Fat bikes gaining popularity in Red Deer

Winter is here and for many that marks the end of riding bikes but for a group of cycling enthusiasts that isn’t the case.

On Saturday, riders gathered at Red Deer Mud, Sweat and Gears to participate in Global Fat-Bike Day, recognizing a popular trend that allows you to ride your bike in the winter.

“The popularity on these bikes is huge, any store that carries these bikes are doubling their sales on them every year,” said event organizer Greg Potts.

A fat bike looks just like a regular bicycle, except the tires look like they belong on a motorcycle.

“They’re a little bit harder to push then a regular bike, but they petal better than most people think,” said Potts. “You’re working hard because the idea of them is to have larger rims and tires, but low pressure, which allows you to ride through snow.”

“They’re not just good in the winter. They’re good in the summer. They’re good on the beach. They’re good everywhere.”

Potts said the versatility of the bike also plays a huge role in its popularity.

“People even use them for hunting because they’re so quiet. There’s so much use for them and people are starting to realize that,” said Potts.

Fat bikes are available for people of all ages and sizes and are especially becoming popular among young families.

“Families are also getting and out riding these bikes instead of paying those expensive lift tickets to go ski and all the equipment involved in that.”

With such a strong trail system in Red Deer, Potts said it makes it a great place to own a fat bike.

“Mountain bikers and those kind of people really enjoy riding the trails all year around. You can pack the trails down and drive them all winter long,” said Potts.

It’s the second year Potts has put on the event and said numbers have jumped from almost 20 people last year to more than 30 this year.

This was the fifth annual Global Fat Bike Day. It was started by Si Matthews and Ritchie Salt, two fat bike enthusiasts from the United Kingdom.

jonathan.guignard@bprda.wpengine.com

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