Fat, Fatter, and Fattest - The Surly Bud 4.8 super fattie tire is stupidly fat and definitly among the fattest bike tires available, over an inch fatter than the Surly Larry 3.8 tires I've been running on the Baconator. When I first saw the Bud I instantly knew that I must test this beast...like yesterday!
For some strange coicidence my backyard playground has had copious amounts of rather heavy snow while I was working this past weekend. Concidentally I just so happened to have completed the Mr Gump build (a forest green Fatback - run Forest run!). Coicidentally I'm on days off. Coicidentally a Surly Bud showed up at my house. Coicidentally it got mounted up on the front of my Fatback build...there's just too much coicidence here.
There's nothing like testing new on new on new...I'm also testing out some flat pedals on the Fatback. I've never liked flat pedals, but in snow they make sense since cleats often pack up with snow and warm cycling shoes are a real paradox and there's plenty of on/off bike and some hiking with snow bike riding and...So I'm testing some 45NRTH flat pedals and riding in warms winter boots with gaitors.
After riding flat pedals yesterday and clipless today I must say that I'm done with clipless and cleat on the snow bikes. Maybe in a snow bike race clipless would be something I'd consider, but then again I doubt it. The experience of my cleats icing up and packing in snow just soured me on further use on the snow bike. So flat pedals it is.
I've discovered plenty of things riding in heavy snow on a fat bike: 1) Like single speed, momentum uphill and in technical stuff is everything - loose it and it's time to walk. 2) Floatation is very important, which is related to tire width and air pressure. 3) Run the lowest tire pressure possible for better traction and flotation - there it a fine line between optimal tire pressure and steering control (which flounders with too low of a pressure). 4) It's an unbelievably awesome workout. 5) If you're lacking in bike handling skill then you will learn or else you either walk more or crash more.
I'm sure I have plenty more to learn, but so far I totally love where I can go in the snow. It's openned a whole new world to me and expanded my adventure to another dimension that was not possible without the fat snowbike tires.
Can you say Lobo?