Showing posts with label Fat Bike. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fat Bike. Show all posts

Video: Pedal to Peaks Across Norway

In this video, we join a group of friends as they set off on an adventure across Norway by bike, climbing, and skiing. As with any good adventure, not everything goes as planned and they hit more than a few challenges along the way. But, they also discover amazing scenery, beautiful landscapes, and wonderful people as they traverse Lofoten archipelago, learning more about themselves and each other along the way.

Two Explorers Launch Arctic Extreme Expedition in Canada

Two ultrarunners are about to embark on a challenge expedition through the Canadian Arctic to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. Today, ultrarunners Ray Zahab and Stefano Gregoretti set out on an adventure that will take them through three separate regions of the country, covering approximately 1000 km (621 miles) during the coldest, harshest conditions of the year.

Dubbed the Arctic Extreme Expedition, the two men will begin their journey in the Torngat Mountains of northern Labrador and Quebec, where they will traverse this amazing landscape – Canada's newest national park – on foot. The endurance runners will be running and fast packing their way through the wilderness, hauling all of their needed supplies behind them on sleds as they go. Along the way, they'll face Canada's brutal winter weather conditions, snow, winds, cold temperatures, and perhaps the occasional polar bear.

From here, Ray and Stefano will head to Unavut to traverse Baffin Island on skis. Once again, they'll carry their gear behind them on sleds, hauling all of their needed equipment and supplies with them as they go. During the heart of the winter, they'll face extreme weather once again, as well as very long nights and incredibly short days as they traverse one of the most remote and rugged places imaginable.

For stage three of the expedition, the two men will head to the Northwest Territories where they'll ride the length of the Arctic Ice Road on custom made fat bikes. During that stage of the journey they expect to face temperatures as cold at -60ºC/-76ºF as they travel along on a route covered in ice that will require studded tires just to keep them upright.

The expedition is set to get underway today – Feb 1 – with Ray and Stefano hitting the trail this morning. You'll be able to follow their progress – which will include live updates most days – on the team's official website for this adventure. If you like to follow challenging expeditions through extremely cold places, you won't want to miss this one.

This Cyclist Want to Ride His Bike in Every Country in the World

Over the years, there have been a number of cyclists who have quite literally ridden around the world on their bikes, circumnavigating the globe under their own power. We've even followed a few of them on their adventures here on this blog. But, German rider Patrick Schroeder is setting an entirely new bar for others to follow, by attempting to ride his bike through every country in the world. All 195 of them.

Over the holiday break, the team over at Gear Junkie posted a story about Patrick, sharing his goals to pedal his way across the globe. Ten years ago, he set out from his home country at the age of 19 to see where he could go on his bike. At the time, he didn't really have any goals for his ride, nor did he have a plan. But over time, and as the years, passed, he decided that he wanted to pursue his goal of cycling through every country on Earth.

Patrick says that after he completed school and military service, he spent a year traveling around the world. After that, he got into bike touring, with his first big adventure being a ride from Germany to South Africa. He also rode from Germany to China – and back – as well as Argentina to Canada. Along the way, he has now ridden his bike in 141 countries, leaving him 54 more to go.

In the Gear Junkie article, Patrick talks about the equipment that he takes with him, his current bike (a custom MyBoo Densu), as well as ones he has used in the past, his favorite pieces of gear, and more. He also talks about the things he's learned on his bike journeys, the hardest place he's traveled through, the extraordinary things he has seen during his travels, and the things he hasn't done yet that he would still like to do.

Perhaps most interesting is his list of gear that he has taken with him, both on his 2008 bike expedition and on his 2016 journey. As you can imagine, things continue to evolve over time, with new and better gear being released regularly. For instance, on his 2008 list he has an iPod Nano, but now he uses a smartphone instead. His gear has been reduced in weight nicely too. In 2008, his kit weight about 55 pounds. Today, it's down to 26 pounds. That's some impressive gains to say the least.

If you're interested in long-distance bike travel, this is a story that you'll want to read. But beyond that, it is just really interesting to see what Patrick is doing. No word on where he is headed next, or how he'll knock off those remaining countries, but follow him on hit Facebook page to stay updated.

Men's Journal Suggests Six Winter Adventures to Take Advantage of the Cold

If you live in the U.S. right now, chances are you're experiencing the "polar vortex" that has brought cold conditions to just about every part of the country. Winter is still technically a week away, but temperatures have dipped well below freezing, and in some place are even dangerously frigid right now. But, as any dedicated outdoor enthusiast will tell you, the winter is just another season to play outside, provide you have the proper gear and the right motivation. To that end, Men's Journal has shared a list of six adventures that make the most out of the cold.

Some of the suggestions – like visit Yosemite in the winter and Fat Biking in Sun Valley, Idaho– are specific to certain locations, but most of them are things you can do just about anywhere there is a bit of snow. Those options include learning to ice climb, cross-country skiing under the stars, go backcountry skiing, and learn to dog sled. MJ has some good suggestions on where to do all of those things as well, but those adventures are a bit more flexible, with opportunities to embark on those winter escapes in many different places.

Of course, none of these activities are going to be especially enjoyable if you don't have proper gear to keep you warm. Make sure you have a good layering system, as well as boots, a hat, and a good pair of gloves. If you're well equipped, winter can be just as enjoyable as any other season to be outdoors, and often times it is even more rewarding. There is nothing quite like hitting the backcountry and finding you have the place all to yourself.

One of my all-time favorite trips was a winter excursion to Yellowstone National Park a few years back. The place is utterly spectacular – and completely deserted – in the winter months. And yes, it was indeed cold, with temperatures dropping well below 0ºF (-17ºC), it was still an amazing place to be. If you haven't done that adventure, definitely put it on your list. You won't be disappointed.

Stay warm, stay active, and enjoy the season. It has a lot to offer.

Video: Fatbiking Through Western Mongolia

This past summer I was fortunate enough to spend the better part of July riding on horseback through the Tavan Bond National Park in Mongolia on what turned out to be one of the best trips I have ever taken. But, if riding on horses through this part of the world sounds a bit daunting, my friends over at Round Square Adventures have an alternate means of transportation – fatbikes! Yep, that's right, you can visit the same region of Mongolia that I did, but on a bike instead. The video below will give you an idea of what these excursions are like, while also providing an amazing look at the landscapes you'll be traversing. After watching the clip, you may want to get on your bike and start training, because you're definitely going to want to do this.

Fatbike Trips through Tavan Bogd National Park, Mongolia from Kirsten Scully on Vimeo.

Gear Closet: Haibike Xduro AllMtn RX Electric Mountain Bike

One of the hottest trends in cycling over the past couple of years has been the rise in prominence of the electric bike – more commonly known as the e-bike. At first glance, most of these bikes look like just about any other that you might encounter on the road, although they have a hidden secret. They come equipped with a battery-powered motor that can help you maintain higher speeds with less effort or climb tough hills that would normally leave your legs crying out in agony.

This little speed-boost has made e-bikes especially popular with commuters, many of whom find that the onboard motor helps them travel along with traffic better and allows them to arrive at their destination relatively fresh thanks to not having to exert as much energy.

An avid biker myself, I've been intrigued with e-bikes for some time, but hadn't gotten the chance to try one out for myself. That changed recently when Haibike sent me one of their electric assisted mountain bikes to take for a spin, and I have to say I came away impressed. The bike delivered on everything that was promised – and more – allowing me to power through a ride like never before. But in the end, it also left me reevaluating why I like mountain biking so much in the first place.

For my little e-bike test drive, Haibike sent me a 2015 model known as the Xduro AllMtn RX. The current model that fits pretty much the same specs is the Xduro AllMtn 7.0. Both versions sport Shimano components, 27.5" tires, a full-supsenion, and a slick looking design that looks aggressive and fun to ride. Hidden inside the aluminum frame however, is a 36-volt motor that is powered by a 500 Wh battery that help this bike truly stand out from the crowd.

Before we go too far into this review, it is important to point out that while most e-bikes provide an electric assist, but you still have to do all of the pedaling. You simply don't have to pedal quite so hard in order to get the bike up to speed nor to maintain that speed. Likewise, when climbing a hill, the speed-assist kicks in to lend a hand, making it surprisingly easy to shoot up steep grades, although you still have to put in some work to get to the top.

The motor installed on this bike has five different settings, including Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo, as well as off. Yes, you can ride the bike without any type of electrical assist, but since it tips the scales at 49.2 pounds, it does feel a bit slow and ponderous. Eco mode provides the least level of assistance, which doesn't feel like much, although it is there to lend a hand when you need it. Turbo is bit like strapping a rocket to your bike, although it comes at dramatically reduced battery life.

While testing the Xduro, I only switched over to the highest level when tackling a big hill, otherwise I tended to stay in Tour mode most of the time. This allowed me to easily maintain a good rate of speed over a variety of terrains without having to expend a lot of energy in the process. The result was that at the end of my ride, I still felt like I had a good workout, but I wasn't completely wasted, even after riding a tough trail.

The Xduro AllMtn has a built in cycling computer mounted on its handlebars that provides information such as your current speed and time, as well as offering a trip odometer, and life-time odometer all in a digital format. That same display also provides constant updates of how much battery life remains by showing not only a battery indicator but also the amount of range the bike has before it runs out of juice. The screen also has an icon that indicates which level of power that the motor is set too as well.

Getting on the bike for the first time, I was unsure exactly how things worked. The motor was engaged, but there is no throttle that you can control, so I wasn't exactly sure how I'd know if it was working properly. It only took a second to figure that out however, as when I started to pedal you could feel the electric assist kick in with a very noticeable boost, even in Eco mode. That boost only became more noticeable as increased the level of power generated by the motor.

Before too long, I found myself testing the bike to see what it could do in a variety of different conditions, and for the most part it performed very well. It wasn't quite as agile and responsive as my Trek mountain bike back home, then again that bike doesn't power up big hills as easily either. I have to admit, the Xduro AllMtn is fun to ride, and is quite capable of tackling a wide variety of trails types.

Now, all of that said, I have to say that I have a few reservations about this e-bike as well. For starters, it is a heavy beast. As mentioned, it is nearly 50 pounds (22.68 kg), which makes it more than twice as heavy as my normal ride. That added weight becomes more evident on tougher trails where agility can be an important factor. And heaven forbid you should run out of battery power while riding, as it would definitely be quite a workout to get Xduro back to the trailhead without the electric assist.

Despite how much fun I had riding the bike, I also couldn't help but feel like I was cheating a bit out on the trail. Part of the allure of mountain biking for me is taking on the challenges of the route with just my bike. That includes all of the challenges, such as climbing hills and maintaining a good speed. This bike made that so easy to do that it almost felt like an entirely different sport. At the end of my test run, I came to the conclusion that while I wouldn't mind an e-bike for commuting around town, I'm not sure I want one to replace my mountain bike.

That said, for riders who are a little older, or aren't quite as physically fit, the Xduro AllMtn is a good solution that allows them to ride challenging trails much more easily. I can definitely see the allure of this bike under those circumstances.

Durable and well-built, the Haibike Xduro AllMtn 7.0 is competitively priced at $5299. It has quality parts and components at every important spot, and a tough aluminum frame with solid geometry. It also happens to have a secret weapon hidden away in the form of an electric motor. All of that design and technology doesn't come cheap, although I've seen plenty of standard mountain bikes that fall in the same price range, even without a motor. Of course, those bikes are likely to have even better components and a carbon frame, just to put things in perspective.

If you've been considering an e-bike for your mountain biking needs, I'd certainly encourage you to give the Haibike Xduro AllMtn a look. It is a great machine for the right rider. I'm just not sure if that rider is me.

Find out more at

Video: Fat Biking Through the Iconic Landscapes of Utah

There is no question that fat biking is changing our perception of where you can go on a bike. Case in point, this fantastic video takes us deep into the deserts of Utah with pro rider Steve Fassbinder and a friend as they explore those iconic landscapes from the seat of a fatty. This will make you want to break out the big wheels and go on an adventure of your own.

Video: Official Trailer for "Crisp" - A Film About the Iditarod Trail Invitational

The Iditarod Trail Invitational is an epic test of endurance. For those not familiar with the event, it is a 1000-mile long bike race through the wilds of Alaska that takes place each March at the same time as the Iditarod sled dog race. This video is a preview for a new film called Crisp that follows riders Ausilia Vistarini and Sebastian Favaro as they compete in this unique, one of a kind, and incredibly demanding event.

Crisp - Official Trailer from Explore MediaLab on Vimeo.

Video: Riding a Fat Bike Up Mt. Washington

At 1917 meters (6288 ft) in height, Mt. Washington – located in New Hampshire – doesn't seem all that intimidating. But outdoor enthusiasts know that this peak – the tallest in the eastern U.S. – is notorious for its bad weather. Because of its extreme conditions, with frequent subzero temperatures and very high winds, there is even a weather station located on the summit.

Recently, pro cyclist Tim Johnson decided to attempt to ride a fat bike up the Mt. Washington auto road, a 7.2 mile (11.5 km) jaunt in -19ºF (-27ºC) temperatures. This video takes us along for the ride, on what turns out to be every bit as challenging as he expected.

Trio of Adventurers Set to Travel From the Arctic to the Atacama

A trio of adventurers is heading north to start an epic journey that will span more 1500 km (932 miles) under their own power, and take them to environments that range more than 100 degrees celsius in temperatures.

The team consists of ultrarunners Ray Zahab, Jen Segger, and Stefano Gregoretti, who are currently en route to Qikiqtarjuaq, a Canadian island located in the Arctic Ocean, where they will begin the first stage of the expedition. Once there, they'll start heading south over the frozen landscape by fat bike and foot. Their route will take them to Baffin Island, which they'll traverse on their way to the community of Pangnirtung. Along he way, they'll cross 300 km (186 miles) through harsh arctic conditions where temperatures are expected to plummet as low as -50ºC (-58ºF).

Immediately after finishing the first leg of their journey, the three endurance athletes will next travel to South America to begin the second phase of the adventure. They'll be heading to northern Chile, where they'll make a traverse of the Atacama Desert, the driest place on the planet. They'll follow the same route that Zahab used when he ran across the Atacama on foot back in 2011. This time out though, they'll cover the 1200 km (745 miles) on mountain bike. While in the desert, the thermometer will reach 50ºC (120ºF), a stark contrast to the northern stage of the expedition.

The expedition has been dubbed Arctic 2 Atacama, and it should be officially underway in just a few days. The website is still filling in with information, but once things go live, expect daily updates on the team's progress, including status updates and videos from the trail. This promises to be quite the grueling journey, but a fun one to follow.

Good luck to Ray, Jen, and Stefano.

Video: Winter Fat Biking in the Yukon

Fat biking has become very popular over the past few years, which is understandable considering how it allows us to ride even in deep snow. This video takes us to the Yukon Territory in Canada to experience what it is like to go fat biking there in the winter. The 2+ minute clip was shot as a promo to lure adventure travelers to the region, and personally I think it does its job very well. It looks like a great place to ride in the snow, with some stunning scenery in the background.

Winter Fat Biking in the Yukon - Travel Yukon Promo from Union Production Co. on Vimeo.