Fat Tire Biking Craze

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It’s a craze that is gaining attention and momentum nationwide and in Northern Wisconsin.

All it takes is two wheels and some good balance to join in the fat bike craze.

If winter has left you feeling as though you’re grinding your gears, maybe it’s time to take a spin on a fat bike.

“There’s a lot of skiing and biking enthusiasts here so it’s a natural fit,” said Chris Young, Co-Owner of New Moon Ski and Bike Shop.

Typically you expect to hang your bike up in the winter but thanks to fat tire biking that’s no longer the case.

Local enthusiasts describe the hot trend as “Snowboarding on a bike” and “like magic”.

“On the best day it’s like magic, it’s like having the perfect ski trail on the perfect ski day,” explained Young.

Enthusiastic, adventurous and outdoorsy are just a few of the many adjectives used to describe fat bike fans.

“About a year or two ago we realized that it was going to be really big,” explained Young.

Bikers are flocking to the north woods of Wisconsin from all over to take part in its pristine and serene trails and with them they’re bringing an economic boost.

“People coming from Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota,” said Young.

Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association maintains 300 miles of single track trails in the summer and that’s what drew a lot of folks to the Seeley area for fat biking.

In the winter 24-miles of pristine and scenic trails are groomed.

“It can be just sketchy and you’re surfing on snow or it can be just like a somber back country adventure,” said Cindy Bijold, a fat bike enthusiast.

If you’re curious what makes the sport possible, it’s in its name, a fat tire.

“It really is all about the tire, that makes it accessible on to snow,” explained Bijold.

“These use to be about 3.5 to 3.75 inches (the width of the tires) and now we’re almost at 5 inches,” said Young.

The perfect trail is groomed and hard packed for beginners.

“But it can be snowy where you haven’t gotten the grooming equipment out there and that’s where the adventure really comes in,” said Bijold.

While the hobby can be expensive a few shops in the region will allow you to test drive the bikes before making a hefty purchase.

Entry level fat tire bikes sell for $700 to $800-dollars. 

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