We’ve made a number of recent posts on winter bikes, or “FatBikes” as they’ve affectionately become known, but Pugsley’s, Mukluk’s, and their kin aren’t the only bikes that we recommend for year round riding. If you’re looking to spend a little less but still get a bike that can stand up to the rigours of riding in Winnipeg in January you should consider the 26 inch wheeled Surly 1×1 and 29er Karate Monkey.
Both of these bike have long been on our favourites list, in no small part due to their versatility. Both have wide seat and chain stains that live up to their “Fatties Fit Fine” label, allowing tire widths up to 3 inches. That was pretty much the widest you could find tires (or rims to fit them) until the new generation of FatBikes came along.
Though they can’t fit 4-5 inch behemoth tires, the 1×1 and Karate Monkey save weight as a result, and will obviously be more efficient on the paved patches that inevitably link up the snowy sections of your ride. The 1×1 is single speed only (unless you run an internally geared hub), whereas the Karate Monkey offers the ability to be easily set up as either a single speed or a fully geared bike.
Both are rigid frame sets, because you really don’t need suspension in the winter, and both are reasonably priced around the $1000 mark. In fact the orange 1×1 pictured above is selling for just $900 right now. If you’re looking for a winter ride but aren’t ready to move all the way to full bore FatBike check out either of these models soon!