Fat bikes have a strong reputation for climbing extremely well. With thick tires and plenty of tread, they grab onto any type of surface and allow for fast climbing up any type of terrain. Once a rider goes up, they must come down at some point, right?
Is a fat bike a good downhill bike? Despite not usually being part of the selling pitch, it has excellent descending abilities that benefit riders. The fat tires are able to float over most obstacles. You can now even buy fat bikes fully equipped with both front and rear suspension (Trek Farley EX 8).
A lightweight, aerodynamic bike might provide a fast downhill ride on smooth surfaces,
Are Fat Tire Bikes Good For Downhill Biking?
The common perception is that a bike can’t descend quickly without great suspension, short stems, long top tubes and other setups that will carve through the elements. All of those things will indeed help with descending, but riders also need to be comfortable when going downhill.
Most fat bikes don’t have the same type of suspension as other bikes out there but front and rear suspensions on fatbikes are becoming more common.
There is also some rolling resistance that makes people skeptical as well. However, on the right terrain, a fat bike is the perfect solution for anyone going downhill. This might be hard to believe but a fatbike could surpass the speed of some mountain bikes while traveling downhill on a rocky surface.
Versatility also allows for a downhill ride to stay easy to tackle rain or shine, on smooth terrain or a treacherous area.
The Benefits of a Fat Bike Going Downhill
A downhill riding experience can be scary without the proper bike. One wrong maneuver can lead to a chain of events that are tough to overcome. Every rider is potentially inches away from a crash, so a fast, safe bike should always be the goal.
Riding a fat bike is a great solution for people who want to feel very comfortable going downhill every single time. Here is a closer look at some of the benefits and reasons why it works well downhill.
A fat bike has high volume, low-pressure tires that make some riders feel like they are gliding over any type of terrain. It smooths out a rough ride, and allows people to feel very comfortable the entire time.
Instead of fearing whether or not the tires are going to hold up, it takes a lot for them to show any signs of damage. Fat tires do not need babying to make it down a path.
The tires also do a great job of gripping the terrain, Which provides a very stable ride while descending. Having the confidence to go downhill and not worry about the tire losing grip is often overlooked, especially on challenging surfaces.
A thinner tire is simply going to be unable to handle inconsistent terrain and difficult turns without being much more vulnerable to punctures. There is nothing worse than a flat tire while descending at high speeds.
A fat bike frame allows people to switch out different-sized tires for the perfect set up. On certain occasions, maybe a person needs a 5-inch wide tires (Better for snow and sand). There are other times where a 3.8-inch wide tire might be needed (More technical mountain biking using a fat tire bike). Having that level of flexibility is very hard to find in other bikes.
Most people who are doing a lot of riding want something very precise for what they are getting into, and this is the perfect frame to use as a base.
Having one dependable frame to use consistently is very beneficial for any type of rider. It saves money and space at any home. The quick-release tires mean that switching them out takes a matter of seconds.
Load Bearing Options
No other bike is going to allow a rider to descend safely while carrying extra weight along the way. It’s a frustrating experience when attempting to travel to a bunch of different places, and lose a lot of stability because of the weight being carried.
The fat tires distribute the weight throughout the bike very well, and put a lot less strain on the rider and the bike itself. That means it is stable throughout, and is less likely to tip over than some of the other bike options out there. Most people look at this as a huge advantage going up, but it’s also an underrated advantage going down. If the weight is not distributed properly, a bike will be tough to control.
Locked in Steering
Thanks to the larger surface area and traction, steering is sometimes viewed as a challenge when going downhill. However, steering is very responsive, allowing people to go exactly where they want to. Since a person has to be more locked in when they are moving the bike every which way, riders usually like maneuvering on a decline.
Works on Every Surface
Riding a fat bike on smooth pavement might seem like overkill for some, but there is nowhere a fat bike can’t go to help out when going downhill. They are becoming more and more prevalent in everyday life, so people are starting to realize just how beneficial they are.
People who have never owned a fat bike can’t help but spot them in the wild, and with familiarity comes a lot of people open to trying a new type of bike.
It’s a perfect budget option for anyone who is going to do a lot of riding on different terrains. Fat bike tires are still fast enough that they can handle paved roads easily, and they will always come in handy if bad weather hits.
The longer the ride, the better opportunity there is for something bad to happen. Fat bikes allow people to tackle any situation head-on instead of having to find an alternative method to get somewhere.
With any other bike, there might be a need at times to buy a different bike to have as well. Next thing a person knows, they have multiple bikes with only one rider to ride them.
Given the versatility of a fat bike, the ability to customize things in a matter of seconds and the overall durability, a fat bike is a perfect option for anyone who is riding at different elevations all the time. It’s never going to be the fastest on a clear, even road, but fat bikes still provide a ton of benefits going downhill.