Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance


Exercise Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Scott Drum


The aim of this study was to quantify, describe, and compare the exercise intensity and performance aspects of riding a fat bike, in a time trial (TT) format, on a natural earthen trail (ET) vs. on a groomed snow trail (ST). Eleven subjects, nine males and two females, participated in this two part study. Heart rate (HR) was used to quantify exercise intensity, examining average heart rate (HRavg), and peak heart rate (HRpeak). In addition, a global positioning system (GPS) watch was used to assess time to complete the trail, average speed (speedavg), and max speed (speedmax). Immediately following completion of each ride, measures of post ride blood lactate (BL) concentrations were taken. Lastly, participants’ reported their rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Results of this study showed that time to complete the trail was significantly (P < 0.05) shorter on the ET. Speedavg and speedmax were significantly faster on the ET. Post ride BL concentrations were significantly higher after completion of the ET. However, no significant differences were noted between HRavg, HRpeak, or RPE between field tests. This study shows that, although time to complete the trail was significantly shorter during the ET ride, and the participants’ speeds were significantly slower on the ST, riding a fat bike on a ST can be completed at a very high exercise intensity. The HR response observed suggests potential for similar aerobic training adaptations with ST vs. ET riding.

Access Type

Open Access