Living with a fatty.

A fat life.

Hello. My name is Phil. I'm 52. I own a fat bike.

Of all my bikes, the fat bike has been the only itch that needed to be scratched. The spot that needed to be popped. The hang nail that needed yanking. You get the picture. It's the last pint of a long night out....

Family walk on Cannock Chase, 2013, one came past. Guy was all huffy trying to keep up with his mates. I had to have one. And thanks to the UK not buying into the things, along with all of those bizarre fat bike standards, it took me another two years to build one out of bits.

First ride out, what utter fun. Brilliantly silly bike. Bit heavy though. Mine was an On-One Fatty with first generation Bluto forks. Jones H-bar. Decathlon £29 dropper post. 4" on the rear, 5" on the front.


For 18 months I flew that flag. It broke a collarbone early in to the adventure, but we got over that. Group rides I'd get slagged off constantly. Some rides it got banned by the others - please don't bring that stupid bike. I took it to a lot of beeches. Rode it in the snow once. Loved it.

Two years in from finishing the build and I still love it. I'm not evangelical about it. It's a stupid, largely pointless bike. You try hefting it on to the roof of a people carrier. You try riding it up Box Hill. It can do 100% of what any mountain bike can do. Just a bit slower. Unless you are on gravel or rocks pointing downhill. It then becomes the fastest bike out there, just for a moment.

On group rides it can spoil things, as it can that ride out with your super fit XC mate. Just take a different bike, no drama.

The other day though, in the little ice storm we had, it was truly awesome. A bit like having an original Land Rover or Caterham 7. 95% of the time you wonder why? Then you luck on a situation it was designed for, and you just know. In the snow, ice and mud my fat bike just worked. I didn't have to think about the bike.

In the end it is an itch I've been happy to scratch. For sure it is too much for most of the time. I'd never get rid of it though, even if tyres do cost £100 each.