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Fat Bike (Winter Mountain Biking) Best Practices

Fat Biking on snow is described as:

1. Wide tires — deep snow coverage may require tires wider than 3.5 inches.

2. Tire pressure will often be less than 10 PSI.

3. Enough floatation that you can travel over snow without leaving a rut deeper than one inch.

4. Sufficient traction that you are able to safely control your bike and ride in a straight line.

To reduce conflict and lower the impact of snow biking on existing trails, we ask that you to follow these guidelines.  

Always be courteous to other snow travelers.

  • Be a good trail citizen and an ambassador for the sport – stay polite, educate other bikers, discourage bad behavior, follow the rules, and we’ll all have a good time this winter.
  • Bikes yield to all other users. 
  • Do not ride if the snow is too soft. Do not operate on any trails if the temperature is near or above freezing. If you have to get off and push your bike, the snow is too soft. 
  • If you are leaving a rut deeper than an inch or are having a hard time riding in a straight line, it is too soft to be on the trails.

Best Practices for Fat Biking on Groomed Nordic Trails

  • Only ride at ski areas that allow and encourage winter biking.
  • Yield to all other users when riding. Skiers don’t have brakes but you do!
  • Ride on the firmest part of the track.
  • Do not ride on or in the classic tracks.
  • Leave room for skiers to pass (don’t ride side­by­side with all of your buddies blocking the full trail).
  • Allow the track time to set up after grooming and before riding.
  • Some areas require riding only a purpose­built fat bike, not any old mountain bike. There may be a minimum tire tread width.
  • Be an ambassador for the sport: stay polite, educate other riders, discourage bad behavior and follow the rules.
  • Get involved by joining your local nordic club and consider donating to trail grooming.

Best Practices for Riding on Snowmobile Trails

  • When riding on snowmobile trails, use a front white blinker and rear red blinker at all times.
  • Wear reflective material on both the front and rear of your body.
  • Do not use any type of headphones or devices that impair your ability to hear.
  • Stay to the far right of the trail and yield to snowmobiles.
  • Know and obey the rules of your local land manager/owner. Understand that some trails may be on private property and might not be open to alternative uses.
  • Use extreme caution when riding at night. Be visible and use the brightest lights you can find.
  • Be friendly! Fat bikers are the newest trail users. Be courteous and open to suggestions from snowmobile riders.
  • Help out by supporting your local snowmobile club and consider donating to grooming efforts.

External Resources

*Content on this page was developed in part by Grand Targhee Resort ( and IMBA, Kingdom Trails and others)