Winter is upon us, and instead of staying warm and cozy inside your comfortable home during the coldest months of the year, we’re going to try to convince you to pick up a new hobby and get your blood flowing. Welcome to fat biking, the downhill mountain biking enthusiast’s wet dream — where snow and slush form an unlikely bond with rubber and metal (or in this case, carbon fiber) for one of the most adrenaline-inducing activities you’ll ever take part in.
If you’ve ever considered hopping on a burly bicycle and barrelling down a snow-covered hill in full winter gear at Mach-10 speed, you’re right up our alley — so we’ve compiled a quintessential listing of the best machines in the business. Whether you’re looking for an affordable entry-level bike or an all-out professional powerhouse, our guide to the 10 best winter fat bikes is sure to have an offering that will satiate your endless thirst.
The Wolftrax utilizes a cutting-edge hydroformed alloy frame and boasts Framed’s most evolved construction process to date. The 27.5-inch tubeless wheels, a 190mm rear end, and internal cable housing provide a vastly improved feel over recent iterations — sporting even greater power transfer for absolute trail destruction. Whether you’re riding in slushy snow, loose dirt, jagged rocks, or anything else mother nature can throw your way, this bike can handle it.
Specialized’s M5 Alloy construction and carbon fiber fork provide the ultimate in traction, grip, and floatation with their 2018 Fatboy offering. A FACT carbon fiber fork, 11-speed SRAM NX and PG-1130 cassette, and Stout Pro hubs provide unparalleled weight efficiency, improved climbing capability, and a smooth ride all the way down the mountain. This wide-tire ride offers far more traction than a traditional mountain bike without sacrificing your climbing efficiency in the saddle.
Surly Ice Cream Truck
The Ice Cream Truck has been a fan favorite for quite a while, as well as one of the top performing trail fat bikes. It’s a staple in almost every notable bike list from 2018, and with 4130 CroMoly triple-butted steel, Universal Cast dropouts, and a 51mm IS disk mounted braking system, you’ll find that it’s as dependable as they come. If you’re ever unsure of what the winter trail conditions have in store for you, the Ice Cream Truck is what you want to to be riding.
Growler Nitro Stout
Growler’s Nitro Stout 27.5 is one of the lightest and most capable carbon fiber fat bikes in the world, featuring 27.5-inch tire options, an FSA Dropper Post, and a new two-position dropout that makes transitioning to a fat bike wheelset even easier. Hand built carbon rims, as well as a variety of components from SRAM, Hayes, Sunringle, Schwalbe, Lizard skins, and FSA makes this 12-speed Eagle Dub trail slayer a force to be reckoned with. This nimble machine is a true race-worthy trail star.
Pivot LES Fat
The Pivot LES Fat is a widely accepted and versatile big-tire machine that’s primed to take you from the snow to the sand, and every singletrack in between. Another staple among top fat bike lists, the four-season hardtail comes with an adjustable chainstay length, 197mm rear spacing, and a narrow Q-factor design that’s knee friendly. A pivot designed carbon fork system, as well as a full carbon frame that utilizes a svelte top tube and stay shaping help to define this durable but comfortable ride. The lower sidewall height and lighter weight from their 27.5″ wheels ensure improved handling and quicker acceleration on any trail, any time of the year.
Borealis Crestone Eagle XO1
The Borealis Crestone Eagle XO1 is the “Rolls Royce” of fat bikes, offering the ultimate in luxury and tactile response. The lightweight, race-oriented bike features a closed-mold carbon fiber frame and accessories, SRAM Eagle 12-speed rear derailleur and cassette, and a wide variety of frame sizes that promise a tailored fit for any riding style. If you’ve been searching for a lightweight race-ready fat bike at an attainable price point, the Eagle X01 will satisfy your every need.
Bend Felt Electric Outfitter
The Bend Felt Electric Outfitter is the ultimate in cargo and all-terrain trekking, great for any outdoor getaway including hunting, fishing, or general trail riding. Mounted racks and camo colorways adorn the 6061 aluminum bike for supreme immersion with the elements, while the intuitive Bosch mid-motor and SRAM X1 11-speed “transmission” combine for a truly exceptional riding experience. With a max range of 60 miles and a top motor assist speed of 20 mph, you can travel in comfort to any of your favorite outdoor destinations.
Fatback Skookum FLT
The Fatback Skookum FLT (Fast, Light, Technology) is a purist’s dream, featuring a fully rigid, narrow Q-factor that’s been touted as one of the best-riding fat bikes of 2018. A carbon fiber frame and optimized forks with 120mm of travel pair with SRAM’s 1X derailleur for the ultimate in lightweight savagery. If deep and winding singletracks that let you drag your grip in the dirt through turns gets your motor revving, the Skookum FLT is the next machine you need.
The Trek Farley is a fan favorite, as well as an industry trendsetter, and the 9.8 is Trek’s highest performing model. An OCLV mountain carbon frame, complete with Trek Wampa carbon 80 SL wheels, fork, and a 1×12 SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain make this fat bike the lightest that Trek has ever produced — that being said, it doesn’t make any compromises when it comes to beastly downhill domination. One of the real standouts on our list, Trek’s Farley is an uncompromising trail demon for true mountain biking aficionados.
The Salsa Beargrease is a constant contender on any list of best performing fat bikes, and the Breargrease Carbon x01 Eagle converts strength and determination into pure speed. Utilizing a high-modulus carbon fiber frame, deluxe kingpin fork, and an optimal Eagle XO1 Drivetrain with a narrow Q-factor, this fat bike is primed and ready for a trip to the snow-covered trails. This 27.5″ monster with 5″ tires doesn’t just roll over everything in its path, it soars.
12 Best Mountain Bike Trails In The America
Now that you’ve got more than enough knowledge surrounding the best fat bike for your trail-slaying pleasure this winter, you can dive headfirst into our guide on the 12 best mountain bike trails in America.