We are ready to get going on our 4th season of grooming FAT bike trails at the “BigHill” trails just minutes south of Spearfish!
This year we have added a tracked snow moving machine to our arsenal to initially bench in the side hills and add “groom-able” features “snow-willing”.
We will be doing this in the long, downhill, shady gulches within a few miles of the trail head, so the features will hold until the end of March or even into April. Rushmore bikes has purchased all the equipment and is always looking for user support (donations are much appreciated). You can donate @ https://www.gofundme.com/Spearfish-FAT-Bike-trail-pass
One thing that has been learned about snow grooming for FAT bikes is that the snow needs a day or two to get FIRM! Most of the snow that falls in the Black Hills is in small amounts, 8″ or less every few days, and it is extremely low in density. Even with the most effective equipment, it still takes one or two sunsets, depending on temps, to firm-up enough to be “good” riding.
All bikes are not equal! Size(tire!) does matter early and mid winter! Can you have fun on any fat bike in some conditions? Yes, you can. Conversely, on “Soft snow” condition days, falling, pushing your bike up hills, even though the scenery may be great, and it still beats work…it’s just better to get the right bike.
If you are over 170 lbs, just plan on riding a 26 x 4.8″ tire or 27.5″ x 4.5″ tire. Lighter riders have more options, but still often prefer the fattest option. Three years ago, TREK offered the 27.5″ x 4.5 tire and wheel size that “upped the ante” for floating on soft snow and hard pack performance over a 26″ tire/wheel combo. 26″ wheels are still great with the right tire, studded Dillinger 5’s come to mind (yes we stock them!).
Yet, the saying is true, “just get out and ride”, and “ride what you brought”. If you want the best FAT bike for your style of riding, stop in and talk to us, FAT Biking is one of our specialties.
If we have more than 2.5″ of snow, check the Rushmorebikes.com website and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RushmoreMountainSports/ for up to the minute grooming and trail conditions. We wait until the pressure changes and the new snow forms natural drifts, usually right after the snow stops falling, then start grooming. After the trails are set-up, snow shoes, dogs and skis are always welcome on the FAT bike trails. Just be sure to leash your dog until you get to the trail then be ready to clean up after it : ) Brown snow on a sunny day is the worst.