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How to Choose a Fat Bike – 8 Tips for Buying

How to Choose a Fat Bike – 8 Tips for Buying!

Fat bikes are exploding around the world and many people are joining for the first time. While this is happening and there is interest in what is happening with fat bikes, some people are completely overwhelmed by all the different solutions. Deciding which one to buy can be a little difficult.

Fortunately, there are a few keys to choosing a fat bike and getting the right one. This may seem more like a beginner’s guide, but some experienced riders looking to upgrade may also find some helpful tips.

Finding the right fat bike

Whether one is shopping for a brand new fat bike or looking for a bunch of used options, making sure it’s the right size is crucial. Too many people try to ride a bike that wasn’t made for them and it hurts the overall experience.

It doesn’t make any sense for people to try to ride a bike that’s too big or too small. Some people may feel compelled to jump into these scenarios because they’ve received a used item, but it’s just an important way to turn people off overall. A person often feels like they are fighting the bike to stay upright, which can be a very unpleasant experience.

As far as bikes go, fat bikes are pretty bulky, so something that’s too big can become even more overwhelming. Add to that the fact that people usually ride on some slick and difficult terrain and the whole thing is just a disaster waiting to happen.

So how does a person find out what size bike is right for them? Many sizes can affect not only a person’s height, but also their inseam. If a person has exceptionally long legs, they may need to add a size up compared to the height indicated on the size chart. The same is true for people with shorter legs and have to downsize.

The goal is to maximize every pedal on a fat bike, just like any other bike out there. This means that when a person is adjusted and in the saddle, they should stretch their legs most of the time until their knees are not locked. The more efficiently you can sell him, the easier it will be to start riding a bike and enjoy the process.

If a person could try out a fat bike in a shop, the employees working there would be able to check how a person would look on the bike while pedaling.

There’s always the chance to change the seat height and other minor adjustments, but most people will be able to figure out the right size for themselves pretty quickly. Ordering online is trickier, but that’s why there are so many guides to help people get in the right direction.

What is the right fat bike tire width for your riding style?

People who are just starting out on fat bikes will think that all tires are nearly the same size. The truth of the matter is that with a fat bike ranging from 3.8 inches all the way up to 5 inches wide, people choose the type of tires they want based on where they ride the most.

For longer rides and less challenging terrain, most people will invest in tires with smaller sides. This is to mimic how other bikes, such as mountain bikes or gravel bikes, usually work. One can also speed things up.

If fat bikes with wide tires offer more float than some people like. This may be another reason why people are getting closer to the 3.8″ width.

The advantage of very wide tires is that everything feels very comfortable and smooth. People can go over rough terrain, they can handle smooth surfaces, and they can do a lot more with very low PSI. This seems fine for walking, but there was a time when professional riders used wide tires in certain situations.

Fat bike tire pressure

Fat bikes are huge when riding in the snow, and that’s when people need to decide if they want to use cleats. It’s rare that people use cleats on other types of bikes, but many tires for fat bikes come with these.

This is to add some extra grip, so it might come in handy for those who are just starting out. Others may end up being more of a hindrance than anything else, which can be a distraction if one isn’t always riding a fat bike in the snow.

Fat bike wheels pop and pop easily, so there’s an opportunity to invest in different types of tires for different rides. Make sure the frame can handle the different sizes and go from there. This may not be the best option for people just starting out as they don’t want to deal with the extra expense and hassle.

However, when a person is moving up, they may want a fat bike that can handle just about anything. This is one of the best ways to keep the cost down a bit, since buying new wheels for each service is cheaper than buying a new fat bike.

Keep on budget

Buying a brand new bike is exciting for anyone, but people quickly realize that fat bikes are getting very expensive. It doesn’t make sense to spend thousands of dollars on the first option if one is just starting out and it’s their first-ever purchase.

Instead, make your first purchase part of your learning bike. If a person can find a lot on their first bike, they’re going to have some fun with it. People can start to realize what type of riding they end up doing and whether it’s something they want to pursue on a regular basis.

Most people end up having fond memories of their first fat bike, but if they stick around long enough, they realize there are some limitations. It’s time to upgrade, and there are a lot of people who want to upgrade.

Once one is looking to get to the next fat bike level, do the proper research to explore everything from every angle. Since riders are so used to trying different terrains and how they feel while riding, they can describe the pros and cons and begin to really determine what makes the most sense.

A common question most people ask at some point is how much should they spend on their first fat bike? It all depends on each consumer, as it is impossible to generalize how much a person has to spend. There are now more affordable fat bikes than ever, because a lot of people can stay under $500 and get something that will last a long time.

One of the main advantages of fat bikes becoming more popular is that more and more companies are introducing budget options. They may not have everything one wants on a fat bike, but as a beginner, spending over $500 initially is quite a gamble.

Some people end up really enjoying the sport and never looking back, but understand that there are plenty of affordable options before investing a lot of money.

Pause option

Most fat bikes will come with rigid settings, which may take a little getting used to for some riders. This is especially true if one is moving away from a mountain bike, as they may not find it as comfortable as they would like it to be.

The reason so many fat bikes ditch any kind of suspension from their setups is that the tires themselves help with a smooth ride. It’s also an unwanted weight for many riders, especially on some softer terrain.

If you do a lot of riding in a mountain bike fashion, front suspension might be the way to go. Front suspension offers so many benefits that some riders won’t live without it. It does allow for more exploration of different terrains and one will never feel so uncomfortable with them.

There are some fat bikes out there that do have full suspension, but it doesn’t make much sense to the rider. For beginners, it just makes the ride more difficult overall. Tires are already very sensitive to pressure, and fat bikes can have other complications. Adding pauses will make processing more difficult.

Fat bikes also can’t handle the extra weight, which is especially difficult for beginners. A full-suspension bike might have a slight edge in a few different areas, but no one has been able to justify it.


When it comes to suspension adding weight to a bike, how much a fat bike weighs is a very important factor to consider before buying. It might not seem like a big difference, but when one does longer rides and does so on a very consistent basis, every pound counts.

Since most first-time fat bike buyers stay within a certain budget, fat bikes are often on the heavier side.

Even though a fat bike is relatively heavy, the geometry of the bike can affect how the bike’s weight actually feels. It might not be as heavy as some might think, which is something to consider.

For anyone trying to get into a new sport, any bike that is too heavy shuts down immediately. That’s why it’s so frustrating to see people with extremely cheap bikes who are even struggling to ride on local roads. Fat bike riding can be tricky, even on relatively flat trails, and overweight options are just a recipe for disaster.

Learn the ins and outs of fat bikes

Fat bikes are a different breed, so it makes sense that they have special care for cyclists. Don’t overlook the importance of knowing what makes it feel special before buying.

Perhaps the biggest change is that riders have to lower their psi to enjoy the ride. In some cases, single-digit psi will be all a fat bike tire needs. Over-inflated fat bike tires can not only make riding very unpleasant, but they can also blow out.

Fat bikes also need a reliable place to store and clean up. This is to make sure they stay in good shape and last a long time.

Most people who write fat bikes are off-road, which means picking up a lot of debris throughout the ride. Knowing exactly what to do with everything before you buy is just a more responsible way of doing everything.

Not sure about a feature? add later

The general advice for using a starter bike is to use the essentials and nothing more. At the end of the day, people can customize a fat bike a lot to do exactly what they want. This means people don’t have to spend extra money on things they might not want on the bike.

Remember, as the first fat bike, one should just want to get into the whole process of learning and enjoying the ride. It’s not about setting a world record and trying to beat everyone on the pitch. It would be very frustrating if people did that. If anyone wants to add some upgrades to the fat bike, later on, most of them are very customizable.

Only after a person has relaxed the sport should they focus on improving their time. The original bike can be upgraded, but an all-new bike might eventually make sense too.

Here are some of the fat bike must-haves you deserve!

test ride as much as possible
Not everyone has the luxury of trying out a fat bike before buying. If you get a chance to do that, go for a ride and see how it feels. Ultimately, the right level of comfort will determine whether a person wants to keep using that bike and explore the sport in general.

It’s impossible to gather all the information from just one test drive, but it does allow people to try something different. Even a cheap fat bike purchase is still a big deal overall, so spending some time overall will make one feel more comfortable.

Ultimate Buying Tips for Choosing a Fat Bike
Ultimately, buying a fat bike should be seen as an enjoyable activity. After all, it’s time to find a new, fun way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Don’t think too much and don’t buy a bike blindly.

If the fat bike doesn’t end up being a good fit, there’s always the chance to sell it to someone else, or give it to a friend or family member. Ultimately, being smarter in your initial shopping will ensure picking a solid fat bike.

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