I rode with some phat bikers today on my mtb. It had 4-6 inches of snow on it. I was faster than some of the phatties but I had little control over the 2.1" tyres.
Yea the 4 inch wide tires keep you up on top of the snow..
but I manage my humble transportation fine with Snow Cat double wide rims* and 1.9" Nokian Studded tires..
+ Drum brake Hubs.. on old pre disc MTB.
When I'm on the road I can average around 13 km/h on my fat bike, off road much less. Its a great way to get in shape, if I try sprinting for a light I can easily get my HR up to 180. One thing I really appreciate is the stability, which makes winter riding less dramatic and more relaxing.
One thing that can be mildly annoying is that you need to tailor your tire pressure to the surface. In loose stuff I air down to about 4 psi which lets me run along snowmobile tracks. But on pavement its super bouncy and slow so I need to get off and pump the tires back up. I've been riding exclusively on the road the past few weeks so I've been running my tires probably around 8 psi (I don't have a gauge that reads that low at the moment). You also have to be careful to tighten the presta nut all the way since there isn't enough air pressure to keep the valve closed tight enough to prevent a slow leak.
Last year we had a very skilled guy riding with us on a snow covered frozen creek on a cyclocross bike. He could just fly through the snow, I have no idea how he managed to stay upright as the snow was quite deep.
The great thing about fat bikes, they go wherever they want, not just snow, very well.
Would you count the Surly Krampus as a 'true' fat bike? To be honest I've had moments wondering if I should have gone all the way and bought a Moonlander. But most of my riding is still done on the road, so I suppose the Krampus will serve me better.
Well, Surly themselves say it's not a "true" fat bike, so technically no. But come on, it has three inch tires!
When you get right down to it, I don't notice any difference in handling between this any an ordinary mountain bike. But if a guy on a cyclecross bike can ride through deep snow, then I'll take it to be just a matter of skill.
Today I finally saw the first big snowfall of the year, so now its time to go out and tear it up.
First real snowfall of the season expected tomorrow in my local area! Up to 10 cm. Hopefully it's not less....
Only if you have fat bike do you look forward to the snow...
Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.