If you are in a rush and just want to find what the best fat tire bike is, we recommend to you the Framed Minnesota 2.0
Built to exteme condition, simple way to describe these bikes to our riders. Fat tire bikes are lighter than what people think and certainly can go faster and further than other kind of bikes.
With their oversized tires and differents pressure, these sturdy bikes can ride anywhere.
Tips to ride fat tire bikes:
When I start with fat tire bikes I prefer to take it slow until I get used. They are heavier than regular bikes, so it is a little weird in the beginning.
The most common is starting with pressure between 5 and 7 psi. (“Pounds per Square Inch,” The pressure of the tires.)
The lower limit or pressure should be 3 psi. With less than that you can have more risk of punching your wheel and that really sucks! Consider the extra fact that those tires are more expensive.
Make sure your bike fits to your body weight and height.
Tires with low inflation don’t perform well on ice, be careful with that!
When you spot a patch of ice, to take control go slow and break before it, not on it.
The pressure of the tire depends on each person. Normally is better higher pressure with harder terrain, and lower with softer terrain.
Things to consider when you choose your Fat Tire Bike:
Rim widths and size of wheels, two facts important in our fat tire bike. Most fat bikes use 26-inch wheels, though 27.5-inch or 29″ builds are not uncommon. Larger wheels are faster rolling and make you go more easy to roll over obstacles.
The fatter the tire, the cushion the ride on extreme terrain. A narrower tire is going to provide better performance on firmer and drier trails. Talking about dimensions, usually:
26+: 26” rims, width > 1.4”, typically 2.0”. Tire width typically > 2.5”, such as 2.8” or 3.0”
5+: 27.5” rims, width > 1.4”, typically 2.0”. Tire width typically > 2.5”, such as 2.7”-3.25”
29+: 29” rims, width > 1.4”. Tire width typically up to 3.0”
XL: 26”, width 2.4”-4.1”. Tire width typically > 3.5”, such as 3.8”, 4.5”, or 4.8”
XXL: 26” rims, width 3.1”-4.1”. Tire width > 5.0”
The tires and the frame are the main thing in fat tire bikes, they influence most in the weight and the durability. There are three most common kinds of frame:Aluminum frame, a really common and inexpensive while also being light-weight. For a higher price you can get a pure aluminum model what is lighter.
Steel is tough and heavy. Yet, is inexpensive and still can rides smoothly.Carbon fiber is the more expensive. It’s great because is strong and resistant with a plus, the material is low weight.
Fat tire bikes have a lot of traction and support by the tires, but there we still find different suspension on these:
Rigid (most common): the tires provide suspension.
Suspension fork: the rear has no suspension, all in the front with springs or hydraulics. They are most to downhill stretches.
Full suspension: front and rear shock absorbers for a more extreme ride.
With good wheels and knowledge of the pressure that you need depending on the terrain you will go, you wouldn’t need an extra suspension.
Keep in mind that fat bikes are slightly heavier than the mountain bike. Few number of gears can be enough for many situations if you consider yourself strong. But gears are generally helpful if you have a lot of climbing to do and prefer easy pedaling (more revolutions and less resistance). Around 10-20 gears are the average most accepted for the riders in these bikes.
The most typical are the rim brakes. These brakes use pads that grip directly onto the rim of the wheel. They’re economical and the pads are easily checking and changing.
Let’s see some bikes!
Before to talk about a moongose fat tire bike, we would like to say that for almost 40 years, moongose have been in the dirt, on the trails, and off the ramps. With headquarters in Winsconsin, this brand means top-quality bikes in the U.S.A. Let’s start with the Mongoose Juneau Sport.
These fat tire bikes come with a medium-sized aluminum tectonic t-2 frame (around 17 inch). For this reason, this frame has better resistance and less weight for a smoother ride, also we recommend this fat tire bike for riders up to 6”.
Vinson has 4.8-inch-wide tires, Shimano Deore 10 speeds, and hydraulic disc brakes Tektro HD-M290 with 180mm rotors. In other words, the setup with 10 speed plus the super-wide tires enables you to ride on various terrains like snow or sand in a really easy way.
Let’s simplify this, these fat tire bikes come with wheels 26×4.8-Inch (good for all terrains), are lightweight (around 35 pounds) and have a great gears system. Basically is an amazing deal for a good price.
- Solid bike frame construction with high-quality gear system.
- Lightweight compared with other models
- Strong super-wide tires for the most difficult terrains.
- Pedals are cheap and the seat has not much cushion, we can change it easily.
- It comes in one size and is not that comfortable for tall riders.
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This is the second mongoose in our list, and that is for a reason. This brand knows how to build bikes with good quality for a considerable price. As a personal opinion after checking a lot of bikes, we consider that this is a good model if you want to start with fat tire bikes and have a short budget.
This bike ships ready to be assembled and The threadless headset is adjustable for riders of different heights. Fits perfect with riders 5’6” to 6’2” and up to 270 pounds.
This model is good to go on sand, snow, dirt, and mud thanks to the 26 inches wheels. But because of the high weigh (almost 50 pounds) and few gears (7 speeds), we don’t consider as an optimal option to go through rocky hills or ways up.
Dolomite features a standard high steel frame 17” and fork with oversized tubing. By customers, we find that the frame, wheels, tubes, tires, and seats have stood up to regular use on rocky trails. Another fact is that even if it just comes with 7 speeds, the Shimano system is easy to change gears while riding.
- Suitable for all terrains
- Budget-friendly cost
- Good choose for heavy riders
- Easy and quick to install
- Braking system and the bike in asphalt is a bit noise
- The bike is heavy and not that good to go up hills
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This bike is the ultimate evolution of the Minnesota line. The Framed Minnesota LTD is a worthwhile investment if you’re into fat tire bike riding bumpy trails, explore dirt paths or coast over snow and dunes.
One good thing to know, this model fits for almost everyone since it comes in different sizes, you can normally choose between 16” 18” 20” or 22”.
A bullet point, this model uses a 6061 aluminum alloy frame for durability, paired with a rigid aluminum alloy fork. But thanks that have a tapered head tube, you can install the suspension fork of your choice.
With the SRAM 11-speed drivetrain along with mountain bike handlebars, you can rely on easy shifting and performance in any conditions. Beside of that, we have the tires 26” x 4” with that are double pinned for further weight reduction, letting the bike with a total weight of 33 lbs (20” size)
By customers appreciations, we find that it is a Great entry-level fat tire bicycle for people who are looking for a good bang for their buck.
- It comes in different sizes.
- Can customize with a front suspension fork
- Comes with 26-inch studdable tires
- No factory suspension fork option
- It can be a little high budget.
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Even if is not the most updated model from framed, this fat tire mountain bike still comes with really good features and a reasonable price. With Minnesota 2.0 we can say that Framed has created a fat tire bike with the soul of a BMX.
The frame and fork on the Minnesota 2.0 are from 6061 aluminum alloy for less weight. (around 37 pounds for a medium frame.) The fork accommodates massive wheels from 26″ x 4.8″ to 29″ x 2″ so you can swap out your winter tires for Fatty Slims for summer riding and commuting without losing stability in snow or sand.
Because these fat tire bikes are armed with both front and rear derailleurs (SRAM Model X7, SRAM Model X5 respectively). Changing gear becomes smooth and easy, so now we have 18 speeds to control the bike.
We personally consider that this bike can go over aggressive trails and carry some riders as heavy as 350 lbs.
- Excellente top brakes, Avid Mechanical disk brakes plus derailleurs on both ends.
- Up to 18 speeds
- Durable alloy frame and pedals.
- May needs help to assembly.
- No water bottle mount.
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We always like to include one bike super top in our lists and in this time is the turn of “El Oso Tres”. This is the top of the line model of the Diamondback El Oso (“The Bear”) series.
Starting The Diamondback El Oso Tres comes with an aluminum frame that provides strength, durability and rides quality, plus pleasing aesthetics. Also, a RockShox Bluto suspension fork with 100mm of travel to help it absorb ragged terrain and full hydraulic disc brakes. About the wheels, we find here High-volume/low-pressure Maxxis Minion FBF/FBR 26×4.0-inch tires to soak up rocks.
The hydraulic disc brake Shimano SLX M7000 delivers powerful stops even in the wettest situation. And the complete gear set Shimano XT M8000 with 11 speeds gives you more than enough for all situations on the trail, off-road or climbing hills.
The last fact, this bike is just 35.6 Lbs and can carry riders around 300 lbs. You can find 3 sizes for these models of fat tire bikes.
- Kids can ride it too.
- The fork is the extended version, which is a good thing cause you can fit 5″ tires (cant in standard version).
- Comes with KS E30IS internal dropper Seatpost, this is not common in fat tire bikes.
- All the features are of really high quality. This bike can easily cost hundreds of dollars more if you built one like it for yourself.
- Is not that comfortable for riders taller than 6’1”
- No assembly instructions: not completely necessary (the bike comes 95% assembled)
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How much the bike will resist through the time will depend on how you assemble it, tire inflation, the type of riding, and most importantly, the bike maintenance. Otherway, no matter how good is your fat tire bike if you don’t take care of it or use it further than what it’s made for, you will have trouble with it.
In our personal opinion, for the price-quality balance and all the terrains where you can go with, we would choose the Mongoose Juneau Sport. This fat tire mountain bike can go over aggressive terrain and all kind of conditions, the fact that it comes in different sizes make it fits for most of the riders, and with SRAM groupset we find enough speeds to go fast and smooth in any situation. The plus that you can customize a fork suspension, gives a good advantage for those riders that want more comfort and go further. Basically is a top bike, versatile for a reasonable price.
If you have any doubt, don’t think twice and comment. We are happy to help move things along.