Blizzard

Feature

2 Fat 2 Furious: A Fat Bike Freeride Film

January 29, 2016

We had way too much fun last year shooting our first fat bike freeride video, so we knew we had to do another this year. The goal of 2 Fat 2 Furious was to only ride things that would be harder or impossible on a regular bike. From waist-deep powder to drifty sled tracks to packed down jump lines, the boys achieved just that.

Geoff Gulevich, Wade Simmons, and Noah Brousseau got rad on their Blizzards all winter, and we're excited to show everyone the result.

"We were having fun ripping around on the snowmobile tracks but looking at all the pow chutes surrounding us it was only a matter of time before we were dropping in—we just had to figure out lines that were steep enough to stay afloat!" — Wade Simmons

The whole gang. Our only regret is that Ludacris was too busy to make it out.

Noah Brousseau found out that there are limits to float. Turns out.

Even the Godfather crashes now and then.

This was the first time any of the boys had hit a proper sized drop on a fat bike. Worked out better than expected!

"I was pretty confident on the 3, it was just hard because I was scared to carve off the lip." — Noah Brousseau

Too much fun, now get out there and freeride your fat bike!

Bike: Rocky Mountain Blizzard
Shot at the Coquihalla Lakes Lodge, Kamloops Bike Ranch, and Coastal Mountains, BC
Filmed & Edited by Liam Mullany
Additional Cinematography by Harrison Mendel
Produced by Liam Mullany & Brian Park
Photos by Robb Thompson & Kaz Yamamura
Special Thanks to Cory Leclerc, Bobby Brown at Maxxis, & Eric Simmons
Music: Jet Trash — Baby C'mon

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Feature

An Idiot's Guide to Bikepacking on Snow

July 15, 2015

 

Words and Photos by Skyler Des Roches

I have a confession. Before this trip, I'd never actually ridden a fat bike on snow. I'd played around on some sand, and generally felt the worth of fat rubber, but coastal British Columbia is not exactly a prime location for riding bikes on snow. This area is known for steep, glaciated peaks, and bottomless powder, neither of which mix well with fat bikes. Backcountry skis are the tool of choice for moving around the mountains for much of the year.

Sadly, this season let me and many other backcountry skiers down. Record-breaking warm temps and low precipitation meant for a low-powder, low-excitement ski season for all but the most motivated. When that awkward time of the season arrived in late May, when there's still snow in the alpine, but too much bush between there and the trailhead to encourage much skiing, I hadn't had my fill. Rather than turning my attention downward to the prime riding season underway near sea level, I had the novel idea to just go ride on snow.

Knut is a man who enjoys novelty. He seems to derive a sort of sheepish pleasure from putting strange, impractical handlebars on his mountain bike, sewing quirky patches to his gear, smoking a wizard-length tobacco pipe, or eating monstrously large apples – “novelty hand fruit”. He was evidently prepared to overlook the probable outcome – that we'd bushwhack several kilometres with bikes before pushing them a short ways through knee-deep slush – when we came up with a half-baked plan to attempt a ski tour without skis.

After a long drive to the South Chilcotins, our first day of riding met all of our expectations – bushwhacking, bike pushing, bike carrying, and post-holing in slush. We weren't riding the trails that have made this corner of the Coast Mountains famous. No, those were already, almost entirely snow-free and ready for conventional tire sizes. Instead, we followed a forgotten horse trail up Slim Creek, aiming for a snow-covered alpine plateau west of there, and the mellow glaciers beyond. By mid-afternoon we'd climbed above the trees and any sign of a trail. It was immediately clear that we could not ride on the rapidly melting snow.

We relaxed at an early camp, and set alarms for 1:30AM with low expectations. At 2AM, we rode away under a bright moon on a firm, frozen crust. We'd been hoping for this, but were surprised enough by the easy riding that we made the mistake of stopping for a protracted breakfast before the sun was even up. We wouldn't take full advantage of the crust, which didn't form reliably until after 1AM, and lasted only until 7AM, until the following night.

We'd chosen the expansive alpine area at the headwaters of Slim Creek and the Taseko and Lord Rivers for its relative flatness. While I suspected that we could ride down steep slopes, and that our climbing would depend more on our lungs than on tire traction, I was not expecting much success on side-hills. Yet, as we rattled over kilometers of sun-cupped snow, tires aired-down to a few PSI, we held our elevation tightly around the side of valleys, traversing up to twenty degree slopes. A world of possibility unfolded.

If you're motivated by speed, fat bikes are not the best tool. But progression is not all stop watches and slow-mo whirligiging. I ride because of wanderlust. George W. had it wrong; “freedom and democracy” are not delivered from the end of an M16. The bicycle is the best agent of liberation.

I measure my riding with breadth of my mental map. Our faint tracks on the pre-dawn crust become lines on crinkled pages of my cerebral atlas. I've found there to be an inverse correlation with the number of things I have to think about, and the richness of an experience. Too often, gadgets rob us of real living. Nevertheless, it seems that something as wholly material as tire width has a direct effect on the potential to expand my known universe. That's what fat bikes are all about – potential. Not only are there new trails to be ridden, but places with no trails at all. Even slowly pedaling nowhere can be exciting. And has there ever been a bike at Griswold Pass?

I measure my riding with breadth of my mental map. Our faint tracks on the pre-dawn crust become lines on crinkled pages of my cerebral atlas. I've found there to be an inverse correlation with the number of things I have to think about, and the richness of an experience. Too often, gadgets rob us of real living. Nevertheless, it seems that something as wholly material as tire width has a direct effect on the potential to expand my known universe. That's what fat bikes are all about – potential. Not only are there new trails to be ridden, but places with no trails at all. Even slowly pedaling nowhere can be exciting. And has there ever been a bike at Griswold Pass?

Somehow, despite much post-holing, bike pushing, bushwhacking – an overall terrible ratio of riding to hiking – our frustrated exclamations of “No one does this! There's a reason no one brings a bike here!” were quickly shadowed by an immense excitement for where we were. Our mere 90 kilometers covered over four days were not a failure at all, but rather an eye-opening proof of concept. From our turn-around point at Griswold Pass, a gentle glacier climbed further west – a doorway to one of the world's most expansive sub-polar ice fields. And the key to that door might be so simple: just ride at night.

Skyler Des Roches is far from your average medium-adventurer, which you can observe from his blog and Instagram if this article didn't already point that out.

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Feature

Can You Freeride a Fat Bike?

December 22, 2014

We have to admit, we were hesitant about the fat bike trend that's taking the bike industry by storm (pun intended). There were definitely a few raised eyebrows in the office when we started designing and testing one.

Wade Simmons was an instant convert though; "everyone thinks they're so f@#&ing cool and serious, but it's really just about having fun on your bike anyway." And soon enough, the other guys stopped returning their test bikes on time.

FAT FREE came out of a few days of experimenting and shredding the Blizzard in BC's coastal mountains. It opened all our eyes to the spectacular terrain that's available for fat biking, and it proved to us that the only limitations for these bikes are our own preconceived notions.

If it was ever even a question, the answer is yes. You can and should freeride a fat bike.

Riders: Geoff Gulevich, Wade Simmons, & Brett Tippie, with appearances by Andreas Hestler & Fraser Vaage.
Filmed by: Liam Mullany, Connor Macleod, Chris Fisher, Brian Park, Fraser Vaage, & Andreas Hestler
Music (Main): "Outta Mind" by Night Beats, courtesy of The Reverberation Appreciation Society
Thanks to: Black Tusk Snowmobile Club, Tony Cailes, & Dylan Auld
Photography: Fraser Vaage & Brian Park

Visit bikes.com/blizzard to check out the Rocky Mountain Blizzard. We built it for aggressive, trail-style riding on snow, sand, and other soft terrain.

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Next News Rocky Mountain Dual at Snow Epic
News

Rocky Mountain Dual at Snow Epic

December 18, 2014

Rocky Mountain Bicycles sponsors the inaugural Snow Epic.

We recognized the Snow Epic’s potential early and shipped out a prototype of our new fatbike – the Blizzard – to Engelberg, Switzerland, for the trial ride of the Snow Epic last spring. This January 16th, 2015, we are sponsoring the Rocky Mountain Dual, a floodlit dual slalom event that promises to be the most exciting of the five separate Snow Epic races during the January 14 to 18 winter festival of biking.

Christoph Noser, responsible for marketing at our Swiss Rocky Mountain distributor, CHRIS sports, explains the thinking behind the partnership: “Rocky Mountain Bicycles has not only been building great bikes, but has also been building the culture of mountain biking around the world. Therefore it is also the aim to promote fatbiking amongst the mountain biking community. That's why Rocky Mountain will be a partner of Snow Epic. It is the sort of innovative and pioneering event that fits perfectly with the Rocky Mountain brand and will provide the best opportunity to prove Rocky Mountain Blizzard's ride quality on snow, or any terrain.”

The spectator friendly Rocky Dual will be competitive, but also a fun event. Competitors would do well to brush up on cornering skills and powder sliding.

All Snow Epic competitors will be on fatbikes, the super-sized wheel phenomenon, and Rocky Mountain Blizzards will be available to those wishing to rent a bike.

Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain team have already travelled to the slopes of Engelberg to do some testing in preparation for the big event and to make sure the rider experience is perfect.

For more info, please visit snow-epic.com.

Previous Feature Can You Freeride a Fat Bike? Geoff Gulevich, Wade Simmons, and Brett Tippie take our Blizzard fat bike for a shred in BC's Coastal Mountains to prove that the only limitations for these bikes are our own preconceived notions.
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News

Introducing the 2015 Blizzard

April 09, 2014

A new class of fat bike.

With suspension-specific design, agile trail-bike geometry, and a truly capable parts spec, the Blizzard delivers legendary Rocky Mountain ride quality on snow, sand, and anything else you get yourself into. Ride out the storm!

Ride Tuned Concept

The overall goal was simple: create a true “mountain bike” feeling fat bike for fun in soft conditions.

It was no easy task to design a frame that clears the huge 4.7” tires while maintaining the playful geometry that Rocky Mountain is legendary for. With a suspension-corrected 68.5° head tube angle, neutral chainstays, and shorter-than-average top tube, we were able to make this goal a reality.

Our signature FORM ™ aluminum was applied from the Vertex for rugged, lightweight construction.

Key Features

  • Full-width 4.7” tires provide optimized traction and stability across snow, sand, and soft trails.
  • Agile geometry keeps the Blizzard feeling like a true mountain bike.
  • Strapless Frame Bag (sold separately) designed specifically for the Blizzard by Porcelain Rocket keeps your gear safe and dry with water resistant fabric and waterproof zippers. Main compartment for jacket or food, with expandable pocket for tools and other items.
  • Rock Shox Bluto RL suspension fork with 100mm of travel and a 15x150mm thru-axle.
  • Two Anything Cage™ mounts and extra bosses allow additional custom frame bag options.
  • Custom Race Face 24T narrow-wide single ring and bashguard features drive-side offset for optimal shifting performance while maximizing climbing ability. Allows for easy 2x conversion.
  • Front derailleur mount.
  • Sealed bearing 6-pawl heavy duty freehub handles increased torque in soft conditions.
  • Internally routed full length housing.
  • Stealth-dropper compatible.

Full specs, geometry, and pricing to come.

Available Fall 2014

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