A Quick Guide to Choosing Fat Bicycle Tires for Different Terrains


Several benefits come with acquiring a fat tire for your bike. Typically, a fat tire is much broader than a mountain bike tire. The apparent advantage of riding a bike with wider tires is that the load (you and the bike) is distributed over a large surface area.

Consequently, you can ride over terrains such as loose sand and snow effortlessly. Undoubtedly, the larger surface area translates to the tire’s low pressure, allowing the tire to grip the ground more efficiently. The high traction will assist you in biking up a hill effortlessly. The mentioned benefits are among the many reasons to purchase a fat tire. Thus said, take a look at the following guideline for choosing fat bicycle tires for different terrains.

  1. Tire Treads Selection

The size and the pattern of the trends on your fat bicycle tires will influence your capability to ride on different terrains. For muddy and soft surfaces, it’s advisable to select a tire with large knobs. On the contrary, small knobs are much suitable for hard-packed surfaces due to less rolling resistance. Rolling resistance is the energy needed to keep a tire rolling.

Additionally, tightly spaced knobs are fit for hard surfaces. However, mud will easily clog the spaces. Thus, select a tire with widely-spaced treads for snow, mud, and other loose surfaces.

  1. Tire Width

It’s wise to select a tire that meets your adventure needs. Conventionally, wider tires will keep you rolling in your off-trail adventures on snow and sand. Nonetheless, a 4inch tire will work for you when riding on defined trails of summer dirt and snow. Moreover, choose a tire width that fits perfectly into your rim. Accordingly, an 8-inch tire is compatible with a 65mm rim while 6-5 inch tires are suitable for 100mm, and so on.

  1. Choosing the Rims

It’s highly recommendable to select rim width to suit your intended terrain and your tire size. Typically, you will find that rim widths for fat bike tires range between 65mm to 90mm. Wider rims are useful in soft surfaces. Contrarily, invest in narrower rims for comfortable rides in all terrains during the summer.

Additionally, consider wide rims if you have a larger body. The large surface area will distribute the excess force you exert on the tires. Furthermore, consider the material of the rims. Aluminum is commonly used in the manufacture of bike rims. However, carbon rims offer better performance, although slightly heavier than the aluminum option. You can offset the extra weight by going for a tubeless tire.

  1. Go tubeless

A tubeless tire is fundamental for mountain biking and desert adventures. The tubeless options are good at improving efficiency and resisting punctures. Moreover, going tubeless eliminates a significant amount of weight from your bike. This serves to offset the larger mass of the fat tire. Tubeless tires are not essential when riding on soft surfaces during winter since there are minimal risks of punctures. Nevertheless, you may not wish to forego the efficiency of a tubeless tire.


Larger width characterizes a fat bicycle tire. The large surface area perfectly distributes large forces and consequently contributes to low pressure. Hence, fat bike tires can tolerate a wide variety of terrains. Most importantly, follow the guide above to pick the right rim width, tire width, and tread patterns when purchasing a fat bicycle tire. Lastly, it’s advisable to choose a tubeless tire to improve efficiency and reduce the overall weight of your bike.