November 28, 2016 at 9:16 pm #814503
Up here in North Bay we’re pretty much fully into fatbike season. Toss your big tires in the truck and take a drive up!November 30, 2016 at 2:52 pm #814526
Is the Upper Don (or anywhere for that matter) rideable by regular 2.3″ tires now or during the winter?
I’ve seen a few MTBs being pedalled around by guys in the area, but not sure if they’re being used in the Don – the only time I’ve tried during wet summer periods it’s been a slick disaster.
I got a new bike a week before our weather turned and would love to keep using it for a bit……😀December 1, 2016 at 9:53 am #814531
@shortcuttomoncton I was in the same boat as you last year! New ride right at the end of the traditional dirt season.
Not a regular Don rider but here are my two cents. The Don is clay based and as you mentioned gets slick as pig ‘snot’ when it is wet. As a result, shoulder season riding is a little tricky to say the least. However, once frozen or snow covered I say have at ‘er! So far as 2.3” tires go – well, there was a time in the not so distant past that they were considered to have plenty of volume for riding in snow. For many years people road all winter long on tires such as those (perhaps with studs, perhaps not).
Obviously I would be lying if I said that fatbikes are not more suited to riding is snow and soft conditions – but then we all don’t have fat bikes. While some areas that groom their trails may have rules about tire width I have yet to see or hear any evidence of that in the Don. That being said, if you are leaving ruts in the snow or mud probably best to stay off the trails until things firm up.
If you are dying to ride that new whip before the actual snow flies (if it ever does) I would suggest looking a little further afield to trail systems that drain well. Two that come to mind are Puslinch and Turkey Point – not exactly around the corner but could be a great opportunity to get out and explore some new areas. Perhaps some others will weigh in suggests as well.
Hope that helps. Happy riding.December 9, 2016 at 7:24 pm #814643
Been chomping at the bit to ride the fat bike on snow and got my wish today in Durham. I’ll never go sans fat bike. So much fun, capable and versatile.. Just great all season trail bikes are what they are. It looked blah the whole drive up I and wasn’t sure conditions would be optimal ’till I was pretty much at the trail head, where it became a winter wonderland. Perfect conditions today. Testing new Foundation Carbon rims and was rolling on 45NRTH Vanhelga and Husker Du rubber. No studs needed today.
Fat bike season is on! Also got the skiis out and ready to hit Blue for opening week.December 10, 2016 at 1:38 pm #814645
Marc – is the south end of DF open and no longer being logged? I’m guessing the answer is yes, based on the fresh cut logs and brush piles in your pics.December 10, 2016 at 1:50 pm #814646
Not sure of the exact name of the section of trail but that spot where we rode and I got that shot of you is stil closed, which is a bummer. Still tons to ride though and there seems to be some ride arounds.
Happy trails!December 11, 2016 at 7:24 pm #814657
Was all-time in Durham today. Perfect snow. Fast and drifty Could have used a Vanhelga in the back on a few climbs but was otherwise perfect. So good!
December 12, 2016 at 10:44 pm #814671
With the first good dump of the season, the DMBA crew will be out grooming the single track in Durham Forest tuesday evening. We will be dragging tires and snowshoeing to compact the snow. It is a fairly heavy snow so it should compact nicely.
For anyone interested in helping we are meeting at the main parking lot at Durham Forest at 7:00 pm.
1 user thanked author for this post.December 13, 2016 at 8:57 am #814673
Dragging tires with human power … nice dedication from the DMBA crew.
Cheers for your hard work, I hope it sells some memberships for your club so that you can continue to do good things.December 13, 2016 at 2:52 pm #814676
I was on my way to The Pines but the 401 west was a shit show so I dropped anchor at the Agreement Forest. I’ve avoided it the past few years due to their position on studded tires, which was all I had last season. Today I had non-studded tires on and decided to give it a whirl.
It was deep, heavy snow and while I got buy with the Vanhelga/Husker Du combo I had on, it would have been much better rolling with something like Bud/Lou or Flowbeast/Dunderbesast, which I have on order for days like this. I got by fine regardless and it was a nice break from the groomed stuff. Hard work and you definitely have to keep the RPMs up. I pretty much had first tracks other than one rut from a previous rider I came across. The loop was pretty short so I did it thrice. I took a bit more trail each lap and it ended up being pretty fast by the time I left. Hopefully great conditions for the guys who head out later tonight. It’s going to drop to -20 over the next few says so it’s important to stay on track and widen whatever rut is there, rather than make new ones. It can turn into Gopher Dunes in a hurry otherwise.
Happy trails!December 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm #814689
Killer couple of hours in Durham today. Thanks to the 20 groomers who went out last night to blaze the trail. Was still pretty loose but it was a beautiful day in the forest. Bricked my iPhone, Camelbak hose (even with winter housing) and toes by the end of it but it was worth it. So good!
@whynot, most of that loop is rideable now.December 14, 2016 at 4:27 pm #814690
If anyone is heading out riding somewhere beyond the Don next week, please let me know. I’d love to get the fat bike out on trails I haven’t hit before. I can get myself to the trailhead, I just need a guide. I can motor at a good pace, so I won’t slow anyone down.December 16, 2016 at 1:51 pm #814713
Just cranked out 20km on my local trails to test out the new 45NRTH Flowbeist and Dunderbeist tires. Best ride of the year so far. Great mix of pow and really awesome hard-pack. Tires are definitely more work to turn but the traction is well worth it. Killer tires. Looking at the forecast, I think these will stay on for some time. At least until the January thaw, then maybe the studs will get to play.
December 16, 2016 at 11:02 pm #814714
Those beist’s look gnarly. It’s looking like mid January before I’lol have my hands on my FBF/FBR Minions, I just hope at only 3.8 they can throw down traction like those look like they must.
How much pressure are you running the beist’s at? I’ve started running a bit higher on the hard pack, but figure the paddle wheels will be lower, just curious about your experience with them?December 17, 2016 at 1:55 pm #814715
Hey @blurredlines The Beists are pretty bas ass indeed. Loving them so far. I’m finding I really need the extra float and grip this season – both for cornering and forward drive. Last year I was golden with studded Dillinger 4s but not this year. I am actually running them harder than I expected in the 7/8psi range. I normally start there and let air out but finding the opposite with these in the conditions I am in. They roll better a hair harder and still bite very well, I think I’ll only drop it below that if its fresh and deep. I should also mention that i am still on an 80mm rim here. Perhaps with a 100mm rim I would get more traction at lower psi. I’m looking into some wider rims but not sold yet, the profile on the 80mm Foundation rim is pretty much perfect.
If you are on 26″ rims, I have a brand new set of Bud/Lou I can lend you until you get your new rubber. I think it will be a struggle with 3.8″ until it gets well packed. Even on the groomed trails it was pretty loose on the 4″ tires. In many ways it was harder to ride then fresh stuff. Groomed isn’t always packed and that makes a big difference in tire choice. This made a world of difference.
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