People starting out with riding fat bikes usually do not want to spend too much money on their first bike. At the same time, it makes no sense to buy something that is a cheap piece of junk in the beginning. This is only going to frustrate riders, and they might lose interest in the sport before even truly getting started.
With a budget of somewhere between $500 and $1000, there are plenty of nice fat bikes available. People are pretty surprised by how much pricing has dropped in the fat bike industry, and that is going to benefit people starting out right away.
Before diving into some of the best options out there, it is important to understand expectations. Knowing what to look for when doing some initial shopping makes practical sense.
For the budget-conscious rider, these fat bikes all bring something to the table worth checking out. Try to find a local bike shop at first to test ride any of these if there are any questions about fit and general performance. For the best price, look around online.
Never feel locked in to buy directly from a local bike shop. Just keep in mind that when ordering online, assembly is usually required. Sometimes, it is easy enough for anyone to do. In other cases, a trip to the local bike shop (and a fee) is necessary.
1. Mongoose Aztec
If a person looks hard enough, they can find this fat bike option from Mongoose under $500. Even if a person has to spend a little bit more, it is still one of the best overall values a person can find in stores or online. From a quality company that has been in the industry for a while now, it is a perfect solution for people looking for a way to get into the fat bike world.
For a bike this inexpensive, the tires really stand out. The 26 x 4“ all-terrain tires stand up against any type out there on much more expensive bikes. People won’t have to make this purchase, and then turn right around and upgrade the tires.
The disc brakes work extremely well, and the gearing is optimal for people who are dealing with different elevations. Seven speeds are enough for the vast majority of riders, and it makes smooth transitions every single time.
As for reasons to stay away, this is not exactly a bike designed for a lot of modifications. The frame and existing components can’t take too much change, so keep that in mind. Also, it only comes in one size right now, so people who are a little taller or shorter on average won’t be able to maneuver as well.
- Outstanding tires for the price
- Front and rear disc brakes work well
- Plenty of gears to handle different elevations
- Frame can’t take many modifications
- One size only
2. Framed Minnesota 1.2 Fat Bike
Framed makes a few solid fabric options for people who are looking for something not too expensive. Perhaps the best one in this price range is the Minnesota 1.2. It offers a ton of features for a pretty affordable price, and most are surprised that they can save some money.
Premium features on this bike include a 10 speed SRAM rear cassette, a high-quality aluminum alloy frame, and the ability to customize for an accurate, specialized fit. In particular, a person can install other forks if they want to, and other subtle upgrades to make it perfect for riding conditions.
For people looking for a faster ride, this is also a perfect option to select. People will notice right away that the frame is lighter than a traditional steel frame, which makes people feel comfortable using it.
Some shoppers will feel like this is pretty close to a perfect entry-level fat bike option. The only person that might not get much out of this is if they are looking for the best possible deal, as framed fat bikes tend to be a little more expensive.
Another thing to consider is that it would be nice to see better brakes on this bike. Other than that, it is definitely one of the top options to consider.
- 10 speed SRAM rear cassette
- High-quality aluminum alloy frame
- Customizable options
- A little expensive compared to other companies
- Brakes could be better
3. Wolftrax Alloy Deore Fat Bike
Finding a fat bike gear towards women is sometimes hard. It seems like the fat bike community is mostly geared towards men, and for women to stay in the sport, they need to convert their measurements to male setups.
There is no doubt that a proper fat bike set up is essential for anyone to enjoy their experience. Otherwise, a person is going to be fighting against the bike constantly, and that sets up for a very inefficient ride. Couple that with customizations just to make things somewhat tolerable, and people are a bit stuck.
Women who want to be a little aggressive on the trail when they are riding on a fat bike should consider this a great entry-level option. Sure, there are better options to gravitate towards in the future, but most people will use this for the beginning rides to get a great feel. It is more than enough bike to handle challenging tours, and speed isn’t a factor either.
The bike feels very light when in use, and it is easy to do climbs with 20 different gears. When weighing the bike, it is a little on the heavy side, but people should always be looking more at how it feels when in use.
Make sure to play around with it a bit before jumping into a ride on a challenging trail. It is best to be familiar with a brand new bike, especially one that does have a bit of a reputation as having only average brakes. Switch those out if that is really needed, making it an even better choice for those getting into the sport.
- Feels very lightweight when in use
- 20 gears
- Built specifically for women
- Only one size available
- Brakes are not the best
4. Mongoose Argus Sport
The second fat bike from Mongoose to make this list is the Argus Sport. Many consider this a bike that is a step above a regular entry-level option. That is why, for the price, there might not be a better deal out there right now.
People can get years of use out of this bike, or they can eventually flip it for top dollar to help pay for a brand new bike down the road.
As far as default tires go, it doesn’t get much better than 4.8 inches of high-quality fat bike tires. There is no issue whatsoever as far as dealing with grip and traction what a fat bike is this wide. That is actually why this bike is not considered a real entry-level fat bike. It is meant for someone who knows how to navigate with such a thick tire and maximize its benefits.
From the 10-speed Shimano derailer to the Tektro brakes and levers, there are some nice components on this bike. The components make it a bit on the heavy side, but not so much that a person won’t be able to explore at their own convenience.
Like a lot of these fat bikes in the market, this is an option that isn’t particularly flexible from the sizing perspective. There’s only one size available, and it is people who are anywhere from about 5‘6“ tall to 6 foot tall. If a person is outside that zone, they might need to do some heavy customization to get a perfect feel.
- Outstanding components for the price
- Very wide 4.8-inch tires built to last
- Customizable enough for upgrades
- Only one size
- A little on the heavier side
5. Kawasaki Mihara
At right around $500, the Kawasaki Mihara is definitely an entry-level fat bike worth checking out. The company has found a way to bring several nice features to such an affordable fat bike, making the sport a bit more accessible to everyone out there. Their ability to craft something that people can use as a starter option is truly remarkable.
One of the biggest complaints about any entry-level bike is the overall weight. This is a very light alloy frame, with quality components and solid tires that make it very light when riding overall. It is not going to stack up against fat bikes that cost thousands and thousands of dollars, but it is still very much worth the price for an entry-level model.
Shimano is one of the most trusted brands in biking industries, and fat bike users will love the number of components from the company. This means that they are not only going to function well, but they last over the long haul.
This bike really works well without having to make any adjustments whatsoever. There is smooth shifting, excellent braking with front and rear disc brakes, and more. It does not take long to understand just how easy it is to get the most out of the bike.
The only limitations with this fat bike mostly come down to a lack of choices. There’s only one size, and only one color. This is an entry-level bike, and it truly feels like a one size fits all at this point. It is going to work for a lot of people, but some just won’t be able to make it happen.
- Utilizes many Shimano components
- Disc brakes in the front and back
- One size
- One color
Buying Factors When Shopping for Fat Bike
Most fat bike riders will want something lightweight enough for beginners to get around without too much effort. It is a bit of a balancing act, because most entry-level bikes will be the heaviest fat bikes out there.
Looking for an alloy aluminum frame is a great start, because those types of bikes will fall into this category. Carbon and other materials also work, but that tends to make the bike over $1000. If a fat bike has any carbon on it whatsoever, it is a great value at this price range.
An entry-level fat bike can have some pretty terrible components for people to use. It makes no sense to buy something really cheap, only to have to replace so many components throughout the history of owning the bike. All of a sudden, a super cheap fat bike becomes expensive, spending hundreds of dollars on upgrades.
Fat bike tires range from roughly 3.5 inches to over 5 inches. With such a wide range, beginners might not quite understand what works best for them.
A very wide tire will have more opportunities to explore different terrains, and the ride is a bit more comfortable as well. However, it is recommended to go on the smaller side as a beginner, because it performs a bit more like a mountain bike people have used in the past. There is such a thing as having too much bike, and no one wants to be fighting against their bike went on a ride.
It is really not worth buying any new fat bike that doesn’t have disc brakes at this point. They are the most efficient way to stop quickly on a trail especially on wet terrains. Having quality brakes is important with a fat bike, because they will always be needed at the craziest time.
Brakes are hard to judge beyond seeing what type they are. That is where reviews come in handy. Read up on brake reviews on any fat bike before ultimately investing.
Ultimately, price dictates a lot. There is a reason why people are reading an article like this in the first place. There used to be a time where it would take $1000 just to get into riding a fat bike.
Now, more options than ever are very affordable. The barrier to getting into fat biking has lowered, and some of the best companies are fully behind putting out entry-level models that only get cheaper as time goes on.
Which Fatbike Under 1000 Dollars Will You Chose?
A price range of up to 1000 dollars for a fat bike will certainly open the door to many more options. You still have to look pretty hard to find one that will suit your needs and be actually worth the price tag.
Hopefully you find the bike that is right for you that you can enjoy for many years to come.