In recent years, fat bikes have been gaining popularity. While they were once seen as an impractical novelty, today these bikes are a viable alternative for many cyclists. But, can a fat bike be your only bike?
A fat bike’s high-volume tires and low, heavy frame make it perfect for tackling difficult snowy and muddy terrain. Compared to a traditional mountain bike, a fat bike is more versatile and can be ridden on anything from pavement to sand to snow or even water.
Find out in this guide whether a fat bike really can be your only bike.
For those looking for a quick answer…
Yes, a fat bike can be your only bike. Fat bikes can be ridden on pretty much any terrain and in any season, including winter when there is snow and ice. You will find there is less efficiency versus bikes designed for specific terrains (e.g. road bikes will be faster on roads and pavements), but the versatility of the bikes should make up for that.
Want to find out more? Then read on…
Can a Fat Bike Be Used as A Mountain Bike?
As the season’s change, so does the need for different bikes. We all have our go-to bike that we love to hit up the trails with. When it comes to fat bikes, many people find that choosing a lighter bike will be more effective on trails with steep inclines or treacherous terrain. That doesn’t mean fat bikes can’t be used off-road; it just means they might not be your only option, with traditional mountain bikes being a better option.
In short, yes they can be used as a mountain bike, but come with the disadvantage of weighing more than a traditional mountain bike.
What Is the Difference Between a Fat Bike and A Mountain Bike?
Mountain bikes are typically associated with hilly terrains to conquer, while fat bikes are for snowy landscapes. There are some similarities between the two, but there are also many differences.
Mountain bikes have thinner tires than their fat bike counterpart, which is meant to be used on snow or sand terrain.
Fat bikes also weigh more than the average mountain bike, which could help if you’re carrying your bike up a mountain trail.
What Is a Fat Bike Good For?
The idea behind a fat bike seems like it’s just to get the most possible traction in snow and sand. However, this isn’t the case. These bikes can actually be used as your only bike for any season! With front suspension and 7 gears to choose from, you can take on all terrains with ease. Want to go on a mountain biking adventure? No problem! How about riding on the beach or through the sand dunes? Yes, you can do that too!
It is important to note that these bikes are not meant to compete with the standard mountain bikes. Rather, they are meant to be able to take on any terrain regardless of how steep or difficult it might be.
Fat bikes are also good for weight loss. I was recently asked, if fat-tire bikes burn more calories Due to the extra width of the tires and the increased rolling resistance this creates, you have to work harder than when riding a traditional bike. This means you burn more calories as a result of the extra effort you have to put into each turn of the pedals.
Are Fat Bikes Versatile?
There are many benefits to using a fat bike as your only bike. Fat bikes are designed to be ridden in all types of conditions, making them great for commuting or adventuring. Since fat bikes are built for any terrain, the off-road adventures you would have missed out on previously will now be open to you. The added width of the tires can also help you ride over sand or soft ground without getting stuck. You can use a fat bike in almost any terrain, making them a versatile option for you to pick.
Can You Convert a Mountain Bike to A Fat Bike?
Mountain bikes are typically designed to handle obstacle-laden terrain, but if you’re looking for a single bike that can do it all, then you might want to consider converting your mountain bike into a fat bike. Fat bikes are not only great for winter riding, but they’re also good for clearing trails and tackling difficult terrains. As long as you have the right tools, converting your MTB to a fat bike is very doable.
Summary: Can a Fat Bike Be Your only Bike?
Due to their versatility, fat bikes can definitely be your only bike. They can be ridden on roads, gravel, mud and snow. They also help you go places that you otherwise couldn’t with traditional bikes.
If you’re interested in getting a fat bike, check out our guide to the best fat tire bikes under $2000, where we have picked out some fantastic options that you can buy today!