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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

10 Models Considered
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1 Experts Interviewed
122 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best men’s fat tire bikes

Last Updated May 2019

Men’s fat tire bikes may be slow and heavy, but there are few terrains they can’t handle. Whether you’re looking to traverse snow, sand, mud, or gravel, a fat tire bike can take you there.

These bikes are designed to go where even mountain bikes can’t. Their tires create a floating sensation as your ride over snow or sand, and the low tire pressure helps with absorbing bumps. The width of the tires vary from four to five inches and can determine how easily your bike will handle different terrain. While entry-level fat tire bikes can be quite heavy, high-end models have lightweight carbon fiber frames, which prevent the bike from sinking into sand and snow.

Though they have fallen in price in recent years, a fat tire bike is still an investment that you should consider carefully. To learn more about the variations and features of men’s fat tire bikes, continue reading our shopping guide. If you’re ready to buy, take a look at our top picks.

A fat tire bike is an all-season and all-weather vehicle. Its rugged design can handle just about anything.

Key considerations

Choosing the right fat tire bike for you means asking yourself where you plan on riding most. A fat tire bike for mountain biking will look fairly different from a bike made for long rides in the snow or on the beach.

Tire width

Fat tire bikes are known for one feature above all others: their huge tires. These wide tires provide the extra traction needed on surfaces like sand or snow and can help you climb up a muddy hill. In addition, wider tires allow the bike to “float” over terrain that they would otherwise sink in.

Most tires range in width from 3.8 to 5 inches, with wider tires offering a better experience on sandy or snowy terrain. If you plan to mostly ride on packed trails, the wider tires will only slow you down and tire you out quicker.

The bike you purchase will come with tires, but you may find that you would rather switch the tires out for a higher-quality pair. This is also a good opportunity to change widths. However, the width of your fork (the part that holds the front tire in place) determines the maximum tire width your bike can accommodate. If you are unsure of what tire width you will prefer, you should opt for a bike with a wide enough fork to accommodate up to five-inch tires since you can always go smaller.

Suspension

Most fat tire bikes have a rigid fork with no suspension. The front tire does most of the absorbing in this case, and while it makes for a bumpier ride than a bike with suspension, this is still typically the fat bike experience. In addition, it allows for a cage mount for carrying additional water or supplies.

A suspension fork offers the obvious advantage of springs between your handlebars and the front tire to reduce bumps and vibrations. These are usually found in more expensive fat tire bikes and can be necessary for mountain biking.

Many modern fat tire bikes have easily interchangeable forks. If you would like the option to switch to a different fork, look for a bike that has a front thru-axle standard of 150 x 15 millimeters.

Men’s vs. women’s fat tire bikes

As with other types of bicycles, the only difference between a fat tire bike made for women is its shorter top tube and higher seat.

Many argue that sex-specific bikes are unnecessary. In the case of most bike companies, a standard fat tire bike is designed for men or women, while a women’s fat tire bike is designed to accommodate for the longer legs and shorter torsos of women.

As you’re shopping for fat tire bikes, if you come across one that doesn’t say it is a women’s bike, then it will work for men.

EXPERT TIP

If you are used to riding a mountain bike, you will likely adjust quickly to the larger tires of fat bikes as the two handle similarly.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Though fat tire bikes handle well on snowy trails, you do need to bundle up and anticipate the windchill factor.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Frame material and weight

Fat tire bikes can range in weight from 25 to 45 pounds. The heavier the bike, the more work you have to do when riding uphill. There are three common frame materials — steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber — and each affects the weight of the bike differently.

  • Steel is the least expensive option despite being durable and more flexible than aluminum or carbon. However, it is also the heaviest material.

  • Aluminum is lighter than steel and slightly more expensive, though it is not quite as strong as carbon fiber. Still, it is a good mid-range material for those just getting into riding fat tire bikes who want a reliable material.

  • Carbon fiber is fairly new to the world of fat tire bikes, but it has long been the gold standard in road bikes for its lightness and strength. This is found primarily in high-end fat tire bikes.

Gears and brakes

The gears of a fat tire bike should be fairly low to accommodate for the larger tire diameter and to help in climbing hills. Most fat bikes use a single chain.

Disc brakes are the most common choice for fat tire bikes for their superior quick stopping power. Higher-end fat tire brakes may be hydraulic, though you should find hydraulic brakes suitable for cold weather if you plan to bike in the snow.

Electric fat tire bikes

Some fat tire bikes may have electric motors on the rear tire that can be engaged or disengaged to assist with climbing hills. In some cases, you can even pedal while the motor assists slightly. These offer a great way to get around challenging terrain and are worth the higher price to some.

Men’s fat tire bike prices

Inexpensive: Entry-level fat tire bikes cost from $300 to $600 and usually have heavy steel frames — though some bikes on the higher end of the spectrum may have aluminum frames.

Mid-range: For $600 to $1,000, you can find fat tire bikes that may have steel or aluminum frames. Some in this range may have electric motors.

Expensive: Fat tire bikes for $1,000 to $2,000 often have carbon fiber frames and may have front-fork suspension. In addition, many models in this range have electric motors. Though this is a hefty price tag for a bike, it is often worth it for anyone who takes their off-road biking seriously.

DID YOU KNOW?

The tires of fat tire bikes can be ridden tubeless, which saves a significant amount of weight and energy.

Tips for finding the right psi

To make the most of your chunky tires, you should adjust the psi according to the terrain you will be riding on.

  • For loose terrain, such as sand or soil, six to eight psi gives your tires that perfect  “floaty” feeling.

  • If you are mountain biking or riding on packed trails, your psi should hover around 12 to 15 psi.

  • When riding on pavement, if you have to, you will want a psi of 20 to 25.
     

Don’t be afraid to make minor adjustments until your tires feel right (you may even want to bring a mini bike pump with you). The harder your tires are, the less traction they will have, but they will also go faster. Squishier tires increase the surface area of your tires for a slower but grippier ride. Even one psi can make a big difference in the feel of your fat tire bike.

Other products we considered

One powerful electric fat bike we like is the DJ Fat Bike 750W Electric Bicycle, which boasts an impressive motor and excellent suspension. The motor reaches a decent speed and can handle hills well, and the suspension makes this an excellent fat bike for mountain biking. Another e-fat bike that stands out is the VTUVIA Folding Electric Bicycle, which has 20-inch tires that are great for commuting or casual rides on packed trails or beaches. Customers love the build quality of this aluminum-frame bike. Though it won’t carry you up a mountain, the suspension minimizes bumps and the motor can easily get you up grassy or sandy hills.

The large, forgiving tires of fat tire bikes make them a great first bike, especially since you can learn on grass.

FAQ

Q. Can you ride a fat tire bike on pavement or the sidewalk?
A.
Sure, though you will want to adjust your psi to around 20 or 25, as we said above. However, a fat tire bike should not be your primary bike for roads and sidewalks as you will do far more work than you need to to get around.

Q. Are fat tire bikes better for trail riding than mountain bikes?
A.
It depends on the terrain you’re riding on. If you are covering sloppy trails with mud that could suck your tires in, a fat tire bike will stay on top of the mud when a mountain bike might struggle.

Q. What is the weight capacity of fat tire bikes?
A.
It varies from one model to the next, but many fat tire bikes can accommodate riders weighing 250 pounds or more.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Austin
    Austin
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Jacob
    Jacob
    Editorial Manager
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Peter
    Peter
    Writer

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