I was at Sierra Cycle Works for some biking gear yesterday and I got to ride this cool bike that had an internal 18 speed gearbox integrated into the bottom bracket with a Gates carbon belt drive. It shifts great under a load, has a large range (lower low-higher high) with evenly spaced gears and is maintenance free. You don’t need to lube your chain every ride, or worry about breaking off a rear shifter. This also helps eliminate chain alignment issues with 5 inch tires. This system will be great for the type of riding we use fatbikes for ie: Sand, Snow, loose dirt…. We just need some fatbike frame manufacturers to integrate the Pinion into their frames.
Gates Belt Drive
Sand (noun) 1. The more or less fine debris of rocks, consisting of small, loose grains, often of quartz.
In the case of the sand around Lake Tahoe, it is made up of mostly decomposing granite. Most of the trails in Tahoe have sand and deep loose dirt. Traditional mountain bike tires don’t handle sand well. A fat bike tire (4 inches or wider), on the other hand makes deep sandy trails fun. I actually look forward to sandy sections of trail with fat tires. I can carve through sandy switchbacks and lean the bike into deep soft trails. I pedal and laugh (instead of pushing) up the switchbacks toward Freel pass on the Rim Trail. These Fat bikes are a true revolution in mountain biking. These bikes will increase your time in the saddle by at least 50% here in Tahoe. Fat bikes are not only a blast on snow trails but are truly built for year round use.
Fat tracks in slow sand.
Lake Tahoe shoreline.