The winter sports in Whistler may seem fairly obvious: skiing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and ice skating. But as always, there are more than meets the eye. One of such activities is the lesser known is fat biking.
Just what is fat biking you might ask? Typically, fat biking uses an offroad bicycle that has fatter wheels. These wheels have a larger diameter and are designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on soft unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, and mud.
Surprisingly, this activity is very similar to its summer counterpart. Expect to cruise down compact snow and make agile turns just as if you were on dirt. The extra bounce given by the larger tires acts as increased suspension, making obstacles, including large piles of snow, seemingly easy to get over. A word of advice, watch out for deep powder- if you aren’t expecting it and without momentum, you’re going to come to a dead stop!
Fatbiking in Whistler can be done on local trails or in the Callaghan Valley at the Whistler Olympic Park. It is an excellent way to experience different parts of Whistler and get a taste for what the bike trails may be like in the summer months. If you are choosing to explore local trails, make sure to get the scoop on where to ride at Spicy Sports. Cut Yer Bars and Emerald Forest are a few trails that are favorites of the local fat bikers!
To prepare for your fat biking experience, you will need the following:
- Warm gloves- Bike gloves may not provide the extra warmth necessary so opting for thinner winter gloves may help you better enjoy your experience.
- Layers- You will work up a sweat so be prepared for the conditions with layers
- Winter boots- Snow will undoubtedly end up in places so wear boots to keep your feet warm and dry!
- Backpack- You will need a place to put your map, water and extra layers in case the weather changes. After all, you are participating in a winter sport!
If you think fat biking is something you want to try, you can find the high-performance equipment at the best price in Whistler at Spicy Sports. The staff at Spicy will be able to properly set you up with your bike, including a helmet. *2021 Update: Unfortunately due to COVID Spicy Sports are not offering fat bike rentals this season, however keep the dream alive and put this on your list for Winter 2021/2022.
Make sure to stop by the Listel Hotel’s front desk- to further add to our guest’s experience, we offer a discount at Spicy Sports if a rental service is booked directly through the hotel!