The fat tire bike entered the cycling market as a tool for adventurous riders, for which no terrain was too much of a challenge. Ordinary road bikes and mountain bikes simply wouldn't cut it, considering that their thin bike tires simply didn't have much traction on surfaces like snow or sand.
After all, cycling can't be very much fun if you can't move at all, can it?
With that came the birth of the fat tire bike, a bike with clunky, chunky thick tires, able to effectively tear through soft surfaces whilst simultaneously also being quite the wonder on the trails.
To kick off our line up of the best fat bikes is the Wo by Kona. The Wo is a fat bike that has been a consistent fan favourite amongst fat biking enthusiasts for years. Its dependable mix of parts, and thick fat tire paired with its decent price, definitely makes it one of the top choices in our books.
So let's see just what you're getting with the Wo fat bike:
The Wo is built with a butted 6061 aluminium alloy frame, designed specially for fat biking. The alloy is lightweight and tough, and pretty much guaranteed to last you hundreds upon hundreds of adventures with Kona's stamp of excellence.
With internal bearing cups integrated into the frame, you'd also be able to feel the benefits of lower stack height as well as an adjustable stem and bars so that you can fix your bike to accommodate a riding position that is comfortable for you.
The headtube is also tapered, allowing for a greater distribution of shock impact and reducing any effect from braking. This geometry would also give a rider greater control on a particularly challenging trail.
This fat bike also comes with a Kona Wo Fat Disc, but does not come with any rear suspension as it is a rigid bike, with the bike's affordability owing to this feature.
To suit riders of different types of physiologies, the frame is available in sizes S, M, L and XL.
The Wo is decked out with a Race Face Ride Fat crankset, and a Shimano Deore drivetrain with up to 11 speeds for easy shifting between gears.
The Wo uses predominantly Shimano components, including the rear derailleur and the entire brake system, which consists of Shimano MT201 hydraulic disc brakes with matching components on its rotors and caliphers, for greater stopping power.
The star feature on any fat tire bike is, you guessed it - the fat tire itself! On Sun Ringle Mulefut wheels, you will find the Wo sporting beefy, Schwalbe Jumbo Jim TR, 26 x 4 8 inch tires. With tires as thick and shock absorbent as these are, you wouldn't even notice - nor need the additional suspension!
The rims on the wheels are tubeless, allowing for greater resistance against damage and punctures. For trail adventures that may demand a better tire grip, the lower tire pressure on this bike works just perfectly.
Typically, if you're riding on very tough terrain with lots of rough bits and pieces poking out from the road, you'd need to run your tires at a higher pressure, and this is usually facilitated by full suspension fat tire bikes, as it gives you more ease of movement and better performance on jagged terrain.
However, if your fat biking habit is one that pertains more to a ride through snow in colder climates, then a rigid fat tire bike would do just fine for you, and the Wo might be just the bike to do the trick.
It's also one of the best fat tire bikes to jump at for low pressure adventures, like a ride on the trail! Kona also stamps a lifetime warranty on all of its fat tire bikes, which is always a plus point to look at when making a purchase!
The second pick in our article is the Dolomite; Mongoose rarely ever disappoints with its range of bikes, and this fat tire bike is no exception! The Dolomite boasts superior design, with high quality components to match for unparalleled performance. This bike offers the perfect bend of control and traction over pretty much any surface you choose to tread.
The Dolomite is ready to tackle any trail with its 18 inch, robust steel frame and is sure to be able to take a beating.
Like most fat tire models, the Mongoose Dolomite is rigid, and does not come with a suspension fork, but the structure itself on this bike, along with its sturdy tires and wheels, more than make up for this.
What's more, the Dolomite also comes with a threadless headset, so you shouldn't have to worry too much about whether this is going to be compatible with your height; it's totally adjustable!
With the technicalities of the frame out of the way, you'd probably be won over by the Dolomite's paint job as well, which gives the bike a really classy, sleek finish.
The Dolomite comes decked out with Shimano components on its groupset. You get a 7 speed Shimano Revo twist shifter for smooth shifting between gears, paired with a Shimano rear derailleur. These speed shifters are usually found on more expensive bikes, so you're getting a little cheat treat with the Revo parts!
Additionally, the 7 speed twist shifters also be great if you're riding on particularly steep slopes, since it give you good traction and control. This fat tire bike also comes with dual mechanical disc brakes which performs pretty well on any given terrain.
Among the interesting details on the drivetrain is the position of the chainstay. On the Mongoose Dolomite, the chain is placed in such a way as to ensure that the front sprocket does not pop off. This also helps to minimize that ever so annoying risk of your clothes getting all tangled up in it.
So let's look at the fat tire on this bike - the Dolomite offers chunky, knobby 26 x 4 inch tires, more than capable of handling a ride on sand or snow, and would easily roll over any obstacles.
They are further supported by the wide alloy rims on the wheels, which not only absorb any jarring impact, but also keeps your ride stable and comfortable.
The Dolomite is available at a pretty attractive price tag, being a decent amount and one of the best compared to some other options available out there on the market. This beast would be the best fat tire option for the biker on a budget.
The Dolomite definitely lends itself as one of the best fat tire bikes on the market with its powerful brakes and massive wheels for steady riding even on the most challenging trails.
So if you're looking for a quality fat bike with that blended value of a mountain bike coupled with superior traction, you've got yourself a winner here.
With Mongoose being a company with a penchant for great bikes, you're in good hands here with your choice.
Big Iron is another strong contender on our review, being a bike built with the ideal measurements in mind for a thrilling, fun ride, along with the best of materials. Like the Mongoose Dolomite, the Big Iron also takes the mountain bike structure as a blueprint for the bike's build.
For starters, you may be wondering whether the Big Iron comes with an aluminum frame or a steel one, of course this is what is most commonly found on bikes the market.
But that's not the case with the Big Iron!
The Big Iron is a fat tire bicycle that sports a frame made of titanium, and if that's not enough to get you excited, it comes with a pretty generous frame size too; one with 27 5" wheels! While most fat bikes are usually 26 inches, the Big Iron pushes the envelope a bit to integrate something a bit more daring.
We're particularly excited about the titanium because it is lighter than steel and enables an overall better balance and weight distribution ratio. What's more, the material itself acts as a shock absorber!
It also features a wide bar and short stem to smoothen up your steering.
For the rides that may feel a bit more gruelling, you'd be happy to know that the frame is dropper compatible. Paired with internal cable routing, the Big Iron is a breeze to maintain, especially if you don't have a bike shop closeby.
The Big Iron has a pretty unique way of assembling its bikes - you can choose from three different price points to determine which groupset your bike of choice is going to be built with.
The Big Iron series all use SRAM GX Eagle components, with the three main combinations being classic SRAM GX Eagle, Eagle X01 and Eagle XX1. As you may have guessed, the more advanced the groupset is, the more pricier it becomes on the scale.
All three bikes in the series are completely decked out with SRAM on their shifters, rear derailleurs, chains and 10-52 cassettes. Why Cycles throws in the extra treat of SRAM G2 R disc brakes as well.
Why Cycles really did go all out with this beast, and that reflects in the fat tires they've chosen for it too!
Its wheels and tires are of a more than decent size, with 27 5 " wheels, complemented with Terrene Cake Eater Lite 120tpi, 4 5 inch tires; great for winter.
The frame is also built to accommodate fat bike tires up to 5 inches thick, so if that was an idea on the cards, the Big Iron certainly makes it possible!
With its number of fancy components and progressive measurements, it doesn't come as too much of a surprise that this fat tire bicycle is a little more on the pricier side of the market, but still amongst the best options.
If budget is not a constraint and you are looking specifically for a bike with comfortable and convenient measurements, then this fat tire bike is made for you.
With adjustable chainstays, superb standover height and a lengthened dropper post, there's really very few if no boxes that this bike doesn't tick.
The Giant Yukon is an excellent fat bike for both tearing through snowy or sandy surfaces as well as tearing up the trails with confidence. It's versatile and fun, built in just the right way to keep things playful whilst still staying true to structure that is carefully and expertly crafted.
The Yukon sports an ALUXX SL-Grade aluminum frame with horizontal drop-outs, built with well thought out measurements, which is a pretty big star when it comes to this bike.
You will find that you experience a lower centre of gravity on this bike, thanks to a sloped front triangle structure. This is especially favourable if you're trying to navigate more demanding terrain which may need better overall balance.
With a sloped front triangle and a swaged rear triangle, the Yukon prioritises maximum heel clearance with a low Q factor to avoid discomfort, strain or injury.
Like most fat bikes, the Yukon is also a rigid bike, and therefore does not have a suspension fork. You will find this frame in sizes ranging from Small through Extra Large.
Giant really does go all out with this fat bike, outfitting it with a SRAM NX Eagle groupset on a 12 speed drivetrain, and matching SRAM T brakes. The SRAM NX Eagle parts are especially useful in wintery weather where you may experience increased resistance in riding through snow.
With SRAM NX dominating the drivetrain and groupset of this bike, you're getting a SRAM NX Eagle 11x50 cassette along with SRAM NX Eagle DUB Fat 5, 30t crankset. Additionally, you also have a SRAM Level T braking system to match.
The Yukon is equipped with 27 5 " wheels, on which you'd be pretty stoked to find Maxxis Colossus tires that are 4 5 inches thick!
The powerful capabilities of the tires in addition to the versatile framework makes it quite a contender for testing terrains.
The ultimate fat bike would be one which doesn't cower in the face of taxing terrain, and you're getting exactly what you bargained for with the Yukon.
A trail bike with a fat tire perfect for any situation, you can't really go wrong with this purchase. Whether you're on or off the trail, or whether your ride is going to push the limits or take it easy, you've got a good deal going with the Giant Yukon fat tire bike.
Specialized Bikes needs no introduction, with their quality already speaking volumes.
The Fatboy is a classic fat tire bike, available with all the right features along with a decent price tag to match. There are three bikes in the Fatboy series, but in this review, we're going to take a look at the most affordable one.
The Fatboy is designed with a higher end Specialized M5 alloy aluminum frame, and like most, it also brings with it that ideal blend of being easy on weight while staying sturdy enough for adventure.
Oh, and it gets better!
The entire frame is fully butted, making it tons more agile, and also is designed with Smooth Welds and a tapered head and seat tube angle. To make things more convenient, the cable routing is all internally fixed up as well.
Whilst riding through snow, for example, may not call for the need for suspension, this aluminum frame is paired up with a carbon fork to absorb and spread any jarring impact you may experience on the trail or on mountain biking adventures.
So let's look a bit at the technology that you're getting on this bike's groupset. Specialized spoils you with a combination SRAM SX Eagle parts, including a SRAM SX Eagle 12 speed drivetrain, and while this may not be the most complex piece of technology out there, it certainly gives you just the right amount of gears for tough rides or climbs.
To match the SRAM SX Eagle parts on the groupset, the Specialized Fatboy also has SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes on both its front and rear. This is filled in with special DOT fluid for anti-freezing purposes.
The Fatboy is equipped with Maxxis Minion FBF 120 tpi tires, more than capable of handling any type of terrain that you throw at it. These plus size tires have a 3 8 inch width on standard 27 5" wheels made of Stout XC 80mm rims, which are also tubeless ready.
The Fatboy is the kind of bike that would survive well in any condition that you throw at it, with just the right kind of parts and build to withstand it for the optimal riding experience. The fact that it's comparatively easier on your budget doesn't hurt either!
Whether through snow or on the trails, the Fatboy offers the best value for money, especially if you're someone who wouldn't want to break their bank too much for a good fat bike.
The next one on the list to bring to your attention is a fat bike built especially for women - the EVRYjourney women's bike. Since women have a different physiology, it's always a whole lot more comfortable to go for a bike that caters specifically to those differences for better riding comfort than any others.
To kick things off, the EVRYjourney sports a standard aluminum frame, with measurements that are ergonomic and promotes better posture and an upright position during the whole ride. Designed to take on a plethora of landscapes, you shouldn't have a difficulty exploring different terrain with this machine!
Like most fat bikes without suspension forks, this bike is rigid, and therefore allows a cleaner flow of riding. However, the aluminum frame structure paired with the fat tires would more than compensate for absorbing a lot vibrations on any surface.
While the EVRYjourney is built more like a women's beach cruiser or a road bike, it doesn't mean you should completely shy away from adventure!
This bike still lives up to its use as a fat bike, tackling different terrains is not a problem at all with the seven speeds that the EVRYjourney offers, with front and rear disc brakes for extra support.
The EVRYjourney opts for a Shimano Tourney and Revo mix on its drivetrain, with a 7 speed Shimano Tourney on its rear derailleur and a Shimano Index Revo 7 speed shifter to match.
EVRYjourney test reviews show that this bike boasts pretty serious versatility on both paved, even surfaces as well as through powdery surfaces like sand or snow, of course owing to its tires!
The EVRYjourney sports 26 x 4 inch thick Semi-Slick tires. These are coupled with threaded, aluminum alloy rims on the wheels itself as well.
sixthreezero has always been one of the top manufacturers, and the EVRYjourney fat bike for women is a testament to that. This bike definitely serves as one of the most comfortable fat bikes out there, as a model that can only be described as that of a hardcore beach cruiser with superior ride quality and performance.
This fat tire bike gives you more than enough confidence to tackle sandy beaches or tear through those piles of snow and everything else in between!
Not to mention, the women's EVRYjourney is also one of sixthreezero's more inexpensive products and in a modest price range, so that's another win for you if you've been keeping an eye on this beast.
Our list of fat tire bikes also includes the DD 30 from Felt Bicycles. This bike is definitely built for more rough and tumble adventure, with a robust framework and tires that live up to their reputation; being absolutely perfect for winter riding too!
The DD 30 is built with a double-butted SuperLite aluminum frame, designed with hydroform. The frame also is designed with a ControlTaper integrated head tube, along with disc mounting, derailleur hangers and clamp adaptors.
The frame also sports a hydroformed 6061 aluminum fork with a Boost thru axle. The fork doesn't have suspension though, as the bike is rigid as opposed to being a fully suspended or hardtail bike.
Another interesting feature are the 760mm handlebars, which give you better control. Whilst the frame is aluminum, the handlebars are carbon, adding to the value for money of the DD 30. This is especially useful in winter riding, as carbon is more agile than aluminum in cold conditions.
The frame isn't particularly fancy, but its simple structure is robust enough to endure the roughest climates.
On its groupset, you will find a nice mix of Shimano parts, including Shimano SLX 1x11 speed shifters and a matching Shimano SLX M7000 11 speed rear derailleur; all matched with a Shimano HG60 chain.
The brakeset is all Shimano as well, and you'd be pleased to find Deore parts adorning the bike's brake levers. The brakes itself are Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
And now we come to the star feature - the tires!
To maintain an overall sense of lightness, the double-butted aluminum frame also shaves off some extra weight with the Schwalbe Jumbo Jim Light bike tire, a 26 x 4 " tire that is considerably lighter than some others.
While the lightweight feel of the bike is something quite commonly sought after, this can also be a bit of a drawbrack, considering you may be compromising just a bit on grip.
At its given price point, the DD 30 offers superb value for money, being relatively quite affordable for an all purpose fat bike. Its wide tires are guaranteed to take you over any snow, sand, mud or any terrain that may seem difficult at first, proving to be everything you would need in a fat bike.
Trek is a brand that never fails to offer optimum value for money, and this is true for the Trek Farley as well, which is a fat bike designed to go easy on your wallet and hard on the trails. The Farley is a 26 inch fat bike built for all seasons, across multiple terrains, be it snow, sand, mud or rocky surfaces; a true contender in the fat bike market.
Like most of the fat bikes on our list, the Farley too is made with a lightweight aluminum frame for better maneuverability. This makes it the perfect riding companion through several seasons and climates, all year-round.
The frame also features horizontal sliding drop-outs, frame mounting and a dropper seat post, with a Bontrager Haru carbon fork.
Additionally, the Trek 5 is also a rigid bike, and therefore does not feature any suspension. No suspension helps to keep the price tag on this bike relatively low and attractive.
The parts on the groupset are mid level, but they've been carefully chosen and put together to give you supreme performance as always, as is the Trek promise.
You will find a pretty satisfactory Shimano Deore groupset on the bike's 1 x 10 speed drivetrain, accompanies by matching parts that make shifting a breeze. This is complemented well with the SRAM Eagle level hydraulic disc brakes; a great little treat thrown in for the low price tag.
To really seal the deal as a must-have bike, this model is equipped with Bontrager Gnarwhal tubeless-ready tires, coming in thick and bulky with a width of 4.5 inches on 80mm rims.
Always matching their parts together well, these massive tires are set against 80mm SUN Ringle rims.
If you've been having that winter riding dream on your mind, then the 5 is just the right bike for you to cut your teeth on without having to empty your pockets, since it falls into a pretty affordable price range.
Whether you're a seasoned rider or a beginner, the huge tires are sure to give you just enough control and grip.
In addition to this, you'd also be pleased to know that the horizontal sliding dropouts on the frame make it all the more easier for you to adjust the measurements of the bike to your exact preferences.
Trek is also one of the most seasoned and trusted manufacturers, so you could have complete confidence in the calibre of the bike you're getting, whether you're riding through snow in the winter or sand on the beach.
The Ice Cream Truck from Surly is just about the whole package, as its name suggests - fun, inventive and out of the box. Surly has a reputation for going all out with their bikes while keeping the designs fresh enough for it to absolutely shred the trails, whilst also being hyper-effective in snow and sand.
The Surly Ice Cream Truck has that kind of high end, winning size and geometry that everyone looks for in ideal fat tire bikes.
With this fat tire bike, you will find it has a long top tube, short seatstays and a 68 degree headtube angle; great features for when you have a technical terrain or tough conditions you need to work with - and let's not forget its stealth dropper routing!
With the geometry put aside, let's look at the actual frame material. You will be getting a Chromoly steel frame to complement these other great features and progressive geometry. The steel frame makes the bike hardier, capable of taking more abuse whilst riding.
While the bike doesn't have suspension, the steel frame does more than enough to soften the vibrations that you may encounter while riding, so you're not really missing much.
This fat bike has an interesting mix when it comes down to the integral part of its design. You will find its 12 speed drivetrain made up of Shimano SLX parts.
Its brakes and brake levers, on the other hand, are sourced from Tektro, equipping you with Gemini HD-M520 hydraulic disc brakes.
To take a look at the main feature on this fat tire bike, the Surly Ice Cream Truck is equipped with 4.8 inch Surly Bud & Lou tires on 80mm rims.
The tires come at a pressure of 120tpi, and are also tubeless ready.
The Surly Ice Cream Truck is a great full year option, especially effective in winter conditions. This fat tire bike has been designed to be able to take whatever the terrain throws at it, and given the features that it comes with, you're getting it at a pretty good price as well.
The final of our models in our list of fat bikes is the Mukluk; a fat tire monster designed to give you unparalleled control, grip and versatility across snow and sand. The Mukluk Deore is a single speed bike, ideal for any fat biking and bikepacking adventures across a great distance.
The Mukluk Deore has a very interesting frame, with Salsa incorporating a blend of both carbon and aluminum into the overall design.
This quality fat bike sports a double and triple butted, heat treated, light weight aluminum frame design, the Mukluk is further strengthened with a Bearpaw carbon fork.
The Bearpaw carbon fork not only helps with improving steering, but also features Three-Pack mounts for water bottle mounts if you choose to include them as well. While the Mukluk may have a rigid fork, you will be pleased to know that it is suspension compatible!
We found that the best fork to match this bike's spec would be a Rockshox Bluto, which has just the right measurements to fit this frame perfectly. Be careful with a Manitou Mastidon fork though, due to its wide fork crown, it won't fit too well into this bike's structure.
To accommodate additional weight across heavy backpacking or bikepacking, the Mukluk has stable geometry in order to be an ideal partner, especially with the Alternator rear rack dropouts and gear mounts that have been included.
The groupset features 11 speed Shimano Deore parts on a single speed drivetrain, complemented by Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.
The Alternator dropouts make it possible for you to choose between fixed or single speed as per your preference, whilst also allowing for thru-axle, QR or freehub adjustments, being single speed or 2x speed compatible.
The Mukluk frame comes in three different measurements, so you can choose between 29 inch, a 26 x 4 wheelset or 27 5 inch wheels as well - with each size being able to conquer anything.
On its 80mm Sun Ringle rims on alloy wheels, you will find 45NRTH Dillinger 4 6″ tires, providing riders with just the right grip that they would need across any tough terrain.
Salsa is a trusted name, and the Salsa Mukluk's lowered bottom bracket helps to keep your centre of gravity low, making dismounting and remounting easier, not to mention the additional mounts and dropouts that helps to make the Salsa Mukluk truly your own.
Paired with complete internal routing as well, the Salsa Mukluk's structure is clean cut, aesthetically pleasing and a joy to ride, definitely making this product one you would want to ride.
This is also one of the more affordable bike models, and that's always a winning feature!
Fat bikes are definitely the number one choice if you're looking for a bicycle that that proves to be high performance in several weather conditions, without having to compromise on speed or quality or having to worry about parts getting worn out fast.
When choosing the right fat bike for you, be sure to take into account your brands, specs, gear range, the customizations that you would like to make on your bike, along with what components that you might find ideal.
Most bicycles come with either an aluminum, carbon or steel frame, and each have their own strengths and weaknesses, which may affect overall weight and the price range of the bike - so this is another area to pay attention to as well.
Of course, we can't forget price, so that's totally another area to look into when making your final choice.