On February 2, 2022

Fat bikes on the rise, inventory keeps the brakes on

By Victoria Gaither

Although skiing and snowboarding dominate central Vermont this time of the year, another outdoor sport pedals along — fat biking.

“Up here in Vermont, people love riding them, a lot of people do move mostly to skiing in the winter, but for the way our weather is going, I don’t see fat tire bikes going out,” said JT Look, the owner and mechanic of Rutland City Bikes.

By Victoria Gaither
Killington Base Camp owner Ben Colona shows off a fat bike at his shop.

Fat bikes have thicker tires than ordinary bikes and ride well on snow and sand.

Look said Covid-19 put the brakes on inventory. “I would be able to sell them if I could get them in stock, but with Covid, it’s still causing a pause,” Look said.

In Killington, Base Camp Bike and Ski owner Ben Colona sees the same thing. He explained, “People are coming in and looking for them, and we would have them to sell if we could get them. The inventory situation has made them more difficult this year.”

One reason for the success of fat bikes in the Rutland and Killington area is excellent riding trails, said Colona, who is also president of Killington Mountain Bike Club.

“The KMBC has worked over the past five years to build and maintain single track mountain bike trails in the town of Killington,” Colona said.

J.T. Look of Rutland City Bikes repairs bikes and hosts riders at his Beds-N-Bikes through Airbnb and offers ride trails on his property . He said fat bikes are for everyone.

“Even for people who are beginner riders, the wider tires give more stability so it helps them feel more safe with balance,” Look said.

On Sunday, Feb.13, at the Giorgetti Athletic Complex, Oak Street at Pine Hill Park, beginners, immediate, and experienced fat bike riders are invited to the Cold Rolled Rutland Fat Bike Ride to test their skills or enjoy a ride.

Mountain Bike Vermont, MTBVT, and Ranch Camp co-created the event in partnership with Pine Hill Park.

Rutland Bike organizer Shelley Lutz said there will be guided rides for folks not familiar with Pine Hill Park.

The event costs $50. Registration starts at 9 a.m. on Feb. 13 and rides are from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m..

Nat Freund, an organizer with Ranch Camp, had success with other fat bike winter events in Vermont.

He said bringing the ride to Pine Hill Park was a no-brainer because of the trails.

“I live very close to Pine Hill and ride there frequently, so I knew how amazing the fat biking can be in the park,” Freund said.

Due to Covid-19, there was no event last year, so organizers expect riders from around New England and New York to come.

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