Whether you are on the road, riding on snow, sand, etc. – we have to look at a few critical factors like weight, durability amongst many others when we are selecting the tires.
Now, what exactly is a fat bike? Typically, they are bicycles that are used off-road and are characterized by the large tires that they have on them. The tires for these bikes are designed in such a way that when the pressure of air being inside them is low, which helps them to manoeuvre in terrains that are particularly unstable and soft. Immediately what pops into the mind is snow, sand, and mud – which is exactly the fat bike tires.
Fat-tire bikes can be used to deal with gnarly weather, where even mountain bikes are not enough. These tires will provide you the traction needed to deal with the weather and terrain. They will also make your rides much smoother even if you do not have any suspension on the frame of your fat bike.
Buying Guide: Fat Bike Tires
1. Riding terrain
Fat bike tires are perfect for terrains that are most challenging. We have mentioned below the terrains that are most popular amongst fat bike riders:
- Mud: If the mud is very soft, you will be needing softer tires. Go for fat bike tires that are running low pressure while being very wide. You will be able to get just the right amount of float so that the tire does not sink in the mud. Rather, it will continue its rolling motion.
- Roots and Rocks: Tires that are plus-sized can do the job even on extreme obstacles like rocks and roots of trees. These tires can deal with sharp rocks too, rolling smoothly and conforming to any irregularity.
- Sand and Snow: When wider tyres are run at low pressure in sand or snow, there will be considerable flotation owing to the bigger contact surface area.
- Ice: Studded version of fat bike tires are ideal for roads that are icy. Ideally, riding on icy roads calls for studded tires. These will provide you with the most grip. You also want to get wide tires for more contact surface and inflate them more to avoid skidding.
- Hard Packed Trails: Narrower trails are good enough for firm trails. They will improve your speed and pedaling efficiency, while still providing more than enough grip. Think 3.8″ to 4″ tires.
- Bikepacking: If you plan to go bikepacking on unknown trails, go for wider tires and be prepared for unexpected situations.
2. Tire Width
Compatibility is amongst the major considerations for your fat bike tire. With the correct frame size along with width, you can ensure that the tire on your fat bike is spinning freely. If it is tight or wider than the size of your frame – performance would be compromised. As you check your rims, make sure that they are wide so that typically wide fat bike tires can be used.
- Frame Size And Width – With all the fat bike tires that we have mentioned in this article, each would be needing an individual frame that has to be specific to fat bike tires. It is a good idea to measure your fat bike before you head off to buy the tire.
- Rim Width – The wheel has a circular portion that is also known as the rim. Rims are usually offered for variable widths in accordance to the width of the tire.
3. Tread pattern
Here are some general principles worth bearing in mind when looking at different tire treads and knobs.
- For improved traction on softer surfaces such as mud, the larger knobs on fat bike tires are most useful.
- Smaller knobs are ideal for riding fast on surfaces that are hand-picked, as there is reduced rolling resistance.
- As we move on to ramped knobs, they are sloped towards the front so that it is easier for them to roll. The rear side of such knobs are vertically aligned so that braking power is more.
Usually, the patterns that exist on tires have knobs at thes center to separate dual row pairs on the outside.
- While taking corners, the larger knobs that are outlying the tire provide the additional grip. If you see a “channel” has separated the central and outlying knobs, the tire is more likely to have even more grip during cornering. However, this needs some time to get adjusted to.
- The knobs that are at the centre are smaller in size so that rolling resistance is less.
- With compact knobs, the tire is more likely to perform better on surfaces that are hand-picked. However, they will clog up when used on mud.
- With knobs that have more space in between them, the tire will have better grip on loose surfaces such as mud and snow, amongst others.
4. Tire Pressure
What should be the pressure on your fat bike tire? Without any specific pressure setting, we can only abide by a fee guidelines. At the end of the day, you should be using the pressure that you deem is perfect. You should bring the pressure up and down on different types of terrains so that you know what the tires are doing in each case. Typically, rear tires should be run at pressure that is exceeding that in the front tire by 0.5 psi to 1 psi. Between tubeless and tubular tires, the former can be used at a lower pressure. This cannot be the case on tubular fat bike tires as low pressure will lead to a pinch flat. There is a way around this issue too, where you can fill up the fat bike tire to a considerable pressure and then allow air to get out until you the pressure inside the tires feel perfect. Typically, you should be following the guidelines mentioned below:
- Lower pressure is the “best” pressure – particularly true when riding on soft snow.
- Wider tires can use low pressure inside them. This would be thanks to the fact that a more volume of air can be fit inside them.
Usually, you can find the optimal tire pressure on the sidewalls of your fat bike tire. However, we have provided an estimate that can be used.
Snow : Between 5 & 8 psi; Sand: Between 4 and 8 psi; Using them on general trails – 8-12 psi; Road, urban travel: Between 15 and 20 psi
5. Tube or Tubeless
Typically, we do not find fat bike tires that are running with a tubeless setup. Rather, it is possible to convert the system to tubeless. Now, why should we go tubeless ?
- You can save on weight when using fat bike tires. They have a weight that is between 450g and 500g, which is significantly light.
- Even if the pressure inside your fat bike tire is very low, pinch flats are never an issue.
With tubeless tires, you should know what is ideal for you. There are a few sealants for tubeless tires that can be used if the temperature is sub-zero, even though it is recommended that tubular tires should be used for harsh winter rides. This is because you will be able to deal with flats on tubular tires much easily in comparison to tubeless ones.
6. Rolling Speed / Rolling Resistance
This refers to how easily the tire rolls. Some tires will have better-rolling resistance which means they roll quicker than others. This is determined by everything from weight to shape to tread pattern to the material they are manufactured from. Ideally, rolling resistance should be low so that the tire itself is able to move fast.
7. Tire Bead
Tire bead is the term for the edge of a tire that sits on the wheel. The edge of the tire, known as the bead of a tire, is designed to sit within a groove on the wheel. When the tire is properly inflated to the correct air pressure (each tire will specify the correct air pressure), the bead slots firmly into that groove. This holds the tire in place on the wheel.
There are two main types of tire bead:
- Wire bead is a traditional bead technology – it is often heavier.
- Folding beads is a more modern technology that is lighter weight. It is known as a folding bead as without the wire the tire can be folded for transport.
For wired beads, steel is used. Kevlar and Aramid are the options for folding beads but they are expensive. We also have to keep in mind that such folding tires will fall off in case of flats.
8. Tire Size
Tires come in a variety of sizes. The ones reviewed here are either 26”, 27.5”, or 29”, which refers to the diameter of the tire. Each bike is specifically sized, and we would need to get a tire that has a specific size. You can either measure the current diameter of your tires, or take your bike into a bike shop and they will be able to tell you what size it has.
Otherwise known as the casing, this is the tire’s fabric body that is formed as the weaves are overlapping. When the casing is more supple, the tire can undergo more lump deformation to avail extra grip. At low tire pressure settings , however, stability is less here. Carcass that is more reinforced offers more protection. At low pressure, even though the tire will feel more stable – comfort and weight are compromised. Lighter casings are more susceptible to punctures too..
TPI (threads per inch) denotes the no. of threads in the casing of the tire. With a high TPI, even though the tire for your fat bike will be supple – it is at the risk of punctures. This is mainly due to the fact that thinner threads are used more in tire construction compared to thicker ones. With a low TPI, your tire will be more resistant to punctures but rolling resistance will increase. Additionally, you should check for reinforcement to your tire sidewall. As this part of the tire structure is less likely to be repaired, any rips or punctures here will make your tire non usable.
Our Top Pick(s)
With all the various choices for fat bike tires that are available in the market, it is normal if you are hesitating to make a final choice. This is where we come in Over the length of this article, you will find comprehensive reviews on the 12 best fat bike tires that riders can use on their fat bikes. From the 12 products, Maxxis Minion FBR is our “Overall best choice“.
Perfect tread for loose surfaces like sand, snow; Tubeless-ready | Overall Best Choice
The tread of the Minion FBR tire is sporting a number of knobs specifically designed to improve traction. It will deliver excellent braking performance, enabling its use for aggressive riding styles such as downhill riding. On the centerline of the tread, some knobs are ramped and shaped like paddles. As a result, the grip will improve significantly while cutting down rolling resistance. Designed specifically for the rear wheel of your fat bike, Dual Compound has been used by the manufacturer on the outward knobs. What is great about the FBR is that in winter, if you are looking for more traction – it can be used as a front tire too. There is EXO protection for the sidewall so that performance remains consistent. Thanks to the foldable beads, the resulting lightweight tire will be secure, with easy portability. A 120 TPI ply single-casing is being used here.
- Tread pattern specific for rear-wheel of fat bikes
- The sidewall is EXO protected so that there is no puncture
- Optimized design for compatibility with wider tires
- 120 TPI casing
- Better cornering
- Reduced rolling resistance
A quick view of our list of some of the finest fat bike tires for your bike wheels:
|Maxxis Minion FBR||120||93|
|Vee Snow Avalanche||120||92|
|Maxxis Minion FBF||120||89|
|SCHWALBE Jumbo Jim||127||86|
|SCHWALBE Jumbo Jim||127||85|
|Vee Tire Mission Command||120||82|
|Kenda Juggernaut Pro Tire||120||82|
|Terrene Cake Eater Fat Bike||33||80|
|Mongoose Fat Tire Bike Tire||78|
12 best fat bike tires you can buy today
In the table below, you will find 12 of the best tires that can be used on fat bikes today. Just below the table, you will see comprehensive reviews on each of them until you reach the buying guide. We know that it all does down to preference, and would just like to give you a nudge in the right direction.
1. Maxxis Minion FBR: Perfect tread for loose surfaces like sand, snow; Tubeless-ready | Overall best choice
- Material: Dual compound Rubber
- Tire Size: 26” x 4.8”
- Weight: 1620g
- Tire Type: Tubeless
- TPI: 120
- Max psi: 20
- Bead: Foldable
- Application: Trail, Enduro
- Minion series: Minion FBR brings forward the Minion series performance over to fat bike tires, where the tread pattern facilitates fast-rolling while allowing secure traction irrespective of the weather or conditions.
- Rear Specific: The design of the treads on the FBR is ideal for rear wheel use while riding out on the trail. Ideally, this rear-specific tire should be used when the front wheel has the “FBF Minion” on. While the FBR looks like another downhill Minion model, the design has been optimized for use on fat bikes.
- Dual compound treads: Rubber compound is being used inside the treads, and the FBR is using Maxxis Dual Compound. It means that here, Maxxis is using a combination of two compounds that will bring down the rolling resistance of the tire while enhancing grip during corners. The latter is possible thanks to the soft rubber for the side knobs while the former is a result of harder knobs at the centre of the tread.
- EXO Protection: The sidewall of this tire has been added with a material that is resistant to both cut and abrasion. As a result, we have a very dense fabric that weighs less while exhibiting high flexibility. This ensures that the tire performance is consistent. EXO protection is ideal for trails that are more treacherous and rocky, where there is a higher chance of cuts or abrasions to the sidewall.
- Tubeless Ready (TR): Tubeless Ready (TR) Maxxis FBR tires are UST tubeless, and have a standard casing. The casing has been incorporated with silkworm to increase resistance to tear and puncture.
- Tread design: The tread pattern on the FBR is aggressive so that it is able to plough through the sand. Moving over tree roots and rock is easier too. The side knobs here are tall and square so that while cornering, the tire is able to dig deeper. Further dual compound knobs that paddle-like and ramped have been added too. As a result, comparatively flat trail sections will present less rolling resistance.
- The tire needs to be installed by skilled personnel only.
Maxxis has been a manufacturer of quality tires for a long time, and fat bike tires are one of their specialities. The Minion FBR is another of their products, and we can confidently say that it has met almost all our qualification standards to take up the top spot in our list of the best fat bike tires used today. Meant for use at the rear wheel, the lateral knobs look liked paddles on the wheels, helping us push forwards and backwards. The tires were thick enough to withstand abrasion from all terrains, thus they are bound to have a long lifetime. Other than that, the tire proved to be a great all-around performer. We were impressed largely by how easy it was to pop the tires onto our bike before we aired them up. We were caught off-guard by how the FBR behaved on gravel – which seemed smooth and easy despite the knobby tread pattern. On the 26” rim which was comparatively narrow, floatation was just about adequate along with reduced resistance to rolling. Owing to the meaty blocks, the tire was able to climb out of rust much easily, even when we had a significant load with us. The FBR held on well during the turns, providing good braking traction that we could predict easily.
Maxxis Minion FBR Bike Tire
2. Vee Snow Avalanche: Studded fat bike tire; Aggressive treads for improved steering; Reduced rolling resistance
- Material: SC – Silica Compound + Carbide
- Tire Size: 26” x 4.0″
- Weight (g): 1485g (each tire)
- Type: Tubeless Ready
- TPI: 120
- PSI: 8- 20
- Bead: Folding
- Application: Blocked trails or loose snow
- Snow Avalanche: This fat bike tire from Vee Tire is amongst the few bike tires that are studded. Here, we have a pair of these tires that have lugs that are shaped somewhat like a square so that they are able to grip surfaces better.
- Studded: There are 240 pre-pinned studs on the Snow Avalanche. To enable better traction during winter, these tungsten-carbide studs are pointed and shaped like a cone so that they are able to dig in deeper when there is snow and ice.
- Tread design: The treads are designed in such a way that they grip aggressively to enable better steering and grip in winter. The rolling resistance is minimized and combines with the excellent float.
- Silica: Inside the tire tread, silica has been used so that even when the conditions are extremely cold, Snow Avalanche can deliver superior performance. Also, silica is soft and makes sure the rolling resistance is low irrespective of the temperature while maintaining excellent gripping ability.
- Tire architecture: Along the center of the Snow Avalanche, we can see lugs that are present individually and in pairs – but in an alternative manner. As they move towards the center, the lugs take up a more concave shape. The carcass also features extra texture so that the tire’s transitional portion has added traction.
- Tubeless-ready: If you are using tubeless rims, the Snow Avalanche can be on your rims using a sealant.
- Durometer: Snow Avalanche has 50 listed here as the durometer, meaning that it is on the softer side of the toughness spectrum of fat bike tires.
- The lugs lacked ramping in their design.
We mounted the pair of Vee Snow Avalanche to alloy rims that measured at 80mm. For usual riding on the trails, the tire pressure did not break out from the 9 to 10 psi range. For gravel grinds that were packed with hard rocks, tire pressure went up to 15 psi. While the tires handled the mountain trails relatively well, they spun easily and lifted over obstacles faced on the trail. The lugs had a smaller profile, and this came hand-in-hand with their sharp edges. With sufficient grip, the heavy shoulder of the lugs rarely skidded. Rather, it allowed the tire to exhibit enhanced grip travelling over roots of trees and loose rocks. The lugs were able to clear mud quickly too. Over wet surfaces that were relatively harder, the squared sharp lugs combined with the silica inside the treads to ensure that there was no slippage. After testing this pair of Snow Avalanche over some time, we started to appreciate the new treads on the Snow Avalanche.
Vee Snow Avalanche Tire
3. Maxxis Colossus: Snow-specific tread pattern; EXO Protection available; Tubeless Ready (TR) available
- Material: Dual Compound
- Tire Size: 26″ x 4.0″
- Weight: 1515g
- Tire Type: Tubeless
- TPI: 120
- PSI: 20
- Bead: Foldable
- Application: Winter, Mountain Bikes
- Maxxis Colossus: We are reviewing the 120 TPI casing amongst the two versions of this fat bike tire here. While the other version featured a 60 TPI casing that is more sturdy, the 120 TPI version is able to deliver optimized performance. This is owing to the additional flexibility and the Dual rubber compound.
- Open tread pattern: There are several long knobs on the Colossus that have been designed in such a way that they are able to better grip the hard surface after penetrating through snow. Any snow that gets packed on the tires is cleared out thanks to the open pattern of the treads, helping the tire to sustain traction.
- Dual compound: This Maxxis tire is able to exhibit enhanced traction while taking corners, which couples with reduced rolling resistance. This compound ensures that even when conditions are below zero, the tire compound is pliable.
- EXO casing: This effectively protects the tire from punctures. The sidewall of the Colossus is protected by this material that is resistant to abrasion and cut, thanks to the fact that it is woven densely. Being lightweight and flexible, tire performance is likely to remain consistent.
- Foldable bead: The function of the bead is to keep the tire in contact with the rim while the tire is inflated. Here, foldable beads are made using Aramid fibers that have been spun so that they are lightweight and can be transported easily.
- Tubeless Ready: The Colossus is tubeless-ready, meaning it does not have to carry the extra weight – an issue faced with UST tubeless designs. With no tube, there is less risk of getting a flat. Airtightness of the standard but wide carcass is guaranteed by sealants here.
- The tire might increase auto-steer in your bike.
The manufacturer Maxxis has hailed the Colossus as a fat bike tire that is ideal for use on snow. Thus we had a test period of six weeks to play with the Colossus. We started by mounting it tubeless, and with minimal coaxing, we were able to snap the tire into place. A unique characteristic that caught our eye was how this fat bike tire was able to deal with “rut riding” utilizing deflection or correction. There were no flats in the testing period, and the Colossus was able to deliver the things it promised on advertisements. Despite the big teeth on the Colossus, there is hardly any knob squirm on harder surfaces which allowed them to roll with relative ease while running between 10 to 12 psi. As we ran tire pressure between 4 and 8 psi on snow, this is when the tire excelled.
Maxxis Colossus Tire
4. Maxxis Minion FBF: Designed to be front-wheel specific; Performs well in TR setup; Ideally used for trail riding
- Material: Rubber Dual Compound
- Tire Size: 26″ x 4.8″
- Weight: 1645g
- Type: tubeless-ready
- TPI: 120
- PSI: 20
- Bead: Foldable
- Application: MTB + Front Tire + All trail conditions
- Minion FBF: Minion FBF embodies a design that is front-specific. The treads have been planned in such a way that they are perfect for allowing the front wheel to have absolute control and better steering ability. The tread blocks on the FBF have a design that is proven to deliver better grip while cornering, reduce rolling resistance, and not compromise with grip on surfaces that may be loose or uneven.
- Design: The profile for the treads on the Minion FBF has been optimised so that they can be used on fat bikes. The side knobs are shaped so that they are able to deliver superior cornering performance during races. In the middle, the treads are directional and ramped so that irrespective of the conditions, rolling resistance remains minimised while traction is maximum.
- EXO Protection: This is how Maxxis makes sure its tires are puncture resistant. The sidewall is protected by means of a material that is resistant to both tear and abrasion. This casing option is ideal for riding out on the trails, where you must have appropriate protection for your fat bike tire. Another advantage of the EXO is it does not add any additional weight to the tire.
- Tubeless Ready (TR): A rubber layer is being used by this TR tire from Maxxis to cover the bead. This makes installation very convenient. While you are saving on weight, you can also use low tire pressure here.
- Dual compound: Two separate compounds from rubber have been processed into a strip of the tread. Thanks to the hardness, the center treads are likely to be durable. Meanwhile, the shoulders were softer but gripped well.
- Foldable Bead: Fibers of spun Kevlar or Aramid have been used on the FBF so that the tyre has been securely attached to the rim. This is possible thanks to the portability and low weight.
- Auto-steering may increase.
We tried out the 4.8″ wide Minion FBF tires here. On pavement, the tread was aggressive enough so that the tire was able to roll with ease. Thanks to the bold and large outlook, we surely got noticed while on the road. They were a bit noisy, but this alerted pedestrians that something huge was heading their way. We did come across muddy patches, but the tires dealt with them extremely well – as there was no mud stuck on it at the end of our ride. Even when tire pressure was comparatively low, the FBF rolled well as snow did not stick to them too much as well. There was hardly any self steering, and it remained tough while we adjusted the pressure between 5 and 20 psi to see the effects. In conclusion, you should definitely get the Minion FBF for extensive pavement and dry XC riding.
Maxxis Minion FBF Tire
5. SCHWALBE Jumbo Jim Evo: Ideal for loose sand and deep snow thanks to the lightweight design
- Material: PaceStar compound
- Tire Size: 26 x 4.0
- Weight: 1090g
- Tire Type: Tubeless Easy
- TPI: 127
- PSI: 30
- Bead: Folding
- Application: XC, AM and Trail
- Evolution Line: The tires from the Evolution series are the best products from Schwalbe. Their lightweight construction is characterised by good mileage and high-speed travel. All requirements for a good fat bike tire is ensured by the high-quality materials preferred by the manufacturer during production. This is why athletes are fond of them too.
- PaceStar Compound: This version of the Jumbo Jim comes with the Triple Compounds from Schwalbe. The compound below the tread is using an elastic base so that the tire is fast rolling. At the tread centre, the tire compound has moderate softness. At the shoulder, even softer rubber has been used so that on rough terrains it is possible to handle the tire better.
- Tubeless Easy: This Schwalbe fat bike tire is tubeless easy, which essentially features a twist on the Tubeless Ready design. The sidewalls feature textured monofilament that makes it easy to convert to tubeless here. Even though a sealant is required, fitting is still convenient – without shaking intensively or inflating the tire multiple times. All MTB tires from the Evo line from Schwalbe are tubeless easy.
- SnakeSkin: To ensure protection from puncture, SnakeSkin fabric has been used here. It adds minimal weight but provides the best protection for the sidewall. Sharp rocks that could have possibly cut your sidewall are no longer an issue. The SnakeSkin is perfect for rocky terrains.
- Tread pattern: The knobs at the center have a relatively low profile, but are placed at a distance to each other. They combine with the tall shoulder knobs to ensure that you can get lots of grip as you are taking corners. This will be consistent over a wide array of riding conditions.
- The weight is higher on this version.
The Schwalbe Jumbo Jim EVO is amongst the top-rated fat bike tires today. Like many devoted Schwalbe mountain tire users we could not wait for them to enter the market and see what the manufacturer would release to improve our experience. Their first tire, the Jumbo Jim takes a tread similar to their popular racing ralph and expands to a 4″ and large 4.8″ size. We have had the opportunity to do a fair amount of testing with the Jim and we will say there are better winter tires for loose snow and cornering. However, as we took to dirt, the tire offered one of the best blends of traction, low rolling resistance and lightweight! While they do offer a super light 990g 4.0 Liteskin version, we would recommend the only 100g heavier Snakeskin version for a more durable sidewall.
SCHWALBE Jumbo Jim Tire
6. SCHWALBE Jumbo Jim: Blue Addix Speedgrip; Offered in variable widths; Wider lugs for better clearance
- Material: ADDIX Speedgrip (blue)
- Tire Size: 26 x 4.0″
- Weight: 1,090g. (4.0″)
- Tire Type: Tubeless Ready
- TPI: 127
- PSI: 5-30
- Bead: Folding
- Application: For deep soils, rough and very loose terrain
- Addix Blue: You will be able to use the Speedgrip Blue for XC, AM, and trail. Therefore, the tire compound is living up to its reputation of being dubbed as a universal compound. Performance is optimised in all types of weather. These Addix Blue tires are known to last longer, and the knobs will rarely tear off.
- SnakeSkin: This side fabric ensures that the sidewalls are resistant to tears, which reinforces the resistance of the tire to punctures. An additional flexible and lightweight layer of fabric further improves the tire construction and can be found beneath the tire tread and sidewall.
- Design: Ideally, you will be able to ride this fat bike tire on terrains that are very loose, rough, and have softer ground. This is possible even if your tire pressure is low, thanks to the larger tire volume. The treads have an open profile, where the medium-length studs offer reduced rolling resistance.
- TLE – Tubeless Easy: Here we have a new standard for tyres from the EVO series intended for MTB. As the monofilament SnakeSkin is used on the sidewalls, it is able to deliver three distinct advantages i. Reinforced resistance to cuts, ii. Better resistance to puncture and, iii. Easy conversion to tubeless setup.For this conversion, we would be using a sealant. Yet still, the fitting would be similar to other tubeless setups. Converting to tubeless will no longer involve vigorous shaking and constant pumping.
- Not great on mud or swamps.
During our test rides, the 26 x 4.0 Jumbo Jim tires with Blue Speedgrip showed that the tire build was almost flawless. Thanks to the folding beads, JJ was locked firm on our rims. Using them for more than 200 miles, it would be unfair not to mention the seamless compatibility between our standard rim and this tubeless tire. The tubeless setup weighed less, and we were able to mount them very easily. The knobs were large enough here so that the tire was able to grip loose rock surfaces better. Even as we brought down the tires pressure further, the rides remained compliant. With no pinch flats, we did not miss self-steering too. It encouraged us to take a few more turns on this fat bike tire. Given their low weight, you can take on the lengthy uphill slogs too.
SCHWALBE Jumbo Jim Adix Tire
7. Origin8 Supercell: Treads are designed to evacuate water and allow great cornering traction
- Material: Dual compound
- Tire Size: 26 x 4.0
- Type: Clincher
- Weight: 1750g
- TPI: 30
- PSI: 20
- Bead: Wire
- Application: Pavement, Asphalt, Gravel
- Supercell: This fat bike tire from Origin8 has been designed to run at low PSI. This will facilitate improved cornering and fast-rolling Recommended tire pressure for the Supercell is 20 PSI.
- Street-styled treads: A unique feature of the treads on the Supercell is that the treads are extended to the sidewall of the tire. This means that the tires enjoy optimum on-surface grip. However, the manufacturer avoided an aggressive tread pattern.
- Large water channels: The flat treads come with large siping and channels that will get rid of water in wet weather. This will also restore friction. Handling gravel and dirt will not be an issue as well. They work well, so many experienced riders prefer the Supercell to their knobby fat bike tires after switching to the former.
- Great cornering: The treads are smooth enough to ensure incredible cornering. On every turn, the grip will boost your confidence. The remarkable thing is that the tire grip will improve after you have used them for a significant number of miles and they have worn down.
- Casing options: It is available in 120 and 30 TPI casing options. 30 TPI casing is more resistant to puncture, which is ideal for rough roads and for running lower tire pressures. On the other hand, the 120 TPI will offer a lighter tire that is able to offer better acceleration and speed.
- Do not offer much traction on snow or truly loose trails.
During our test with Origin8 Supercell, we noticed their fast rolling on pavement. As we moved on, there was a bit of auto steer – something that was felt on gravel too. We came across the gravel terrain as we rode to the bottom of a hill where we were carrying out the test runs. The tire was rigid until we reached the hill bottom, where we were guided to cruising at significant speed by the hill. The extra gravel gave us a thrill as we found ourselves at the turn’s apex. Even though tire pressure was low, it helped us to deal with the gravel bed much better than we had initially expected. To address the auto-steer problem, we pumped up the tire pressure to 20 psi. This got rid of the majority of auto-steer but felt harsh. In conclusion, the Supercell can be a great fat tire for gravel or asphalt.
Origin8 Supercell Tire
8. 45NRTH Flowbeist: Front specific; Aggressive tire compatible with wide rims for better control
45NRTH Flowbeist Bike Tire
- Material: Dual Durometer rubber
- Tire Size: 26 x 4.6
- Weight: 1396g
- Tire Type: Tubeless-Ready
- TPI: 120
- PSI: 30
- Bead: Folding Tubeless Ready
- Application: Winter, Sand
- Flowbeist: This 26 x 4.6” tire is able to offer sufficient floatation and enable fast rolling. It is also possible to use this front-specific tire with a wide array of forks and frames of fat bikes. The tire is designed to be used on rims that are in the width range 65mm to 102mm.
- Front-specific tread: The center lugs have a height of 6.5mm here. The front edges are chamfered so that resistance to rolling is low. Braking traction is promoted by the back edges that are running perpendicular here. At the shoulder of the tire, you can find pairs of 8.3 mm tall lugs. These lugs have a hollow center along with gussets so that you can have even more corner traction. The grip is ideal for braking, cornering, and accelerating.
- Dual tire compound: The Flowbeist is using 60a rubber at the center of the treads. They work in coherence with the aggressive tread pattern here to dig in more so that you have more control. At the shoulder lugs, the 52a rubber compound is softer. They will still claw at the snow and ensure better cornering control.
- Tubeless-Ready: The bead is tubeless-ready and allows the rider to choose between traditional clincher and going tubeless. If you are using the tubeless configuration, your tire fit will deliver optimal performance even with low tire pressure.
- Pair with Dunderbeist: The design of the Flowbeist is such that it is ideally compatible with Dunderbeist, the rear-specific version of the Flowbeist. This pairing will allow you to have the ultimate grip and control.
- You have to pair this with its sibling rear-specific tire for best performance.
45NRTH Flowbeist Bike Tire
The Flowbeist had tall knobs that spaced widely so that they could get through the loose layer of snow and grip to the snow that lay firm below. The height of the knobs and their spacing coupled with the medium width casing here to offer us just the right amount of float we needed to roll when the snow below us was soft. Make sure that the loose snow does not have too much girth, which would otherwise result in slow rolling. On fat bike tires where: 1. The tread is packed densely at the centre, and 2. The side knobs were less compact – in our experience, it was more likely that we would be facing weird handling issues. Usually it was in the form of side slips or squirminess due to traction as we leaned over the bike or when it was more upright. However, at no point did we face such an issue, and we were surprised at how normal the tire felt as we were initiating corners. When we were running low pressure – there was hardly any self steer or awkward input from the handlebars.
9. Vee Tire Mission Command: Fast-rolling tire for the trail riding and racing
- Material: MPC – Multiple Purpose Compound
- Tire Size: 26 x 4.0
- Weight: 1460g
- Tire Type: Tubeless Ready
- TPI: 120
- PSI: 20
- Bead: Folding Bead
- Application: Racing, Trail Riding
- Mission Command: With every purchase, you will get a pair of this fat bike tire from Vee Tire. This Thailand based manufacturer offers a combination of low cost and advanced technology so that their products stand out. For the Mission Command, they opted to use a similar design to their XC racing tire.
- Multipurpose compound: It is a tire compound that comes with a hardness rating of 56m but is able to deliver protection against flats and longer mileage on all types of terrain. It increases the service lifespan of the Vee tire, providing durability.
- Updated tread pattern: We find shoulder knobs that are shaped like a diamond at the sides while at the center, the tread pattern is continuous. They work in conjecture to ensure that the sides of the Mission Command are able to provide extra traction. You will also find surplus V-shaped blocks on either side of the treads at the center so that cornering stability is enhanced. Tiny tie bars will further prevent the tire from squirming on hard-packed trails. The edges are chamfered too so that the tire can roll faster.
- TR: As the Mission Command is Tubeless Ready, you will be able to run a tubeless setup. This leads to better resistance from punctures and better ride control for lower pressure in the tires. An added benefit would be that rolling resistance will decrease too.
- Folding Bead: Kevlar is being used at the tire’s side or inside the bead. Kevlar is a popular choice, where the tyre’s rim size is compatible with the bead type. When folding beads are being used, they offer a few advantages: i. The tire will be lighter in terms of weight; ii. We can store them easily as the tire can be flattened and folded to form a bundle; iii. Mounting a tire will become easier as beads have surplus stretching ability.
- Traction not enough for use on the e-bike.
After a few rides with the Vee Mission Command, we believe that it is better suited for amateur riders. Mission Command did well in summer, and we knew we could use them throughout the year without much complaint. We found that the tire had a tread pattern that ran throughout the structure, which effectively brought down rolling resistance. While it did not look much different at first, we noticed that these helped the tire deliver its full potential. As we varied the tire pressure, there was hardly any self-steering. This was even though we ran a PSI rating at times that kept the tire squishy, soft and firm. With our extra weight, we used 12 PSI for the test runs. If you are lighter, 6PSI may just work for you. With quality outlying tread and compact center, this fat bike tire retains just the required bite while allowing faster rides on singletracks.
Vee Tire Mission Command Tire
10. Kenda Juggernaut Pro Tire: Lightweight; Excellent flotation in snow; Reduced rolling resistance
- Material: Dual Tread Compound
- Tire Size: 26 x 4.5
- Weight: 1398g
- Tire Type: Clincher
- TPI: 120
- PSI: 30
- Bead: Folding
- Application: Off-road, Sand, Mud, and Snow
- Juggernaut Pro: The manufacturer Kenda took inspiration from the off-road tires that they produce for motorcycles to offer the best grip in sand, mud, and snow. The large casing and tread heights are optimised. They can be used on both the front and rear tires. With the 4.5″ model, the manufacturer claims that the rider will get more float.
- Dual Tread Compound (DTC): This rubber compound here has dual tread properties, and hard but fast-rolling rubber or 60sA has been used centrally on the tread. Soft and tacky 50sA rubber has been used at the shoulder so that its grip is optimal when used off-road. Combine this with the tire’s versatile speed and you can use it for XC, AM and cyclocross.
- Tubeless-Ready: As the Juggernaut Pro is being used tubeless, the rider will be able to save some weight while rolling performance is improved. This setup also ensures that flats are a thing of the past. When you are using a tubeless setup, you will find that the tire can be sealed very easily. This is also due to the folding bead, which is tubeless-ready type.
- Fast-rolling: The knobs on the Juggernaut Pro are tethered and well-spaced to allow fast rolling. This boosts stability while cornering traction with the tire is improved too. With some added height, these knobs will allow the treads to exhibit more aggressiveness. You will also find that there is more interconnectivity amongst the blocks, allowing better knob integrity.
- Ultralight casing: The 120 TPI ultralight casing also contributes to keeping the overall weight low. You will find that the shape of the bead has been modified here sealing is better when it is run tubeless while bringing down the weight of the sidewall too.
- Durability is compromised when running 120 TPI, as this casing uses very less amount of rubber.
The Kenda Juggernaut Pro is amongst the lightest fat bike tires sized at 26 x 4.5. The 120 TPI casing allowed such a construction, but the drawback is this casing uses very little rubber. Durability is therefore not one of the strong points of the Juggernaut Pro. We decided to run 11 psi for our 1st test ride so that we could get a feel of how these tires performed. We were also able to seal the bead at this instant. As we were riding out on the trail, the tires were relatively fast, while the cornering traction was impressive too. It hooked up great as we were hitting the corners too, leaving no space for hesitations or washouts. With a higher psi, the Pro was able to deliver great performance too. It held up well again when they hit roots, rock gardens and other obstacles.
Kenda Juggernaut Pro Tire
11. Terrene Cake Eater: Have 180 triple pointed studs that are perfect for all types of winter weather
- Material: 62a
- Tire Size: 26 x 4
- Weight: 1345g
- Type: Tubeless Ready
- TPI: 33
- PSI: 8
- Bead: Aramid
- Application: Summer + Winter
- Studded tire: This is a lightweight and fast-rolling tire from Terrene. These properties combine with the studs that have a rather flat tip to ensure that no matter the snow conditions, you can rail at the turns. This fat bike tire will also help you not to be dragged deep into the snow. You will find 180 studs on every Cake Eater. They are triple pointed and come with a carbide tip. The stud is aluminium-based stud and will remain sharp even if the tire has been used for a long time.
- Standard casing: We are reviewing the standard version, which runs a 33TPI casing. This casing version is amongst the budget options for fat-tire bikes available in the market today.
- Low rolling resistance: The low height of the center treads was inspired by other snow tires that ran studless. They also have deep siping so that the resistance to rolling is reduced. You can also find tall and edgy side lugs to bite better during corners. To ensure that the tires are able to provide sufficient traction when the bike is in an upright position, the stud pockets in the Cake Eater are distributed strategically all over.
- Cold-resistant rubber: 62a rubber is a special tire compound that has been developed to deal with the harshness of extremely cold weather. As tire grip normally declines with temperature rise, Terrence uses the 62a tire compound so that the tire is resistant to cold weather and delivers consistent performance.
- Versatility: Cake Eater is offered as 26” diameter wheels, with tire widths 4” an 4.6”. For wheel diameter of 27”, 2.8” and 4” wide tires can be used. The latter will fit most of the bike frames available today.
- At 1345 g, they are rather heavy
Initially we tried out the Cake Eater on drier trails until we found some snow – for which we had to travel to high country. The center knobs on the Cake Eater were low lying so that with minimum effort, we were able to roll fast. Despite being on the smaller side of the size spectrum, this fat bike tire was able to deliver great grips while on the hardpack. For the singletrack, Cake Eater was able to boost our confidence 1 During the corners, the knobs at the sides of the tire were engaging prominently so that we knew we could avoid any bleeding of momentum on snowy corners. Even though we felt a little drift, the side knobs leapt into action again – catching us so that we were back on the track. Fun, fast, and above all inspires confidence – this was the impression Cake Eater left on us.
Terrene Cake Eater Fat Bike Tire
12. Mongoose Fat Bike Tire: Tread pattern is rather aggressive and delivers on gravel, pavement, and dirt
- Material: Rubber
- Tire Size: 20 x 4.0
- Weight: 953g
- Tire Type: Tubeless
- TPI: Undisclosed
- PSI: 20
- Bead: Folding
- Application: Hardpack Surfaces, Sand And Snow
- Mongoose Tire: This excellent bike tire is the go to option for a replacement tire on your fat bike. This is true especially for the 20 x 4 version.
- Aggressive and knobby treads: This fat bike tire from Mongoose is perfectly equipped for climbing and cornering. Since the tread pattern here is aggressive and knobby, you can step on the gas to pick up speed instantly. The aggressive and thick runner studs are backed to perform extremely well on gravel and loose dirt. This performance is consistent on pavement.
- Puncture-resistant: You will find that the sidewall is pretty thick on this 20 × 4 fat bike tire. The base has similar characteristics, which makes the tire resistant to flats during both trail and on-road riding.
- Reinforced casing: The casing makes it possible to pack a larger volume so that rolling over obstacles is much more convenient. The recommended tire pressure is only 20 psi. This is important because running this pressure will prevent your tire from bogging down when you come across dirt that is loosely packed or sandy terrains. Coupled with minimised feedback, Mongoose claims that your trail rides will be smoother.
- Value for money: They are extremely resistant to puncturing and the heavy weight isn’t an issue for most fat bike riders. If you spend most of your time on gravel and dirt, these tires can last for years, so you get even more riding for your money.
- Installation is rather hectic.
Mongoose is a well-known maker of different bike components, including tires for fat bikes. When we got our hands on this 20 x 4.0 version, we were a bit sceptical since the size is the smallest among our 12 tires. However, the performance on pavement was enough to dissolve our concerns. The knobby tread pattern drastically improved our steering over uneven pavement. We had some trouble getting them on our rims. This issue was solved by using soap + water on the bead so that it was not dry. This helped us force it on the rims. We had a hunch that the 20 psi tire pressure was low given the fact that this Mongoose tire has been reinforced with nylon. On the road, the knobs made a lot of noise and probably caught some unwanted attention. The compromise was worth the fact that we did not experience any flats. The high responsiveness was great in improving the overall riding comfort too. If you are looking to replace your tires and do not want to break the bank, this 20 x 4 heavy duty Mongoose tire can be a great replacement option.
Mongoose Fat Tire Bike Tire
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What are the advantages of using a fat bike tyre?
Ans: Fat bike tires have extensive use in real life, thanks to their practical design. We have explored below a few benefits that can be enjoyed while riding on fat bike tires.
- They are versatile
The tires that are designed for fat bikes have the ability to deal with different types of terrains. While you can easily ride on snowy and rough roads, you can also use the tires on rougher trails, sand, and mud. With fat bike tires, you are equipped with a tire that can be used on variable types of bikes, for variable purposes. It can be used for off-road and on road trips too.
- They will keep you comfortable
Your fat bike tires will encourage you to frequently ride in rough terrains that you avoided previously, thanks to the perfect combo of comfort and traction. With reduced rolling resistance, any additional weight carried by fat bike tires is balanced out by how comfortable the tires will keep you during the rides.
- Your rides will be smoother
While you are on the trail with your fat bike, the tires will allow you to enjoy comfortable and smooth riding by absorbing the energy from homes. It is crucial that you maintain low pressure in the tires here.
- They will increase your skill capacity
If you are novice at rough cycling trails that challenge your skill, fat bike tires are the way to go. The tires have traction that can deal with the pebbles and stones that can get under the tire by gliding right over them.
Q2. Are Fat bike tires and MTB tires any different?
Ans: Yes, there are considerable differences between these two types of tires. Typically fat bike tires are wide, in the range 3.8″ to 5″. Therefore both surface area and volume are larger. This is what allows fat bikes to be used at lower tire pressures. As a result, the following advantages can be enjoyed by the rider:
- With a much larger footprint , the total weight on the bike( bike + rider weight) is spread across a much larger area. As a result, you can use fat bike tires to ride on snow + sand. This is not possible if a mountain bike tire is being used.
- Tires that are running low pressure but higher volume are better at impact absorption when being used on terrains that are more technical. The rider will feel that they are floating as the tire moves over rocks and roots of trees.
- Lower air pressure in your fat bike tire will mean that the tire will have an enhanced ability to grip to the ground during climbs, thanks to the improved traction.
However, with increased surface area – the tire is more likely to be affected by rolling resistance. As a result, you will not be able to conserve much energy while riding. On the road, more surface area will leave with a feeling that you are going slow.
Fat bike tires are the best suited for unfavorable conditions. Available in different sizes, they are great for every sized fat tire bike. Therefore, you should not let terrain or ground beat you; these fat tires are the best option that are available in the market today and will serve you well no matter where you are riding – sand, snow mud etc. We hope we have been to help you out today with our review and hope to catch you again in the future!