Winter Monster Bike Training

Coach Rob Squire shares some of his winter riding tips

Seasons can change quick!

I’ve spent several winters in front of a tiny TV in my parents unfinished basement on rollers putting in way too many hours.  Luckily there are many more options now to stay fit in the winter rather than mind numbing trainer miles.

I like to XC ski, snowshoe, and run in the winter, but my favorite is fat biking.   I was skeptical of the big tires at first and spent more of my rides climbing out of snow banks rather than turning the pedals.   Just like any new discipline though, after a few rides I got the hang of it. No longer did I dread the winter, but rather looked forward to ripping around the trails of Salt Lake on my fatty.

Monster Bike above Salt Lake City

Monster Bikes is more apt name. Are not the all terrain do anything bikes like I initially thought. The conditions need to be just right in order to have fun. The trails have to be pretty packed down, which usually means waiting for hikers and snowshoers to march through the trails. The absolute most fun is after trails have been packed down for a few days and then a light layer of fresh powder covers the ground.   This is the equivalent to a fresh tracks for fat biking and justifies the entire discipline for me.

In addition to being a blast, I like fat biking because the rides are short, sweet, and intense. I never spend more than 1.5 hours out on the bike in the winter, if I can help it, which makes a huge difference in avoiding bitter cold that comes with big base miles on the road bike.


A typical monster bike ride for me entails dressing from the ground up in: wool socks with hand warmers in between my booties and regular mountain bike shoes, full winter tights, thermal base layer, thermal winter jacket, ski gloves, neck warmers, large sunglasses, skull cap, cycling cap, regular helmet.   It takes a minute to get dressed but is well worth not being cold.

Bundled up during a race on Frozen Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota.

If you have never tried out fat biking, I urge you to give it a shot. I was a tough sell at first but have since converted and now look forward to snow on the trails.

-Robbie Squire