Fat Tire Biking
in Door County
Biking has become a year ‘round silent sports passion in Door County thanks to the growing popularity of fat bikes.
Riders rip through single track, devour rocky terrain, or float over snow on these specialized off-road bikes with thick huge tires that remain light as a feather.
What is a fat bike?
A fat bike is more appropriately called a fat tire bike, and features tires that are at least 3.7 inches thick, which are inflated to just 10 psi or so to gain great traction, a smooth ride, and the ability to gobble up single track, snow, rocks and many other obstacles that might prove perilous to other bikes.
You can take on much more difficult terrain more easily on a fat tire than on a traditional mountain bike. In fact, many long-time mountain bikers will tell you they ditched their mountain bike after experiencing a fat tire bike ride.
Where can I ride a fat bike in Door County?
In summer, you can ride a fat bike on any trail you would ride a mountain bike on. Door County Kayak Tours offers Fat Tire E-Bike tours and rentals that allow you to explore Cave Point County Park and Whitefish Dunes State Park. You can also gather your friends for a Sunset Glow Roll Fat Tire E-Bike tour.
Come winter, beginning riders can start on a snow-covered road. Nor Door Sport and Cyclery in Fish Creek offers several size fat bikes for rent right across the street from the entrance to Peninsula State Park. For about $10 an hour, you can head into the park and experience winter in a whole new way, or in the summer, glide through the park’s 12 miles of off-road trails.
A climb up Skyline Road, which isn’t plowed, to Sven’s Bluff is a lung-buster, but it’s worth every breath when you get to the top. Try timing it so you get to the top for golden hour in late afternoon to get a rare view of the winter shoreline as the sun fades.
In winter you can ride on the roads of Peninsula State Park, as well as any roads that are groomed for snowmobiling. However, you can’t ride the fat bike on Sunset Trail when it’s groomed for snowmobiling.
Newport State Park offers a special fat bike trail loop. This trail is groomed in some sections, and offers about 5 miles of great trails in the state’s first designated wilderness park.
In all state parks trails are open to fat biking as long as they are not groomed for cross-country skiing. You may NOT ride fat bikes on snowmobile trails located outside the state parks at all.
4 Tips for Great Fat Biking in Door County
- Keep the tire pressure around 10 psi. Anything higher will cause the tires to slip. The low pressure makes for a really comfortable ride.
- Stay seated while climbing. Standing up and taking your weight off the rear tire will cause you to lose traction, especially in wet snow or sand.
- In winter, wear shoe covers to keep the toes cozy, and a thick pair of gloves. You’ll be surprised how comfortably you can ride even on the coldest days when you have the right layers and gear.
- In freezing temperatures, put a shot of alcohol in your water bottle to keep it from freezing.