Just got back from Novi, did not ride the entire trail, but went out to my favorite sections on the other side of the bridges, pines, etc. Used my DIY studded fatbike, no issues with the ice and ruts. Nothing worse than what I expected - Novi does not drain well, after a rain or any thaw it gets sloppy there. Pretty much any bike that rode over the last week their tracks have thawed and frozen, fellow fat bikes included, regardless of what conditions they rode. Nice thing about the ruts is that most people held their lines pretty well; no fishtailing serpentine ruts criss-crossing the trail. I did find one or two sections where there were clearly pizza cutters digging into the ground
. So yes, some of the complaints are true. Even with studs, I don't recommend riding too fast.
So it's a mixed bag of all-frozen conditions, I did find a few sections untouched.
What I found interesting was one section of gentle rolling hills where there were a ton of frozen ruts in the low spots, but no ruts at all in the high spots. Tells me that those tracks were not laid in thaw, but rather normal tracks that thawed and refroze. Again, not something to be ridden at high speed.
Parkinglot of course is super icy, I recommend studs - but I did notice some fresh tracks from a normal MTB without studs and they held an impressive line. Whoever that was good job