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Activity Highlight: Fat Biking

Wildflowers in Crested Butte

Activity Highlight: Fat Biking

Fat bike leaning up on wooden chairs with peak in background

Crested Butte has long been known as a mountain biking capital of the United States – similar to Moab, UT, and Marin County, CA – but the two-wheeled fun doesn’t stop in the winter. As the snow piles up and the temperatures drop, over 40 miles of fat bike trails are “groomed” courtesy of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association, Crested Butte Nordic Center and other local affiliates.

Fat bikes are the funny looking mountain bikes that are equipped with tires that can exceed 3.5 inches in diameter. The wide tires combined with very low tire pressure (sub-10 PSI) allow for traction and floatation above packed snow. When these bikes are pedaled on the groomed Nordic trails or the groomed singletrack, it creates a one-of-a-kind winter experience – plus it is a great exercise!

Fat biking is limited to the approved Nordic trails (see this map for details). Crested Butte Mountain Resort bike access is only allowed before and after the resort operating hours of 9 am to 4 pm. Cyclists will be tested with a grueling uphill climb, but once at the top of the Red Lady Express Lift, the trails are wide open on the way down.

Here are a few things that you should know:

Fat bikes can be rented from numerous bike shops in town and on the mountain, including: the Alpineer, Big Al’s, HandleBar Bike Shop, Crested Butte Sports and the CBMR Rental + Demo Center.
Trail conditions and grooming reports can be found on the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association’s website.
It is recommended to wear breathable winter gear. Snow pants work well as do layers. Helmets are always recommended.

Interested in giving fat biking a try?

The Borealis Fat Bike World Championships are returning for the third annual weekend of bikes, races, costumes and parties. From January 25-28, 2018, events will be held throughout the valley including fat bike demos and lift-accessed fat biking at Crested Butte Mountain Resort! Registration is required, and more information can be found at cbfatbikeworlds.com.