Winter is coming, which for those of you that like to ride bikes year round, means fat bike season. Apparel companies have cottoned on to our growing love for extra wide tires and started to create gear specifically made for fat biking. For the past couple of season, Club Ride continues to expand their winter bike collection and Specialized just announced their fat bike lineup together with technical apparel company 686. No more excuses about having nothing appropriate to wear.
The Club Ride Fat Jack Pants ($120) are made from a midweight polyester blend double woven fabric that is DWR treated to make them water- and wind-resistant. Two vents running along the side of the legs let you dump excess heat when you start to work up a sweat and plenty of pockets enable to you store essentials when riding.
The Double Jack Reversible Jacket ($140) is filled with 80 grams of LiteFill synthetic insulation and can be switched from plaid to black whatever your mood. Reflective accents make sure you are seen in the low light conditions of winter.
To keep you riding this winter, Specialized teamed up with 686 to create a fat bike outerwear collection. The inaugural collection consists of two men’s and two women’s jackets, as well as a pair of bibs for both. The 3-layer Tech Jacket ($500) is constructed out of 686’s highly waterproof and breathable infiDRY fabric to keep you warm and dry both inside and out.
The water-resistant Tech Insulator ($250) features 100 grams of PrimaLoft insulation for added warmth on those extra cold days, while the waterproof 3-layer Tech Bibs ($450) keep snow out no matter how many times you endo into the snow bank. A rear SWAT pocket securely stows your ride essentials with vented thigh pockets for dumping excess heat.
Now that you have all the apparel options, you just need to go out and get the bike. Remember–n+1.
I don’t buy into the fat bike for winter hype, I’ll admit I’ve never tried it however I do commute over a thousand miles in winter alone a year by bike. Wisconsin winters that is. I went the opposite route last year and switched from 2 inch wide studded mountain bike tires to 35 mm wide studded road bike tires and it made all the difference in the world especially in a few inches of snow. Rather than work extra hard to pack the snow down with fat tires I cut right through it. Plus considering most days the paths and roads are mostly to completely clear I was able to retain the efficiency of a road bike on those days or nearly so. Again I haven’t ridden a fat bike in snow and maybe it is the way to go on trails in the winter but it just seems counter intuitive to me.