What!? Winter Mountain Biking !!?? Who rides bikes in the winter unless they have to? Right! Well, not any more as snow biking or fat biking in local lingo is becoming increasingly popular in mountain towns all across the intermountain west. On any given day while Nordic skiing around the Park City area, it is not uncommon to come across a lot of snow bikers as new generation Moon Lander tires have made riding on snow a viable option for riders who just don’t feel like hanging up the rig once the pow flies.
Basically a snow bike is no different from a regular mountain bike other than the tires. The Moon Landers are a large volume tire close to double the air volume of an average size mountain bike tire. This allows the tire to be run at a lower air pressure which provides killer traction on packed snow and provides some floatation in non groomed snow. The other option to go in the snow is studded tires but either option is going to add up to BIG fun once you get on the snow!
With the increasing popularity of snow biking, this once fringe sport is now becoming accessible to any adventurous shredder who wants to give it a go. Bike and ski shops are now even offering snow bike rentals and this is a nice option for anyone coming to Park City for a winter vacation. Snow Biking is a great way to give the legs a break from alpine skiing or snowboarding. Say you’re in Park City for a week of skiing. You got into town on Sunday and hit the slopes and apres hard. It is now Thursday, your legs are fried and you’re not leaving until Sunday. What to do? I suggest taking a break from the slopes, call up the good folks at White Pine Touring and rent a Snow Bike for the day! These guys will even take you out for a guided fat bike tour and in a few hours that alpine ski induced lactic acid quad burn will be just a memory!
At this point fat biking is not allowed within any Utah ski resort boundaries but that is not where the goods are anyway. These bikes are made to be ridden up or down hill and Nordic trails provide the best riding. In the Park city area snow biking is allowed on all of the Snyderville basin trails as well as the extensive network of Nordic trails in the Round Valley area. Combined these trail systems offer over 50k of groomed, sweet trails to get your fat bike on!
Mountain Biking; it is not just for summer anymore! So the next time you are in Park City for a ski vacation, mix it up a little and get on a snow bike! See you on the trails!
Words & Photography by Dan O’Connor.
Producer: Patrick Howell