Last weekend, the picturesque ski town of Crested Butte, Colorado, played host to the inaugural Fat Bike World Championships. Fat bikers were treated to groomed racecourses, an advocacy summit on the future of fat biking, a seeming endless stream of Odell's craft beer and the possibility of getting branded — with a red-hot cattle brand — for victory.
First and foremost, the Fat Bike World Championships was not sanctioned by the UCI, nor any other governing body. It was created in the spirit of the Singlespeed World Championships. Which is to say, this event is equal parts riding and partying, and nobody should take themselves, or the event, too seriously. (For US riders looking for a more structured event, USA Cycling will sponsor Fat Bike Nationals in Ogden, Utah, on February 27.)
Here's a snapshot of the event. Click through the gallery above for even more images from the Fat Bike World Championships.
Turnout was very good for a first-year event, with more than 200 fat bikers taking part in the main event
Could koala suits be the future of fat bike fashion?
Fat trikes of different types
Jake O'Connor, owner of Crested Butte-based ReActive Adaptations, rides toward the finish line
Aero is everything! (Joking aside, the disc rear wheel actually makes a lot of sense when it comes to preventing snow build-up)
There's a new sheriff in town, and his tan lines are perfect
Not quite a bicycle, but it was carving through turns where other riders were washing out
The Fat Bike Ski mounts in place of the front wheel and is held in place by the fork's 15mm thru-axle and disc mount
Without a doubt, this was the most capable fat bike at the race. Braaap!
Unlike the SSWC and the SSCXWC, which switch venues each year based on the outcome of some sort of drunken feats of strength competition following the main event, Crested Butte has no plans to relinquish Fat Bike Worlds to another town. After spending a few days there, enjoying the food, the trails and mountain culture, I can’t say I blame them.