Can’t wait for sun-soaked spring cycling? You don’t necessarily have to. Give fat biking a shot. The wide-tires tackle snow and give the rider a great workout. It has become increasingly popular and there are more places to ride than ever before. Designed specifically for handling soft, uneven conditions, the fat bike, which is really built for exploration, is perfect for taking on snow, sand, and even some dirt trails where you might need extra grip. The defining features on these bikes are the over-sized tires – about 3.7-4.8 inches on 50-100mm-wide rims.
Borealis Fat Bikes are known for their performance. This bike will take you places regular bikes can’t. The company, which is based in Colorado, says this is the lightest and toughest carbon fat bike on the market. Consider riding it if you’re going on a trip to see follow the magnificent Northern Lights. The kitted with top-of-the-line XX1 groupset, the stiff and light carbon frame, and the Rockshox Bluto fork provides enough suspension travel, according to GearPatrol.
The internally molded carbon fiber Pivot LES Fat is incredibly versatile, according to Mtbr.com. Thanks to its ability to run virtually any wheel size and tire width, the LES Fat can accommodate 26” fat bike tires up to 5” wide, and 27.5+ and 29+ wheels. Due to the Swinger dropout system, the bike may also be run as a singlespeed. Other pros include outstanding fit and finish, capable and nimble chassis and massive downtube for excellent power transfer and steering sharpness.
This stable and tight at the chainstays (for faster acceleration), full-carbon bike, is 10 percent lighter than other popular brands, weighing in at just under 32 pounds, according to Outside Online. Add the huge 4.5-inch tires, lots of stand-over clearance, a lot of gear range in the SRAM 2x drivetrain, and mechanical disc brakes that don’t fade in the cold to the list and you may have the perfect fat bike for the winter.
Bucksaw is Salsa’s paradigm-shattering full-suspension fat bike, blurring the lines between “fat bike” and “full-suspension mountain bike.” Gear Patrol voted the bike Best Trail-Ready. “The carbon version is stiffer, lighter and quicker than the regular Bucksaw, with all of the same trail ripping benefits — full suspension, increased rolling power and increased contact patch area. It also comes kitted with Sram XO1 drivetrain for the best shifting possible.”
You need a bike with big tires to ride in the winter, and few will get bigger than the Fuji Wendigo 2.1 fat bike. Wendigo means half-man, half-beast. Made from Fuji's proprietary aluminum and featuring PowerCurve bike geometry, the Fuji Wendigo is meant to be comfortable and powerful. Some of the specifications include sealed cartridge bearing bottom bracket, Tektro HD-M290, hydraulic disc, 180mm rotors brakes, Shimano HG50, 11-36T, 10-speed cassette, and KMC X10 w/ MissingLink, 10-speed chain.
The bike’s specialty is “mowing everything down.” Bikers looking for a smooth ride, high quality build and comfort won't make with Cannondale. CAAD 1 brings fat bikes a step closer to their skinny relatives, courtesy of the company’s proprietary bottom bracket and crankset, which provides a narrower pedaling stance, and the stiff, light, four-inch Lefty Olaf suspension fork, according to Outside Online. The bike is built of high-end aluminum and has a comfy 69-degree head angle as well as relatively short chainstays for quick acceleration.
Specialized is the brand of innovation. Since 1981 it has sought to make riding better by developing new technologies. You’re going to get “fat” but without the extra weight. FACT carbon fiber construction ensures that the frame is lightweight and plenty stiff, according to Erik’s Bike Shop. The FACT 10m carbon frame and fork and 4-inch Ground Control tires provide for nimble handling in even the most extreme conditions.
“Mountain bike manners on a monster truck frame.” Some of the key features include ultra-light and ultra-tough OCLV mountain carbon frame, exclusive suspension tech with ABP, Full Floater, faster 27.5 x 4 wheels, and Bontrager TLR for trail-hugging confidence. Bontrager’s excellent 3.8-inch Hodag tires barely blinked at techy step-ups, slickrock moves, and rubble-filled gullies, according to Outside Online.
Gear Patrol voted it the “Most Customizable.” The Carbo’Beast is a carbon-framed, fully rigid monster designed to go fast over any surface. The matte black frame is stealthy and provides understated style. The bike can be fully customized directly from Carver’s website. Other specs include clearance for 5″ and 29+ wheel/tire setups, IS42/IS52 tapered head tube, 15x135mm/12x197mm hub spacing (QR or 12×190 available), thru-axle front and rear (axles included), and 100mm BB shell (threaded BSA).
Kona is one of the most famous mountain bike brands in the world. This is a mix between the Kona Wo and the Honzo – the Wozo brings the slack of the Kona Honzo to the fat bike world, according to MTB Guide. Kona 7005 Aluminum, which is the frame material, is used extensively throughout the company’s mountain and asphalt bikes. A tough, durable, light alloy it delivers a reliable performance that lasts for thousands of rides.
Surly is relatively new to the cycling scene, established in 1998. It is well known for its single-speed and fixie bikes. It builds its bikes from steel to offer a good balance. The Ice Crea,m Truck was voted “Best Adventure” by Gear Patrol. “It is made from durable 4130 CroMoly steel that will stand up to years of off-road abuse. Paired with a Sram SLX drivetrain and Guide RS brakes, the parts spec leaves little to be desired.”