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Fat Tire Bikes and Nordic Skiing = Oil and Water

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

First of all, this is a tough one to post because I'm not sure if it should go in the skiing forum or the cycle forum, so I'll put it here since the change of season is upon us. 


With the increased enthusiasm for fat tire bikes and riding throughout the winter on mountain bike trails, there is a new concern for those who use the same trails for nordic skiing. 


Discussion on this is happening in my old neck of the woods. 




post #2 of 6

my take is this, either go snowshoe/singletrack to pack down your own singletrack that already exist for the fat bikes, or get a pair of skinny skis and go nordic skiing.


In pittsburgh group rides becomes snowshoe walks untill the snow is packed down and then they ride on their packed snow surface. 


BTW are you at snowbird/slc?

post #3 of 6

I do both a lot.  While I would love to ride on groomed XC trails, I know it would screw them up for skiers. Maybe they could open them to fat bikes a couple of days a month, then regroom?

I mostly ride snowmobile trails.  But I could see that being a little dangerous up north were there's a lot more snowmobile traffic.

post #4 of 6

I do a lot of skate skiing on groomed trails. I also do a lot of mountain biking in the warmer months. I do not ride a so-called "fat bike." (This may be very confusing for non-trail-riding Bears who may in the past have heard mountain bikes referred to as "fat tire" bikes. That was a serviceable phrase for years, but now there is a new beast on the scene - mountain bikes with HUGE tires that are more like the size of the rubber on a big motorcycle. These are being called "fat bikes," and I believe are what is under discussion here. The size of the tires means that they can be ridden effectively on packed but not rock-hard snow, where the more old-fashioned mountain bikes would get bogged down.)


As a skier I would not necessarily mind sharing the trails with cyclists if they behaved in a way that showed they understood the issues facing skiers (sort of like they need to understand the issues facing people on horseback or hikers or whatever). However, I might not be excited about what the tire tracks would do to the snow surface. I guess I don't have enough first-hand experience with that to know. It would be totally mandatory for them to stay off the tracks set for classic skiers, because cyclists would obliterate them in one pass if they rode on top of them. It will be interesting to see what the pay-for-use nordic centers have to say. I would expect them to try to accommodate riders, since they represent more tickets and season passes to sell in a short season.


What I do know is that when there is no snow on the ground trails that have the right pitch and width to make for good skate skiing are an utter snooze on a (non-fat) mountain bike. Therefore I have to stretch my imagination a bit to understand why there would be such a big demand to ride on them in the winter with fat bikes. Personally, if there's snow I want to be skiing, so I don't get it.

post #5 of 6

The discussion about nordic skiing and other forms of travel has gone on for a long time.  Around here, it's folks on snowshoes walking on un-groomed but tracked ski trails.  Some ignorant people think they are actually doing skiers a favor by "packing" the trail by walking all over the tracks with their snowshoes.  Others simply don't care.  I get totally p*ssed after I set a four-mile track only to come back the next day and find a whole bunch of snowshoe blobs or even postholes in my tracks.  


We need to spread education about the impact of various modes of use.  If there are ski tracks, don't ride, walk, snowshoe, walk your dog all over them!!  Conversely, if there are trails set for fat bikes, I won't try to ski there.  OK?

post #6 of 6

I actually like to XC ski on snowmobile trails too, I can cover a lot more ground if I'm not breaking trail.  Then this year some guy started riding his 4 wheeler on them and fish tailing the shit out of it.

I just went back to breaking trail all the time.


My boys don't care which way I go.



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