If you’re looking to extend your riding opportunities or your riding season because you live in a colder, wetter area, then you might want to consider riding a fat bike. In colder, wetter climates, a mountain bike’s regular tire might prove problematic, taking away the fun and opportunity otherwise provided by the freedom of an outdoor bicycle adventure.
For those people who want a more extended riding season, or enjoy “bike-packing,” or want to ride on the sand, the bigger, lower-pressure fat tires are ideal for riding over these types of areas. According to RSDBikes – a fat tire can offer a less bumpy ride without an excellent suspension; many people enjoy fat bike riding.
Floating with a Fat Bike
A recent trend with this type offers wider tires. Those experimenting with wider tires found that these tires allow them to float in all types of weather conditions. After floating became a trend, people began developing their bikes to meet specific standards of floating performance concepts.
You’ll see people with dropper posts on their stock built fat bikes because dropper posts make things smoother and rough terrain. Dropper posts allow the tires to float better. When bikers want to hit steep terrain, they are often also using their fat-tires as gear movers when heading to the backcountry.
Q Factors on Fat Bikes
Another common trend we see with this type is a focus on stance width, also known as the “Q Factor.” The fat bike’s Q-Factor measures the space between the side of one crank arm to the side on the opposing crank arm. Q-Factors are becoming so crucial because of the demand for wider tires, which gives the fat bike its ability to float.
Thus, manufacturers need to focus on creating a full clearance area for these wider tires. So, many manufacturers utilize fuller rear hub areas. For example, a rear space hub area on a fat bike can go up to about 197 mm, compared to a mountain bike’s 148m wide-rear area on the hub.
Since the demand for wider wheels must be met by the wider rear hub spacing, many manufacturers are moving cranksets outboard. That keeps the crankset away from the chain angle so the fat bike can still shift as the rider needs the ride to shift. The increased chain angle also brings up the width of the cranks. These types of wider-stance cranks result in pain for some riders in the hip and knee areas.
However, there’s no need to worry if you fall into the category of knee or hip pain. You can still ride. You’ll need to purchase a product with a narrower bottom bracket shell of under 100 mm to make sure you balance out any issues. By doing that, you won’t experience any pain or concern, and you can still ride your fat bike.
Your Fat Bike’s Suspension
If you’re looking for affordability when it comes to your product’s suspension, then you’ll want to consider a hard-tail that features a rigid fork. These suspensions are standard on fat bikes because they are affordable so that you can find this type of product anywhere. Many of these options still utilize the wide tires you’ll want to float on rough terrain. The tires on these fat bikes again usually run 4 to 5-inches wide.
Tires that are 4 to 5-inches wide are still kept at low pressure. You want your ride to modify and adjust its progress to the bumpy trail successfully, and the low tire pressure helps you accomplish that. That helps decrease the need for a stable suspension but keeps the bike running smoothly on challenging trails.
If you enjoy very uneven, rocky types of areas with which to ride in, then you might need to up the air pressure on your tires a bit. That will give you a bit less squirm, especially if you purchase a product that offers you a robust suspension system. If you buy a product with a full-suspension system, you’ll be able to move better and ride better.
So, if you do plan on going on longer rides more often, you might want to consider paying a bit more money for a product with a reliable suspension system. On the other hand, if you live in a colder climate, a rigid fork could offer more reliability while you are on the go.
Fat Bike Wheel Size
Along with the suspension, the size of your wheel is another essential factor to consider. Fat bikes traditionally utilize wheels that are 26 to 27.5-inches. People that use larger wheels like to roll faster, making it simple to tackle obstacles encountered while riding challenging terrain. If you want to use a wider tire, you’ll need to remember to also use a full rim. Narrower rims work well for people that want a lighter ride the moves more quickly.