Fat bikes are defined as mountain bikes with tires wider than 3 inches. Most fat bikes are categorized as either 4-inch or 5-inch fat bikes, depending on tire width.
What’s a fat bike good for?
Fat bikes are designed for riding in loose conditions, usually snow. However, they work equally well for riding in loose sand. Wide tires also help beginning riders navigate technical terrain such as rocks and roots.
Contrary to popular belief, fat bike tires do not act as suspension in a mountain bike. While the high volume tires do provide rebound like a suspension component does, that’s only half of the equation. Tires cannot provide damping, resulting in a bouncy feeling that is not associated with proper bike suspension.
Which fat bike should I buy?
These are the best fat bikes, according to Singletracks readers.
Specialized Fat Boy
Surly Ice Cream Truck
Rocky Mountain Blizzard
Pivot LES Fat
Framed Minnesota & Trek Farley EX (tie)
Get the latest fat bike news from Singletracks below.
Fat bike races after dark are historically niche events. Though cold and often uncomfortable, these bike races are memorable thanks to the low-key environment, difficult conditions, and of course, the post-race party.
The Fatback Corvus is fast and competent on everything from rocky, dry trails to groomed snow conditions. Designed to dominate the Iditarod Trail Invitational, this is a great fat bike for even a recreational rider.
The Cannondale FAT CAAD 1 aluminum fat bike features a Lefty Olaf suspension fork for control and stability in snow and dry conditions alike. The short chainstays and narrow Q-factor make the FAT CAAD a nimble bike that's comfortable to ride for hours on end.