Fat tires = flat ( almost) tires

Bubbas back in Warren

Bubbas back in Warren

Sunday morning came and brought back a bunch of Bubbas to ride the wide snowmobile track between Routes 90 and 131 in Warren.  I was overjoyed to get in three rides this week, all on my Pugsley, on trails.

The super hard surface that we encountered on the frosty , single temp New Year’s morning was now looser, and the going was slower.  It was easily twice as much effort to move than was the case on our last time out.

We had an array of bikes and tire sizes taking to the trail today: several fat tire bikes, a few traditionally sized 26″ mountain bikes, and one 29er.  Some tires were studded some not.

The fat bikes did the best, although Eric placed his 29er bike right up there with them-  running Knobby Nics- 2.35″ wide with 7.5 psi in the front a slightly more in the back.   The guys with regular tires on 26″ bikes trailed.

The going was best in the wooded sections, where the shade kept the surface more solid.  Out on the open areas, things got tough for everybody.  The meager sunlight was enough to soften the surface.  Here’s the view back toward  big open area that put most of us into walk-a-bike mode.

Slow going

Slow going

Back at the parking lot, Jason’s pressure gauge revealed some surprisingly low readings. The clear low pressure king was Ian, sporting a measly 2.5 PSI in his studded 45N 4″ rear tire. Both Ian and Jason were running tubeless.

Ian's set up

Ian’s set up

During the ride, I let air out of my tires twice.  I though I had gone too low, so I was  surprised that I was running a positively plump 7.5 PSI.  I could have gone lower, and will try to do that next time.  Dropping down to 7.5 definitely gave me more traction.  A couple of fat tires had 5 PSI.  I hear Steve say that he had 28 PSI in his 26″ tire. I think he was the only person who crashed the biggest downhill , and he riding in back, not up front, as is usual for him.

I think that four of us have 45N tires for this winter season.  I bought mine at Bath Cycle, who told me that they had 30 sets left as of two weeks ago.  They are pricey , but Lord, do they hold on the sheer ice sections, and what price is reasonable in order for me to avoid a broken hip?

Studded 4" tire

Studded 4″ tire

Since the ride, I have viewed a great Youtube video of by John Anders riding in nearby Thomaston (Maine)  this past week.  I think the rider is his wife Tonya.  Thanks John, for another excellent vicarious ride on  the snow.

About tjamrog

I'm sixty-seven and live in the Maine woods. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007, the Pacific Crest Trail in 2010, Vermont's Long Trail in 2011, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013 . I am outdoors every day. I offer guided backpacking trips and classes in Maine, through "Uncle Tom's Guided Adventures".
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