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Fat Bikes

'Fat bikes' let you cycle in the snow

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Cyclists don't have to pack away their bikes for winter anymore.

'Fat bikes' are the new trend in mountain biking, and they're perfect for soft surfaces like snow or sand.

Winter Fat Bikes
The difference between a mountain bike and a fat tire bike? It's all in the name.

Fat tire bikes have been around for about a decade, but sales have increased eightfold in the last three years, according to the NPD Group. Thanks to their new popularity, fat bikes raked in about $74.7 million in 2016.

Many independent shops sell them for around $1,000, while Wal-Mart and others sell more affordable models.

Winter Fat Bikes
The mountain bikes with comically large tires have been around for a decade, but they've come into the mainstream in the past five years.

Ski resorts are catching on to the trend. At one mountain in Maine, the February "Sugarloaf Fat Tire Festival" drew dozens of riders even in freezing cold temperatures.

And in Rovaniemi, Finland, tourists can explore snowy landscapes on fat bikes.

Retailers are capitalizing on the sport, now that bicycling is no longer seasonal. The Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop in Maine, previously closed every winter, now keeps busy during the cold months by renting out fat bikes. Customers can pedal alongside skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobile riders.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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