Best Fat Tire Bikes: Enjoy a Fun and Comfortable Ride
Rock the fat tire bicycle and go where the others can’t.
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON April 14, 2021
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could ride your bike into the unknown on sandy trails through the woods in the fall, snow in winter, or sandy beaches in summer? A traditional bike could technically work, but it’ll be tough going and feel like work. A fat tire bike is an innovative alternative that will give you the stability, traction, and surface float ability that you’re craving.
These bikes are classified as having tires that are larger than 3.8 inches in width. This extra surface space gives you more stability and better traction. They’re easy to ride, giving you a no-fuss bicycle experience that lets you enjoy the ride and not worry about the terrain or conditions. This guide will help you find the best fat tire bikes available on the market today.
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Benefits of Fat Tire Bikes
- Fun. These bikes are fun and easy to ride. You have more balance and control than skinny tires, letting you ride how you want, either fast and aggressive or slow and casual, and allowing you to enjoy the experience.
- Comfort. The larger tires mean that you have a bigger cushion to ride on. Those tires absorb most of the bumps, which takes the pressure off of your hands and back. Some bikes also have front suspension that gives you additional shock absorption for the smoothest ride possible.
- Versatility. Unlike specific road or mountain bikes, your fat tire bike is incredibly versatile. The durable frame and large tires make these bikes easy to ride on gravel, rocks, dirt, sand, snow, pavement, and mud. So wherever you want to go, you can.
Types of Fat Tire Bikes
These bikes are similar to other single speed bicycles with one chain and cog. This type of bike is great for the person who wants to take a casual or leisurely cruise. The lack of gears means you’ll have to work more if you’re going to go faster or ride up hills. This style isn’t standard on fat tire bikes because most people want to go on an adventure with their bike, and a single-speed drivetrain isn’t very useful for that.
These bikes have multiple gears that you can switch between while riding, making it easier to pedal and ride in a wide variety of conditions and terrain. Look at the number of gears the bike has. The more gears there are, the easier it is to move through the resistance levels and tackle a broader range of elevations. You’ll find it easier to take off from a stop with this type of bike since you can lower the resistance.
Electric bikes have grown in popularity over recent years, and fat tire bikes are perfect for this innovative technology. A small motor and a powerful battery will assist you when pedaling, letting you work less and travel further. Their downside is that these bikes tend to be heavier than others, which can be an issue since fat tire bikes are already considered heavy.
As a family-owned business based in Calgary, Canada, DJ Bikes focuses on building quality bicycles, including folding bikes, fat bikes, and road bikes. Its focus is to provide biking enthusiasts with the best price so that anyone can enjoy the sport. Take a look at this mountain bike.
Bicycles fabricated by Ecotric incorporate research, development, and innovation. The product line features e-bikesthat can provide intelligent urban transportation. The company has become a leader in the market, with over 10,000 bikes sold in the United States.
Founded in 1974, Mongoose is one of the leaders in the bicycle market. The company initially began with a focus on BMX products. However, over the years, the product line has expanded to include mountain and urban bikes. Consider the Mongoose Dolomite Men's Fat Tire Mountain Bike.
Fat Tire Bikes Pricing
- Under $500: You can buy a quality fat tire bike in this price range. It won’t have an electric motor. The bike style may or may not have gears and will have tires either for road or off-road riding.
- $500 to $1,000: Bikes in this range may or may not have electric assist. They will have more features, sturdier builds, and more durable materials. You’ll find use-specific bikes in this range.
- $1,000 and up: These high-end bikes will have electric assist, carbon fiber frames. They’ll also come with several innovative features, such as folding, baskets, and lights.
All fat tire bicycles have one thing in common. The tires are noticeably larger than other bikes. However, there are several types of tires available in the “fat” style. Slick tires are smooth, making them perfect for flat terrain and pavement. Studded tires have a tread pattern on them, making them suitable for trails, sand, and rocky terrain. Snow tires have a tread and stud pattern that gives you grip when riding on the snow.
Tube or Tubeless
Fat bike tires are designed to be more durable than regular bike tires. This makes them able to withstand puncture and abrasion better. If you buy a tire with tubes, you’ll find they last longer because of the increased durability. However, fat tire bikes tend to be quite heavy, so choosing a tubeless option can help you reduce weight.
Choosing the right frame material can reduce the weight of your bike. However, it also needs to be durable. Carbon fiber frames are incredibly lightweight but also costly, as you already know with car parts. Aluminum and steel are other standard options. However, steel is heavy, and aluminum can bend. Aluminum is the most affordable option while still being relatively lightweight.
- Price. How much do you want to spend on your fat tire bike? Just like other bicycle styles, there’s one available at all price ranges. However, you may compromise on features and quality with the lowest-priced bikes. Determine your budget and buy the best quality bike within that limit. You may not need the most expensive bike on the market if it has features you won’t use.
- Quality. Buy a bike that uses high-quality materials and a reliable construction method. If you plan to go trail riding or use it in extreme conditions, you need a bike that’s durable enough to withstand your use. Low-quality bikes will quickly fail. Look at the quality of the chain, the welds on the frame, and the corrosion resistance.
- Suspension. Not all fat tire bikes have a suspension. The fatter tires do absorb some of the bumps and jarring. For the most comfortable ride, you’ll want a suspension to absorb what the tires don’t. Look for a bike with suspension on the front forks for reduced stress on your arms and shoulders. Some newer models come with full front and back suspension systems for the smoothest ride.
Best Fat Tire Bikes Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Buy a bike that is the right size for you or is adjustable. Just like any bike, you need to be in the correct body position for a comfortable ride.
- Clean your bike after riding. The frame and components may be durable, but you don’t need to test that by leaving abrasive or corrosive debris and residues on it.
- Periodically check and oil your chain like you would with a motorcycle. This will keep it moving smoothly and make it easier to ride the bike.
Q: Are fat bikes good for beginners?
Yes, they are! The larger tires make the bike easier to balance and more stable. The slower nature of the fat tires on pavement makes them suitable for someone learning the basics. The versatility of the tires lets them ride on a wide variety of terrain.
Q: Can you ride a fat tire bike on pavement?
Yes, you can! For the best experience, use smooth tires on your bike. These will roll the best on the smooth and flat surface of the pavement. The larger tire will give you a slower riding experience than on a mountain or road bike.
Q: Are fat tire bikes fast?
Generally, no. The larger tires with low air pressure and heavier frame make them slower on the road. However, their design makes them easier to ride on trails, sand, and snow, making them faster overall than other bikes that struggle to perform in these riding conditions.
You can’t go wrong with the Ecotric Electric Fat Tire Bike with its powerful motor and impressive top speed. For a more affordable option, the Mongoose Hitch Men’s All-Terrain Fat Tire Mountain Bikedoesn’t disappoint, with its smooth shifting and durable steel frame.