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Please also remember that you can't take it with you and we're all going to die, so why not be the guy that dies w/ lots of cool bikes in his living room (you don't keep your bikes in the garage, like some type of animal, do you? If you do, walk away from your computer, go apologize to them immediately, move them into your bedroom, then resume reading, you savage).
How this will help you win races
There are several reasons why every triathlete should own a fat bike:
1. Muscle balance - Ever see those guys grinding away miles on their aero bikes with upper bodies that most closely resemble Tyrannosaurus Rex?
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Well, don't let that be you. Riding a bike off-road not only keeps your mind fresh (more on this later), but it also does wonders for keeping good muscle balance "upstairs."
2. Bike handling - Ever see those guys upside-down in the ditch after a gentle, bending turn on mildly damp roads? Well, don't let that be you. To go fast you need to earn how to handle your bike and there's no better, safer way to learn bike handling than on a fatty.
3. Versatility - Winter training sucks, we all know that. Ever see those guys who are so burned out come mid-season because they logged hundreds of hours indoors all winter? Well, don't let that be you. With a good fat bike, you can ride essentially anywhere (more on this later too)
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It's been my experience that most road triathletes don't nerd out over bike and component weight as much mountain bikers and pure road racers - I suppose that's because once you bolt on 15 lbs of aero bars, butt-rocket bottle cages, Bento boxes stuffed with enough food to feed a small army, and plumb 50 meters of hydration cables all over, under, around and through your whip you figure, "hey, what's a few more grams on the frame?"
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As a die-hard gram counter though, I have never subscribed to this theory, in particular since I do a lot of training in the mountains, where every extra ounce feels like a pound after an hour of climbing. So to say I was super-stoked with this bike is an understatement. If I had any reservations about this test going in it's that this thing was going to climb like one of those god damn 15 meter long motor homes that cock-block my beloved Colorado mountain passes all summer. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. This bad boy climbs like a scalded cat.
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Stylin' and profilin'
If you've learned nothing else from any of my previous columns, hopefully you've now permanently engrained the fact that "nothing is more important than looking good." A close second though is, "there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing." Never do these two philosophies intersect more vividly than with winter cycling clothing: you've gots to be warm and you GOTS to look good.
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In addition to being tall, a good dancer, and a lot of fun to be with, the FBD was blessed with excellent circulation, so thankfully cold hands and cold feet are usually not an issue for me. Having said that, riding your bike in the winter makes cold hands and cold feet almost unavoidable. Well, at least that used to be the case, but thanks to Lake and Louis Garneau those days are gone. I'll delve more into my exact winter gear for the winter test, as I tested three different glove combinations, all of which were excellent.
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Winter trail riding
While snow riding is probably the most sexy, in all reality it is only applicable to a fairly small percentage of the country, especially with the current weather trends. What there is no shortage of though is just plain cold, nasty winter weather and this is really where the fatty hits its stride. I did several "transitions rides" in Philly in Feb (no, not the tri-geek bike —> run nonsense, transitions as in transitioning weather), running the gamut from dry, frozen winter trails, to 2-4" dustings, to hard-pack ice, to post-storm slop. These are conditions that even as I hard-core mountain biker I probably would have relegated myself to the rollers, as even a wide 2.2" mtb tire wouldn't have really cut it.
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In case you're thinking that the fatty is only good for winter conditions, wrong-o. I made a point of doing as much testing as possible in moderate weather and thanks to wildly variable weather this winter in Philadelphia, it was possible to ride this bike in temperatures from 20 to 70 (which is terrifying that we now have 70 degree weather in the Northeast in the winter, but that's a topic for another day). The results of these tests are that buying a fatty now is a good idea, as you're going to want access to this training diversity right now. Remember, it's a LONG season and keeping it fun and fresh now with a fatty cruiser on your recovery/easy day will reap all sorts of dividends come August or September (not to mention October, for you really hard chargers out there). Plus, once the weather gets crappy again, you are already perfectly positioned for your best winter ever.
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Are you crazy? Go buy one! Haven't you been paying attention? These bad boys climb like a mountain goat, descend like an anvil dropped off a cliff by a coyote on an unsuspecting road runner and most importantly, give you a great way to keep training fun and safe.