When the temperatures drop and the snow starts falling, most bikers either hitch their ride to an indoor trainer or exchange their wheels for another activity. After a recent trip to Michigan's rugged Upper Peninsula, we found that in the colder climes bikers are fattening up their tires, throwing on a few extra layers and not just braving the cold, but thriving in it. Fat bikes—specially designed bikes with extra wide and thick tires and adjusted geometries—are designed for ripping through terrain previously perceived as unrideable. From drifting through fresh powder on winding single-tracks, to traversing sand dunes and beaches, these are the bikes for the journey. One of the burlier bikes hitting the trails this winter is the Mukluk TI from Minneapolis-based Salsa Cycles, a machine built not only for the harshest conditions, but also designed for multi-day adventures in the wilderness with multiple gearing configurations.
While fat bikes have been around for a few years now, the Mukluk TI is surely a beacon for the future of these rides' capabilities. Alternator dropouts allow the bike to be run traditionally geared or as a single-speed—a welcome change when riding in sand or bombing single-track trails. Meanwhile, the frame geometry of the Mukluk accommodates multiple packs and panniers. The amount of gear one can stash on this bike means adventures will be limited only by riders' imaginations—and legs. The titanium frame construction gives the bike a svelte feel while maintaining a sense of trail-ready toughness. It's equipped to run 3.8'' tires on 26'' diameter wheels. Inches make a world of difference in bike design and these fattened up tires really do make riding through just about anything possible.
The Muklik TI is available ready to roll for $4,400 online. If you're still not convinced about the adventure possibilities these bikes unlock, check out these wanderlust-inducing galleries from Salsa Cycles and start packing.
Images courtesy of Salsa Cycles