Weird, cold and far from serious: the 2017 Fat Bike World Champs

Weird, cold and far from serious

This past weekend Crested Butte, Colorado, welcomed the wild and wonderful world of fat bikes for the second annual Fat Bike World Championships. Despite the bitterly cold temperatures, everyone was all smiles as riders greeted the custom groomed courses with rowdy enthusiasm.

Fat bikes are first and foremost all about fun
Fat bikes are first and foremost all about fun

Just like last year, the Fat Bike World Champs was not a UCI-official event. What it was though was an opportunity to ride your fat bike, or demo a new fat bike, in an unbelievably beautiful riding mecca with a few hundred like-minded individuals. Also, it was a good reason to party with Upslope Brewing and the happy hour events everyday after the riding.

In an interesting twist, USA Cycling's Fat Bike Nationals landed on the same day in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That said, the 2017 Worlds event was sold out and featured a short track race on Thursday, a demo on Friday and the Worlds race on its own unique course on Saturday. On Sunday, riders were allowed to ride a lift at Mt. Crested Butte and blast down either a tight, steep slalom track or open up their bulbous tire bikes on a groomed ski run. Both options were uniquely terrifying in their own way. 

Here's a quick overview from the frosty event. Check out the gallery slideshow above for more from the 2017 Fat Bike World Championships.

The Elite racers were anxious for the starting countdown
The Elite racers were anxious for the starting countdown

There were a couple of riders here looking for glory, but the vast majority were only looking for good times.

Hard efforts, heavy breathing, ice beard
Hard efforts, heavy breathing, ice beard

Weather for the entire event was properly cold with high temperatures barely cracking double digits and that's in Fahrenheit.

Trek's Travis Brown raced a full carbon fatty
Trek's Travis Brown raced a full carbon fatty
 

A few pro riders made the trek up to the 8,909ft elevation of Crested Butte, CO. including Olympian and MTB Hall of Famer Travis Brown.

Nowhere does it state you have to use two wheels
Nowhere does it state you have to use two wheels

Being an unsanctioned race has lots of perks, including allowing all sorts of equipment on the race course. Was a front ski a help? It's doubtful as the race track was heavily groomed corduroy, but only racer 274 knows for sure. 

Costumes kept the racing colorful
Costumes kept the racing colorful

Costumes are to bike racing as beer is to bike racing.

2017 Fat Bike World Champion Robbie Squires celebrates his second win in a row
2017 Fat Bike World Champion Robbie Squires celebrates his second win in a row

See what we mean: 2017's Fat Bike World Champ Robbie Squire celebrates his second title in a row. 

Russell Eich

Tech Writer, US
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

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