More fat bikes on the streets of Regina

Cyclists are taking on slippery, snowy conditions by using bikes with tires more than 10 centimetres wide.

Extra wide tires conquer winter conditions

Fat bike have tires that are often 12 cm wide. (Abby Schneider/CBC)

Winter cycling is not new but you may have noticed big changes in the look of some bikes taking on Regina's roads.

Many cyclists are using bikes with wide, almost cartoon-like tires. They're known as fat bikes and it's a growing market in Saskatchewan. 

Bert Seidel sells, rents and repairs bikes at Western Cycle Source for Sports in Regina. He said the store's fat bike sales have likely tripled from three years ago. There are even fat bike races in Regina and Saskatoon.
The frame of a fat bike is similar to a mountain bike but with larger forks to accommodate the wide tires. (Abby Schneider/CBC)

"It's a very versatile bike. You can buy a fat bike and go across Canada or the Antarctic," Seidel said. "You can also just use it as a daily commuter."

The bike's stability comes from the large tires, which can be as wide as 12 centimetres. Cyclists can also play around with the tire pressure to prepare the bike for certain riding conditions.

Seidel said he has passed cars using a fat bike when the roads were icy and snow covered.

They can also be used on trails year round, but Seidel admitted "you're not the fastest guy" on a fat bike.

Seidel said he expects fat bike tires to get even bigger in the future and said there is talk of tires on standard mountain bikes also becoming wider.  

Brand-name fat bikes start at about $1,000, although with the growing interest, they are also now being sold at chain department stores. 

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