7 best fat bikes

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

For fans of extreme riding on mountain slopes, off-road fields, sand dunes of deserts and beaches, there is a special type of bike – a fat bike. It differs from the urban or sports prototype with full-tire wheels, reinforced drive and a larger frame. We present the rating, which includes the 7 best fat bikes according to the experts of the online magazine, based on the opinions of athletes and cycling enthusiasts.

How to choose a fat bike

L ike any other type of sports equipment, fat bikes differ in different ways. They must be taken into account when choosing a 'fat bike' (as fatbike literally translates) for a particular person.

Wheels

The thickness of the wheel determines how comfortable the ride will be. The calculation is simple: the wider the tire, the less pressure per unit surface, the easier it is to travel off-road. Plus, narrow wheels are more susceptible to drowning in snow or mud than thick ones, the figure for fat bikes is 3.5 … 4.8 inches versus 2 inches for a bicycle.

Wide wheels require an increased size of discs and hubs: they are made of metal, respectively, the total mass of the bike is significantly increased compared to the city and even mountain counterparts.

Wheel diameter is determined by the height of the bike and the height of the rider, the minimum size is 26 inches. However, an increase of even 1 inch significantly increases the price of the bike, so if you want to save money, you should choose the minimum wheel diameter.

Frame and transmission

It will not work to install wide wheels with tires on a regular bike – a narrow frame will not allow. On a fat bike, it is widened, the rear triangle is modified, the front fork is reinforced. As a brake, mechanical or hydraulic clamping discs are used, capable of slowing down and stopping heavy wheels, even in slope or off-road conditions. To transfer traction to the wheel, a low gear is provided – only it can hold the grip of difficult surfaces and wheels without much effort. High gear in such vehicles is inconvenient – the pedals will have to be turned, applying a lot of effort, and the ride stability leaves much to be desired.

Bike size

As in the case of shoes, when choosing the size of a fat bike, it is inappropriate to make a mistake – with too small transport it will be uncomfortable to ride due to limited movement, too large, on the contrary, will be heavy and immobile off-road.

Frame size

Letter meaning and size

Height, cm

13.5 “… 15”

XS

148 … 158

16 “… 17”

S

158 … 168

17 “… 18”

M

168 … 178

19 “… 20”

L

178 … 185

21 “+

XL

185 and higher

A second way to determine the correct frame size is to measure the inside of your foot from groin to base of heel. So you can find out the distance from the saddle to the pedal more accurately, because the proportions within the same height are different for people. These are followed by 2 ways to buy a fet bike by size:

Come to the store and 'saddle' the bike you like, suitable in size according to the height of the above methods.

Find a biker's landing pattern in the documentation, in it all dimensions and distances between key points are indicated more accurately. The method is suitable for those who want to save money on purchases and purchase a fat bike in an online store.

What to choose a fat bike or mountain bike

To more accurately determine the need for a fat bike, compare it with the prototype – the more famous and common mountain bike.

Comparison parameter

Mountain bike

Fat bike

Wheel type

Cycling, reinforced

With a thick tire and deep tread

Wheel diameter

From 26 “(adult models)

Inner wheel pressure

2 to 4 atmospheres

0.5 … 2 atmospheres

Wheel width

2 inches

3.5 … 4.8 inches

Maneuverability

High

Average

Passability on snow, sand

Low even with special tires

Good

Smooth running

Optimal thanks to air shock absorber

Ideal with and without shock absorber due to reduced wheel pressure

Design features

Classic

Wide frame, rear triangle and modified wide wheel triangle

Weight

Average 14 … 20 kg

1-2 kg more than a regular mountain bike

Price

From 7,000 rubles

From 28,000 rubles and more + very expensive repairs

Analyzing the comparison results, we conclude: a fat bike will be useful for true bike travelers who overcome difficult off-road conditions in the form of snow, sand, bog. When riding on relatively flat or hard surfaces, a mountain bike will do – it is much lighter and cheaper, besides, pedaling is much more convenient and easier. In addition, the choice of worthy fat bikes in Russia is not large due to the poor development of the sports direction.

Rating of the best fatbikes

Nomination a place Name of product price
Rating of the best fatbikes 1 Haibike Fatcurve 6.20 (2016) RUB 135,900
2 Silverback Scoop Fatty (2017) RUB 84,600
3 Momentum iRide Rocker 3 (2018) RUB 42 625
4 FORWARD Bizon (2018) RUB 23,500
5 STARK Fat 26.2 D (2018) RUB 27,900
6 STELS Navigator 680 MD 26 V040 (2018) RUB 21,560
7 STELS Pilot 280 MD 20 (2017) RUB 14,319

Haibike Fatcurve 6.20 (2016)

Rating: 4.9

Haibike Fatcurve 6.20 (2016)

The first Haibike Fatcurve 6.20 bike in the 2016 model year. This is a real 'shark' among the cycling giants: it is designed for an athlete with a height of 167 … 168 cm with a total weight of 14.3 kg and the dimensions of the aluminum frame 15.74, 17.71 or 19.68 inches (3 sizes). The wheels for a fat bike are small – a minimum size of 26 inches, the powerful wide 4.8-inch Schwalbe Jumbo Jim Evolution tires on an aluminum rim deserve praise. If you do not fully inflate the wheels, the ride will be soft and comfortable in the absence of road, for additional smoothness there is a Hard tail shock absorber.

The RST Renegade Air TRL 100mm professional-grade air-oil fork is responsible for confident maneuvering and control, allows you to overcome obstacles without jolting and, along with pneumatic wheels, softens the ride. For it, you can adjust the stiffness and speed of spring compression, reverse speed and travel lock, the fork communicates with a threadless steering column with a semi-integrated connection. The whole structure is reliable, works flawlessly and does not fail on the road.

The Haibike Fatcurve has a curved handlebar for riders of any constitution and fit. On it is a derailleur of the provided 20 speeds, connected by a chain at the front and rear. On such a powerful fat bike, there must be strong and durable brakes: semi-professional disc hydraulic front and rear, both 180 mm, fixed on the hub, fork or frame.

The impressive characteristics of the Haibike Fatcurve 6.20 fat bike make the bike versatile: it is suitable for traveling through fields, mountains, snow and mud, all small parts and the frame are made soundly, but you will have to pay a round sum for the repair of individual parts, because the cost of the crucible itself is about 135,000 rubles . But this does not stop the lovers of traveling on their own, because the bike needs almost no maintenance – it is made so reliably.

Advantages

  • All-terrain bike;
  • Wide wheels with universal tread;
  • Robust aluminum frame and wheel rims
  • Convenient curved steering wheel;
  • 20 speeds;
  • Nicely made small but important parts: carriage, cassettes;
  • Professional plug.

disadvantages

  • High price and expensive service (but rarely required).

Silverback Scoop Fatty (2017)

Rating: 4.8

Silverback Scoop Fatty (2017)

In second place is the 2017 Silverback Scoop Fatty, which is heavier compared to the leader – its weight slightly exceeds 15 kg, but it differs slightly between bikes for different heights due to differences in frame sizes.

The frame and fork are also made of aluminum, the wheels are also 26 inches in diameter, but slightly less wide – 4.7, although the difference from 4.8 is practically not felt. Fat bike tires Vee tire Bulldozer, 26×4.7, Foldable, 120TPI show themselves well on any off-road, keep the tread and soften the ride, especially since there are no shock absorbers in the fat bike, and the fork is rigid – on rocky terrain the rider will be uncomfortable. The straight steering wheel on a threadless column transfers to the hands all the bumps from the road that the tire volume has not extinguished, so you need to sit on the Silverback Scoop Fatty only in good physical shape.

The lack of shock absorption and a somewhat stiff ride does not provide for ultra-fast acceleration, so the rear disc brake is reduced to 160 mm against the front 180 mm. The difference is small, but still noticeable at a significant speed.

Switches of 20 speeds are sporty and semi-professional, there are no problems with them, they work harmoniously, in particular thanks to high-quality double-lever trigger shifters and integrated carriages, in a cassette of 10 stars.

The average price of the Silverback Scoop Fatty (2017) fat bike is significantly lower compared to the leader – about 85,000 rubles.

Advantages

  • High cross-country ability;
  • High-quality assembly;
  • Different frame sizes for height;
  • Soft pneumatic wheels;
  • Practically does not fail.

disadvantages

  • High price;
  • The lack of shock absorption and the stiff fork is not the softest ride on rough terrain.

Momentum iRide Rocker 3 (2018)

Rating: 4.8

Momentum iRide Rocker 3 (2018)

The Momentum iRide Rocker 3 fat bike was released in 2018 and managed to earn the trust of off-road riders. It has the same 26-inch wheel, reinforced with two rims, but the width of the tire is already 4 inches, that is, it can move a little in snow and sand, but still worse than on the previously reviewed fatbikes. There is no cushioning, the fork is stiff – the Momentum iRide Rocker 3 will not be very comfortable in the mountains. It is good that the curved handlebars allow for a comfortable grip for easier taxiing. You won't be able to accelerate quickly on such a bike – it has only 7 speeds, while the rear derailleur is walking, as is the 160-mm disc brake without pneumatics. It can be fixed to a frame or fork. The shifters are also for walking, the carriages are not integrated. All indications are that the Momentum iRide Rocker 3 is more of a large bike for riding gravel roads, field trails, but not mountains and rugged terrain. It has a convenient parking step and a bottle cage.

The average price of a fat bike is 51,000 rubles.

Advantages

  • Wheels reinforced with two rims;
  • The number of teeth in the system 38;
  • Large wheels of medium width;
  • Optimal price.

disadvantages

  • Not suitable for rough terrain.

FORWARD Bizon (2018)

Rating: 4.7

FORWARD Bizon (2018)

The fourth in the FORWARD Bizon ranking is a two-size fat bike with a frame of 16 “(150-165 cm) and 18” (167-178 cm). It has the same 26 “wheels as its predecessors, the width of the CST C-1752, 26×4.0”, 60TPI 4 “tire – enough for off-road, but not extreme terrain. Besides, there are no shock absorbers, the forks are stiff A curved steering wheel on a semi-integrated threadless column comes to the rescue.

The bike has 8 speeds, but the transmission is adapted for unhurried walks, as is the brake system of 160 mm mechanical discs. The carriage is non-integrated, the shifters are lever, but reliable, rarely need to be replaced.

Overall, the 2018 FORWARD Bizon fat bike is a more powerful alternative to a mountain bike for off-road riding over moderately rough terrain. Its average price is 28,500 rubles.

Advantages

  • Lightweight MTB frame;
  • Threadless stem of a curved handlebar;
  • Medium width large wheels;
  • 2 sizes to suit your height;
  • Affordable price.

disadvantages

  • Limited cross-country ability;
  • Requires maintenance, breakdowns of small parts of the system occur.

STARK Fat 26.2 D (2018)

Rating: 4.6

STARK Fat 26.2 D (2018)

The fifth in the ranking of the STARK Fat 26.2 D fat bike in 2018 in two sizes 18 and 20 inches and five color options for the frame and wheel rim. It has more speeds compared to its predecessor FORWARD – all 21, it switches on the steering wheel, but the rear derailleur is not entirely reliable – its level is defined as initial, and the front derailleur is sporty, more maneuverable and practical, which is especially important with a rigid fork in the absence of shock absorbers .

The wheels are similar to their predecessors – 26×4 inches, on them Chaoyang H5176 tires, known for optimal reliability and cross-country ability, despite the Chinese origin. However, they are not designed for cold weather and you should not take out the bike in winter. The edging cord is metal, not composite, with careful handling and proper care it will not rust.

Brakes on 160 mm disc mechanical walking type. The shifters are also the initial double-lever Shimano ST-EF500, the carriages are walking carriages, and the landing part of the carriage shaft is square, so it is securely fixed without the need for additional fastening.

Like its predecessor fatbikes, the STARK Fat 26.2 D is not suitable for professional riding, but for the city and country walks it is. The average price is 33,000 rubles.

Advantages

  • 21 speed;
  • Several sizes and color variations;
  • Bright design;
  • Affordable price.

disadvantages

  • Hard seat;
  • Cross-country ability limited by permissible load;
  • Rough brakes.

STELS Navigator 680 MD 26 V040 (2018)

Rating: 4.5

STELS Navigator 680 MD 26 V040 (2018)

The STELS Navigator 680 MD 26 V040 bike has two frame sizes – 18 “for a height of 167-178 cm and 20” for 178-185 cm and a total weight of 16.26 kg. Wheels with 26×4.0 inch tires made of stock rubber are not equipped with shock absorbers, but even without them they dampen road bumps and create a smooth ride of the bike. By the way, the wheel does not have a double rim, so high loads are contraindicated for it! The edging cord is metal and requires attention and care.

The STELS Navigator 680 MD 26 V040 bike has only 8 speeds, but their switches can surprise on the road – the chain falls off from time to time during maneuvers. You won't have to ride on difficult off-road terrain – neither the wheels, nor the walking-level components, suitable for beginner riders in the city and parks, will stand. The carriage shaft is rigidly mounted on a square. A nice bonus is an established call.

The average price of a STELS Navigator 680 MD 26 V040 fat bike (2018) is 30 800 rubles.

Advantages

  • For the walking level, the components are very high quality;
  • Ergonomic frame and handlebar design;
  • Soft wheel rubber for a comfortable ride;
  • Affordable price.

disadvantages

  • Inability to cope with rough terrain;
  • The chainring will sometimes drop the chain;
  • Not suitable for winter riding.

STELS Pilot 280 MD 20 (2017)

Rating: 4.5

STELS Pilot 280 MD 20 (2017)

At the end of the rating, we cannot pass by the STELS Pilot 280 MD 20 fat bike for teenagers, model of 2017. It is designed for children 80 … 135 cm in height, 11 inches frame. High loads do not threaten the bike, so there is no shock absorption and the front fork is rigid. The shaking is compensated by soft wheels of reduced diameter 20 inches on Chao Yang, 20×4.0, 30TPI tires with double rim profile.

Feta STELS Pilot 280 has mechanical disc brakes front and rear, both 160 mm. The speeds are 7, but they are quite enough for children. The walking level switches are well assembled, the chain does not fall off – this is important for the child. The steering wheel is straight, anatomically uncomfortable, but there are practically no complaints about it. Steering wheel decoration and safety element – bell.

The average price of a STELS Pilot 280 MD 20 (2017) fat bike is 22,000 rubles.

Advantages

  • Suitable for road and light off-road driving;
  • Reduced wheels for safety;
  • 3 bright colors;
  • Comfortable seat;
  • 7 speeds.

disadvantages

  • The fat bike is suitable only for teenagers and driving on roads and off-road with non-aggressive terrain.


Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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