Best Fat Tire Bike Under $1000

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Bikes can be very expensive, with people often spending thousands to get an all-singing, all-dancing model that weighs next to nothing and comes with a flux capacitor to boot. But what if you simply want a fat bike that is fun to ride, can get you from A to B when there’s snow on the ground and does the basics really well. If this sounds like you, then this guide to the best fat bikes for under $1000 is just what you need.

In this guide, I have found 6 of the best fat bikes that you can get today for under $1000, including some options for your kids.

Interested? Then read on…

Recommended Fat Tire Bikes


Best Mens Fat Tire Bike Under $1000 – Framed Minnesota Fat Bike

Key Features:

  • Frame = Aluminum Alloy
  • Gears = 10 Gears
  • Brakes = Disc brakes
  • Wheel Size = 26” x 4”
  • Weight = 34 lbs 4 oz

Best Womens Fat Tire Bike Under $1000 – Framed Minnesota Womens Fat Bike

Key Features:

  • Frame = Aluminum Alloy
  • Gears = 10 Gears
  • Brakes = Disc brakes
  • Wheel Size = 26” x 4”
  • Weight = 34 lbs

Best Fat Bike for Teens Under $1000 – Framed Mini-Sota Fat Bike

Key Features:

  • Frame = Aluminum Alloy
  • Gears = 9 Gears
  • Brakes = Disc brakes
  • Wheel Size = 24” x 4”
  • Weight = 31 lbs 6oz

Best Fat Bikes for Kids Under $1000 – Diamondback El Oso Nino 20 Fat Tire Bike

Key Features:

  • Frame = Aluminum Alloy
  • Frame = Steel
  • Gears = 7 Gears
  • Brakes = Disc brakes
  • Wheel Size = 20” x 4”
  • Weight = Unavailable

What to Look for When Buying a Fat Bike Under $1000

Before you dive in and splash the cash on your cool new ride, there are a few things that you should consider to make sure you get the perfect fat bike for your needs.

Frame Material

The material that the frame is made from is the first thing you should consider.  The material used to manufacture the bike will have an impact on both the weight and durability of the bike.

Typically bikes will come in one of three materials, steel, aluminum or carbon.  Each of these materials has its advantages and disadvantages.  Selecting the right frame for you is a matter of striking the right balance between price, durability and weight.

Steel Frames

Frames made from a steel material are strong, sturdy and very durable.  A steel frame bike will certainly last a long time.  This used to be the go-to material when it came to building bikes, as it is built to last, easy to shape into cylinders and weld the joint together.

However, steel as a material is very heavy compared to other metals for manufacturing bike frames.

Steel framed bikes are generally cheaper as well and generally most bikes at the budget end of the scale will be made of steel.

Aluminum Frames

Aluminum frames are very common these days and are generally considered the lighter alternative to steel bikes.

You generally don’t get frames made purely of aluminum, as they are generally alloyed with another metal.

Even though the material is lighter, aluminum bikes are still strong, just like steel frame bikes. 

These bikes tend to be slightly more expensive than steel frame bikes, with the lower end aluminum alloy bikes being a similar price to mid-range steel-framed bikes.

Carbon Frames

Bikes frames made with carbon tend to be more expensive than those made with steel and aluminum, as the material used is more expensive to manufacture.

Carbon fibre is actually a fairly brittle material, so it needs to be mixed with resin to create a composite material.  This composite can then be shaped to create a material for use in bike frames.

Carbon bike frames are strong and very light, much lighter than other bike frame materials.

The real downside with these frames is that you can’t always tell when the material is damaged, say after a crash.  The only way to find out if the material has become brittle is to put it under stress, which can mean failure when you are out on your ride.

Components

Bikes are not just frames and wheels, they also include a significant amount of other parts and components, such as handlebars, brakes, gears and drivetrains, to name but a few.

When choosing the right fat bike for you, you should consider what type of components you would like, as well as check the quality of these components.

The following are some of the key components you should think about:

  • Gears/Drivetrain – Do you want a large number of gears to give you flexibility when riding off-road and uphill or are you happy with just a few for commuting on flat roads?
  • Brakes – Would you prefer an easy to maintain option, such as v-brakes, or do you want a more reliable option, such as disc brakes?
  • Handlebars – Do you prefer a flat handlebar or would you like a bullhorn style handlebar for more choice in how you hold the bars?

Tire and Wheel Size

Another consideration when buying a fat tire bike is the size of the tires and the wheels.

Tire Size

When it comes to tires, generally we refer to the width of the tire, which is where fat tires bikes get their name.  Most tires are considered “fat” when they are over 3.8 inches wide.  The maximum width you will find fat bike tires coming in is 5 inches.  The most common width of tires is 4.0 inches on lower priced fat bikes, with more expensive versions also including tire sizes up to 4.8 inches.

Tire width is important as it affects how the bike rides on different surfaces.

Wider tires typically mean more rolling resistance when riding, which will reduce the speed of your bike.  This can make your bike feel sluggish on flat surfaces, such as roads and pavements.

However, wider tires are great for riding on looser surfaces, such as snow and sand as the extra surface area helps to spread your weight and allows you to ride across the top of the surface.

If you will generally be using your bike on flat, firm surfaces, choose narrower tires, closer to 4 inches.  If you want a winter riding machine, go for a wider tire closer to 4.8 inches.

Wheel Size

The size of the wheels refers to the internal diameter of the wheel, meaning the distance from one side to the other.

The wheel size is important to consider as it will help you get the right size bike for you and therefore help you select the bike that offers the most comfortable riding position.

The most common wheel size you will find for fat bikes is 26 inches.  This is the size that provides the best riding position for the majority of riders, meaning adults between 5 and 6 feet tall. If you are outside of this height range, you may still be able to ride a bike this size if you have longer arms and legs (if under 5 feet) or if you can raise the bars and seat high enough (if over 6 feet).

The best option if you are outside of this height range is to opt for smaller or larger wheeled bikes. At a lower price, these tend to be less common, so you might have to extend your budget if you want to get a bike that is perfect for you.

Bike Weight

A further consideration before choosing your fat bike is the overall weight of the bike.

A heavy big has two major disadvantages over lighter bikes, the first being that it is simply heavier to move it around, such as storing it and transporting it on your car.  Lugging a heavy bike above your head to stick it on your car can be precarious and potentially dangerous.

The second disadvantage comes when riding the bike.  Heavier bikes are hard to ride up hills as gravitational forces will effectively slow you down.  This means you have to use more energy to physically move the bike and you will therefore feel sluggish when riding it.

Going downhill is much more fun on a heavy bike as you will go a lot faster than on a lighter bike, for the same reason as you will be slower going uphill.  That said, if you are on a technical downhill, such as through a forest track, you might find it harder to manoeuvre a heavier bike, so the speed advantage is lost at that point.

Best Fat Tire Bikes Under $1000


Framed Minnesota Fat Bike

Key Features:

  • Frame = Aluminum Alloy
  • Gears = 10 Gears
  • Brakes = Disc brakes
  • Wheel Size = 26” x 4”
  • Weight = 34 lbs 4 oz

If you are looking for a fat tire bike on the lighter end of the scale and under $1000, the Framed Minnesota Fat Bike is a great choice.

Made from an aluminum alloy, this bike weighs just 34 lbs and 4 oz, which is a lot less than other bikes in this price range.

You not only get a lighter bike for your money, but you also get 10 gears, providing a great range of gears than other bikes in this price range and providing more flexibility when climbing and descending hills.  This is all built on an 11-42 cassette, 28 tooth front chainring and a Shimano Deore M6000 drivetrain, giving a good range of gears and good quality as well.

This bike also comes with Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes and 26” x 4” wheels, with 60 TPI.  

A great choice for those looking for their first fat tire bike that will last them for a good few years.

Why we love it:

The balance of good quality components and also using aluminium for the frame is rare in this price range.


Mongoose Malus Fat Tire Bike

Key Features:

  • Frame = Steel
  • Gears = 7 Gears
  • Brakes = Disc brakes
  • Wheel Size = 26” x 4”
  • Weight = 45 lbs

For entry-level fat bikes, Mongoose Bikes are a great choice and the Mongoose Malus is one of their many solid options.

With a frame made of steel, the Malus is a good option for those who want a fat tire bike that will last them for the first few years of riding before upgrading to a better ride.

With a wheel size of 26” x 4”, this bike will fit a large proportion of the general population.

It also comes with 7 gears, great for taking on small, less challenging hills, as well as disc brakes as standard.

Weighing 45 lbs, this bike is heavier than other options on the market.  This is largely due to the steel frame and lower-end components.  Nothing short of what you should expect at this price range.

Why we love it:

A solid fat bike from a brand known for building good, entry-level models.


Mongoose Aztec Fat Tire Bike

Key Features:

  • Frame = Steel
  • Gears = 7 Gears
  • Brakes = Disc brakes
  • Wheel Size = 26” x 4”
  • Weight = 52 lbs

If you are looking for a durable bike to get you started in the fat tire bike world, the Mongoose Aztec is a good choice.

The frame of this bike is made from steel, which makes for a strong and sturdy ride.  Whilst you do get the benefit of strength, this does also mean that the bike is heavy, weighing in at a whopping 52 lbs.

This bike also comes with 7 gears, which gives you some flexibility when riding up and down hills. You also get mechanical disc brakes as well, which will help you come to a halt pretty quickly.

With 26” x 4” wheels, this bike will fit the average-sized rider perfectly.

Why we love it:

A sturdy fat bike to those who need a durable frame for some rough offroad riding.


Best Women’s Fat Tire Bike Under $1000


Framed Minnesota Women’s Fat Bike

Key Features:

  • Frame = Aluminum Alloy
  • Gears = 10 Gears
  • Brakes = Disc brakes
  • Wheel Size = 26” x 4”
  • Weight = 34 lbs

The Framed Minnesota Women’s Fat Bike has been designed to provide comfort to female riders, whilst still maintaining all of the quality features you would expect on a unisex fat bike.

With the majority of bikes made to fit the male body, this often means that when a female rides a unisex bike, the reach can be a little long, making finding a comfortable riding position difficult.  By designing the bike specifically for the female shape, the Framed Minnesota is far more comfortable for a woman to ride.

For $1000 you also get a 34lbs, aluminum frame, which is lighter than the unisex version and also lighter than most other options in this price range.

This bike comes with a  Shimano Deora M6000 wide-range 1×10 drivetrain, giving you 10 gears for taking on hills when riding on and off-road.  This, combined with a 28 tooth chainring and an 11-42 cassette should give you the range you need for comfortable riding.

The brakes are Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes, which will easily slow you down when hurtling along the trail and provide great control on steep descents.

You also get aluminum alloy rims as well as 26” x 4” tires.  

A solid option for female cyclists who struggle to get comfortable when riding unisex bikes.

Why we love it:

There aren’t many fat bikes designed for women and this one delivers on comfort as well as quality.


Best Kids Fat Tire Bike Under $1000


Framed Mini-Sota Fat Bike

Key Features:

  • Frame = Aluminum Alloy
  • Frame = Aluminum Alloy
  • Gears = 9 Gears
  • Brakes = Disc brakes
  • Wheel Size = 24” x 4”
  • Weight = 31 lbs 6oz

Adults shouldn’t be the only ones having fun when it comes to fat bike riding and the Framed Mini-Sota Fat Bike (see what they did there) is a great option for early teens who don’t quite fit a full-sized 18” frame bike.

Just like its older siblings, this 13” frame bike is made with an aluminum alloy frame, providing strength and durability, without adding weight.  This is evident from the particularly low weight of 31lbs and 6oz, which is lower than the adult bikes by a couple of pounds.

The drivetrain of this bike is a Sram X5, using grip shifters for easier gear changes compared to trigger shifters.  The 9-Speed, 11-34t cassette gives a good range of gears for riding and is complemented by a 32t from chainring.

Just like the adult versions, this bike comes with Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes, meaning you don’t have to compromise just because the bike is designed for younger members of the family.

The wheels are 24” x 4”, so small enough for a young rider, but still wide enough to be a fully-fledged fat tire bike.

A great choice for those looking for a bike for their teenager before they can fit a full-sized adult bike.

Why we love it:

This bike has all the components of the adult versions and will make a great bike for a young teen to get their teeth into fat bike riding.


Diamondback El Oso Nino 20 Fat Tire Bike

Key Features:

  • Frame = Steel
  • Gears = 7 Gears
  • Brakes = Disc brakes
  • Wheel Size = 20” x 4”
  • Weight = Unavailable

If you’re after a ride for your even smaller kids, the Diamondback El Oso Nino is a very good option.

This bike has been designed for kids between 44-54 inches tall, which equates to around 4-9 years old.  The frame is made of steel for a super-strong introduction to fat bike riding for your little one.

In spite of this being for little kids, you still get some decent components, with Shimano Tourney TZ21 7-speed freewheel cogs on the rear, a 14-28T gear range and a 40T single ring on the front, you get a good range of gears for climbing small hills.

This bike also comes with Apex mechanical disc brakes, meaning your little one will be able to slow down with ease.

The bike is a great choice for those who want to introduce their little ones to fat bike riding and want a cool ride to boot!

Why we love it:

Just look at those wheels on such a small frame size. Absolute beast of a bike for your little one!


Summary

I hope you have enjoyed this guide to the best fat tire bikes under $1000. As you can see, even at this price range there are several good options for those looking to get into riding fat bikes. For me, the Framed range of bikes, whether it be the Men’s, Women’s or Kid’s bikes, are a cut above the others in this price range.