Lake MXZ303 Boot
Field Test: The dark side of fat biking? Hiking in soft snow when conditions deteriorate. These ankle boots by Lake kept my feet warm and are comfortable and surefooted on and off the bike. A Boa Closure System lets you control the tightness around your foot—this is vital in cold weather when you’ll want to loosen the body of the shoe when temperatures drop to help keep your toes warm.
Why It’s Timeless: Your feet are exposed with winter biking; these boots make the experience enjoyable instead of miserable.
45NRTH Sturmfist 4 Glove
Field Test: This water and wind resistant winter cycling glove features breathable Polartec NeoShell fabric on the back and Pittards goat leather on the palm. Three-hundred grams of Polartec Alpha insulation kept my hands warm while my handlebars were frozen. And a 100-percent merino wool shell lining paired with a removable merino glove liner kept my hands dry and cozy.
Why It’s Timeless: Gloves are fat biking’s most essential accessory.
686 x Cadence 3L Rain Jacket
Field Test: This jacket’s three-layer woven shell fabric keeps water out without hampering breathability. The seams are fully taped and waterproof, and arm vents are available for when you heat up. I found it worked well for winter biking because it’s lightweight while still offering protection from the elements with an adjustable hood and rain visor. The convenient double-sided rear pocket access and vent zipper on the back means you can get to your jersey pockets easily. And the reflective cuff tabs and trims increase your visibility to other riders or motorists.
Why It’s Timeless: Could you pedal in your ski/snowboard jacket? Yes. Would it be as functional? No.
686 x Cadence Ericson Insulator
Field Test: It’s a midweight insulator, but the Primaloft insulated Ericson features enough water-repellency to keep you dry in a passing squall. Underarm stretch panels and an adjustable hood keeps you feeling protected but not constricted.
Why It’s Timeless: This fat biking mid-layer can stand alone, or pair it with a wind-resistant top layer.
686 x Specialized Bib
Field Test: Slip into these three-layer, waterproof breathable woven shell bibs (available for women and men) and you’ll stay warm and dry as you pedal. I liked the fact that you can hook the Lycra leg gaiter directly to your bootlace to create a tight seal at the ankle.
Why It’s Timeless: They’re tailored for life in the saddle. Your ski and snowboard pants aren’t. —Kim Fuller