I'll admit. I'm intrigued. Fat-biking just looks...FUN! Fat-bikers in Colorado are an interesting bunch. The toughest of the tough with weather and temperature. And they always seem to be smiling (well, if you could see their faces--but their eyes appear to be smiling).
It used to be that Cyclo-cross was that odd "fringe sport" among dedicated cyclists. Fast forward a few years, and cross is now mainstream and "pimped out to the max" as I heard a spectator say at Nationals. Fat-biking has seemed to taken over this cycling fringe sub-category.
In fact, many cross racers have segued into this after cross season is done. Mountain bikers are happy to be on the trails all year round. Toss in a race here and there (which seem to be popping up every where) and you've got yourself a few months of fun. It seems to be the perfect in-between seasonal training for those who have a deep disdain for the trainer and being indoors in the winter.
You still get to work on refining your skills, but the wide rims and large tires assist with snow and ice. And from what I've read, the the lower tire pressure and massive surface area is supposedly fantastic on dirt and sand as well. However, even though the fatties have lightened up considerably, you still sacrifice speed for size. Because of this and our overall lack of snow this year so far, I've been asked repeatedly from mtb purists, are fat bikes even necessary? Can't you just ride/race your mountain bike? Maybe it's not about speed. Maybe it's one of those "it's about the journey" type of things. To those who raced over the weekend in Evergreen or Como: we'd be interested in your answer. Take us to fatty school.