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A fat bike is the best type of bicycle to experience what riding on mud or snow is all about. If you live in an area where the weather gets wet and cold in autumn and winter, the fat tire bike will allow you to extend your riding season and have more fun.
Fat bikes are also a fantastic choice for bikepacking, as they can go over different types of terrain, so you don’t need to push your bike as much.
Check out what Iohan Gueorguiev is doing on his for some inspiration!
However, choosing the best fat bike can be tricky for someone who has never ridden one. If you are on the lookout for some off-road thrill of this kind, here are the
10 11 best fat-tire bikes of our choice for 2021.
Pick one of these best fat bikes and then choose your muddy trail!
Winner! Best Electric Fat Bike
Rad Power Bikes’ RadRover 5 is one of the most affordable fat-tire bikes on our list, but don’t let that fool you. This is a multifaceted two-wheeler with decent components and even a motor and battery to help you pedal when the terrain becomes tough. RadRover 5 Electric Fat Bike is equipped with massive 4″ tires, disc brakes, front suspension, and a host of accessories.
To make RadRover 5, Rad Power Bikes decided to blend rugged capabilities with comfort. The result is a stable and versatile e-bike that’s ideal for rough off-road adventures but doesn’t shy away from weekend spins around the neighborhood either.
RadRover is built around a durable 6061 aluminum frameset with a low standover clearance and a front suspension fork. The fork offers 80mm of travel, so it’s not really trail-ready, but it will definitely come in handy for off-road riding.
Regardless of when or where you decide to ride this bike, it has all the components and accessories required to keep you going. The most striking feature is definitely the fat tires. RadRover rolls on Kenda Juggernaut 26″ x 4″ tires with puncture protection, which are incredibly stable and comfortable.
The star of the show is the Bafang geared rear hub 750W motor with 80Nm of torque and a 672Wh battery. This bike offers pedal-assistance and throttle up to 20 MPH, so you can ride faster, longer, and harder compared to a regular fat bike.
RadRover also comes with a 7-speed Shimano Acera drivetrain and powerful mechanical disc brakes. These are entry-level parts, but they are a solid choice for beginners and recreational riders.
Rad Power Bikes RadRover 5 is a durable and capable electric fat bike that offers impressive performance up steep hills, through mud, snow, and sand.
RadRover is also equipped with fenders, lights, and a kickstand, so you can ride it no matter the weather or the time of the day. These features can turn it into a capable daily commuter as well.
If you want an affordable, fun, and practical fat e-bike, RadRover 5 is a very good choice.
Second Best – Best Components and Color
Surly Ice Cream Truck is a capable fat bike with a phenomenal list of features. It is the right choice for riders who plan to take this bike out on dry and rowdy singletracks, in addition to mud and snow, to make the best use of the massive Surly Bud & Lou 4.8″ tires.
Some might argue that a fat bike with such massive tires is overkill, but they probably haven’t tried riding Surly Ice Cream Truck. It is one of the best fat-tire bikes you can find in this price range for a variety of reasons. Great looks are one of them.
This bike comes equipped with a 1×12 Shimano SLX drivetrain, which is one of the best from Shimano’s mid-range lineup. The cassette has an 11-51T range, combined with a 30T crankset.
Surly Ice Cream Truck is one of the most capable bicycles around thanks to its massive 4.8″ tires, strong chromoly steel frame, and modern geometry.
The Surly Bud & Lou, 4.8″ tires meet all requirements to be found on a fat bike and roll over obstacles with ease. They will come in handy when you descend or have to get over sharp obstacles on a fully-loaded bike.
We also like the Tektro Gemini hydraulic disc brakes — there’s not really much that you can say about them other than they stop on a dime.
With all of this in mind, Surly Ice Cream Truck is a bike that you can explore your limits with both in winter and summer, on any type of terrain.
Best Fat Bike for the Entire Family
Mongoose Argus is a well-built fat bike with a sturdy steel frame and fork. It’s available in an attractive copper color and advertised as a great choice for the whole family, including riders between 5 feet 4 inches and 6 feet 2 inches tall.
Mongoose Argus is fitted with a basic 1×7 drivetrain, which does not provide a super-wide gear range, but gives you plenty of gears for moderately hilly rides.
Mongoose makes several fat bike models, so they have plenty of experience when it comes to choosing the right parts. You can see that in the mechanical disc brakes which are an excellent solution when it comes to performance and reliability.
Mongoose Argus is a cheap fat bike that’s perfect for beginner riders who are not ready to bite the bullet and spend thousands of dollars before they’re certain a fat bike is what they really want.
Let’s not forget the knobby 4″ tires, which are 26″ in diameter and offer all the grip and traction you need when riding on snow, mud, sand, or rocks.
Mongoose Argus also has plenty of eyelets to mount different carriers and bags on it. Therefore, it’s ready for adventure whenever you are!
Great Alternative for Kids
Here’s one of the most popular kids’ fat bikes with plus-size tires, 20-inch wheels, and a crazy-fun paint job that’s ideal for junior riders to learn the ropes of trail riding. Hiland comes 85% assembled and fits riders 42”–56” tall.
If you want a fat tire bike that is built especially for children, then this Hiland model is the one. Its handlebar, saddle, crank, and brake levers are built specifically for sprouting cyclists and their smaller hands, legs, and feet.
The frame and fork on the Hiland are both made from durable and comfortable steel which is seen on many adult fat bikes as well. The top tube slopes quite a bit, so the standover clearance is low, which means it’s easy to mount and dismount the bike.
The Hiland fat bike rolls on plus-size 20″ x 4″ knobby tires that will teach kids about traction and grip. They instill confidence on loose surfaces and will definitely prevent quite a few unnecessary falls. The rims are double-walled, so they are strong enough to handle some beating.
The Hiland kids’ fat bike is jam-packed with features and solutions that make it the best fat tire bike for kids, including the geometry, components, and children-specific parts.
You’ll also see a Shimano rear derailleur and a 1×7 drivetrain on this bike. These parts are cheap and basic, but it’s the groupset most kids and most beginner riders start with — that’s what it’s made for.
Finally, the mechanical disc brakes are indispensable when riding down slopes or soaking the wheel in water and mud.
If you want to surprise your child with one of the best affordable fat bikes with a focus on supermassive tires, Hiland is more than a good choice.
Best Equipped Fat Bike
Few bike brands out there can come close to Rocky when it comes to building adventure bikes. Rocky Blizzard is one of the best fat bikes you can get for this amount of money. As you can see from its name, it’s ready to take you through some serious blizzards.
Rocky Blizzard is a cumbersome machine with an aluminum frame and a Manitou Mastodon Pro (Ext) with 120mm of travel.
If you have money to spare and you want a bike to ride when the weather gets as bad as possible, then your funds can safely go here. You’ll get a decent amount of value from the components and the build.
Rocky Blizzard is not the lightest fat bike out there, but its aluminum frame and suspended fork might make it one of the most comfortable and most practical ones.
Blizzard comes with a 1×12 drivetrain, so you’re equipped with plenty of wide-range gears to power through any mud pit. The components are mostly SRAM GX Eagle, except for SRAM Guide RE hydraulic brakes. All of these are reliable and efficient enough for even the most demanding of riders.
The star of the show is the Terrene Cake Eater Fast Rolling Tubeless Studdable 27.5 x 4.0 tires rolling on Sun Mulefüt 80 rims. If you deflate them a bit and add studs, you can take them over rocks and snow and let them seek adventure for you.
The only downside is the weight, which is not uncommon for fat bikes but should still be pointed out. Other than that, Rocky Blizzard checks all the requirements in this price range and is adventure-ready.
Excellent for Beginners and Weekend Adventures
Mongoose Malus is a bargain steel fat bike with all the features beginner riders could ask for. It will ensure nothing will stand in your way on the road to success lined with roots, rocks, mud, and snow.
Mongoose Malus is basically an SUV in the world of cycling, equipped with huge tires, disc brakes, and an evergreen steel frame.
The steel frame and fork on this bike provide you with stiffness, durability, and comfort, whereas the wide tires give you unlimited possibilities when it comes to the terrain you will ride on.
If you want the most possible value and you’re not willing to spend a lot of money, you’ll find this bike attractive. It has one of the biggest tires of all the best fat bikes out there. Mongoose Malus’s tires are 4″ wide and 26″ in diameter, so this two-wheeler looks more like a moto than a bike.
Moreover, the bike is fitted with a 1×7 drivetrain and Shimano Tourney components, so you’ll be able to keep it going on different types of terrain quite easily. These are entry-level components, but they’re good enough for recreational riders.
You’ll also get mechanical disc brakes and rotors which are precise, reliable, and powerful the moment you engage the lever.
Mongoose did a great job with the Malus fat bike which offers satisfying performance for a very reasonable price.
Most Affordable Fat Bike
If you’re on an extremely tight budget, this is the best fat tire bike for you. It’s the cheapest option on this list but it’s still a good choice for the right type of rider. Outroad is a steel fat bike with big tires, a suspension fork, and 21 gears.
Outroad is not such a well-known company but they did a good job with this bike considering the low $400 price tag. Keep in mind that the frame is quite big—user reviews claim that it easily fits riders 6’4″ and taller, despite what the company suggests.
Most fat bikes don’t have any suspension at all. However, this Outroad fat bike has a smooth front suspension fork. Of course, this is an entry-level fork so we don’t recommend testing it on singletracks or rough trails. However, it will do for casual off-road riding.
Are you struggling to find a quality fat tire bike that fits your tight budget? Then the Outroad fat bike can solve all of your problems!
This is a 26″ bicycle with 4″ tires. That’s super wide! If you lower the pressure, imagine how much fun you can have riding on snow, sand, and even over rocks.
When you finish climbing you’ll be happy to have mechanical disc brakes at your disposal to slow down and control the descent.
Other components include a 3×7 Shimano drivetrain, which is a big plus for Outroad. Most fat bikes in this price range come with just 7 gears.
If you’re a beginner or you’re just looking for a fat bike capable of weekend off-road adventures, Outroad is a decent choice.
If you need gnarly tires but fat bikes are too fat for you, you should check out some alternative models that we recommend. These are mostly bikes with 27.5+ tires or very wide 29″ tires that offer the capabilities of fat bikes, but are not as sluggish.
You won’t be able to roll over snow, mud, sand, rocks, and roots with the same ease, but you’ll save some weight and gain some speed if you choose one of these alternative models.
Best Alternative Choice
Fat bikes are fun, sturdy, capable, gnarly, and they can also be affordable if you know where to look. Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 is not a ‘fat’ bike in the full sense of the word, but it does come with huge 27.5+ x 2.8″ wheels that are almost as capable.
Co-op Cycles combines a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame with SRAM’s 12-speed drivetrain to provide intermediate riders with a versatile bike that can handle different challenges. It’s our first choice for a variety of good reasons.
The first thing you’ll notice on Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 is definitely the tires. It rolls on WTB Ranger 2.8″ tires that don’t shy away from any challenge. You can ride on roots, rocks, sand, snow, and mud without any problems.
DRT 2.2 is built around an aluminum frame that is jam-packed with eyelets. It’s paired up with a RockShox Recon RL fork with 120mm–140mm of travel, depending on the frame size. Both the frame and the fork feature thru-axles for added stability and rigidity.
You can outfit this bike with racks and fenders, as well as two water bottles. The cables are internally routed, which makes the bike look sleek.
The groupset is SRAM’s NX Eagle which puts 12 wide-range gears at your disposal. The cassette has an 11-50T range, so there’s no chance you’ll be lacking granny gears.
A nice surprise at this price point is the Shimano MT500 hydraulic disc brakes which will transform your braking experience if you were using mechanical discs or rim brakes before. These are dual-piston brakes built exclusively for trail riding.
All in all, Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 looks good, rides well, and has a pretty tempting price tag. Get it if you want a reliable ride that will get you through any adversity.
Best Cargo Fat Bike
Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4 is one of the best e-cargo bikes out there with fattish tires. If you are planning to carry a lot of cargo, this is the bike that you can haul all of your belongings with. Essentially, it is a quirky-looking cargo fat bike with some pretty sweet specs.
FULL REVIEW: RadWagon 4
Rad Power Bikes’ RadWagon is the perfect electric bicycle to forget about having a car in your garage. You can use this bike to do your weekly shopping and carry all of your groceries home without any problems. You can also attach two child seats on the rear rack and take your kids to school or on a leisurely ride around town.
RadWagon is built on an extra-strong 6061 aluminum frame and a rigid steel fork. The frame has an extended wheelbase and rear stays with remarkable carrying capacity. The rear rack supports up to four full-size panniers, and you can fit a few more on the fork.
If you want a fat electric bike that can carry lots of weight and not budge a bit, then RadWagon is the ultimate choice on the market.
RadWagon an excellent choice for cycling beginners as it has a strong 750W rear hub motor with pedal-assistance and throttle. It’s powered by a 672Wh battery, so you can expect a 45+ mile range on one charge. It will help you carry all the cargo you want up a steep hill without breaking a sweat.
What is the best fat bike? The one that gives you the most freedom. The tires this bike comes with are custom-made 22″ x 3″, so they are not as ‘fat’ as on some other models on this list. Still, they guarantee comfort and performance.
The groupset Rad Power Bikes went with is Sram Acera which puts 7 gears at your disposal. It’s an entry-level group, but you’ll be able to pedal almost anywhere thanks to the help you’ll be getting from the motor.
Get Rad Power Bikes RadWagon 4 if you’re already planning your next adventure and don’t forget to share some photos.
Best 27.5+ Electric MTB
If you want to ride year-round, without any limits, then Marin Nail Trail E2 is the right choice for you. It is one of the best 27.5+ e-bikes for snow, but it does equally well when confronted with mud, sand, roots, or rocks.
This bike is not really cheap, but it’s not too expensive either considering it comes with Shimano electronic parts. This makes it a good mid-range model and a decent investment into extending your mountain biking season.
Marin Nail Trail E2 comes with a lightweight aluminum frame with internal cable routing. It rolls on 27.5+ wheels and really wide 2.8″ tires.
The bike comes with a RockShox Revelation RC suspension fork with 140mm of travel, which will smooth out any bumps and obstacles on the trail.
When it comes to electronic components, Shimano is hard to beat nowadays. Nail Trail E2 has a powerful mid-drive Steps E8000 motor and a 500Wh Shimano battery. This setup will give you all the pedal-assistance you need and provide you with a decent range.
Part of the reason why Marin Nail Trail E2 made it to our best fat bike list is that it has tubeless-ready rims and tires. The Marin aluminum double-wall rims are combined with Vee Tire Crown Gem tires that are 2.8″ wide.
Marin Nail Trail E2 is a ridiculously fun 27.5+ bike that comes with mid-range components and a very tempting price.
The bike is powered by a 1×8 drivetrain with an e-bike specific SRAM EX1 rear mech. To stop and enjoy the scenery once you’re out and about, just gently engage the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. They are coupled with 203 mm rotors.
All in all, there’s not much to dislike about Marin Nail Trail E2. It’s a remarkable mountain bike for snowy weather that does its job well.
Best FS E-Bike with Massive Tires
Fat bikes are extremely fun to ride, but they’re not the best choice for everyone. Some riders want a compromise between speed and off-road performance that 27.5+ and full-suspension offer.
Devinci AC 27.5 is one of the best high mid-range full-suspension bikes with huge tires that you can use to ride all year round and test your limits on different terrain.
Devinci is one of the most popular bike brands out there when it comes to building quality mountain bikes, including electric models. With AC 27.5 as an example, we can see exactly why.
Devinci AC 27.5 is an e-bike that will give you the freedom to follow your intuition and choose more and more challenging trails every single time.
Devinci AC is an aluminum bike that features a Fox Float 36 Performance fork with 180mm of travel and a Fox Float DHX2 Performance rear shock. Therefore, it’s ready for serious riding and racing.
When it comes to electronic components, Devinci did not cut any corners. The AC 27.5 comes with high-quality Shimano Steps E8000 motor and battery that will help you conquer more hills and complete more descents in a single day. This is a class 1 e-bike, so it offers pedal-assistance up to 20 MPH.
The most important part of this bike is its massive 2.8″ Maxxis tires that are 27.5 inches in diameter. These are Maxxis Minion tires, which is one of the most popular choices.
Devinci has also equipped this model with 11 gears that can be shifted through with a SRAM NX rear derailleur. It is the best-value choice you can get when it comes to 1×11 drivetrains.
As it befits one of the best wide tire bikes, Devinci AC 27.5 comes with SRAM Guide RE hydraulic disc brakes that show no struggle when it comes to bringing this fun-factory to a stop. They are paired up with 200mm rotors.
The color is quite exciting as well, so we believe there’s nothing you will not love on this bike. Plus, you’ll like the value you get as well, which is equally as important!
5010 C R is one of Santa Cruz’s best FS bikes around $4,000. It sits in the middle of their adventure offering, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is not a seriously capable machine. It’s ideal for riders who intend to both race and ride on trails for fun, on all types of terrain.
To make 5010 C R, Santa Cruz re-examined all of their Trail and All-Mountain models and borrowed all of the best elements. The result is a versatile FS bicycle that can do whatever you set your mind to.
It’s made with a Carbon frame that’s light, stiff, and super-efficient when it comes to power transfer. The frame features one mount for a water bottle cage located inside the triangle.
No matter where you decide to ride this bike, it has everything it needs to keep going. The most important of all is the 27.5 x 2.4″ Maxxis Minion tires rolling on WTB ST i30 TCS 2.0 wheels. These are what you’d expect to see on a mountain bike in this price range.
Santa Cruz 5010 C R is equipped with Fox front and rear suspension that offers 140/130mm of travel and lots of advanced adjustabilities.
Then there’s the SRAM NX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain which is SRAM’s best-value 1×12 setup. It’s part of a mid-range group which means it has exquisite value for money.
Santa Cruz 5010 C R is a strong and capable trail bike that performs remarkably on any day of the week and on any adventure you take it.
If you get carried away and pick up too much speed, SRAM Guide T hydraulic disc brakes will have no problem slowing you down and helping you regain control.
If you want the best fat bike from Santa Cruz at this price, end your search with the 5010 C R!
Most fat bikes come with rigid forks, without any form of suspension. Many riders think suspension on a fat bike is redundant because of massive tires that soak up any vibrations, bumps, rocks, and roots on the trails.
Most fat bikes ride on tires that are 3.8″ to 5″ wide. So if you want a more comfortable ride, you can simply deflate them a bit and feel as if you have suspension.
However, there are some fat bikes with suspension forks, such as RadRover or Outroad that we talk about in this review.
If you want to run your tires at a higher pressure to be more efficient and maneuver better, you should consider getting some front squish.
But, most of the time, a hardtail fat bike with a rigid fork is the cheapest and the best option to go for.
Just like traditional mountain bikes, fat bikes come with different wheel sizes. You can typically get a fat bike with 26″, 27.5″, or 29″ wheels.
Most fat bikes nowadays use 26″ wheels, but the two other sizes are not uncommon either. The 26″ tires will give you better maneuverability, but larger wheels will allow you to roll over obstacles with more ease.
Rim width also varies greatly from one bike to another. Fat bike rims are usually 60mm to 100mm wide, depending on the tire width you want to run. The wider the tire you want to fit, the wider the rim needs to be.
Generally, if you plan to ride slow and bendy trails with a lot of corners, decelerations, and accelerations, you should go for 26″ wheels because they are more dynamic.
However, if you want a lower attack angle to maintain a constant speed, roll over rocks and roots more easily, ride cross country or on the snow, 29″ wheels are a much better choice.
The beauty of fat bikes is that they are very versatile. Most models can easily accommodate several different wheel sizes, including standard 27.5″ and 29″ mountain bike wheels.
When buying a fat bike, you should look for one with a frame that supports different rim options. That way, you can sometimes ride your bike with fat tires and then turn it into a proper mountain bike when it suits you.
If you plan to do this, one thing to keep in mind is hub width. Fat bikes are made with different hub standards, so you’ll likely need to buy a dedicated set of wheels or build a custom one yourself.
Fat bikes usually use tires that are between 3.8″ and 5″ wide. There are no strict rules and definitions here, just personal preferences.
However, there are a few guidelines and common sense principles you can follow when choosing which tire width to get.
Wider tires provide a bigger contact surface and more float, so they are a better choice for soft surfaces such as sand and snow. They are also better for very rough terrain with a lot of rocks and bumps.
On the other hand, narrower tires are faster and less squirmy, so you should choose them if you plan to ride on hardpacked trails that are firmer and drier.
Whichever width you choose, make sure to set up your tires tubeless. This will help you avoid flats and allow you to run lower pressure to get more traction and more squish.
Finally, if you plan to ride in winter, get a sealant that works in subzero temperatures and studded tires for a much better grip.
Fat bikes are made to be ridden on the most challenging types of terrains. Modern mountain bikes are very capable today, but there are some situations in which they simply can’t get the job done.
Wider tires, better angles, and more durable frames all come together to make a fat bike the best choice for extreme settings.
Here are some of the most common terrain choices for fat bikes and some guidelines on how to tackle them:
The correct number of gears on a fat bike is a subjective matter. Some models come with single-speed drivetrains, whereas others feature 2x or even 3x setups.
If you plan to ride in very hilly areas, having more gears is always better. Fat bikes are generally heavier than normal mountain bikes, so smaller gears will ensure easier pedaling.
Drivetrains with 1x setups (one front chainring) are becoming more and more popular because they can have up to 12 cogs (gears) in the back. They also make maintenance easier because there is just one derailleur and a lot fewer cables to deal with.
In the end, the choice is yours. However, we recommend avoiding 3x drivetrains (they’re heavy and often unnecessary) and choosing a 1x or a 2x setup depending on your budget, fitness level, and riding preferences.
We chose these 10 best fat bikes to give you a broad spectrum to choose from. It includes different price ranges, component specs, geometries, and intended uses.
Whichever model you choose, you will end up with a reliable and dependable fat bike that will extend your riding season and give you new possibilities when it comes to choosing the route.
I hope you’re already planning your next fat tire adventure and you’ll share it with us!