Do you wish to conquer the off-road trails, mountains, beaches, and snow surfaces? Then consider a fat bike. But what are fat bikes good for?
Fat bikes are an all-terrain and all-weather bike choice. They are suitable for trail riding, mountain biking, outdoor exercising, snow riding, and beach cruising.
Essentially, that’s owing to the supersize wheels and extra-wide knobby tires that float and roll over obstacles. It’s because of the wide tires that you can take on the most unpredictable and challenging outdoors.
But why are these bikes called fat bikes?
These bikes are called fat bikes because of their supersize and extra-wide tires. Their tires are about 3.5-5 inches wide. As a result, they effortlessly float and roll over challenging surfaces.
You can take on the snow, sand, rocks, mud, and even paved roads with fat bicycles.
In a hurry? Find our most recommended fat biking cycles below.
5 Best Fat Bikes
- Mongoose Dolomite Fat Bike: Best for Mountain Biking
- Mongoose Argus Sport: Best for Trail Riding
- Dynacraft Krusher Fat Bike: Best for Beach Cruising
- Mongoose Malus Fat Bike: Best for Snow Riding
- Speedrid Electric Bike: Best for Off-Road Commuting
What Are Fat Bikes Good For?
Generally, fat bikes are best for these adventures:
1. Fat Bikes Are Good for Mountain Biking
Fat bicycles are great for mountain biking due to their supersize knobby tires, reliable geared drivetrains, and powerful disc brakes.
Their supersized tires and geared drivetrain make hill-climbing easier and more comfortable. As for the disc brakes, they promote crisp stopping.
You can check out the Mongoose Dolomite Fat Bike to understand what I’m saying.
2. Fat Bikes Are Good for Trail Riding
One thing about fat bikes is that they can take virtually any trail. Their massive tires have unmatched grip and offer you sufficient traction on all surfaces.
Whether you want to ride on dirt trails, over the rocks, or forest trails, you get to do it comfortably with a fat bike.
A trail fat bike like the Mongoose Argus Sport allows you to brake in all conditions, shift efficiently, and ride steadily on any trail.
3. Fat Bikes Are Good for Beach Cruising
Sand is intimidating when you try taking it on with any other bike other than a beach cruiser. A fat bike, however, breaks all the rules, making it an exception.
You can take the soft sandy beaches any time of the year with any fat bike. I, however, like what the Dynacraft Krusher Fat Bike brings to the table.
Its mountain-style handlebar offers you better control while its 26-inch wheels easily roll on snow paths. Its rear coaster brakes and single-speed drivetrain don’t disappoint either.
4. Fat Bikes Are Good for Snow Riding
The snow is always slippery, and you need a bike with wide tires and sufficient grip to conquer it. What you need is a fat bike!
An option like the Mongoose Malus Fat Bike comes with the physical ruggedness you need to roll over snow. That includes its 4-inch knobby tires, crisp stopping disc brakes, and 7-speed drivetrain.
5. Fat Bikes Are Good for Off-Road Commuting
Their extra-wide tires are also the reason why fat bicycles are an excellent commuting choice. You, however, don’t have to go for just any fat bike but an electric option to assist you pedal.
And with most fat biking electric bikes coming with multi gears, disc brakes, and all-terrain wheels, off-road commuting is much easier.
One best fat bike for commuting that encompasses all that is the Speedrid Electric Bike.
6. Fat Bikes Are Good for Outdoor Exercising
The fact that fat bikes are off-road beaters means you can use them to exercise. As you engage your body muscles, you get to shed some calories in the process.
Whether you go for the Mongoose Dolomite, Dynacraft Krusher, Mongoose Malus, or any other fat bike, you’ll exercise effectively, regardless of the terrain.
In addition to the above uses, you can also use a fat bike for:
- Expedition rides
What Are Fat Bike Not Good For?
While a fat bike is a fantastic off-road cycle, it has a few limitations.
For starters, fat bikes are not best for urban commuting. That’s because their wide tires suffer so much rolling resistance.
If you want an urban commuting bike, go for a commuter road bike, hybrid bike, or city bike.
Also, note that fat bicycles are not the fastest off-road. They are heavier, thus slower.
So, if you want to go faster off-road, you should get a mountain bike instead. Provided you don’t have to take on the snow, soft sand, or thick mud; a mountain bike is a safe bet.
But if you have to ride over any of the three terrains, you have to settle for a fat bike and tolerate its slow speed.
1. What Are Fat Tire Bikes Good For?
Fat bicycles are generally best for the following applications:
- Trail riding
- Mountain biking
- Outdoor exercising
- Snow riding
- Beach cruising
- Expedition riding
A fat bike’s all-terrain tires allow you to ride on pavement and other surfaces. Note, however, that you cannot go fast as the grippy tires suffer resistance on smooth surfaces.
A fat bike may be costlier, heavier, and even slower, but its benefits outweigh the three concerns, making it worth it.
Their fat tires offer you massive traction off-road to allow you to ride safely and conquer challenging terrains.
The massive tires also absorb bumps and roll over sand and mud. So, they are not just an all-terrain pick but also an all-weather choice.
4. Is A Fat Tire Bike Good For Commuting?
If you spend a majority of your time off-road, fat bikes are a great choice. But if you ride more on-road than off-road, then a fat bicycle is not a good choice.
Their wide knobby tires make them better suited off-road than on-road, even though you can take both sides.
5. Is A Fat Tire Bike Harder To Ride?
Fat bikes are not challenging to ride. The only place where you might have a less funny experience is on paved roads.
Their wide knobby tires suffer rolling resistance on paved roads. When it comes to riding off-road, however, fat bicycles are unrivaled.
They are easier and safer to ride on sand, snow, rocks, and other harsher terrains.
6. Are Fat Bikes Good For Touring?
Fat bicycles are the masters of all terrains. So, if you want to go on a biking tour where you have to ride off-road, you can take a fat bike with you.
Note, however, that they are not the fastest on paved roads.
7. Are Fat Bikes Comfortable?
A fat bike’s fat tires have large air volume but low pressure. As a result, they absorb a lot of shock and vibrations when riding off-road.
Interestingly, you can reduce the pressure to about 7psi to allow you to enjoy more stability and control off-road.
So, these bikes are amongst the most comfortable, mainly off-road.
8. Are Fat Bikes Good On The Road?
Though fat bicycles can move on-road, they are not the best choice for such surfaces. That’s because their fat tires suffer a lot of rolling resistance, which means you slow down tremendously.
If you want an excellent on-road bike, consider a road bike, city bike, commuter bike, or hybrid bike.
9. Are Fat Bikes Good For Beginners?
Fat bikes have massive tires that dampen vibrations, roll over obstacles, and enjoy better traction. That means beginners find them comfortable and easier to ride.
10. Should I Get A Mountain Bike Or A Fat Bike?
A mountain bike can take an array of off-road terrains and even the streets. It’s faster and more lightweight than a fat bike and even cheaper.
The only problem is that it cannot take on soft sand, deep mud, or snow unless it’s a fat tire mountain bike.
So, if you plan to ride on soft sand, thick mud, or snow surfaces, consider a fat bike instead.
11. How Fast Do Fat Bikes Go?
The average fat bike can hit 25mph at top speed. There are a few other high-end options; however, that can hit double the speed.
Note that the terrain and the rider’s experience are instrumental in hitting top speed with a fat bike.
12. Are Fat Bikes Good For Long Distance?
Fat bicycles can take on the most challenging terrains regardless of distance. The only problem is that you won’t go faster, especially on-road, as the bikes are heavy and don’t roll quickly on smooth roads.
So, if you want to take on long paved roads, fat bikes are not the best. You should get a touring bike instead. But if you plan to ride off-road over a long stretch, go for a fat bike.
What Are Fat Bikes Good For? Closing Thoughts
From our discussion, fat bicycles are among the most versatile bikes you can find. You can use them for mountain biking, snow riding, trail riding, off-road exercising, and urban commuting, among other uses.
Simply put, a fat bike is a go-for bike when you want to ride on a challenging off-road terrain any time of the year.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the uses of fat tire bikes?
**Fat tire bikes** are the perfect companion for you if you are into off-road adventure riding or bikepacking. The distinctive feature of these bikes lies in their wide tires, typically not less than 3.8 inches wide. This is a bike designed with the thrill-seeker in mind. I once took a fat bike on a trail which was practically impossible with a traditional bike. The broad tires lay out a wider surface area, which optimally distributes the weight of you, your bike, and the gear you’re carrying. This feature makes it possible to flawlessly navigate loose terrains such as deep snow, sand or soggy mud, making it a fantastic choice for the more rough and tumble cyclist.
Why would anyone purchase a fat bike?
In the world of biking, fat bikes hold a special place with their unique ability to tackle terrains that most bikes can’t. The secret lies in their abnormally wide tires. These aren’t just for show; their size allows for excellent weight distribution across a large surface area, providing less ground pressure. Enthusiast cyclists often recount tales of effortlessly gliding across snowy trails, loose sandy beaches, and muddy tracks that would have a regular bike stuck. I find the **versatility provided by fat bikes** an unmatched advantage in unleashing exploration potential for any biker.
Are fat tire bikes optimal for long-distance rides?
Yes, indeed they are! Despite their cumbersome appearance, they actually thrive under low-speed conditions, making them the right vehicle for long, grueling treks. Moreover, the added mechanical resistance from the wider tires can offer the rider a fruitful workout. On one of my trips where I had to cover a significant distance, the slow and steady pace of my fat bike was a comforting rhythm. It was a long, challenging journey, but the **fat bike’s suitability for long-distance rides** made it comfortable and thoroughly enjoyable.
What advantages do fat tire bikes offer?
Fat bike riders revel in the chance to tackle challenging terrains that weak-hearted traditional bikes might flee from. The reasons for this are two-pronged. First, the wide profile of the tires allows the biker to effortlessly traverse loose rocks, slippery sand, and deep snow. More importantly, even in less-than-ideal weather conditions, fat bikes ensure excellent traction. Increased tread width correlates to better grip, which equates to stability. The extra-wide profile and more tread size result in a firm grip on the ground, instilling confidence in the rider even in the face of slippery situations. Personally, the **greater stability and trust** my fat bike has given me in various challenging circumstances has made it an invaluable ally in my many biking adventures.