Do you enjoy riding a bike on snow trails? Or is riding through deep mud and dirt your passion?
Anyone who enjoys riding through challenging terrains and weather conditions would know how difficult (almost impossible) it would be to enjoy these fun-filled adventures with ordinary bike tires.
But nothing can stop you from relishing these fun-filled moments when you have fat bike tires!
With a fat bike tire, you get to enjoy your ride in challenging weather conditions and difficult terrains that even a mountain bike can’t handle. And let’s not forget, it’s also extremely fun!
However, if you want to make the most of your fat bike tires, you need to make the right choice. Since bike tires are a source of most of your traction, you need to choose the tires that match the terrain and weather condition you intend to be riding through. And since there are too many fat bike tires to choose from, making a choice can be difficult.
In this post, you will learn about some of the critical factors you need to consider when choosing fat bike tires and find out about 5 best fat bike tires for your ride.
Best Fat Bike Tires – Reviews & Buying guide for 2020
Best Overall: Mongoose Fat Bike Tire
- Size: 20” / 26”
- Type of Tire: Clincher
- Tire Width: 4”
- Threads per inch: Not known
- Tire Bead: Folding
- Best For: Low terrains high wear use on a budget.
- Great for riding on difficult terrains
- Available in multiple size options
- Offers adequate support at a reasonable price
- Excellent choice for taller and heavier riders
- Not a great choice if you are looking for exceptional performance
- The tires are specifically designed to be used with fat bikes only
- Is difficult to handle for people who are not very tall or heavy
- Tires live longer due to the heavy-duty rubber material.
- Excellent road grip, especially on soft surfaces thanks to the aggressive tread pattern.
- 4 inch wide tires that are suitable for all types of terrains.
Mongoose is one of the leading bike manufacturers specializing in accessories as well. Mongoose fat bike tires are specifically designed for fat bikes. The heavy-duty rubber ensures that you enjoy the tires for a long period.
Moreover, the aggressive tread pattern provides extra traction, especially when you are climbing uphill. The Mongoose fat bike tires are slightly more substantial compared to other fat bike tires, which makes it an excellent choice for overweight and taller people.
However, this type of tires may be difficult to handle for people with average weight and height.
In all, the Mongoose fat bike tire is a great companion for your fat bikes if you are looking for a pocket-friendly option.
Runner Up: Mr. Tuffy Fat Bike Fits
- Size: 4XL
- Type of Tire: N/A
- Tire Width: 4.1”-5.0”
- Threads per inch: N/A
- Tire Bead: N/A
- Best For: protection against puncture flats
- Provides guaranteed protection against puncture flats without adding weight
- Easy Installation
- Have an extended life
- Guards against puncture only when your tires are aired up
- May change the way your bike corners
- Light in weight and weighs less than other liquid-filled and thorn resistant tubes.
- Eco-friendly and can be reused on different bikes.
- Bike fits are biodegradable when removed from the tires and disposed of.
- Sold in pairs.
If your fat bike has tires with a tube that often get flat due to punctures, all you need is Mr. Tuffy Fat Bike Fit. This easy to apply bike fit is light in weight compared to other liquid-filled and thorn resistant tubes, so it does not add to the weight of your already fat bike tire.
Moreover, it is reusable and biodegradable, two features that are very important to today’s environmentally conscious bike riders.
Available in a pack of 2, this 91-inch long tape can continue to protect your tires against puncture on a variety of terrains for an extended period.
Alternative: Panaracer Fat B Nimble Folding Bead Fat Bicycle Tire
- Size: 26”
- Type of Tire: Tubeless
- Tire Width: 4”
- Threads per inch: 120
- Tire Bead: Folding
- Best For: Quick fat biking
- Light in weight
- Great traction
- Poor sidewall strength
- Most of the treads are on top, so the bike does not roll over smoothly overturns
- Spindle-like knobs for greater efficiency.
- Optimal grip.
The Panaracer Fat B Nimble Fat Bike Tire is one of the best fat bike tires that provide traction in all conditions without compromising on speed.
Perhaps the most distinguishing features are fast-rolling. However, the twists and turns with this fat bike tires maybe a little too risky.
Alternative: Vee Rubber Snow Shoe XL Studded Fat Bike Tire
- Size: 26”
- Type of Tire: Tubular
- Tire Width: 4.8”
- Threads per inch: Not known
- Tire Bead: Folding
- Best For: Winter fat bikes
- Better grip on a variety of terrains
- Genuinely wide tires(the width is the same as stated)
- Studs may produce some noise in case you are riding on pavement
- Low rolling resistance.
- Square shoulder lugs for better control on the corners.
If you are planning to take your fat bike on some serious ice and snow, then you all you need is the Vee Rubber Snowshoe. It is undoubtedly one of the best winter fat bike tires.
The tightly spaced center knobs and an array of studs give you extra grip even on the most slippery surfaces. But the best part is these tires are genuinely wide (4.8″) and that matters!
ALternative: SCHWALBE Jumbo Jim volution LiteSkin Folding Tire
- Size: 26”
- Type of Tire: Tubeless
- Tire Width: 4.0” and 4.8”
- Threads per inch: Not known
- Tire Bead: Folding
- Best For: Sand and snow
- Light in weight but tough on the road
- Works well even with low air pressure
- Easy to install
- Poor traction on loose surfaces such as mud due to spaced out treads
- Designed in a way that tread-spacing does not allow the accumulation of snow.
- Provides low rolling resistance.
- Ideal for snow riding as well as riding throughout the year.
Perhaps one of the best fat bike tires for snow is the SCHWALBE Jumbo Jim Evolution LiteSkin Folding Tire because, with this tire, you don’t have to go through the hassle of changing your tires every time you ride in the snow.
And apart from handling snow, this fat bike tire works equally well on all other surfaces throughout the year.
Specs and Features Explained
In the review above, you would have come across a few specifications and features repeatedly. When choosing the best fat bike tires for your fat bike, it is important to understand the meaning of certain features.
Only with a thorough understanding of these specifications and features, you will be in a better position to make an informed choice. So let’s get started.
Tires used for fat bike tires are wider compared to other types of bikes. On average, the width of a fat bike tire is more than 3.8”. However, fat bike tires designed for riding in snow and sand may be as wide as 5.0”.
But it is important to remember that not all fat bikes can accommodate tires with a width of 5.0”. Therefore, you need to check with the bike manufacturer above the recommended width of a fat tire that you can use for your fat bike.
Moreover, you also need to check the actual width of the tires. It is possible that some tires are not as wide as they claim to be.
Studs are tiny metallic pieces that are used to enhance the grip of your fat tires. Some tires are studded means there are built-in studs in the tire. Studded tires provide a better grip, especially on snow and ice.
Previously studded tires used to be heavy and would wear out soon.
However, with improvements in technology, we now have lightweight studded tires with aluminum carbide studs. While studded tires are an excellent choice for snow-covered terrain, they can damage the road surface when it is not covered with ice and snow.
There are many tires which are not studded but come with built-in pockets for studs. With this feature, riders can install studs as per need. Moreover, you get an opportunity to create your own customized stud patterns.
Almost all riders know that fat bike tires are not smooth. There is a center thread that is continuously in contact with the surface. And there are side threads on the sizes that engage with the road only when you turn.
Many tires have spaced out threads while others have closely spaced tread. In the case of most fat bike tires that are used on roads, there are more closely spaced out treads towards the center.
This gives traction on flat surfaces as you turn your bike. But some of the best fat bike tires for snow have high knobs which are designed to provide better grip. Therefore, they have a more spaced out tread pattern that reduces traction.
A tire bead is the part of the tire that connects with the rim and holds the tire and wheel together. Basically, it is the inner circle of the tire.
Unlike thread patterns that vary according to the type of terrain, a fat bike tire always needs a functional tire bead. This is because, with a damaged tire bead, a tire cannot stay securely on the rim. The feature is equally important for all types of tires, including tubeless tires.
There are two main types of tire beads; folding and wire. Wire bead tires are heavier compared to fat bike tires with folding tire beads. However, the later provides a better ride.
Simply put, the tubeless tires have no inner tubes. However, a liquid sealant that is used to plug holes from the inside. Generally, the tubes of fat bike tires are large and heavy, which then adds to the weight of the bike as you ride.
To overcome this problem, most riders prefer tubeless tires. Apart from adding less to the weight, with tubeless tires, you don’t get into the hassle of changing or repairing the tube in case there is a puncture.
Fat bike tires are made up of rubber; however, a variety of rubber compounds are used to manufacture fat bike tires that are best for different weather conditions.
Fat bike tires made up of inadequate rubber compounds may harden up during winters, and your tires will be brittle. Therefore, winter-specific fat bike tires use special rubber compounds that keep the tire soft and pliable even at very low temperatures.
6 Things to Consider When Buying Fat Bike Tires
When it comes to choosing the right set of fat bike tires for your fat bike, you need to consider a lot of factors. Apart from figuring out the right size of a fat bike tire that will fit your bike, you will also have to consider the type of terrain on which you will be riding.
Moreover, you need to be aware of the weather conditions and a few more things. Below, you can learn about the 6 most critical factors that you need to consider when buying fat bike tires for your fat bike.
What Size of the Tire Do You Need?
Perhaps the first and most important thing you need to consider is finding out the size of the tire you need, and when it comes to size, it refers to both the tire’s diameter and the width of the tire.
It is pretty simple to figure out the diameter of your tire. All you need is to know the diameter of your wheel. Tires of most fat bikes have a diameter of 26″ or 27.5″; however, you can find out many fat bikes with a tire diameter of 20″.
Your choice of the tire width depends upon the terrain you will be riding on. Most fat bike tires have a width of 3.8″ and more. If you are planning to ride on soft surfaces such as loose dirt and snow trails, a 4″ wide tire will suffice.
But if you are planning to spend most of your time riding through soft surfaces such as sand, deep mud, and unpacked snow, you will need wider tires with a width of 5″ or more. Just make sure that the frame of your bike well supports the tire size you choose.
What Kind of Tread Pattern is Best for You?
As mentioned earlier, the tread pattern is a rubber pattern over the surface of your tire that gives extra traction. It might be overwhelming to look at different tread patterns, but each tread pattern is designed to serve a specific purpose on different types of terrains.
If you are planning to ride on smooth surfaces, you will need tires with spaced out tread pattern.
However, if you are riding on snow-covered trails and require extra grip, you need a tire with an aggressive tread pattern. With this pattern of treads, you get excellent coverage even during bad weather.
Is Puncture Resistance a Priority?
Your fat bike is not there is to stand in the garage. It is there to go over some pretty dangerous terrain so it’s important that your tires are prepared for it. And for that, you need to consider the threads per inch (TPI). It describes the number of threads in the tire casing.
A fat bike tire with a higher number of threads per inch is supple and more prone to puncture. That is because a lot of thin threads are used to make up the tire instead of a few thicker threads.
If you are looking for a fat bike tire that is more resistant to puncture, go for fat bike tires with a lower number of threads per inch. Moreover, make sure you check whether the sidewall of the tire is reinforced or not.
In case the sidewall is damaged and not repairable, the puncture in the tire can move on and damage the end of your tire. So if you want a puncture-resistant tire, go for lower TPI along with sidewall protection.
What is the Recommended Tire Pressure?
Almost all fat tire manufacturers offer recommended maximum tire pressure. And it is essential that you know about it. Because the terrain you want your bike to run on and the maximum tire pressure of your fat bike tire are related.
As a general rule, surfaces such as sand and snow require low tire pressure to get more in-contact surface area for your tire and better grip on the terrain. Therefore, for these surfaces, a pressure of 5-8 PSI would suffice, and you don’t even have to worry about flatting your tire.
On the other hand, when riding on dirt and trail, you will need a little more pressure.
Generally, pressure between 8 and 12 PSI is recommended, but if the surface is rocky, you may need higher pressure. Finally, for riding on the street, you need the maximum pressure your tire can handle. Most fat bike tires can handle a pressure of 20 PSI safely.
How Much Do You Want Your Bike To Weigh?
All the features that make fat bike tires desirable, such as wider tires, thicker casing, and more studs, add to your bike’s weight. And when you have a heavier bike, you will have to work harder to accelerate.
As you try and make your fat bike tires more durable, there is a trade-off that you must consider. So beware of much weight do you want to add to your bike.
Do I Need to Go Tubeless?
True that puncture resistance is a consideration, but do you need to go tubeless?
With tubeless tires, you can comfortably ride your bike without the risk of punctures. As a result, there is lesser rolling resistance, which means less weight on your wheels.
If you are planning to go tubeless, make sure your fat bike tires can be used with tubes or go for fat bike tires that can work in a tubeless setup with a tire sealant.
Only when you give enough thought to the above-highlighted factors will you be able to make a better and more informed decision about the best fat bike tire for your fat bike.
Fat Bike Tires FAQ
Why Use Fat Tires?
You are looking for the best fat bike tires. But do you know why?
Here are a few reasons why you use fat tires.
Gives You the Courage to Explore
Large, fat bike tires are not just for show. These tires are designed to take you anywhere. Literally!
When you use fat tires, you know they are robust and wide. You know that you have added support, and you are in a position to deal with almost all types of weather conditions and terrains.
If you are on a trail on a conventional mountain bike, extreme weather can affect your performance. Strong winds can slow you down, snow can make your ride challenging, and dirt and mud can be messy.
But when you have fat bike tires, you don’t have to worry about anything. With best fat bike tires that are heavier and wider than other types of bike tires, you get a better grip and a smoother ride, which encourages you to go beyond limits.
So why not explore?
When you have fat bike tires, you really don’t need a suspension system. Seriously!
This might come as a surprise, but fat tires work as an integrated suspension system. Want to find out how?
Fat bike tires work well even with lower pressure ranging between 10 and 15 PSI.
And since fat bike tires become softer due to lower pressure, the elastic rubber of the tires help absorb shock. As a result, it makes your ride more comfortable.
Requires Low Maintenance
Fat bike tires are designed such that they are robust, so the bike manufacturers do not need to invest a lot in the frame. And despite that, there is a minimal need for maintenance.
Thanks to the fat bike tires that take up most of what your bike experiences. So why not invest in fat bike tires.
Typically fat bike tires are wide. They have a width of 3.8″ or more, which means more surface area of the tire is in contact with the ground. As a result, fat tires provide better balance.
This makes fat bike tires an ideal choice even for the most inexperienced riders. And since fat bike tires don’t go very fast, there is a minimal risk of injury for the new riders.
You Can Bike Throughout the Year
Cycling is often a sport of summer, but not when you have fat bike tires. With fat bike tires, you can adjust to any kind of weather without worrying about slipping on a wet surface or sinking in the mud.
And since fat bike tires add weight to your bike, you can do equally well against strong winds. This makes fat bikes an ideal choice for all types of commuting and outdoor adventures throughout the year.
Can You Put Fat Tires on Normal Bikes?
If you look at a normal mountain bike and a fat tire bike, there isn’t much of a difference in the way these bikes look beyond the tires. But when you think of changing your normal bike into a fat tire bike, it is convertible?
The simple answer is yes. But it can only be converted to an extent. The two main factors that you should consider when putting fat tires on normal bikes are
- The diameter of the rim and
- Width of the rim.
By keeping in mind these two things, you can increase the width of your normal bike’s tires.
To get started, you will need to know how a standard mountain bike sizing works. Regular mountain bike tires come in three different sizes with diameters ranging from
- 26 Inches
- 27.5 Inches
- 29 Inches
Regardless of the width of the tire, you are choosing; you must understand that the diameter of your new tire should match the diameter of the rim of your mountain bike. Otherwise, your new fat bike tire will not fit on to your existing, regular mountain bike.
And if you are not looking at the size of your bike tire, you can use the width to find out the extent to which you can put fat tires on your normal bike. With regular bikes, the width ranges between 1.6″ and 2.5″.
Moreover, you can also find normal bikes up to 3″ wide. As a general rule, normal bikes with a thinner rim will accommodate less wide tires. Similarly, bikes with a thicker rim can allow wider tires to fit in.
Do Fat Tires Impact Speed?
Yes. Fat tires impact speed, and here is why?
Fat tires are heavier. This makes it a little more difficult to ride a bike with fat tires compared to how you would ride a lighter bike. Secondly, fat tires are wider. As a result, they experience more wind resistance. Moreover, they vibrate less, which gives a feeling of a slower ride.
For reference, know that the normal speed of a bike with fat tires is between 8 mph and 10 mph (which is much slower compared to other types of bikes).
How Hard Are They to Install?
The installation of tubeless fat bike tires is fairly simple. All you have to do is start the process by taping the rim, followed by the tire’s installation. But the process does not end here. A recommended amount of liquid sealant is used, and you need to give it some time before your tire is good to go.
The process is somehow different in the case of a tubular tire. However, it is not challenging to install new fat bike tires on your bike.
How Long Do Fat Tires Last?
Under normal conditions, you can expect to ride between 2,500 and 3,000 miles with a new pair of fat bike tires. This means that you can ride on a variety of terrains, but make sure you don’t go for something that is too much for your bike to handle.
It is recommended that you start monitoring your fat tires at certain intervals once your fat tires have hit a 2,000 miles mark.
It is critical to choose the right set of fat bike tires for your bike so you can make the most of your fat bike and enjoy life to its fullest. Surprisingly, not all fat bike tires are the same, and the choice can be overwhelming.
Moreover, understanding the specs and features may be difficult when someone is planning to invest in a fat bike tire for the first time.
But with our best fat bike tire review, description of the specs and features and information about the 6 important considerations when choosing a fat bike tire, you can be confident that what you are getting for your bike is the right pair of fat bike tires.
Last Updated on May 15, 2021 by Matthew Carpenter