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Fat Bikes

Fat Bikes

The bicycle equivalent of the 4x4 vehicle, the fat bike, is an excellent choice for riders interested in tackling challenging terrain. Initially designed to handle thick snow, the modern fat bike is used on all surfaces including muddy areas and sand dunes. Whether you want to use it as a classic mountain bike or for specific off-road purposes, a fat bike model is likely to fulfill your requirements and more. Factors that differentiate different models concern frames, wheels and gearing.

Frame Size

Since this is a bike that is predominantly ridden off-road, it is crucial that the frame size matches the rider. There is no sense in purchasing a mans fat bike for a boy, expecting that eventually the two will become a good fit. The rider needs to able to come to a stop securely when necessary, which depends on being able to firmly touch the ground with one foot while in the saddle. Conversely, a full-grown adult riding a boys size fat bike cannot adequately retain his balance over challenging terrain just by adjusting the seat height. To select the correct frame, always refer to the sizing charts which the assorted brands publish.

Frame Material

Larger wheels and increased wheel space on the frame itself makes the average fat bike unsurprisingly heavier than a regular mountain bike. A good way to shave off some of that weight is to invest in a lighter frame material. Steel frames are the most affordable, but those who plan to use the bike frequently should consider purchasing an aluminium frame. Aluminium is becoming the industry standard, as it represents a good mid-range option that significantly reduces weight. The lightest frames are made of carbon-fibre, usually reserved for high-end models.

Fat Tyres and Gears

The wider the tyre, the greater the traction and hence the safety. With wide tyres, the job of pedalling is relatively harder. For a slower ride over demanding terrain, opt for wider tyres and use the lower gears. Riders who want speed should go for a narrower tyre, enabling higher gears to be engaged. Note that the fat bikes design allows for lower tyre pressure, so if the frame permits it, you can always let off some pressure to improve grip and minimise slippage.

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