Fat bikes debut at Silver Star

Bikers are geared up and ready to tackle terrain at Silver Star Mountain Resort. - Silver Star Mountain Resort photo
Bikers are geared up and ready to tackle terrain at Silver Star Mountain Resort.
— image credit: Silver Star Mountain Resort photo

Fresh off the success of its second annual FrostBike downhill BC Cup race, Silver Star Mountain Resort is again taking the lead on yet another great way to enjoy winter.

Fat-bikes will be making their debut on selected cross country and snowshoe trails at the resort that will run through to the end of the ski season on April 6.

“We are conducting an official trial for fat-biking on two specific trails,” says Guy Paulsen, Nordic manager at Silver Star Mountain. “We want to make sure fat-biking is a good fit at the resort and doesn’t impact some of our core products like cross country skiing or snowshoeing negatively.”

Fat-bikes got their start in the late 1980s when regular bikes were modified to allow racers to compete in the Iditabike (later to become Iditasport) race in Alaska. About the same time bikes were being modified in the Southern U.S. to ride the deserts in New Mexico.

Paulsen says he’s confident the latest trend in combining summer and winter activities will be a success at Silver Star.

“We are very encouraged at growth of the sport and how it can fit into the healthy mountain lifestyle here.”

A fat-bike is a bicycle with over-sized tires, typically 3.7 inches or wider, set on wide rims, Paulsen explains. He says the frame of the bicycle has been modified to fit these wider tires and rims and are designed to ride on soft unstable terrain like snow and sand.

He says they were originally designed to ride and race on the snow in Alaska and for touring in the deserts of New Mexico.

Silver Star joins a long list of mountain resorts in both the U.S. and Canada that allow fat-biking or are in the process of testing its viability.

Recent articles about the new trend have appeared in several mainstream publications in 2013 including the Globe & Mail, the Wall Street Journal, and Wired Magazine. Paulsen said the effect of the exposure has led to a rise in the sale of fat-bikes.

Quality Bicycle Products, a bicycle manufacturer and fat-bike industry leader, estimates that 10,000 bikes have been sold from 2005 to 2012 and predicts 10,000 more bikes to be sold in 2013/2014, says Paulsen.

“We’re really excited to add this to our long list of activities at Silver Star,” he says. “It’s a unique way for our guests to get out on the trails and explore the beauty of British Columbia.”


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