Fat Biking Frequently Asked Questions

What tire pressure should I run in my fat bike tires?
First, take a look at the above illustration of proper tire pressure on snow:

Generally, the softer the trail, the lower the pressure, and vice versa. If you’re breaking through the trail surface and leaving ruts or losing traction, let some air out of your tire(s). For dry snow with no moisture or wet snow in above freezing temps, 1-4 PSI is a good range. If you’re riding a hard-packed trail with temps consistently below freezing and you’re not breaking through the trail surface, 6-8 PSI is a good range. These recommended pressures depend on your weight and tire volume.

Is there a minimum tire width for groomed bike trails?
CAMBA recommends riding at least 3.8-inch tires on groomed trails.  Larger riders should run minimum 4.5-inch tires.

Should I ride on a freshly groomed trail?
No, freshly groomed trails are almost always too soft for riding.  They need time to harden, or “set up.”  The time required for a trail to set up depends on several variables, such as temperature and humidity, but it always requires a period of falling temperatures.  If you ride on a trail before it sets up, you will leave deep ruts in the trail, and when the trail finally does set up your rut will be there until the next grooming, so that every rider after you will have to contend with your rut.  Not cool.  Please check the Trail Conditions page for current trail conditions.

How do you groom your trails?
Most trails are groomed by a paid grooming staff with a snowmobile pulling one of several implements designed to get the air out of the snow and compact it evenly.   Our groomers use several grooming implements, depending on conditions, including implements from Wildcat Groomers, Yellowstone Track Systems and Tidd Tech.

May I walk on groomed CAMBA trails?
PLEASE only walk on groomed trails with snowshoes.  Walking on groomed winter bike trails without snowshoes damages the groomed trail surface (just like walking on a groomed ski trail would) and diminishes the user experience for cyclists.  If you find yourself walking up a hill while riding your bike, please be courteous and keep your footprints to the side of the trail.

May I ride on any area ski trails?
At this time, only two area ski trails are open to fat bikes.  The Town of Hayward Recreational Forest allows fat bikes on the groomed ski trails on Wednesday nights on a trial basis.  The National Forest Service has opened up some of the trails at the Valhalla Recreation Area to fat bikes on a trial basis (although that fact is not yet reported on the website).

May I ride on area snowmobile trails?
No, you should not ride on groomed snowmobile trails.  A Bayfield County ordinance prohibits the use of bikes on groomed snowmobile trails.  Sawyer County allows bicycles on groomed snowmobile trails, but CAMBA does not condone it due to safety issues.

May I ride on area snowmobile routes?
Yes, because a snowmobile route is not the same as a snowmobile trail. A route is a public road on which snowmobiles are specifically allowed to operate along with other vehicles as well as pedestrians. All of the normal rules of the road apply.

I don’t think I have the skills to ride groomed single track.  What other riding options do you have?
Riding any trail is more difficult when it is covered by snow.  CAMBA currently grooms three wider trails: the Big Easy at the Highway OO Trailhead; the Cable Town Trails behind the Cable Community Center; and the Hayward Hospital Gateway Trail at the northwest corner of the Essentia Clinic parking lot. Plowed forest roads also provide some very good riding.