Why Ride a Fat Bike?

The term "fat bike" is actually slang that refers to the size of the tires, not the weight of the vehicle. This article aims to provide an overview of riding a fat bike. Fat bikes are an amazing mode of transport, especially if it's recently flooded, muddy, or snowy where you live. 

Here is an explanation of what fat bikes are, what they're good for, and why you should ride one.

What is Fat Bike

The fat bike, also known as the fattie, is a type of bicycle that uses 4" wide tires and has a very low air pressure (usually between 8 and 15 psi).

The rise in the popularity of the fat bike in the past few decades is hard to miss. It's not just fun to have a fat bike, it's good for you. 

Cycling is a low-impact exercise that has many health benefits, including relieving stress, improving your cardiovascular system, strengthening your muscles, and promoting good balance.

A fat bike is the easiest way to make healthy lifestyle changes in the environment. Cycling isn't just good for you it can be good for the environment too. 

Studies have shown that when people use a fat bike to travel somewhere, they usually end up walking to their destination-resulting in increased foot traffic and reduced car traffic.

The Main Reasons Why People Buy Fat Bikes

There are plenty of reasons why you would like a fat bike. The first thing that people like about a fat bike is that they can customize them any way they want. Whether it's the color, the wheels, the size, the frame, the handlebars, the seat and so much more.

fat biking benefits

Another way people like a fat bike is because they can go anywhere and through any type of terrain, including snow and sand. Some people also say that they love their fat bikes because fat bikes go faster than regular bikes because they has more "traction".

They are also at a lower center of gravity for better balance. Fat bikes are also more durable because they are wider which allows for more surface area to distribute stress. 

A fat bike is also heavy-duty, have more gears, have bigger air-filled tires, are great for street riding, are cheaper, are recyclable, are more environmentally friendly, are fun to ride, and are easy to find.

Choosing the right size fat tire bike frame can be difficult because the frame's seat and head tube shapes can differ. 

When deciding which frame size for fat tire bikes to purchase, you'll need to do some research and think carefully about the type of riding you'll be doing and what kind of fit will suit your preferences. 

Do you want a comfortable fit that doesn't come with too many accessories? Then the smaller frame size is the better option for your fat tire bike. 

If you're more of a performance type of person and want to get the most out of your cyclings, such as the power and performance, then the larger fat-tire bikes frame size is the better option for you.

When and Where to Ride Fat Tire Bikes

If you want to ride in dry weather, a fat bike is a great choice because it's got fat tires and the fat bike is heavier than a regular bike so it is not as easily affected when mixing up the dry and wet ground when it rains.

There are many who believe that a fat bike are only appropriate for wintertime. But this is not true. Actually, there are plenty of times throughout the year where you should ride a fat bike: 

1) Riding on sand or snow on your beach vacation is a great time to use a fat bike. 2) Walking the dog on the trails by your house is a great way to use a fat bike too. 3) Fat bikes are wonderful on ice. Keep on riding all winter long!

what are fat bikes

A Fat Bike is a new trend in outdoor athletics. The Fat Bike has a fat tire that is a lot more forgiving on snow and rocks. If you're going to be hitting terrain that is a little more questionable, a fat bike is definitely a better choice. 

Fat bikes are best suited to any trail surface that requires some cushioning, such as sand, loose gravel, snow, or wet leaves. The wide, low tire gives you greater traction and makes the bike less susceptible to sliding sideways in loose conditions. 

The wide, low tire gives you greater traction and makes the bike less susceptible to sliding sideways in loose conditions.

Why is Fat Bike Good in Winter?

A fat bike has many advantages in winter because it is more stable on the snow and ice than regular bikes. Fat bikes typically have 4-5-inch-wide tires that provide a significant amount of traction and stability which allow one to keep the bike upright when cornering. 

The tires can typically go through snow and ice that is up to 3 inches in depth and the tires also prevent the rider from sinking into snowdrifts. 

Compared to a traditional bike, fat bikes are more sensitive to movement on the snow or ice, so you can feel the ground better, giving you more traction. You can also use fat bikes on snowmobile trails.

Fat tires pressure varies depending on the rider's weight, the type of tires, the road conditions, and the type of bicycle. When a tire is correctly inflated it grips the road better and reduces the chances of a blowout.

Why Fat Bike is Useful Compared to Mountain Bikes

Most people that I know that have a fat bike for their everyday bike of choice will tell you that it has become a primary tool of transportation compared to mountain bikes. 

fat bike vs mountain bike

With the ability to traverse terrain for many different types of riders, the fat bike has become a viable option for a utilitarian cycle over mountain bikes. 

With a more upright cycling stance then a mountain bike, you'll find a less strenuous ride on fat tire bikes, with the added benefits of a wider tire with lower rolling resistance. 

Fat tire bikes also have a greater ground clearance than mountain bikes which is advantageous for traversing obstacles.

The Fat Bike has been developed for those who want to go on a ride through the winter months and maintain their fitness level. The Fat Bike is the perfect way to keep your muscle memory tight and keep your endurance high. 

Fat tire bikes are a great way for those who find themselves cooped up all winter to stay active and to shake off the rust that might have accumulated over the months.

 Riding a fat bike burns around the same amount of calories as burning upwards of 600-800 calories per hour on a standard bike. This is a great and fun way to stay in shape and to stay healthy.

Since the fat tire bike is newer than mountain bikes, there are still many who prefer the former to the latter. One big plus for fat bikes is that they are capable of handling softer surfaces that would be difficult for mountain bikes to handle. 

Thus, they are great for sidewalks and grass. That's not to say that they are incompatible with rocky terrain, but they are not ideal for it. 

As for mountain bikes, they are far more capable of handling rocky terrain than fat bikes. Moreover, they are lighter than fat bikes so they are easier to control. 

The fat bike tires are designed to ride in snow or sand, so in this case, you would need to have the higher tire pressure, around 10 psi. 

the benefits of fat bikes

Another issue is that in colder climates, you'll need to have the higher tire pressure, in order to plow through the snow, whereas in warmer climates, the rider would need to have a much lower tire pressure, in order to decrease rolling resistance.

Mountain bikes are, in general, better for rough terrain, then fat tires.


Today many people are starting to see the benefits of fat bike riding. So, if you're looking to take a ride out on a thin layer of snow, a thin layer of sand, or a muddy dirt bike track- fat bikes can handle that with ease. 


1. Are fat bikes harder to ride?

Because of the way the fat bike’s tires are designed and how they look, they appear to be harder to ride.

2. Can you ride a fat tire bike on the pavement?

Yes, you can ride a fat tire bike on the pavement as it is actually legal as long as you do go at a reasonable speed and you don't go on pedestrian walking paths.

However, you should never ride your bike at speeds faster than 10 miles an hour, and also you should make sure your bike tires are in good shape and your bike has a good front and rear brake.

3. Are fat bikes comfortable?

Although they appear a bit clunky, they are surprisingly comfortable. The wide tires not only cushion bumps and dips, allowing a smooth ride, but also make it easier to go over obstacles like mud, sand, and snow. 

The bike’s crescent shape allows the rider to stay upright while riding over rough terrain for greater comfort. Finally, the handlebars are designed to be more contoured, usually with grips to make holding on to them easier.

4. Are fat bikes good for beginners?

Yes. In fact, they get beginners to go perform better not just because of the comfort, but also because of the performance. 

With big tires, the bike is able to move faster through the snow because it’s a lot softer to ride a bike through the snow rather than running.

5. Why are fat tire bikes so popular?

The popularity of fat tire bikes is definitely because of their comfort. It's very easy to just get on one and start riding, and they're very easy to pedal, given the fact that you're riding on tires that are usually twice as large. 

Also, they're considered to be very good for off-road riding thanks to the flat tires, which gives you a better grip. Given the difficulty of off-road riding, you'll appreciate any advantage you can get.

6. Are fat bikes good in the summer?

Yes, fat bikes are great for riding in the summer months. They take up less room than a regular bike does so you can be more flexible with what you wanna do.

 Because they are so strong and built so well they also take less maintenance than a regular bike. This is great because that means that it is actually cheaper to keep up with your fat bike than it is with your typical bike.

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the ski and snowboard space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.


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