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Fat bikes are some of the sturdiest and well-rounded bicycles that you can ride pretty much anywhere. These compelling monsters feature uniquely oversized tires with impressive and unprecedented traction, so you can ride on snow, sand, ice, and slick rock.
To put it simply, fat bikes are responsive, not to mention fun and incredible.
Want to find the best fat tire bikes in 2021? We’ll review five of the best bike brands for fat tire cycles below, with extensive insight on each bike’s features, performance, pros, and cons, so you can get an idea of which bike is best for you. There’s also a buying guide at the end to help with your decision. Let’s start!
- 1 Our Favorite Fat Tire Bikes
- 2 How To Find The Best Fat Tire Bike
- 3 Final Thoughts
Our Favorite Fat Tire Bikes
Check out these five best fat bikes from some of the most popular fat bicycle brands. We have a good mix of affordable fat-tire bikes and mid-range bikes for you to choose from, so you can find the one that meets your needs and fits your budget.
Mongoose Dolomite Men’s Fat Tire Mountain Bike
Let’s start things off with the Mongoose Dolomite fat tire mountain bike, which lets you conquer off-road trails with ease, thanks to the bike’s knobby, supersized, all-terrain tires that are easily four inches wide.
This men’s fat tire bike boasts of a seven-speed rear derailleur to make climbing hills an absolute breeze. It also features twist shifters that make for a smooth and easy gear change while you ride.
Plus, the strong and lightweight alloy rims effectively keep the bike’s weight down so you can enjoy added performance and speed. There are also disc brakes on the rear to ensure your safety, as well as beach cruiser pedals to make your ride as comfortable as possible.
- 26-inch wheels for off-road and city streets
- Adjustable threadless headset
- Available in 2 colors
- For riders 5′ 6″ to 6′ in height
- Easy to assemble
- Limited lifetime warranty
ECOTRIC Powerful Fat Tire Electric Bicycle
Taking the second spot is this sweet electric bicycle with large, fat wheels. The Ecotric powerful fat tire electric bike features a lightweight aluminum frame with a streamlined design, a 1000-watt brushless gear motor that delivers superior power, and so much more.
This e-bike boasts of an Outage disc braking system with hydraulics to ensure your security. It also has a seven-speed system with pedal assist and a walk assist model. And, the removable lithium battery comes in an ABS plastic cell box and has a power lock and battery lock function.
Moreover, the suspension fork and the 26-inch tires are great for riding on complex topographies. What really takes the cake, however, is the bicycle’s ergonomic design, including the wear-resistant and anti-slip tires, adjustable seat, and ergonomic handlebar.
- One key repair function
- Reflector and headlamp included
- 48V 13AH battery, 1000w motor
- 25 mi mileage, 26 mph top speed
- 260 lb maximum load capacity
- 90% pre-assembled
Max4out Fat Tire Mountain Bike
Another amazing fat tire mountain bike is this one by Max4out, which promises excellent performance thanks to its unique 26-inch wheels that enhance your control and security, and makes your ride safer, faster, and just perfect.
This mountain bike with big tires also comes with a Shimano rear derailleur, 21-speed gears, and a reliable shift lever perfect for hilly terrains, trails, roads, and more. All these things guarantee smooth navigation no matter the surface or incline.
What’s more, the bike also features double disc brakes that guarantee precision stopping power, a solid and durable steel frame, lightweight but strong alloy rims, a stable suspension fork, and of course, all-terrain tires.
- Suitable for riders of any height
- Excellent welding technology
- Alloy linear pull brakes
- Comfortable seat and standard pedals
- Available in 2 colors
- Easy to assemble and customize
Mongoose Malus Fat Tire Bike
If you loved the Mongoose Dolomite, you’ll also love the Mongoose Malus fat tire bike. This one has even wider six-inch wheels that really live up to the name of fat tires. It even comes with a supersized steel frame in beach cruiser style to match.
This way, you get plenty of clearance in order to ride on virtually any kind of terrain. And, to make things more practical, this fat bike also features a seven-speed Shimano drivetrain with mechanical disc brakes on both ends, as well as a rear derailleur.
To top it all off, this Mongoose fat tire bike is stable and reliable for all-terrain and all-season riding. It even comes with mountain handlebars, and the thick tires are paired with giant four-inch alloy rims for lightweight performance.
- Mountain style steel frame construction
- Light and strong 4-inch alloy rims
- Front and rear brakes for crisp stops
- Available in 4 colors
- Easy to assemble
- Good value for money
Pair up those handlebars with some great mountain bike grips here.
Speedrid Fat Tire Electric Bike
Last but definitely not the least is the Speedrid fat tire electric bike, which is another awesome e-bike with sleek, wide tires. It boasts of high speed and a powerful 500w brushless motor that gives you all the climbing power you need, along with a top speed of 23 miles per hour.
It also features a removable battery with a much larger capacity and a 22-mile mileage for every charge, making it perfect for an entire day of adventure, commute, and more. Plus, you get to see your real-time statistics and change your riding settings with a convenient LCD display.
As for this e-bike’s specs and configurations? Well, you get to enjoy a lightweight carbon steel fork with superior shock absorption, double-walled aluminum alloy rims, a professional seven-speed transmission system, and mechanical disc brakes on the front and rear.
- 3 working modes and 5 pedal assist levels
- 48V 10Ah removable battery
- LCD digital display meter
- 300 lb maximum load capacity
- 22 to 40 mi mileage, 23 mph top speed
- 85% pre-assembled
How To Find The Best Fat Tire Bike
If you want to know how it feels to ride a fat bike, here are the most important things you need to take into account before buying a fat tire bike:
26 fat tire bikes are the most common, although these days you’ll also see lots of 27.5-inch builds. This is because larger wheels make for faster and smoother rolling, as well as an easier time pushing through obstacles on the trail.
What you have to keep in mind is that fat wheels come in various rim widths, with a range of 60 to 100mm. The narrower the rim, the less weight on the bike, and the livelier the ride feels. That said, wider tires still work best with wider rims.
We all know by now that fat tires make for more cushioned rides. By the same logic, the fatter the tire, such as with five-inch tires, the smoother and floatier the bike will feel on soft surfaces, as compared to a four-inch model.
However, narrower tires are still less squirmy and more satisfying, especially on city streets, whereas fatter tires are slower, bouncier, and heavier. Regardless of what tire width you prefer, try to go tubeless (and use a good quality tubeless sealant), and get some studded tires for added grip when riding on ice.
Perhaps the most important thing about a fat tire bike is the tire’s pressure, as this is the best tool that really fine-tunes the bike’s performance. In fact, even half a pound of pressure change makes a significant difference in how the tire feels and performs.
This is why it’s a good idea to invest in the best tire pressure gauge. Get one here.
Now, the general rule is, the softer the terrain, the lower the tire pressure can go, even as low as two psi. And, the harder or rougher the ground, the higher the pressure should be. This is also true for riding at higher speeds since you’ll need more support from the tires, as well as better and sharper handling from the bike itself.
You’ll see that most fat bikes come with a hardtail and a rigid fork. This is because those four or five-inch thick tires offer all the suspension you’ll really need, especially at low tire pressure. A rigid fork will also be more reliable in particularly cold temperatures.
On the other hand, a full suspension is better for uneven, rocky, and rooty riding surfaces, as the tires squirm less and the bicycle maneuvers better. This way, you don’t feel as banged up and exhausted after a long ride. Standard bike rims may also do you more good as well.
One great thing about fat-tire bikes is that many of them can accommodate both standard mountain bike rims and fat-tire rims. This variable configuration can be really helpful if you want some versatility in your riding style.
For example, fat tires may be great for riding on snow and sand, but mountain bike tires with matching narrow rims are more suitable for everyday riding, and they’re lighter too. That said, fat tire bikes are made with different hub standards, meaning, you’ll need to purchase a special second wheelset if you want the versatility.
Hubs and Bottom Brackets
Speaking of hub standards, the downside with fat bikes is that the standards for the hubs and bottom brackets are largely inconsistent, even nonexistent. These parts come with widely different widths to accommodate different sized tires, and the cranks are set wide apart in order to fit on either side of the extended rear stays.
That said, a 150 x 15mm front hub will give you the option to run a suspension fork. As for the rear hub, the most common width is currently at 197 x 12mm. The issue with this is that Q-factor cranks of fat bikes can go up to 200mm, whereas regular MTBs hover around 170mm.
When talking about the frame material, weight is really all that matters, especially for a fat tire bike, since any and all inherent characteristics of different frame materials are overthrown by the four-inch thick rubber tires.
A cheap fat tire bike will likely be made of steel or aluminum, which are honestly good enough. If you want a lighter bike, go for carbon, or the better-looking titanium if you’re feeling rich and prefer the sleek aesthetic.
Want to know more about Carbon vs Titanium Bicycles? Click here.
Want to find the best looking bike? Read this guide: Top Three Vintage Retro Style Bicycles.
Since fat-tire bikes descend from snowbikes, and pretty much act like wilderness bikes, a lot of them have cable-actuated disc brakes. The good thing with these brakes is they can be bodge repaired mechanically or agriculturally. Otherwise, they honestly suck.
So, unless you’re planning on riding with the penguins, invest in hydraulic disc brakes.
The giant tires alone make fat-tire bikes heavier than regular mountain bikes. The extra width of all the other parts that are designed to accommodate the tires also adds to the weight. Plus, most budget and mid-fat bikes are made of steel, which is really heavy.
Again, you can reduce the weight by opting for an aluminum frame, or investing in carbon fiber or titanium frame, both of which are not only lightweight but also insanely durable.
Fat tire bikes, like all other bicycles, come in many different styles and sizes. Some are advertised as women’s bikes with step-through frames, some as men’s bikes with a step over frames. Some are for adults, and a few, with their smaller wheels and frames, are for kids.
They may not be as common, but you can even find single speed fat bikes or even rare fat tires with no gears. The key here is to decide which bike to buy based on your personal needs and preferences.
It’s no secret that fat tire bikes can be really expensive, especially since the oversized frames and wheels aren’t really mass-produced, and making these bikes require lots of raw materials. So, what if you’re on a budget? Say, under 1000 dollars.
You’ll be able to find cheap fat tire bikes if you focus on bigger, more established brands. What you need to understand is that these bikes will have lower quality components than the more expensive options.
For example, heavier steel frames, basic gears, and so on. Of course, you can always just upgrade these parts down the road, even if it’s just with a nice, new bicycle chain or bike grips. This way, you get to customize your bike as well.
Why Fat Tire Bikes?
What are fat tire bikes for? Fat bikes are great for riding all year round since these bikes handle extremely well on almost any type of terrain. You can use them like a sand bike for riding on beaches and trails, a hardtail bike for smoother terrains, and so on.
Whether it’s a wet, icy, snowy, or muddy road, a fat bike can do it all.
In fact, fat bikes are also great for backpacking. The giant, knobby tires with low air pressure just seem to magically float over soft surfaces, and even without a suspension, the bike often feels smooth to ride.
Fat Bikes vs Other Bike Types
- Mountain bikes are quite similar to fat tire bikes in the sense that they are designed primarily for off-road cycling. MTBs are durable and perform well on rough terrain but without the smoothness and natural suspension of fat bikes. Here are the Best Mountain Bikes Under $300.
- Hybrid bikes are also multi-purpose bikes that can handle various riding conditions. They have some of the best features of the road, mountain, and touring bikes, so unlike fat bikes, hybrids are great for commuting. Here are the Best Hybrid Bikes.
- BMX bikes are motocross bikes designed for off-road riding, much like mountain and fat bikes, but with the exception of also performing well in racing and performing stunts. Here are the Best BMX Bikes.
- Exercise bikes are stationary bikes that offer a good aerobic and cardiovascular workout by engaging your muscles and burning calories. While fat bikes are made to handle slick terrains and inclement weathers, with an exercise bike, you don’t have to leave the indoors at all. Read Exercise Bike Vs. Elliptical Machine.
-Best Bike Racks for SUV
Fat bikes are off-road machines that are great for exploring in the snow, sand, and beyond. They are fun to ride all year round and let you go far beyond typical cycling horizons. And, with a bit of research, you too can find the best fat tire bike that fits your needs.
Plus, with the right gear, accessories, clothing, and bike rack for your auto, you can confidently go riding into the sunset no matter the weather and road condition.