The first bicycles were created with wheels that were either metal or wood and were often used as road bikes, meant to clatter along cobblestone streets. That was a long time ago, since advancements to the technologies involved in building bicycles hace come a long way, which have culminated in the ultimate wheels created for fat bikes in 1987.
The reason for the large tires on fat bikes is to allow more rubber to hit the road so that riders can traverse ground that was formerly impassable. It’s as simple as that. So, if extreme conditions and high adventure on two wheels excites you, then it is time to take some notes.
5. Framed Minnesota 2.0
First things first: fat bikes are expensive. To spend the least amount and still get a fat bicycle that will stick with you for years, you’ll want to pick up the newest Minnesota from Framed. It has a nice tight cockpit that improves on the 1.0 and gives a better feel for free riders and more control on the trail. The frame and fork are a solid 6061 aluminum that keeps the weight low without sacrificing durability, though you’re still going to be dealing with a 35 pound piece of hardware.
4. Borealis Yampa
The Yampa from Borealis was made to be manhandled and cuts lbs at every turn while also keeping the true nature of the bike from suffering. It still has big ol’ 5 inch tires and a full drive train to make your ride relatively smooth and easy. Rather than aluminum, this uses the featherweight carbon fiber to make up the body which allows you to grab some sky as you’re rolling through.
3. Fatback Corvus
Fatback is a popular fat bike manufacturer and one of the first ones to make fatties for everyone and starting the trend. The Corvus is their flagship full carbon model among a jungle of aluminum bodies, and it comes not only with lighter weight than its siblings, but off-the-line speed and power over snow that astounds. Everything about this bike feels more modern than its forebears, and even others on this list.
2. Surly Instigator 2.0
This is either a fat bike with dreams of slimming down to become a mountain bike or a mountain bike that is bulking up to become a fatty. The Instigator is built around the wildly successful Krampus also from Surly, but where the Krampus has 29 inch rims, the 2.0 has 26ers that make it more fun for anyone who wants to do more than ride, but is looking to throw some tricks and hard-core jumps into their routine, while still keeping the fat bike mentality.
1. Salsa Bucksaw 1
Does following trails and paths get you down? Do you long to blaze through the forest, across the dunes, or into the alps where most fear to lay their tread? Then you’re going to want to get a Bucksaw 1 toot sweet. First off, it uses a split pivot rear suspension that was created by Dave Weagle who knows how to keep a tailbone in tact even if you take on the toughest terrain. The 6066 aluminum frame is tough as nails, though tends to tip the scales a little further than normal at 32 pounds.