every ride and adjust it to handle the trail conditions and this pump makes doing so quick and easy. The pump action is very smooth and I would definitely recommend the Flash Charger to anyone who has a fatbike.
WSI Sports HEATR Baselayer
One of the newest gear items I'm most excited about is my new base layer from WSI Sportswear. This Eagan based company has a full line of performance base layers that have been designed, tested and made in Minnesota. HEATR is their line of base layer apparel that warms against the skin while wicking away moisture to keep a person dry and comfortable in a variety of cold conditions.
I have their warmest Full HEATR Pant and Long Sleeve 1/4 Zip Shirt that has a comfort range from -20° to 50° F and added their HEATR Socks and HEATR Glove Liners to complete the set. The material is thin, stretchable and wicks moisture really good. I combine this set up with my Gore Bike Wear Windstopper outer shell to stay remarkably warm without layering up too much. I'll be putting it to the test with the subzero temperatures to come and hope to write a full review later this Winter.