Fat Bike vs Mountain Bike

Updated on June 6, 2022

They are gaining in popularity as an alternative to mountain bikes for off-road riding and bikepacking. These bikes are a delight to ride because of their unique design and ability to travel in deep snow and loose sand. As a result of this essay, you may make an informed decision on which sort of bike is best suited to your needs and preferences. When purchasing a fat or mountain bike, there are a few extra factors to consider.

What is the Difference Between a Fat Bike and Mountain Bike?

The fundamental difference between a fat bike and a mountain bike is the size of the tyres. Fat bikes have wider tyres. A fat bike tyre is typically 3.8″ wide and can go up to 5.2″. (96-132mm). Mountain bike tyres typically measure between 1.9″ and 2.6″ wide (48-66mm).

To accommodate fat bike tyres that are as wide as those on mountain bikes, fat bikes require larger rims than mountain bikes. There are two popular sizes of fat bike rims: 65mm and 55mm. A mountain bike rim’s typical width is 30 millimetres. 26″ or 27.5″ is the standard diameter for fat bike rims. Because of the huge volume tyres, the wheels are the same diameter as modern mountain bike 29″ wheels.

Extra clearance is needed for fat bikes with wide tyres to avoid rubbing. Manufacturers also widen fork arms, seatstays, and chainstays. This results in a much wider hub spacing on fat bikes than on mountain bikes. Fat bikes have wider hubs, averaging 170-190mm wide. A suitable comparison would be a road bike with 142mm hubs.

What are Fat Tires Bikes Used For?

It is advisable to use fat bikes when the terrain is too soft to ride a conventional bicycle.

In comparison to road bikes, fat bikes are well suited for sandy beaches because their tyres won’t sink into the sand.

When it comes to winter cycling, a fat bike is your best option if you reside in an area where heavy snowfalls are regular.

The fact that fat bikes may travel on paved surfaces like roads has already been established by the preceding paragraph. Inflated tyres make it easier to ride on the road. When riding a fat bike with higher psi tyres, the pedal strokes are less taxing, making the ride more enjoyable.

What Is A Mountain Bike

Mountains have a longer lifespan than other sorts of motorcycles. Terrain can cause damage to both the components and the frame of a motorcycle.

Durability is enhanced by features such as strong wheels, knobby tyres, adjustable suspension, solid frames, powerful brakes, and a straight handlebar.

A mountain bike can be classified according to suspension type: 

  1. Rigid (no suspension)
  2. Hardtail (suspension fork)
  3. Full suspension (suspension fork and rear suspension)

Regardless of the type of mountain bike you’re looking for, traction, shock absorption, and comfort all play a role.

The most popular mountain bike types can be broadly classified as terrain-specific.

  1. Cross country:  nimble bike favoring fast-paced riding and uphill tracks.
  2. Trail:  equally capable on uphill and technical downhills.
  3. Enduro:  favors downhill riding, with enough gears to get you back up the next hill
  4. Downhill:  only for racing downhill at incredible speeds.  Near impossible to ride back up a hill. They are usually transported by lift or vehicle.

Mountain bikes can be used recreationally for touring and commuting efficiently.

A Quick Off-Road Bicycle Wheels and Tire Size Comparison

  • Mountain bike tiresWidest point is around 1.9″ wide. Mountain bike rims typically have an internal width of 25 to 30 millimetres. The most common wheel diameters for mountain bikes are 26″, 650b, and 29ers.
  • Fat bike tires They’re between 3.8″ and 5.2″ wide in inches. The rims are typically 50 to 100 millimetres wide. Most fat bikes have 26″ or 27.5″ diameter wheels. A fat bike’s rear wheel spacing is commonly 170mm or 190mm. 135 to 170 millimetres is the range of front hub sizes.
  • Plus tiresIn terms of width, it’s between 2.8 and 3.3 inches. It is recommended that the width of the inner rim be between 34mm and 40mm. The most prevalent plus bike wheel diameters are 26″, 650b, and 29er. Sizes like these have become increasingly popular over the previous few years.

Fat Bike Benefits

  • Your fat bike won’t get stuck in the mud or snow because it’s designed to handle these conditions.
  • Fat bikes have wider tyres and a more aggressive tread, allowing riders to travel faster through corners without sacrificing control.
  • If you want a more enjoyable ride, you can ride fat bike tyres at extremely low pressure.
  • It doesn’t matter what time of year it is; fat bikers can ride in just about any weather.
  • When riding a fat bike with low-psi tyres, the likelihood of a pinch puncture is greatly reduced.
  • Standard mtb tyres such as 27.5″, 29″ or 29+ may work on some fat bike wheels that are designed for tyres up to 2-3″ in diameter.
  • A surprising benefit of fat bikes is their ability to climb steep hills on slick or rocky surfaces, which may surprise people.

Mountain Bike Benefits

  • Mountain bikes are more manoeuvrable than fat bikes since they are lighter and easier to control.
  • In comparison to fat bikes, mountain bike brands and models have a greater number of options.
  • It is common for mountain bikes to cost less than fat bikes because of the established production method.
  • Most challenging routes can be traversed on a full-suspension mountain bike.
  • Mountain bike parts are less expensive and more readily available than fat bike parts.
  • Mountain bikes can accelerate faster than fat bikes because of their lighter weight and thinner tyres.
  • Due to their smaller tread, mountain bikes tend to outperform fat bikes on the road.

How Much Does a Fat Bike Cost?

You’re not the only one who has questioned how much it costs to ride a fat-tired bike.

Between $1,500 and $3,000 (£1,100 and £2,200) is a reasonable price range for a substantial mid-level bike that can survive for several seasons and withstand the weather.

An electric fat bike from a good brand might cost anywhere from $2500 to $5000.

You can save money by getting a second-hand fat bike rather than a new one.

In addition to saving you money, giving a used bike a new home reduces your carbon footprint!

What to Wear When Riding a Fat Bike

Fat bikes have been shown to be beneficial in a wide range of conditions, from desert heat to alpine snow.

In order to stay safe, you must ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the weather.

Regardless of the weather, you should always wear a helmet while riding your bicycle. Whenever possible, wear a helmet.

Safety gear, such as goggles, knee and elbow pads, and other items, may be required for the type of riding you intend to do.

The weather and terrain you’ll be riding in, as well as other considerations like visibility and comfort, should play a role in your gear decision.

If you plan to ride your fat bike for a long time, you’ll need a good pair of cycling shorts. The sensitive portions of your body won’t be in pain anymore thanks to these devices!