Fat Bikes for Winter Hikes

fat bike thumbnailLYNDON - The Village Sports Shop Trailside on Darling Hill Road has been working with a relatively new form of biking to help stimulate business during the long winter season. This new form is what's known as "Fat Biking" and it is a rapidly growing winter activity here in the Northeast Kingdom. Fat Biking allows all the joys of bike-riding with the terrain accessibility of going over and through snow.

 Now, there are some who have never heard of a Fat Bike, and have no idea where the oversized wheels came from or how it was invented. The long and the short of it are that people really can't narrow down where and when it all began. However, the first Fat Bike to become "mainstream" was released in 2005 by the Surly Bikes company. They released the Pugsley frame and began producing bigger and bigger wheels as the bike attracted more and more attention.

People who have learned to ride Fat Bikes have become hooked on the activity, many like the fact that it is not the same as traditional bike riding, but it is close enough to compare to riding a bicycle in the summer. Andrew Gardiner, former head Nordic Ski Coach for Middlebury College, really likes taking his fat bike for a ride in the snow, and the fact that it is a great way to work out in the winter. "Because it's not weight bearing, the recovery time is less despite the balance and core strength it requires."

The Village Sports Shop has witnessed their inventory of Fat Bikes grow larger and larger each year since they first started leasing Fat Bikes back in 2013. Matt Mendrala is an employee and a Bike Mechanic at the Village Sports Shop, and he says that the bikes are great for stimulating business during the long winter season. "The bikes have definitely gone through growth-spurts since a few years ago. The industry was developing the standards for the bikes and how wide are they gonna go, and what are going to be the accepted standards for the interchangeable parts... we've been selling them for four years now and the fleet keeps growing little by little each year."

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