Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wishing I had a FAT bike!

For a few weeks I've been stuck in that space of alternately wanting and not  wanting a FAT bike. Actually, I almost always want one, it's just a question of justifying the purchase on a cost per ride basis. I am certain that if I purchase one, winter will immediately and permanently come to a halt. One the other hand, it seeems likely that we New Englanders are assured the longest, snowiest winter ever if I don't purchase one.

Needing to get in a 3-hour ride today, I tried to dodge the issue by using fatter tires. At the suggestion of one of the LBS guys who leads a TON of group rides, I purchased a pair of CST Rock Hawks in a meaty 29 x 2.4. Set up tubeless and rolling well south of 20 PSI, here are my impressions, stolen from a friend's facebook thread -- but since I wrote the piece, it's not really stealing:

So. The wider tire *may* have helped some. I'd argue it was was negligible. Strava ride titled "Wishing I had a FAT bike". Coming back on my out and back I could still see my tracks in many places. They were comical temporary evidence of the efforts required to keep rolling and upright. Short straight sections overwhelmed in volume and length by sliding "S"-turns of corrections and over-corrections. And there, right next to them, nearly perfectly straight, nearly twice as wide remnants of another rider mocking my futility.

Also, riding a FAT bike, I likely would not have slammed my knee into the stem and/or handlebars as I did when going up hill and my front tire shot left and my rear wheel lost traction and started to spin. Looks like New England is in for a warm up. Sorry skiers!

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