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Go cycling on snow and ice!
“Fatbiking is so much fun. You can compare it to mountain biking, but with a fatbike you can ride in both fluffy snow and on rock hard ice.”
“Pretty much anyone can learn how to ride a fatbike. When you're biking in the snow, you'll have something soft to land on if you fall.”
“The massive wheels give you good traction in the snowy landscape, and you can adjust the air pressure depending on where you want to ride!”
Nina Gässler, fatbike guide and instructor at
Do you want to try?
Join a guided fatbike tour or rent a fatbike and explore on your own!
Fatbikes are made to give you a fun ride on snow and ice. The name refers to the bike's large wheels, which make it possible to bike in the winter landscape.
“I would say the main difference between cycling on a fatbike and a regular bicycle is the ground you're riding on. The weather and snow conditions can change from day to day, making the ride feel different each time! If you're cycling on solid ice, you can usually go fast and it's more similar to 'normal' biking. Heavy snow makes you go slower, and might give you more resistance,” says Nina Gässler, fatbike guide for Geilo Aktiv and founder of the Fat Viking fatbiking race.
When fatbiking on ice, it's common to use snow tires.
Fatbiking can be challenging, especially when riding uphill. As a beginner, a good way to start is therefore to practice in a flat landscape.
"My biggest tips for beginners would be to cycle in a low gear. Low gears will make the wheels spin more easily and maintain a more stable speed. Once the wheels are spinning, it's easy to ride the bike," says Nina.
Always remember to wear warm clothes, a helmet, and goggles when fatbiking!
"It's a winter activity. Put on warm, flexible clothes, like you would use for cross country skiing, and an extra layer on your upper body," says Nina.
When you're fatbiking, remember to be aware of other people in the area. Using cross country trails for fatbiking is frowned upon if the bike leaves deep ruts in the trail.
When you're new to fatbiking, it's always a good idea to go with a guide. They are experts on the area and will find the perfect trail for you. Tours can often be tailored to your skill level.
PS: Many guided tours also include facts and stories about the local nature and culture!
Wear warm, but flexible winter clothes. You will be active, but it's usually a good idea to wear some extra layers on your upper body.
Always wear a helmet and goggles. These can usually be rented where you rent your bike.
Pogies, also known as bike mittens, are sometimes included when renting fatbikes. If not, always wear a good pair of winter mittens.
Have you tried fatbiking before, but never in Norway? Get some expert tips on where to go from Jon Vidar Bull, route manager at Offroad Finnmark and guide at Glød Explorer in Alta in Northern Norway.
“Alta is a very popular place in Norway for fatbiking. The terrain here is very flat, which makes it less demanding. Since many people use fatbikes here, you'll often have freshly prepped fatbiking trails available,” says Jon Vidar, adding that the fatbike winter season usually stretches from November to May.
“I like going fatbiking late in the winter season, when the sun has stared to warm up the temperature during the day and you still have cold temperatures at night. The combination makes the ground harder, and it's easier to go biking off the trails,” says Jon Vidar.
In Alta, you can even combine fatbiking with a hunt for the northern lights!
In addition to Alta, Jon Vidar also recommends fatbiking in Geilo, Lillehammer, Trysil, and Nesbyen in Eastern Norway.
“Fatbiking is popular in these areas, which means you'll have a good chance of finding prepped fatbike trails,” says Jon Vidar.
According to him, it's always a good idea to ask locals for tips on where to go.
“Fatbikers are friendly people, and many love to show you their cool trails. Don't be afraid to contact them on social media! Activity apps, such as Strava, are a good place to look for suggested routes,” says Jon Vidar.
Get ready to explore the Norwegian winter landscape on wheels!
Many places in Norway rent out fatbikes, including electric fatbikes! Just make sure to wear proper clothing and check where it's safe to go fatbiking before setting off.
Some places also rents out fatbikes for kids. Keep in mind that fatbiking is most suitable for active children as the bike is heavy and can be demanding.
Are you an experienced fatbiker looking for a real challenge? Then Fat Viking is something for you!
Founded by fatbiking guide Nina Gässler, Fat Viking is a tough endurance race that's held in the winter paradise of Geilo in Eastern Norway.
“This race is for advanced fatbikers. The race is divided into three different distances: 50 kilometres, 100 kilometres, and 150 kilometres,” says Nina.
The longest race is an official qualifying race for the Iditarad Trail Invitational in Alaska.
“There are checkpoints along the way, but the participants still need to be self-sufficient and carry all of their own gear, including food and water,” says Nina.
In Alta, you'll also find the ski and fatbike festival Arctic Alta.
1. As a rider, you're a guest in the ski trails! Only use cross-country skiing trails if the snow conditions allow. If the fatbike leaves deep ruts in the snow, or if you have to get off the bike to push it, you should not use the ski trails.
2. Keep to the right side of the trail. If cycling with a friend, don't cycle side by side.
3. Make sure others can see you! Use a reflector and lights if cycling in the dark.
4. Always be prepared for a change in weather. Plan your trip well, and consider your skills when choosing your trail.
5. If you're biking on your own, always be aware of other people in the area. It can take longer to brake on snow and ice than on a normal bicycle on a paved surface.
Read more about trail etiquette.
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