Can a Fat Bike Be Your Only Bike?

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If you’ve been paying attention, you probably are already aware that fat bikes are no longer meant for riding on sand and snow.

These days, many use this bike on trails that would typically only see standard mountain bikes.

Many also ask, can a fat bike be your only bike? Why ride a fat bike? Is it even worth investing in?

While a fat bike could be a wise purchase, you need to be realistic about what it is capable of doing and what it cannot do.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though.

To get a better understanding of fat bikes and their strengths and weaknesses, read on.

Are Fat Bikes Good for Beginners?

Don’t have much experience with riding yet?

Regardless of your skill level, you will find that a fat bike won’t be a hassle to learn to ride.

Still, those who have ridden a mountain bike for years will have a much easier time when they try out a fat bike.

Fat bikes allow you to roll over rocks, dirt, snow, sand, and any other terrain with ease and more confidence compared to a regular mountain bike.

How is it able to do that, though? It all comes down to how fat bikes are designed.

How Does a Fat Bike Work?

Standard mountain bikes typically come with a set of wheels around two inches wide.

Fat bike tires, on the other hand, can measure either double or even larger than that.

These tires also work a bit differently from regular-sized tires since you can ride them at significantly lower pressure.

You may have been told to maintain your mountain bike tire pressure somewhere between 25 and 65 PSI. With fat bike tires, you can set the pressure at 10 PSI or even lower.

This significantly lower pressure means that more of it will grip the ground under your weight, which will dramatically increase the tire’s surface area.

When riding on sand or snow, all of this extra width allows the rider to float better over unstable terrain.

Over a snow-packed single track, the rider can glide through icy corners that would have typically sent them hurtling to the ground had they been riding a standard mountain bike.

While fat bike tires make it much easier to ride over or on snow, don’t be mistaken that it needs no effort.

You may be more upright on this bike, but you still have to put in a good amount of muscle to make your way through the snow or even thick sand.

Nonetheless, this just means you are going to get a good workout, for sure.

Can You Put a Fat Tire on a Regular Bike?

No, you cannot put a fat tire on your regular bike due to the mere fact that there are massive differences in their sizes.

Regular bikes are just not built to accommodate fat tires.

Keep in mind that there’s a weight penalty here.

The larger tires, as well as larger rims, add to the weight of the bicycle. This could be around five pounds, which is a lot.

Instead, look for high-end fat bikes with carbon rims, which tend to be as light as a mountain bike. The problem is that they can also be rather expensive.

do you know if can a fat bike be your only bike

What Is a Fat Tire Bike Good For?

Fat tire bikes provide the rider with improved traction and grip even on the most troublesome terrains.

They are particularly good for their wheels and the large contact they have with the ground.

There are certain instances where a fat bike may not emerge as a winner, though.

For instance, if you’re riding on loose, muddy terrain, the tire will not dig into the ground. Rather, it will simply float, which will likely make it lose traction.

Also, while the price range is wide, fat bikes still tend to be a bit expensive and could definitely put a dent in your wallet.

Can a Fat Bike Be Your Only Bike?

So far, it’s clear that the fat bike stands a great chance against all other bike types for it to become your everyday bike.

Why ride a fat bike?

To help you decide if it’s a good purchase for you, here are its top advantages over its counterparts.

Highly Versatile

Fat bikes were originally made for riding on snow, but the advancements in the parts and frame design have made it an all-season bike now.

These days, fat bikes are capable of performing just as well as mountain bikes, which is why you will find more people taking this bike out on the trails in the summer.

In fact, summer trail riding on a fat bike is becoming increasingly common that there is even a fat bike race, but we’ll talk about that later.

Basically, its big tires let you ride the bike through mud, snow, sand, gravel, dirt, and more, making it absolutely versatile.

Can Climb Well

It is no surprise that you have to put in a tremendous amount of power when you have to ascend on a regular road bike or mountain bike.

With a fat bike, you do not have to put the same level of effort to climb uphill.

Even with all the extra weight, it ends up working in your favor.

How so? This is thanks to the fact that fat bikes ensure you get more traction.

The four or five inches of rubber (depending on your fat tire) sticks to the trail significantly better and more effectively than regular mountain bike tires.

Even the weighted-down front end ensures that the bike does not flip you back as you ride uphill.

Opens You up to Many Different Trails

The chances are there are hundreds of miles of trails you have not explored yet because your bike may not work well on it.

With a fat bike, you can bring out your inner adventurer and ride on almost all kinds of terrains comfortably and safely.

Best for Touring and Backpacking

If you are someone who picks up a bag and heads out to explore without any prior planning, the fat bike is perfect for you.

Since the big wheels ensure you can have a more forgiving ride, especially on rocky terrains, this bike can comfortably take you on those off-beaten paths.

Again, most of the rubber touches the ground you ride on, ensuring you have better traction.

This, in turn, guarantees that you have a slightly safer ride than what you would have had on a regular mountain bike.

Can Run With Extremely Low Tire Pressure

How well a bike can roll through snow and sand is directly related to the tires’ PSI, and finding the right number is all about experimenting.

With fat bikes, you will be able to experiment at the extreme low end of what’s possible, which will contribute to the amazing floating feeling.

While there is no set formula to determine your fat bike tire’s PSI, the general range tends to be between five and 10 PSI.

In fact, with wider tires and in less packed conditions, you can run it at much lower than five PSI.

Ideal to Get Into Racing

The fat bike racing scene is perhaps one of the most welcoming ones out there.

Basically, it’s just a mass start, and there are no heats.

For instance, take a look at the annual Fat Bike World Championship typically hosted in Crested Butter, Colorado, in January.

Despite its heavy name, this is an unsanctioned race that is mostly just a festival (rather than a competition) that allows anyone to participate.

This three-day event draws a large number of fat tire bike riders of different abilities to 9,000 feet of elevation.

The first day includes free bike demos on the Town Ranch trails and a fat bike polo tournament.

The second day features live music, racing, free beer, and food for competitors.

Then, the last and final day hosts a chill fat bike ride that is sponsored by 45NRTH.

Sets You up for a Challenge

Fat bikes may be more comfortable to ride on various surfaces, but that does not mean that riding them is a piece of cake.

Most of the fat bikes on the market come with just one, single speed, and you will need to put in the extra effort to keep pushing forward.

With the bigger tires, there is an added weight on the bike, making it move slower than a regular bike.

All this extra effort ensures your body is getting more worked out compared to what you would experience from a regular road or mountain bike.

Can a Fat Bike Be Your Go-To Everyday Bike?

So, can a fat bike be your only bike? If you ask us, it most definitely can.

But it would still depend on your personal preferences and needs.

There are still a few miles to go for it to become everyone’s ideal everyday bike. Nevertheless, the advancements in its overall design do make it a worthy investment.

The key is finding the right fat bike for you based on your requirements, size, weight, and more.

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