If you’re staring out the window this winter wishing you can get back up on your favorite trail.
During winters cycling can be quite a challenge with a normal bike due to all the snowy and wet conditions.
Recently fat tire bikes have gained more traction due to its ability to pass through almost any type of surface, sand, mud, rocks you name it!
Let’s check out the best women’s fat tire bikes out there.
Overview of Best Women's Fat Tire Bikes
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5 Women’s Fat Tire Bikes – Reviewed
Our first entry is from a renowned brand with over 45 years of BMX heritage: Mongoose.
From making petite bikes for all the cool BMX tricks, mongoose doesn’t disappoint with this fattie. Even though it is not advertised specifically for women, this bike is an ideal fit for women with heights ranging from 5’4” (1.63 m to 1.88 m) to 6’2”. The threadless headset can easily be adjusted to fit the rider.
The 26-inch (66.04 cm) wheels with the 4”(10 cm) tires and a 21-speed Shimano gear make this bike great for any kind of terrain. Topped off with a rigid suspension and a mechanical disk braking system this is an ideal entry-level fat bike.
• 21 Speed Shimano
• Uncomfortable Seat
Another famed brand for its BMX lineage: Framed.
Framed Minnesota 1.2 has a soul for BMX even though it is a fat tire bike. Imagine riding a BMX bike on snow!
With a lightweight alloy frame and 4”(10 cm) tire, this bike is ideal to trek almost anywhere.
The 26”(66 cm) wheels are supported by 80 mm rims which are the perfect pairing for a fat bike.
In terms of gearing, the Minnesota 1.2 is loaded with an SRAM X5 10 speed front and rear gear which is an entry-level setup. This is paired with Avid BB5 mechanical disks.
The Minnesota 1.2 is framed differently to a normal mountain bike. The BMX influence is evident here through the short top tube with a seat tube angle of 73.5◦
• Influenced by a BMX style frame
• Entry Level Gear Setup
The spoilt brat in the world of fat bikes. The Pivot Les Fat has everything you can think of and hits way above entry-level.
The lightweight hollow-core carbon frame makes this bike an amazing fit for women.
With all the features in this bike, it literally lets you steamroll over any kind of obstacle you will face on any terrain.
You can choose to bounce and roll with a 100mm suspension paired with either 27.5”(70 cm) wheels and 3.8” (9.6 cm) tires OR 26”(66 cm) wheels and massive 4.8”(12 cm) tires.
Completed with a Shimano XT 12 speed gear and hydraulic brake system, this bike goes all the way.
• Multiple sizes (S, M, L)
• Different Wheel + Tire Sizes
• Carbon Fiber
• Hefty Price Tag
Tread like a bear and fly like an eagle with this bike from Salsa.
A choice of sizes from small to large combined with a carbon frame makes this another great lightweight choice for women.
The custom stock comes with 27.5-inch (69.85 cm) wheels paired with 4-inch (10.16 cm) tires and an 80 mm rim set. The front fork can also work with 26″ x 3″.8-5” (66 x 9.6-12.7 cm) and up to 100 mm in rim size. The rear fork has a clearance of up to 26″ x 4.3″-4.6” (66 x 11- 11.7 cm) with a rim size of up to 100 mm. This allows the rider to customize the bike according to their personal preference in terms of performance and ride quality.
Loaded with an SRAM NX Eagle Rear derailleur and shifter along with a hydraulic braking system, you can overcome any obstacle and cruise to high speeds. The stopping power is also quite remarkable with the SRAM hydraulic braking system.
• Multiple Sizes
• Multiple Wheel options
• Carbon Fiber
• 100mm suspension
• Quite Expensive
Value for money. The Fat CAAD 2 really delivers.
The Fat CAAD 2 is also available in different sizes ranging from small to large. There is a Fat CAAD for everyone out there.
The Fat CAAD 2 is a fat bike as the name suggests but a racer at heart.
Completed with a C1 alloy frame, 26″ x 4” (66 x 10 cm)wheels and a Shimano SLX 11 speed gear system, Cannondale has managed to take the Fat bike theory and add its fast and light twist to it.
The bike’s lower end enables the ride to slightly bend down into a more aggressive riding position similar to a racing position to overcome any hindrance on a trail.
• Quite agile for a fat bike
• Premium alloy frame
• Awkward Geometry for riders not used to racing positions
WHAT IS A FAT BIKE?
Any bike with tires greater than 3.8 inches (9.6 cm) in width is categorized as a fat tire bike. More than the width fat bikes are mainly about the grip which enables the rider to cruise on any terrain.
FUN FACT: Even though this trend has only taken off in recent years, it has been around for a while. The idea originated from Alaska in the 1990s.
ARE PLUS-SIZED TIRES AND FAT TIRE BIKES THE SAME THING?
Nowadays most mountain bikes are offered with plus-sized tires ranging from a width of 2.6 – 3.2 inches (6.6 – 8.13 cm).
But plus-sized tires aren’t the same as fat-tire bikes. They are two completely different things in terms of size, pressure, and grip.
Fat sized tires usually run on low pressure and extra surface area in contact with the ground. These two factors combined prevents the bike from sinking into softer surfaces like snow. This gives the rider a ‘floaty’ feeling.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAT TIRE BIKES FOR MEN AND WOMEN?
There isn’t much of a difference when it comes to this. The only difference is in the size of the frame. While fat tire bikes for women can be smaller in size for better handling, there is no hard and fast rule that you can’t ride a fat tire bike meant for men.
Many brands are releasing unisex bikes nowadays with adjustable handlebars and seats.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GOOD FAT TIRE BIKE?
Usually tires wider than 3.8 inches (9.6 cm) are known as fat tires. They can even be as wide as 5 inches.
Wider the tire, the more ‘floaty’ you will feel. Tires with a wider width do better on softer terrain such as snow or sand but you will be compromising in terms of speed and weight. 5-inch (12.7 cm) tires are heavier, slower and bouncier than 4-inch (10.16 cm) tires on firm ground.
It is recommended to go tubeless when it comes to fat tires with low pressure to avoid flat tires. If your main purpose is to ride in snow or ice, consider using a tubeless sealant that works well at lower temperatures.
Tire pressure is another crucial element when it comes to the performance of a fat tire bike. To get the best out of your fat tire bike, invest in a digital pressure gauge. Fat tires usually run on 8-10psi. For firmer ground increase the pressure a bit and for softer terrain such as mud or snow lower the pressure a few psi.
The larger the wheel size, the easier it will be to push through rough terrain. Common wheel sizes range from 26 -28 inches (66.04 – 71.12 cm). With rim sizes ranging from 50 mm to 100 mm.Experts recommend 4 inch (10.16 cm) tires should ideally be paired with rim sizes 60-80 mm.
Frame Material and Size
Just like normal bikes, fat tire bikes are commonly made of aluminum alloy or stainless steel. When it comes to frame material it only has one effect on how your bike performs: weight.
Carbon fiber frames are getting attention nowadays due to its lightweight property. However, it can cost you quite a hefty price tag.
Aluminum and steel frames are durable and good enough unless you feel like you want to splurge.
Fat bike tires come in a variety of sizes. Women on the shorter side should consider a 15″ (38.1 cm) or 16″ (40.64 cm) frame because due to the size of the tires, even handling smaller bikes can be quite a task.
You might wonder if fat tire bikes make me float, do I need suspension?
Fat tire bikes and suspensions are not alternatives. They are two very different things.
Fat tires only give you traction, they don’t absorb shock. That being said, if you use a fat tire bike as your main bike, you might want to consider one with full suspension rather than a rigid model for a better and comfortable ride.
There are two types of brakes in play.
• Mechanical Disc Brakes AKA cable-actuated brakes: this kind is cheaper and easier to maintain. To get a considerable amount of stopping power you would have to slam the brakes.
• Hydraulic Disc Brakes: More responsive than mechanical disc brakes. This kind requires low pressure for much higher stopping power than disc brakes. The downside to hydraulic brakes is that they are harder to maintain and set up. If you plan on riding during winter, you might also want to consider a brake fluid other than mineral oil such as DOT fluid.
The main thing is to look out for the size of the bike when it comes to women’s fat bikes for easy handling due to the size of the wheels and tires.