Fat bikes got their name because of their tyres - they are unmistakably big. They are designed to be go-anywhere bikes. That means they are designed to go where mountain bikes struggle. They’re built for explorers, adventurers, and weekend enthusiasts who want a bike that can handle not just any terrain, but routes with multiple surfaces. You can throw rocks, mud, sand, snow, and even ice at a fat bike, and it will just keep going.
It’s one of the newest styles of bike but it is also one of the fastest growing models. The first fat bikes were released in 2005 by Surley, but you will now find fat bikes for sale from a range of different manufacturers, including Specialised , Framed, Salsa, Felt, and KHS.
All of these brands and more are available at Bike Exchange, the online marketplace for everything bike. You will find a fat bike for sale that suits your needs and your budget with our listings posted by both individual bike owners and bike shops.
Fat bikes are all about traction. On other bikes, even mountain bikes that have a decent amount of grip, the tyres often carve through the riding terrain. The extra width on a fat bike tyre gives a larger contact area with the ground, and therefore even more grip. The larger surface area also helps to keep the tyre on top of the riding surface rather than cutting through it. This makes it possible to ride through soft terrain such as sand, snow or mud.
Fat bikes are not built for speed or agility, but they will negotiate any route, whether a path exists or not - uphill, downhill, or on the flat.
The term fat bike covers any bike with tyres that are wider than 3.5 inches. They come in a range of different styles, from those designed for specialised fat bike racing, to those with a more upright riding position and low step-through that are designed for leisurely cruises on the soft sands of a beach.
Generally they have heavy frames, but lighter options are also available. You can also get models with suspension and high quality brakes. And there is a wide variety of gear setups to choose from, including single and multi-speed.
Fat bikes are built for fun and more fun. They are designed to go places where you never thought a bike could go. You can use them on any off-road surface and in any climate. This means they are equally at home on a snow-covered forest trail as they are in rolling sand dunes, or on a sodden, muddy, obstacle-strewn mountain path.
You can find fat bikes that cost thousands, and you can find models that cost hundreds. Which you choose will depend on how you plan to ride it. Do you want to compete, do you want a fat bike for weekend-long off-road adventures, or do you want something more leisurely but still capable? The answers to these questions will determine the bike you choose.