Fat Tire Bike vs Mountain Bike: Which Is Better?

fat tire bike vs mountain bike

Both fat tire bike vs mountain bike are amazing in their way but choosing one can be tricky.

That is most especially if you’re unfamiliar with the different types of bikes and their features.

There are also different factors to consider when choosing a bike. The most important, though, are your requirements and the type of terrain you will most likely be riding on.

With that said, let’s compare fat bike vs mountain bikes so that you can choose the one that suits all your needs perfectly.

Why Ride a Bicycle?

Before we even talk about the differences between fat bike vs MTB, we should shed some light on why you should be choosing or riding a bike in the first place.

While there may be countless reasons, let us list some of the top reasons for you below.

1. Keeps Your Heart Healthy

As a form of cardio exercise, biking or cycling regularly will keep your heart healthy. Of course, you do not need to take part in races.

All you need to do is bike two to three times a week. Riding a bike even for 20 miles a week can significantly reduce your risk of coronary heart disease.

That is because it helps keep the heart pumping and improve blood flow.

2. Boosts Your Immune System

Riding your bike is a form of moderate-level exercise. As such, it can substantially boost your immune system.

A better immune system will help your body beat off minor infections and colds.

3. Saves You Money

Looking for an interesting and healthy way to save some money?

Simply start riding a bike to work or the university. This way, you save up on bus fares and gas.

Pedaling your way to your destination also cuts out that annoying drive time radio, and you can cut through traffic jams quickly.

4. Scientifically Proven To Be Better Than Running

Believe it or not, biking is a better and safer form of exercise compared to running.

study showed that runners of every ability are more likely to experience long-term damage and even suffer from soreness and inflammation after doing the equivalent work running as they would’ve done on a bike.

5. Reduces Your Chances of Becoming Obese

Adults who use a bike to commute to work instead of traveling by car are likely to manage and even lose weight.

That is because, as mentioned, it’s a form of moderate-level cardio exercise.

Health experts recommend that biking every day for up to 60 minutes (along with eating healthy) will keep you in peak fitness.

6. Saves the Planet

Let’s end this list with the obvious; biking is not just good for you but also extremely beneficial to our planet.

Every pedal you stroke helps save the world. This is because 30% of all greenhouse emissions from the US alone are vehicle-related.

Riding bikes does not generate any harmful pollutants.

Fat Tire Bike vs Mountain Bike

Both of these bikes are good in their own right, but there is always one that will work better for you.

Let’s compare both these bikes based on certain important aspects.

1. Wheels

One of the first and most obvious noticeable differences between both these bikes is in the wheels.

Fat tire bikes are called what they are because their tires are thick and super beefed up.

They range between four and five inches and are designed for a specific reason: flotation.

Fat tire bikes also have low-pressure tires with a wider surface area to tackle softer surfaces such as mud, sand, and snow.

Moreover, this tire’s pressure can be changed as per the rider’s needs and terrain’s demands.

Most of these wheels tend to be either 26”, 27.5”, or 29” wide. This is primarily why people who live in regions that are always covered in snow prefer this bike.

You will not need to stow the bike away in winters and be able to ride it throughout the tear.

If that’s not enough, people who like riding bikes in a desert or on the sand along the beach also prefer the fat tire bike than any other.

On the other hand, mountain bikes have thinner tires about two inches wide. Plus, the wheel size tends to be around 26 inches.

These thin tires are great for maneuvering trails and rocks and riding through gravel and dirt.

These wheels are made to tackle all kinds of terrain, but it is incapable of handling mud, snow, and sand.

People prefer the mountain bike over the fat bike because it works great on flat surfaces and is ideal for commuting.

Fat bikes don’t ride well on flatter surfaces since they tend to be uncomfortable and bouncy.

2. Frame

Take a look at fat bike vs mountain bikes; it is not hard to see the difference between them.

The frame is built for specific reasons, and they are meant to serve distinct purposes.

A fat bike not only has fat wheels but also has wider hubs too. This is meant to allow the stiffer and bigger wheels.

They also have chainstay lengths that are longer so that the bike can remain stable and upright.

Even the width of the bottom bracket is increased compared to the one of an MTB.

It is important to note that the frame of a fat bike is heavy but stable.

It isn’t capable of providing the same speed that a mountain bike would provide.

While riding a fat bike, most riders are typically looking for safe and steady rides rather than speed.

Fat bikes are also heavier due to their construction. The mountain bike is sleeker, which makes it obviously lighter and even more compact.

Riders are typically looking for speed when it comes to mountain bikes, and the steeper slack head angles further provide that additional speed.

fat tire bike vs mountain bike

3. Gears

One of the most significant advantages of the mountain bike is its gearing system.

Some high-end mountain bikes can have up to 24 gears and, in some cases, 30.

This is mainly how the mountain bike can reach such high speeds and is exceptionally great in riding uphill and pedaling quicker.

That said, all of this makes the bike’s construction a bit more complicated. Your MTB will need constant maintenance of the gears.

On the other hand, a fat bike tends to be a single-speed type, which can mean that pedaling it can be more of a challenge.

The rider will need to put in more effort to ride it. On the upside, you will have a great workout.

On the downside, going uphill is literally an uphill battle due to the heavyweight and absence of gears.

4. Suspension

Typically, fat bikes don’t need any suspension since their tires are big.

They are capable of absorbing most of the shocks and bumps of the terrain. However, you can get a fat bike with suspensions too.

Mountain bikes are particularly known for their suspension.

Since these bikes are used to riding on rough terrains like dirt trails and rocky hills, the rider will need ample comfort.

That is why the bike needs to be able to absorb all the thumps and shocks.

These are mostly hardtail or full suspension bikes.

Fat Bike vs MTB Bike Pros and Cons

For easier comparison of the two bikes, below are their advantages and disadvantages.

Pros of Fat Bikes:

  • Perfect for mud, snow, and sand
  • Capable of absorbing bumps; eliminating the need for any type of suspension
  • Can ride this bike all year long regardless of the weather
  • Safe and stable; maximum traction

Cons of Fat Bikes:

  • Not suitable for flat surface
  • Heavier; not so portable
  • Pedaling is harder
  • Fat bikes are more expensive than MTBs

Pros of Mountain Bikes:

  • Lightweight and easy to ride around
  • Can easily ride uphill on it
  • These bikes are made to achieve high speeds
  • Can tackle different terrains with ease
  • Not as expensive as a fat bike

Cons of Mountain Bikes:

  • Not ideal for mud, snow, and sand
  • Geared MTBs need regular maintenance
  • Tires cannot be interchanged

Fat Tire Bike vs Mountain Bike FAQs  

1. Are fat tire bikes good for mountain biking?

While fat bikes can be used for mountain biking, they are truly superior in snow, sand, mud, and rocks.

If you prefer fat bikes for mountain biking, go for it; else stick to regular mountain bikes.

2. Is a fat tire bike easier to ride?

Fat bikes are certainly easier to ride on certain surfaces like sand and snow, but that does not make it necessarily effortless.

3. What is the point of a fat tire bike?

Fat bikes are mainly designed for low ground pressure to ride on unstable and soft terrain like bogs, mud, snow, and sand.

Which Is Better Fat Bike or MTB?

Both of these bikes have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

So, in terms of advantages, fat bikes certainly have more than MTB.

That said, it does not necessarily make it better.

That is because it all boils down to where you’ll be using the bike and your riding style.

We still recommend choosing one that fits your needs perfectly.



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