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2013 Fat Bike Summit Report

Overview of the 2nd Annual Fat Bike Summit & Festival

January 25-27, 2013

Sawtelle Mountain Resort in Island Park, Idaho

Report compiled & written by Estela Villaseñor & Bob Allen

For more details on the event please visit

The Event

On January 25th, 2013, approximately 40 fat bike enthusiasts, some with young families, and 20 Land Managers braved the Greater Yellowstone region’s internationally-renowned winter conditions to attend the 2nd annual Fat Bike Summit at the Sawtelle Mountain Resort in Island Park, Idaho.  The Summit, co-hosted by Minnesota-based Quality Bicycle Products and Fitzgerald’s Bicycles in nearby Victor, Idaho, brought together public land managers, two Idaho congressional staff, the local chambers of commerce, a private nordic ski area executive, tourism professionals, non-profit land and trail organizations, an international bicycle advocacy organization, fat bike riders, and members of the bicycle industry.  Seminars and discussions included fat bike winter access issues; making use of gateway communities and the benefits of recreation-based economies; and engaging public and private resources.


Scott Bikes Now Arriving in the Shop

Scott and Pivot Mountain Bikes

Scott & Pivot Mountain Bikes are arriving in the shop

I realize we’ve been talking about fat bikes and riding on snow for quite awhile now, but watching what Michael has been building up in the shop has got me itching for a little dirt (and short sleeves and warm sun!).    Right now we have a Scott Genuis 730, a Scott Spark 900SL and a Carbon Pivot Mach 429 in the bike stands.    In between scheming a rush down to the desert, I thought I would share with you all what’s up for the spring & summer. (more…)

Jay P talks about his Salsa Beargrease

Jay P's Salsa Beargrease

Jay P's Salsa Beargrease

Beargrease, what is that? Well, besides being an iconic long distance sled dog race in Minnesota as well as I’ll assume it is some sort of indiscretion from an actual bear (don’t want to now from where), it is also a new Fat Bike model from Salsa. With Salsa having offered the fully functional Mukluk for several years, this past year they have introduced the Mukluk’s complement, the stripped down lightweight racer version – The Beargrease.


Winter Riding: What to Wear on your Body to Keep Comfortable

Lots of Options to Wear

Stay Comfortable, Stay Warm Fat Biking

It seems like fat bike riding requires a bit of magic to figure out what to wear to be comfortable.   Wear too little and you’ll be cold – too much and you’ll sweat too much and ultimately be cold again.   Moisture management is the key to keeping comfortable – you need to generate heat to stay warm, but you don’t want to generate so much heat that you sweat too much.   And remember that unlike road cycling where your speeds higher speeds generate a colder wind chill and thus you need to bundle up more, fat biking is not fast – so you won’t have the colder wind chills.   So finding the balance of layers and insulation to keep comfortable while on long or even short rides can be both a learning process and a challenge.   And remember that what works for me might not necessarily work for you – so experiment with your system. (more…)

Fat Bike Riding Etiquette

Fat Bike Summit 25K Race

Fat Bike Summit 25K Race



We spent last weekend in Island Park at the 2nd Annual Winter Fat Bike Summit & Festival and it got me thinking and rethinking about the etiquette of riding fat bikes.

First Up:  Why Worry?

Why should we worry about this, you might ask.   The simple reason is that fat bikers are a new user group to the various winter trail systems and as a new user group we need to gain acceptance to both continue to enjoy access and to get more access.    Anytime a new user group is added to the mix, the existing users can get their feathers a bit ruffled.    And existing users have some legitimate concerns:   how will these new folks affect my access?;  will they affect the quality of the trails?; will they contribute to the cost of maintaining the trails?; and will they get in my way? (more…)

Fat Bike Summit 2013 – It’s a wrap!

Wow.  Over the years, I’ve been involved with countless events at every level from sponsor to organizer but this year’s Fat Bike Summit and Festival was the most comprehensive event we have been at the head of.  After months of conference calls, spreadsheets, emails, and brainstorm sessions, I finally found myself in the van driving up to Island Park Thursday night.  At that point, my hope was that everything was simply on cruise control.

Loading up at the bike shop.


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