Fat-Bike ‘Trike’ Made Custom For Expedition To South Pole

This month a British woman is attempting to reach the South Pole via a three-wheel bike. The custom recumbent, made by Inspired Cycle Engineering, has 4.5-inch-wide tires and a steel frame.

Maria Leijerstam, age 35, trained in Siberia and Norway to prepare. In 2012, she biked 400 miles and took 2nd place in the Black Ice Race on Lake Baikal, Russia.

Why a trike for Antarctica instead of two wheels? “Fat Bikes fail because they get blown over in the high winds,” Leijerstam said, “or [they] can’t ride fast enough through the snow to stay upright.” A trike is more stable and out of the wind.

(See more photos of Leijerstam and the snow-trike on page 2 of this post)

Leijerstam is in Antarctica now. Around Christmas she will set off toward the South Pole. Her route goes from the edge of the Antarctic continent and over 400 miles to the bottom of the globe.

Maria Leijerstam off the plane at a Russian base in Antarctica and testing her geared-up ride

She plans to haul all her food and gear in the unsupported attempt. But a team will follow close by in snow trucks to film the expedition. This is according to a report on the Arctic Trucks site.

Fat tires, a geared-up recumbent, and “snow trucks” following behind. . . this is one strange unfolding adventure story we plan to monitor closely this month. —Stephen Regenold

Photo credit: Daniel Pearce (studio shots); Ryan Edy (outdoor scenes)

See more photos of Leijerstam and the snow-trike on page 2 of this post…

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.