fat bike on desert trail with deep, loose gravel - Big Hole Wash Trail in Red Mountain Open Space north of Fort Collins, Colorado

What Are Fat Tire Bikes Good For? Everything You Need To Know

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Have you ever ridden a fat tire bike? If the answer is no, then this blog post will be your introduction to fat tire bikes. Many benefits of fat tire bikes make them stand out among other types of mountain bikes.

Fat bikes are the newest, most exciting way to get around. They’re great for exploring new territory and tackling more challenging terrain than what you would typically ride on surley bikes or hybrid bikes– like soft snow and sandy beaches!

This guide outlines all of the benefits that come from switching over from your regular road bike to fat bikes, so make sure you read on!

What Are Fat Bikes?

Fat bike on beach near Kolobrzeg - Poland

A fat bike is a cycle with fat or wide road tires. They are most often ridden by people who like to go on unpaved trails, such as those that would be found off-road. 

The fat bikes were not designed with any specific terrain in mind; they can be used on many different surfaces, such as snow and sand.

The fat tire bike was invented to make cycling simpler and more enjoyable for anyone, no matter their fitness level, and for those who like to ride off-road.

They have extra-wide tires that can measure from 3 inches (76mm) to over six feet! They also have rims of enormous diameter for these extraordinary machines to run at such low air pressure; most fat bikers run their bike on 5 PSI or less.

The goal of the wide tires is to distribute weight more evenly so you can float over soft or unstable surfaces that regular mountain bike tires would sink in and get stuck.

The soft, low-pressure tires provide the best ride by deforming around obstacles like rocks and trees because their large contact patch allows them to ride through any terrain while distributing their load equally across each tire’s surface area. 

This level of suspension fork reduces bumps to a minimum and vibrations, making driving more comfortable on rough terrain or hilly areas!

What Is The History Behind Fat Tire Bikes?

a tired male cyclist with a fat bike contemplating a tough and long ride through deep gravel on Big Hole Wash Trail in Red Mountain Open Space, Colorado

Mountain biking has always been a popular sport. In the 80s, when mountain bikers realized that their trails were becoming more challenging to ride due in part to snow and sand storms from time to time, people modified these bikes so they could handle any terrain thrown at them!

Riding a fat bike was invented simultaneously with its snowy backcountry roots of Alaska and southern New Mexico’s sandy deserts all across America.

The first Iditabike event, which challenged cyclists to ride the first 200-mile section of an Alaskan backcountry during winter, was held in 1987.

Conditions ranged from glares ice and crusty frozen snow all way down to a soft powder that eventually turned into a layer on top of virgin white – just perfect for riding!

Around the same time, Ray Molina commissioned custom 82mm wide rims and 3.5″ tires to take tourists out to explore the Arroyo dunes in southern New Mexico and Chihuahua, Mexico (which was then part of an independent nation).

He called these unique tubes “Chevron” after his favorite gas station back home!

The first fat bike was the result of many years’ worth of ingenuity and grit. 

In 2005, Surly introduced their Pugsley model with Large Marge 65mm rims and Endomorph 3 8″ tires to ride over rough terrain in style!

Bike manufacturers have been quick on this bandwagon ever since– now, even giants like Trek make a few models for us adventurous types who enjoy riding our bikes off-road goodness.

Fat Tire Bike Or Mountain Bike? What Are The Differences?

mountain  bike vs fat tire bike

Fat bikes are a lot of fun. The main difference between them and other bikes is the width of their tires which measure 3-5 inches wide (76 to 127mm). That’s enough for some seriously cushiony rides!

Fat bikes are a unique breed of mountain biking that requires wider tires to accommodate the extra width.

Bike Rims Between A Mountain Bike And A Fat Bike

Mountain bike rims measure about 30mm, but fat-bike riders need at least 55 mm for their coveted fatter rubber and wide-rimmed wheels, with 65+ being more popular than 29″, which is standard on modern-day MTBs due in part because they roll slower anyway!

The mismatch between tires and rear hub spacing means that fat bikes need to have their bottom brackets wider. This puts the chainring further away from the frame.

This is so you don’t run into any issues with your bike being too inclined when riding on rough terrain or over obstacles in its way like many fat bike owners do due to smaller frames not having enough capacity for larger wheelsets such as 29 “+.

Fat tire bike-specific cranks are usually 100mm, but some manufactures (like Surly) carry 132+ mm options. Today’s standards have become more relaxed than ever before.

Another significant difference between fat bikes and mountain bikes is that the tires on a fat bike can run at shallow pressures. 

Most people will do their bike riding with one to two bars of tire pressure (22-25 psi), but some people prefer even lower than this because they find it more comfortable or want a different feel when riding over obstacles.

The pressure range for these types of equipment varies depending upon what you need – whether your goal is comfort, grip strength, etc.

What Are The Benefits Of Fat Tire Bikes?

Fat bike also called fat bike or fat-tire bike - Cycling on large wheels in the winter forest.

You may join in various competitions.

Fat tire bikes are slower than MTBs or race bikes, but don’t let that stop you. With more people racing in the fat-tired division of sports competitions every year, it’s only natural for sports associations to create events specific to this type of riding!

If you want to get your fat bike working in all of its glory, then an event like this is a perfect opportunity.

Just make sure that the terrain is not too sandy or snowy because the sand will eat up those excellent tires, and any snow can bury them under several inches!

 A fresh way to having fun.

Fat bikes are a great way to explore your local area while getting some exercise. With the ability of fat tires, you can ride on any trail that would be inaccessible with regular mountain bike tires and enjoy some fresh air!

If there’s someone in tow who doesn’t know how to keep up, then this may just become their new favorite hobby, too–especially when they’re faced with all these amazing views from high above!

Fat tire bikes are so much fun because they’re different. They have comical proportions, like a big butt for the front end and tapered handlebars that make them easy to ride even when you don’t feel like racing downhills!

But fat-tired biking is all about enjoying yourself at slower speeds – it’s not about speed; this type of bike was made for those who want their outdoor journey with friends or family on an old dirt road without speeding up too quickly than falling behind. 

At the same time, everyone else heads back towards civilization (that sounds ominous).

For beginners, the handle is more balanced.

Fat tires are the key to balance. That’s why fat tire bikes make an excellent choice for beginners who want to learn how to ride without risking getting injured or making mistakes that could cost them their life!

Fat tire bike riders of all levels experience stability at high speeds while still capable enough when things get rough, especially in an emergency where they might need instant reaction time and power output from themselves.

When riding fat bikes, it’s crucial to be confident. If fat bikes are your thing, then don’t let anyone else tell you you aren’t serious or an actual mountain biker because that is just untrue!

You’re up for a real challenge.

Mountain bike cyclist riding on a muddy road / Cycling in wet condition concept

A fat bike is designed to tackle any uneven terrain, but it can be a challenge to ride because of its slow speed and weight. If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush on your bike trip, then this is not the right vehicle – unless that’s what YOU want!

It takes both upper body strength and lower body power with fat tires increasing total mass, making handling more difficult than apples-to-apples comparison between regular road bikes/ mountain bicycles depending upon the type. These differences may make one less agile than another fat bike, fat tires, or MTBs.

Little upkeep is required.

Fat biking is a great way to get around on your own two wheels. The rigid frame means that there aren’t many parts that can be damaged or worn out–and when you purchase one, it will be the most affordable bike in terms of maintenance!

Whether they may seem pricey at first glance is worth considering for those who love off-road adventures like riding a conventional mountain bike.

This is because these types typically last much longer than road bikes without having pesky things come up frequently (like oil changes) every six months.


Fat tire bikes are an excellent choice for beginners who want to learn how to ride without risking getting injured or making mistakes that could cost them their life!

This kind of bike allows riders of all levels experience stability at high speeds while still being capable enough when things get rough in bike paths. Just like in an emergency where they might need instant reaction time and power output from themselves.

Thinking of purchasing your own fat tire bike and becoming one of the world’s fat bike advocates? Share your experience with us below!

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