Fat Bike: Pros and Cons of a Fat Bike
Fatbike (English fatbike). a bicycle with thick wheels, the name literally translates as “fat bike“. This is a mountain bike with wide wheels for off-road riding in winter and summer. The idea for the bicycle belongs to Mark Grunwald, who lives in Alaska. You can ride a fat bike at any time of the year. It rolls both on smooth asphalt and off-road: snow, sand, mud and stones.
Bike with wide wheels: design and features of a fat bike
A fat bike can be easily distinguished from a regular bike by its large, wide wheels, similar to motorcycle ones. The width of the tires is 3.5-5 inches (for a standard mountain bike. up to 2.5 inches), the width of the rims is 65-100 mm. The pressure in the fat bike chamber is in the range of 0.5-2 atm. Depending on the road surface, the pressure in the chamber must be reduced or increased. Wide wheels with low pressure create good shock absorption and go off-road. If you increase the pressure, it will be convenient to ride on the highway. Pressure needs to be experimented with because very high or very low pressure will cause the bike to jump and reduce handling.
Depending on the size of the model, the weight of the fat bike can be from 10 to 20 kg. Fatbikes can withstand a load of 80-140 kg. Due to its size, the fat bike seems clumsy and dangerous.
Fat bike frames are available in steel, aluminum and carbon. The latter greatly facilitate the design, but also cost 2-3 times more expensive than the others.
A fat bike, like any SUV, accelerates slowly and develops a low speed. up to 25-30 km / h. For faster driving, there are electrophets with a motor and a battery. These models are much heavier and more expensive than regular fats.
What is a fat bike for?
The fat bike is designed for off-road riding: mud and soft ground, loose sand, gravel and snow. Where a regular MTB does not pass, the fat bike will not notice the difficulties. Meter snowdrifts will not master, but will cope with snow porridge. For the ability to ride on snow, a fat bike is also called a snowbike or “snow bike”. A fat bike can be used not only off-road, but also as a city all-season transport, especially in cities where snow is poorly removed.
How to choose a fat bike and how much does it cost
Fatbikes are single-speed and multi-speed, folding, mechanical and electric, all-wheel drive. Model selection depends on budget and goals, but the most common options are a conventional fat bike with gearshift switches and an electric fat bike.
An electric fat bike is a conventional fat bike with an electric motor mounted on a frame. Electrophets are much more expensive and should only be chosen if you want to use your bike as a means of transportation. For sports purposes, choose a regular.
Choosing a fat bike in terms of frame size and body kit level is similar to a regular mountain bike. Therefore, if you already own a bike, choose a frame of the same size. Read about the level of derailleurs, brakes and frame materials in our article on choosing a bike.
How much is a fat bike
Like any other bikes, fat bikes vary greatly in price depending on materials, components and brand. On average, fat bikes cost more than regular mountain bikes for the same drivetrain and frame material.
Skinny vs. Wide Tires for Fixed Gear
Fatbikes range from 300 to 5,000. Quality models with reliable hardware start at 1,000. Decent discount models can be found from 500.
Wide wheel fat bikes
The classic version of a two-wheeled vehicle does not allow you to move quickly and comfortably on liquid mud, off-road and sand. Bicycles with wide wheels solve this problem, which can be used even in rather harsh climatic conditions. In this case, you need to know what a fat bike is. Also special is what a fat bike is for. Appropriate equipment, a reliable bike and knowledge of some of the features of the operation of equipment will ensure comfortable movement on off-road, in harsh conditions and in bad weather.
Purpose and design features
Conventional classic bike models of any type do not allow for efficient rides in difficult conditions. Therefore, manufacturers have released a fat bike, which is characterized by wide and large wheels and practicality. Before choosing a particular model, you should know what a fat bike is, its types and characteristics, and what a fat bike is for. This approach allows you to choose the best bike option that will ensure safety and comfort on the road on any road.
Many people wanting to learn fat bike. what it is, the practicality of this vehicle is highly appreciated. This is due to the fact that the design of the bike has a well thought out shape. Thus, the following design features of this bicycle model can be distinguished:
The Truth About Wide Tyres And Wide Rims On Road Bikes
- The main distinguishing part of a fat bike is the wheels and the pressure in them. They are wider than other bicycles;
- The vehicle also has a wider rim width than mountain or e-bike models;
- The bike has wide and thick tires, which provide high efficiency when driving on various routes;
- There are holes on the rims that are necessary to reduce the weight of the product, because massive tires and a large width make transport difficult;
- The fat bike can be fitted with both hydraulic and disc brakes. There is also an electric bike with wide wheels.
A bike with wide and large wheels is optimal for off-roading, riding on loose snow or liquid mud and other similar trails. This practicality of the technique is due to the carefully thought out width of the tire. At the same time, it is possible to regulate the pressure inside these parts, if necessary, increase or decrease the area of adhesion to the road. That is why a bicycle with large wheels is a tool, the popularity of which is quite high.
There are no shock absorbers in the design, but their absence is compensated for by large wheels. With the help of such elements, the vehicle allows you to easily overcome various obstacles in the form of stones, bumps on the road and other areas. This cross-country ability is not different for a regular bicycle of any type. At the same time, inside the tire of each wheel, the pressure is about 0.5-1.5 atm. The usual version of the technique has tires, the pressure in which. from 2 to 3.5 atm. Thus, the efficiency of traction of large wheels with the ground and the permeability of the vehicle is increased, which provides pressure.
A bike with unusual wide wheels is also versatile. Such a vehicle can be easily transformed into both winter and summer versions. To do this, you need to purchase two pairs of wheels: one of the standard type, and the other. big. In the first case, the technique will resemble a mountain bike, and in the second, the fat bike will provide comfortable movement in difficult conditions, on snow or mud, stones or off-road. It should be borne in mind that tires and wheels must be of high quality, and the pressure in them must be optimal.
Comfortable and reliable fatbikes are produced by only a few major manufacturers. Each company also provides all the necessary parts for this technique, for example, a motor wheel. Such a company as SURLY is especially known, but the models produced by the FATBIKES company are also practical. In any case, for each model of popular vehicles, disc brakes are most often provided. At the same time, on a fat bike with wide and large wheels, you can install a motor wheel and make an electric bike, which is very popular. This approach allows you to significantly improve the model of equipment that has been released by any company.
The assortment of popular manufacturers includes bicycles with hydraulic disc brakes, but an e-bike can also be purchased. On such a model, there is a motor wheel, and the pressure in it ensures easy movement. Before choosing an e-bike, it is worth determining a fat bike. what it is and what are motor wheels for. The terrain on which the ride is planned, the features of operation, the cost and characteristics of the electric bicycle motor wheel are taken into account. Various options for popular types of electric bicycles and any motorized wheel have the following features:
- The well-thought-out design that distinguishes the bike ensures comfortable operation of the equipment;
- Electric bicycles and motor wheels can have different parameters and configurations of accumulators, and if necessary, you can install disc hydraulic brakes;
- High-quality bicycles and motor wheels, which are produced by any well-known company, can have both aluminum and steel frames;
- The motor wheel, which has a bicycle with large tires, can be installed both in front and behind.
Various models of this technique are practical and easy to use. A reliable electric bike or regular fat bike features large wheels, good cross-country ability and easy maintenance. These advantages are due to the high popularity of both an electric bike and a simple model.
Practical fat bikes with motorized wheels are a reliable means of transportation, but the technology does not allow driving through large snowdrifts and swamps. A fat bike or an electric bike will provide a comfortable ride in those conditions in which the classic type of two-wheeled transport without a motor wheel will not travel even a short distance. At the same time, it is important to choose high-quality and durable brakes, large tires, and also monitor the technical condition of an electric bike or bike.
A bit of history
The fat bike was first mentioned in 1932 in a United States cycling publication. On the page of the magazine, a cyclist was captured on his “iron horse” with thick wheels. At that moment, this model of transport was not taken seriously.
Alaska is considered the official place of creation of this bike; the fat bike was donated to the world due to the efforts of Mark Grunwald. He increased the size of the tires from three inches to three and a half. As a result, this bike was great on snowy terrain. The Surly Pugsley is the first fat bike to be mass produced. At the moment, various models of these bicycles are made with different designs. with titanium or carbon frames, rigid rigid forks or soft shock absorption and other features.
What is a fat bike for?
A similar bike appeared on the domestic market relatively recently. 2-3 years ago. Every year there are more and more such bicycles on the streets, but interest in fat bikes does not fade away and they continue to attract the attention of strangers.
Such bicycles are the best option for tourism lovers who like to experiment and are tired of banality. With the help of this transport, any routes can be easily overcome. He is not afraid of heterogeneous soil, dirt, branches. It is convenient to use a bike with thick wheels in summer and winter, which is suitable for active riders. He can easily overcome snowdrifts.
Fat bike design features
Translated from English “fat” means “fat”, and the word “bike” is translated as the word “bike” familiar to many cyclists. In this title, the developer focused on the thickness and width of the tires. The bike has a rather powerful look due to massive wheels, reminiscent of motorcycle wheels. As for the frame, its strength is significantly superior to that of other bicycles. 2-3 times depending on a particular fat bike.
For these bicycles, the normal tire width is between three and a half to four and a half inches (in other words, 10cm). The wider area of contact between the wheels and the road surface makes the fat bike virtually the all-terrain vehicle in its industry. Competent tire pressure distribution allows you to smoothly overcome mountain trails, off-road and forest areas.
The fat bike differs from other bicycles due to the following design features:
- wide and thick-walled tires, each weighing at least 1.5 kg;
- a handlebar of large width (about 72 cm) and weighing from 1 to 2 kg;
- disc braking system (can also be hydraulic or mechanical);
- bike weight varies from 12 to 19 kg;
- frame and fork design (so that the wheel with a large width fits correctly, the feathers are slightly curved in the rear triangle).
Almost a third of the total weight of fatbikes is on their wheels. Visually, such a bike has a slightly intimidating appearance, but during the ride it is the same as any other type of mountain bike. But on a fat bike it is much easier to maintain balance at different speeds, and the course of such a transport is much softer.
Avoid inflating the tires too much before heading into town so the bike can compensate for bumps in the road and absorb bumps. If the wheels are fully inflated, then the cyclist will receive a powerful mountain bike with significant inertia.
If an adult cyclist is 1.65-1.78m tall, choosing an 18-inch frame is the right choice. For taller ones, 20-inch.
The weight of the fat bike depends on the size of the wheels and the material of the frame. Lightweight carbon models with 20-inch wheels can weigh about 10-12 kg, and the simplest models in the region of 18 kg.
Models designed for a cyclist’s weight of up to 100 kg are considered common. Even putting on a backpack of impressive size on the shoulders, the user will not harm their transport. Three-wheeled electric models equipped with a roof rack, adapted to carry loads up to 140 kg.
What is a fat bike for and how it differs from a regular bike
A fat bike is, simply put, a bike with large wheels. When they first appeared on the market, someone paid attention to them at least out of curiosity, and some even looked at them as alien life forms.
As time went on and people realized their usefulness, fatbikes gained more and more followers. Nevertheless, many still do not understand why they are needed, but those who tried to ride them understood why all this noise.
How to choose a fat bike?
We have summarized the most basic aspects to look out for when choosing the right fat bike.
The history of the creation of fat bikes
They have been around since the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that they began to resemble modern models. Before that, there were greats that had 2-3 wheels cleverly joined together to try to increase surface contact with the ground.
It wasn’t until Alaska bike frame manufacturers experimented with different bike parts to make them safe and comfortable to use during the winter. They began to fasten several rims together in order to use multiple tires at the same time.
In 2001, a frame designer from Alaska named Mark Gronewald coined the name “Fat bike” for his inventions.
In 2011, he was able to build a complete vehicle that has a full range of features that modern cyclists could use.
A decade ago, absurd bikes with big wheels seemed like a novelty and were considered strange, however, today they are very popular all over the world. According to some cyclists, the emergence of Fatbikes is the biggest innovation that has shaken the industry in a decade.
What is a fat bike for??
All weather monster
Some people are serious about sports, and no weather will make them stop exercising. Bicycles with thick tires are able to adapt to any weather. They will not slide on wet stone or asphalt. They also won’t sink in mud or snow. Plus, because they weigh more than a regular MTB, bikes with larger tires will resist strong winds more effectively without endangering the rider.
Fat bike device
He can handle any off-road. a proven fact. To understand what a fat bike is for, let’s figure out how it works.
Fatbike literally means “fat bike”. Indeed, thick wheels that allow you to conquer the most difficult sections are a distinctive feature and the main advantage of a fat bike. Tire widths range from 3.5 to 4.8 inches. much more than a regular bike (2 inches). The wheels are unique in their versatility. With low tire pressure (about 5-7 PSI), fat easily overcomes bumps and bumps. Its wheels “spread” over the surface, creating a high traction patch, concealing bumps and reducing pressure on the surface. This ensures the all-passability of the fat bike. With high pressure (20-25 PSI), the bike rolls on flat roads as well as a mountain bike. By choosing the correct tire pressure, you can significantly ease driving on a certain area of the terrain.
- Thick wide tires;
- Wide handlebar (720 mm);
- Frame and fork geometry (rear triangle stays are curved to accommodate a “fat” wheel);
- Disc brake system (mechanical or hydraulic);
- Weight ranges from 12 to 19 kg.
From the history of fat bike
The first mention of a fat bike is found in an American bicycle publication back in 1932. One of the rooms depicts a man on a bicycle with fat wheels. But in those days, few people took the revolutionary idea seriously.
The official father of the fat bike is Mark Grunwald, and the birthplace is Alaska. For the first time in history, the inventor stretched 3 “tires over 80mm rims to a width of 3.5”. The resulting bike rode perfectly in the snow, which, however, was its main task. Mark also came up with the name Fatbike.
The first mass-produced fat bike was the famous Surly Pugsley, which revolutionized the bicycle world. Today, many models of fat bikes are produced on various equipment using the latest technologies: carbon and titanium frames, soft shock-absorbing and rigid rigid forks, rims and other components. The massive popularization of a bike with a mountain bike character and high cross-country ability is not surprising: the fat bike is truly unique.
What is a fat bike and what is it for?
The bicycle is the embodiment of freedom of movement. It does not require a license or gasoline, is inexpensive and unpretentious to use. Every bike enthusiast knows the feeling of excitement that a bike gives. As well as feeling annoyed when two-wheeled vehicles get stuck in mud or sand. Are there bicycles that can ride anywhere? It turns out that they exist, and their popularity is growing every year. These are fat bikes designed to overcome routes of any difficulty. Despite the fact that they are increasingly common on the streets, many still see thick-wheeled bicycles as nothing more than a toy, wondering why a fat bike is needed.
What is an electric fatbike for?
It seemed that could be even more powerful than a brutal fat bike with its characteristics? Only a fat bike with an electric drive! But why do you need a fatbike with a motor, if there is a familiar fat bike?
The electrofetbike is a modern modification of the popular SUV that allows you to cover decent distances and develop unprecedented speed with a minimum of effort. Electrofetbikes are equipped with engines of various powers (1000 W is considered optimal) and a battery. Thanks to the motor, fat copes much easier with loose and loose soil, grass beds and other off-road “delights”. The weight of a fat bike with an electric drive is usually higher. But this does not affect its dynamics, maneuverability and speed. Simple operation does not require certain skills, and most importantly: if the battery runs out and the cherished outlet is not nearby, you can get home by pedaling.
The popularity of electric wide wheel hardtails is increasing every year. The productivity of an electric bike is several times higher than a simple fatbike or mountain bike. With the support of an electric motor, you can appreciate the beauty of extreme off-road driving!
A bike with fat wheels on electric traction allows you to ride at your own pleasure, regardless of the season and road conditions! Subdue the off-road, making it a pleasant addition to the walk, and not an obstacle on the way. Ride on sandy beaches and rocky grounds, wetlands and eightieth leveled mud, snow crust and firn. Significantly expand the geography of tourist cycling trips! To patronize and surprise the audience! This is why a bike with wide wheels!
You should not expect the impossible from a fat bike. sometimes it is better to go around an obstacle than to race ahead. Experienced fat bikers do just that. However, a new thrilling fat bike ride is guaranteed! Most likely, you will not want to change to another bike anymore.
Fat bike. for whom?
Essentially, for anyone. Especially for a beginner. Such a bike adds confidence and a sense of permissiveness. You just want to experience it to the maximum. And what this maximum will be, already depends on the skills and instinct of self-preservation Also, the fat bike will surprise experienced riders, since the other side of the mtb medal will open with it.
All year round! You can operate such a bike in summer, autumn and spring. Although, yes: the most interesting period for him is still winter, especially when it snowed. Where other bicycles will no longer ride, the fat bike will paddle calmly with its 4-inch tire.
Traveler experience and opinion
Researcher Mike Curiak has ridden fat bikes for thousands of kilometers and advises: “Just don’t try to use a fat bike for your daily commute.” And why? “Fatbikes allow you to get to places where it is difficult to roll on a regular bike,” he says Banal cross-country tracks. a simple hardtail with a suspension fork for 800 is much better suited for this. “.
Nevertheless, fatbikes have a fairly wide range of applications.
Fat bike is not only cross-country ability, but also style
Fat bike. what for?
For the fun! It is unlikely that you will break speed records on asphalt or conquer KOM’s on the 5-kilometer Carpathian ascents. But: on such a monster you will confidently and easily roll where you did not dare before. He will forgive you for mistakes in the choice of trajectories and surfaces, because he holds the road very well, rides smoothly and decisively. You don’t need to “catch” it under you all the time, especially on an “interesting” surface. You just drive and enjoy.
If you want to “push”, “push up the hill”, then it is unlikely that you will succeed. Or only if you are in good shape. For 15 kg of weight will not give themselves so easy to swing.
Fatbike. a bike for riding where they did not dare before
What is a fat bike, who needs it and why
Fat bike is a bike that will forgive all your mistakes!