A fatbike is an off-road bicycle with over-sized tires, typically 3.8 in (97 mm) or larger and rims 2.6 in (66 mm) or wider; they have been around since at least the early 20th century, but in the past years several manufacturers started crafting these special bikes for the masses. They are designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on soft unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, bogs and mud; with tires that look inspired by those on monster trucks, fat bikes float over terrain that stymies narrower treads.
The bike was designed for riding across snowy trails, but soon turned up underneath ultra-distance explorers and noncyclists looking for a new way to exercise during the winter and after that they reached another extreme environment: the desert.
Fatbikes can take you in places where people haven’t been, where normal bikes can’t go..
I had chance to try the fatbike at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & SPA, situated in the heart of the desert and nestled in the dunes of Dubai.
One of the sweetest things about fat bikes is the ability to run tires at low pressures–as low as 5psi. Read: mega traction and floatation. Lower pressures may damage the rim on technical trails in the summer, but too much pressure makes the bike feel rigid and bouncy. Typically, 8-10psi is ideal for most riders.
To ride a fatbike in the desert is not too different from driving a (motor) vehicle: you need similar skills. You have to develop an instinct about how to choose the correct way along the dunes, how to approach big ones, how to come down from them, how to get oriented and not to get lost. You will get stuck plenty of times. Of course in this case you won’t have to dig or to be pulled off, to get unstuck, but you may need to carry on your bike up to the top of the dune. And if the sand is to soft, you may have some difficulties in start back your ride; by practising, you will learn to understand, to feel, to predict the sand.
About Bab Al Shams
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is an exclusive low-rise resort in the desert surrounded by gently sloping dunes and natural desert landscape, perfect location to try fatbike in safety.
You can rent bike for your small training in the desert around the resort or you can have join a proper escursion organized with expert desert guides.
For further information or make a reservation, please contact Sports & Leisure team:
Tel: +971 4 809 6167