I have lots more where these came from but I thought I’d spare you the mediocre pictures of my new fatbike in various hazy gray locations yesterday afternoon before the storm rolled in. (I know how sometimes the “bike resting against a tree” photos can get old. But not for me! heh heh.) Oh, and before you heckle my sweet red Jandd ‘trunk’ pack, it is completely practical, i love it. It held my pogies, puff jacket, tube, pump, Spot Tracker, spare batteries, spare pair of gloves, and a winter hat. No backpack on my back and that is a huge plus, for winter riding especially.
I drove out Foresthill Road to where I didn’t want to drive any longer because of snow and hopped on the bike, about a mile before Sailor Flat. It was only a few miles to Robinson Flat and the road was barely 4″ deep in snow instead of the 4 FEET of last year. In fact, someone had driven their truck out and past Robinson so I had one of two tracks to follow. Marginal cause for riding a fatbike but hey, i was desperate! This winter has been non-existent in California.
Once I got past Robinson Flat the fatbike became pretty useful. There’s really no expressing how much fun this ride was. It was only my 2nd ‘mountain bike’ ride since mid-November and it was my first on snow this season. And it was my first on my new eFat (the “e” is for Elevated Chainstays). I rode up to Duncan Peak fire lookout, took a turn onto Little Bald singletrack down to Robinson Flat, and the 4-6″ on trail (7,000ft elevation) was to die for. There’s really nothing like getting fresh tracks on fat tires, other than maybe getting freshies on fat skis. The 4.7″ Bud and Lou tires on Clown Shoe rims are pretty incredible; it was effortless.
The bike rode just awesomely. The rear tire is so tucked beneath my butt with 16.9″ chainstays that the Lou rear tire didn’t slip once. I like how the bike’s geometry climbed and tracked on descents. The slack head tube of 68 degrees just held the line on climbs and even more so on descents. It felt less twitchy than my 70 degree head tube angled fatbike so I didn’t go off the packed trail and into the unpacked powder as easily. The only thing I’d fix is shortening the front center a little (it’s 715mm) so I have a little more weight on the front wheel.
Darkness fell as I was riding back to the truck. It’s one of those times that living in the backwoods of the Sierra Foothills felt pretty sweet. I didn’t pass one car on the drive home. I look forward to meeting up with some friends in Truckee for their fatbike rides someday, but in the meantime I think this desolate road will suffice just fine.