Can a fat tire bike be the only bike you need…?
To address the elephant in the room is yes it can 🤔
The in depth answer is the same however, you need to be practical about what a fat bike can actually do well and what it would not be ideal for.
We will explain how you can use a fat tire bike for different purposes and go over the good and bad points about the bike. and also go over the best fat bikes on the market.
What is a Fat Bike or Fat Tire Bike?
A fat bike is defined as a mountain bike with tires at least 3.75 inches wide with rims at least 2.6 inches wide that prevail in soft/loose conditions for example like snow or mud.
They are also a popular bike of selection for many people who go on bikepacking trips or expeditions because there is some terrain that you can only ride with a fat bike.
Fat bikes are rigid in nature
The first point I want to note is that the majority of fat bikes are rigid. Yes you can say there a some with modified suspension options available, although none of them are really wallet friendly, widely available and high performance.
This could change in the near future, however for now you are most likely going to be riding a fully rigid fat bike. But that is good thing as it will be low maintenance for harsh environments.
Some people say because of how big the fat tires are it sort of acts like a suspension but that isn’t true. For doing sharp turns and very sudden movements it won’t be as good as a mountain bike. But it snow, mud and any tough terrain it will always be better than a mountain bike.
Do you need suspension on fat bikes?
In regards to this fat tires do provide some very minimal suspension action all by them self providing they are properly inflated.
A rigid bike can be fast and efficient on smooth trails. And if the trails gets rougher and rougher you have to slow down to maintain control plus you’ll have to stand a bunch to absorb impacts.
So in result, if after riding and you feel you need more suspension then you will have to mod your bike to have this at extra costs, which I don’t think its worth it you might as well buy a mountain bike with suspension if you require it. As the bike tires has its own minimal natural suspension.
What are the advantages of a fat tire bike?
One of the things that excites me most about fat tire bikes is you can use it for summer rides. You have the potential to ride your bike anywhere you want to explore.
The wide tires can roll through seasonal overgrowth, sticks, and leaves effortlessly which effectively blazes a path as they roll. This comes in very useful for riding around trees or by the smooth area following sandy, rocky creek beds and shorelines wherever the trail leads you.
Typically most mountain bike trails try to avoid particularly sandy areas (with very good reason). Mountain bikes have a trouble steering and getting traction in sand.
Riding a fat bike through your average sandy area is a breeze: the bike basically turns at your will and keeps its momentum easily. Making this a plus point as you can take your fat tire bike to any sandy area!
How the weight of fat tire bike can affect you
It is widely known the fat tire bikes are more heavy, in order to keep the costs low a lot of companies are changing the specs of their bikes with heavy cheap parts and basic frame tubes.
Given the fact that the wheels, tires and tubes on a fat bike are much bigger than a normal bike plus with extra parts you have one heavy bike.
The only way to make your bike lighter is to do some DIY and buy some lighter bike parts and basically mod your bike to reduce the weight. The only drawback of the fat tire bike is that climbing uphill can be tiring as the heavy bike can be slow to do this.
Are fat bikes are good for beginners?
I honestly believe fat bikes are a good choice for beginners of mountain biking. Certainly, there is a weight penalty over the regular mountain bike, but if you are new to mountain biking, it does not really affect you yet. All you really know is that the fat,
squishy tires are there to help you to balance and cushion you against bumpy roots and rocks plus it creates and nice trail for you if there are sticks and twigs on your path. We have an in depth post on fat tire mountain bikes just click HERE
Can you ride a fat tire bike on pavement ?
You can ride them on the pavement but it’s best to avoid if possible, the tires are more designed for gravel and more rough terrains. Riding the odd time on the pavement won’t do harm but of you ride constantly on the pavement it could wear your tires out.
Conclusion – Should I get a fat tire bike?
So ultimately the answer is that a fat bike is a mountain bike and there is no reason you can’t ride it on your local dirt trails, sandy areas and in tough terrains.
If you ride on smooth surfaces like pavements a lot and go for then you can get a Fat tire bike where the tires are easy to change (We have a few of these bikes that are good at this reviewed below) and boom you have smaller tires that are good for riding on smooth surface, with the option to change whenever you want.
Lastly you can handle different terrains better and stay on your bike longer then you would on a mountain bike, so if you want to get a mountain bike why not opt for the fat bike.
Recommended Fat Bikes – What are the Best Fat bikes
Through lots of research we found the Gravity Bullseye to be the best fat bike on the market as if you are aware with fat bikes the market seems to be either Mongoose’s (which are very affordable) or Diamond Backs which can be up into the thousands for really good ones.
The middle ground here is the Gravity Bullseye Monster fat bike. The unique selling point and why this bike is the best in our opinion is the high quality components they are so good right out of the box.
Unless you want upgrade and make the bike lighter you really don’t have it change anything unless it fails itself. The reason why this is at that during our research we found out that seemingly the owner of bikes acquires the frames and forks made by the same company that makes companies like, GT, Redline, and a lot of the big brand names.
If you google there are a number of fat bike forums you will ind that these big brand names use the same frames as the Gravity Bullseye. Then the other clever thing the the company has done to keep costs down further is to standardize the components with brand names like Shimano and SRAM (however every bike gets the same components)
As a result you get a really decent, very light aluminium frame bike that would sell for $800-$900 in a shop for a lot less. You can’t go wrong with this bike! Take the bike to your local bike shop or do research the components are really high quality for such a good price
FREE complimentary flask out the box
Will need upgrading if you want it to be lighter
We have found this to be one of the Best Mongoose Fat Bike It is known as one of the most enjoyable fat bikes on the market.
It is also known for a really great beach cruiser, with it being able to clear paths which means you can easily ride on any terrain you want to.
The Mongoose Dolomite is built on a steel Mountain Bike frame with its cruiser stylings and geometry. It has 4 inch thick tires and offers seven different speeds with a Shimano rear derailleur, however this can be upgraded because of the frame’s design.
With front and rear disc brakes and a 3 piece crank, this bikes offers more than enough of control. In the design stage of this bike comfort was really though of, it is easily one of the meatier bikes with the ability to offer heavier riders with enough comfort.
With the bike being able to take more than 350 pound rider, at heights of up to 6 inches and more, it is a great bike for big guys. Weighing at about 48lbs, it provides bigger pedals to help with a bit of extra power.
But by simply just swapping out the wheels, you can reduce this bike to around 38lbs!
In summary, this bike was designed to mimic cruisers, It has a frame large enough to accommodate a swap to bigger tires, meaning you can make it a four-season ride if you want to.
Can accommodate riders up 350 lbs and riders of 6ft tall
Shimano rear derailleur with seven speeds to easily climb up steep gradients.
Not good for racking or transports
It comes with 7-speed gearing rear derailleur that very good on hilly terrains. The fat tire cruiser frame is geometry is designed to add a comfortable yet athletic riding position.
The Mongoose Hitch has quite a few number of benefits that you are sure to enjoy:
- Affordability: This bike is very affordable as it comes up under $400 considering that is a fat bike with great features this is quite under priced.
- Durability: The frame of The Hitch is made from stainless steel which is very durable and rust resistant
- Easy to assemble: Another thing is that this bike is the easy to assemble it. It comes pre assembled and the final part should only take around 15mins to assemble fully.
- Control: Apart from the stability, the Hitch gives more control to the cyclist. This is because of the rotary disk brakes that give offer enormous stopping power to ensure that at whatever speed you reach you stop when you want.
- Safe night rides: If you are one to take those late night ride, you can ride with peace of mind knowing that you have LED lighting to light up your path and keep you visible to other vehicles.
4 1/4″ knobby tires
Great for big guys up to 400 lbs
Seat is known for being uncomfortable (consider upgrading the seat)
Only comes in 1 color
With the Mongoose name you know you are going to get a good bike and the Juneau does just that. Coming in a cool looking lambo green the bike has done justice with its huge tires. The tires have super-sized knobby tires which create a wider contact patch with the ground. Which in result provides you with increased traction on those tough trails.
The increased traction provides more control, which means it can hug turns tighter and you can own the tricky trail sections. Not only do the 4 inch wide tires provide added traction, but there is also more tire clearance and stability for smooth riding on snowy and sandy trails.
The mongoose has an oversized frame to allow for lots of clearance. Set with disc brakes and three-piece cranks, it is a 21-speed bike with a Shimano rear derailleur and trigger shifters to allow total control at all speeds and in any terrain.
As the complete entry level fat bike, this has much to offer bike riders of all different levels.
21 speed Shimano trigger shifter with Shimano rear derailleur
Bike is surprisingly light weight
Alloy triple crank offers plenty of gears for all day riding
Seat isn’t the most comfortable one may consider getting more comfy one
As one of the small proportion of fat bikes that are specifically suited for children, this is a great little find. It is a 20 inch cruiser that comes with four inch oversized tires on a steel frame.
It comes fully equipped with a 7 speed Shimano grip shift and the drivetrain is designed for easy use and excellent control.
Additionally, it comes with disc brakes on its 160mm rotors to give even more control over deceleration and full braking, which is essential and gives peace of mind to parents knowing their kids have complete control of the bike.
This bike basically combines all of the classic and traditional bigger fat bike characteristics into a smaller model and is designed to take children over any type of terrain. Keeping the tire pressure low reiterates that the kids have total traction and can have fun with a bit of lift when dealing with mud, sand and snow.
The fat bike weighs 30 pounds, which can be difficult for smaller riders, but it is designed to take kids and riders up to as much as 200 pounds!
In summary fat bikes, with the frame design, flexibility and functions of full-sized models are not widely available. While you can find other, smaller bikes with fat tires, they won’t often have the gearing, braking and riding that a true fat bike delivers.
This Diamondback model is an honest fat bike and its cruiser frame geometry, a durable and high riding tensile steel frame, and the kinds of controls that few kids’ bikes offer. roadways.
Specifically designed for kids
Weighs 30 lbs which can be heavy for very small riders
The Mongoose Argus proudly known as one of the most stable rides fat bikes, this Mongoose uses an MTB aluminum hardtail frame.
The alloy fork offers 150mm spacing and a 15mm thru axle for the most stability and flexibility. You will also appreciate the Shimano Acera/Alivio 3×9 drivetrain.
Featuring the Altus shifters for premium gearing option and the most safest shifting controls.
It comes with sturdy 26 inch x 4.5” tires for adept maneuvering and that beautiful, floating ride. While the tires provides complete control, the Shimano br-m365 hydraulic disc brakes with 180 mm guarantee optimal stopping power.
Available in three different sizes, each one features a full allow frame and fork, a Prowheel 951 Triple 3-piece crank, and double butted handlebars all which deliver a comfortable and sturdy ride. This Mongoose is noted for its maneuverability on trails, making it an out of the box, year-round rider.
MTB aluminum fat tire hard tail frame with alloy tapered fork featuring 150 mm spacing and 15 mm thru-axle for added lateral rigidity
Kenda juggernaut 26 x 4.5 inch folding bead tires
Packaging could be better
A perfect choice for the off-road rider and another great entry level fat bike, this Mongoose Malus fat bike comes with a 26 inch, 7 speed ride with oversized 4 1/4” knobby tires. With a surprisingly sturdy steel frame.
It sheds a bit of its weight due to the drilled alloy rims that let you handle difficult terrain. The bike is on the heavier side when it comes to fat tire bikes. Weighing in at around 42 pounds, but is one of the sturdiest cruiser models on the market.
It features twin disc brakes at the rear and the front for total control when riding or stopping and the 7 speed rear derailleur is a great on the fly control. With low rise handlebars and twist shifters, you have no worries even if on very difficult trails.
Meant to offer a stable ride, this bike has a mountain style saddle, three piece cranks and frame offering enormous amounts of clearance.
With its unique “threadless headset”, this allows it to adjusts to many heights, and uses that cruiser geometry to allow athletic riding, lots of maneuverability and ample clearance for snow, woodland, trails or beach rides.
Dubbed as an “amazon choise” due to multiple postive feedback from customers you really can’t go wrong with this bike.
Threadless headset for adjustability
7 speed gearing with Shimano rear derailleur
Quite heavy weighs 42 pounds