Fat Bikes

What You Need to Know About Fat Bikes on a Budget

Fat bikes are known for their ability to handle snow and ice. Though not often used as a commuter bike, they become a necessity for urban riders when winter turns harsh. During warmer months, fat bike riders take advantage of the bikes traction and durability on trails, beaches, and other terrain.

Fat bikes arent just about big tires

Over-sized tires are a fat bikes most defining feature. However, it isnt enough to take a standard bike and put some over-sized tires on it. Start with a partial build and then make certain the frame is as light as possible. But dont get too worried if carbon frames are beyond your price range. You might be able to find quality carbon frames within your price range, especially on eBay, but lightweight aluminum and steel frames are efficient, affordable options.

What you really want to pay attention to is the fork. The fork holds those fat tires to the frame and provides you with the movement you will need to get around obstacles or skid over ice. Suspension forks are great for technical trails and all-season rides. If you are riding on flat surfaces or in snow only, then suspension forks arent a necessity.

What fat bike features are good for winter riding?

Fat bike tires are heavy, and winter road conditions can be harsh and messy. Both of these factors can make pedal pushing difficult. Choosing features that provide torque will make the going easier. Here are a few things to consider:

  • 1x drive trains - They are less likely to get caught up in road sludge, drop off the bike, or get frozen.
  • Small chainrings - They make pedal pushing easier, even in low gears. Some riders have chainrings as small as 26T on their fat bikes.
  • Cable brakes - Hydraulic brakes can freeze. Cable brakes will not.
  • Light tires - Fat bike tires will be heavy, but choosing the lightest tires makes those uphills much easier.
What are some fat bike brands?

You can find a used fat bike in good condition on eBay for far less than a new one. Some fat bike brands have built up solid reputations among riders. The below list isnt exclusive, but it will give you a good idea about the kinds of well-respected brands that are available here on eBay.

  • Diamondback
  • Framed Minnesota
  • Salsa
  • Motobecane
  • Surly Pugsley