Buying a new fat bike should be a very enjoyable experience overall. Even if the bike is a little on the low side as far as quality is concerned, it should still be ready to go for miles and miles of enjoyment.
One of the more common things that need replacing at some point in the bike’s lifespan is the tires. Some are lucky to avoid any type of mishaps, allowing for the tire to wear out on its own. It also pays off to make the right decision on the tire quality and size from the very beginning.
Others aren’t quite as lucky, being forced to do an impromptu fix to get everything back in place. It can be time-consuming at the least, and a stressful situation that puts a rider in danger at the most.
All the Facts On How Long a Fat Bike Tyre Can Last!
While anything can happen out on the trail, fat bike tires are built to last. It is realistic for any rider to expect thousands of miles on the same set of tires. Just how long do fat bike tires last?
Most riders should expect to get around 2500-3000 miles out of their fat bike tires under normal conditions. That means riding on a variety of trails, taking risks here and there, but nothing too strenuous for the bike to handle. Proper care for the tire, such as checking its PSI and keeping it clean and dry when in storage, will help its life as well.
How Often Should You Change Fat Bike Tires?
It’s impossible to nail down an exact amount of mileage, but most people should start monitoring their tires frequently at about 2000 miles. Anything over that is much more at risk of having damage done to it, so don’t blow off the little things such as tire pressure checks, scanning for bulges or rips, cleaning off the tires with built-up debris and more.
Some people will luck out quite a bit and have tires that last closer to 5000 miles. This could be a combination of taking a good amount of care, riding on softer trails the majority of the time, and a little bit of luck. Most of the time, tires will indicate that something is wrong or starting to go wrong before it gets too serious. There’s always the occasional popping of the tires out of nowhere, but that happens much less with such thick rubber fat tires.
Why It’s Important to Replace Fat Bike Tires
Everyone is guilty of trying to get just a little too much use out of a pair of fat bike tires. However, there are a few reasons why it’s important to stay on top of it if they are starting to show their age.
Safety should always be on the mind of any rider, as poor tires can put someone at risk every single time they ride. Even if someone is a seasoned veteran, it doesn’t take much for someone to be thrown off a path if the tires malfunction.
Tires age in a lot of different ways. The most common way is to notice a change in the tread, but that might take thousands and thousands of miles before something changes. It’s just as important to pay attention to things such as rubber thinning out, cracking with age, hardening, and more. This can lead to more and more flat tires, and they become increasingly difficult to match as time goes on.
Before going on a long ride, make sure to check the tires for any inconsistencies or bulges. The older the tires are, the more important this is. Fat bikes are very resilient, but at the end of the day, they are still made of rubber. They need a little bit of care to prolong their life significantly.
Control on the path
To have the right amount of control when riding a fat bike, the tread needs to be solid all around. People feel like they might have to step up and invest in a better solution later on if their current tires are not sufficient. If cheap tires aren’t going to do, it might be time to upgrade soon after buying a bike.
The width of the tire helps with control quite a bit, as well. Fat bike tires are very thick in general, but there are always different sizes for people to turn to. It might not seem like a huge deal, but it can be the difference between handling a tricky turn and falling off.
If someone is very competitive riding, they should consider changing tires about twice as frequently as everyone else. As soon as they show any signs of noticeable wearing, it’s time to change them out for something that provides that extra edge.
Worry free riding
People who ride fat bikes like having the ability to go anywhere and everywhere. This can put a person in very isolated areas at times, and it might take a ton of effort to get somebody to provide help if needed. Just think about being on a secluded trail with no cell phone service, trying to handle a busted tire.
Having a tire that needs patching isn’t the end of the world in most cases. It’s something that can easily be fixed for under $100 (perhaps more if the tire needs completely replaced), so go ahead and take care of it first before risking things on a long ride using a secluded trail. It’s just one less thing to worry about, and that extra peace of mind can go a long way.
Do Certain Terrains Wear Out the Tires Faster?
Fat bikes are built to handle anything. With that being said, if a person solely rides on hard surfaces like cement or bricks, the tires will wear out in a little bit more quickly than softer surfaces. It’s not going to be that noticeable, but it is something to keep in mind if the majority of riding is going to be on the road.
Of course, a lot of people will not opt for a fat bike in that situation anyway, since there is a lot of drag that slows down a rider for the most part. It’s a frustrating experience for people who want to go faster, and fat bikes are designed to handle pavement consistently.
One way to help performance just a little bit is to add a little more air to the tire on harder surfaces. This will speed up the bike, keep the tire in good shape, and preserve life just a little more. The low PSI is reserved for softer surfaces, as it helps with performance and adaptability to the terrain.
The Cost of Replacing a Fat Bike Tire
One of the main reasons why people are so reluctant to change their fat bike tires too frequently is that it is costly. Fat bike tires are notoriously expensive, and it remains one of the major barriers why more people don’t ride those bikes in general.
There are entry-level options available for people who are really on a budget, but most fat bike riders want something that they can count on for years and years to come. The best way to do that is to get something that is going to cost a decent amount. Most that buy tires are going to be over $100, but anything over $200 is considered very expensive.
Yes, it is an investment. Yes, the tires for a fat bike are going to be in the same price range as most people looking for new car tires. Until fat bikes become more popular, this is the reality a lot of people must deal with. Only a few manufacturers are making some great options, and they are priced at a premium.
What Brands Make the Best Fat Bike Tires?
There are a few companies out there that are well known for offering some of the most durable fat bike tires out there. Not only do they come in different widths and tread patterns for riders looking for something very specific, but they use some of the highest quality materials to keep a rider as safe as possible.
Surly, Maxxis, and Mongoose are three brands that have made strong names for themselves in the industry. Not only do they make a lot of different fat bikes for different price ranges, but they all specialize in tires that perform at a high level as well.
Traditional bike brands like Specialized and Trek also deserve credit for making quality builds for fat bike enthusiasts. Not everyone is welcoming to brands known more for cycling, but they have spent the time making fat bike tires that are as high quality as anything else.
All of these companies have a presence in local bike shops, as well as online. More often than not, the best overall prices are going to be found online. It is also a little bit more convenient to shop online compared to driving around and finding the best prices in stores.
Do Studded Fat Bike Tires Wear Out Quicker?
At first glance, it seems crazy that studs can even be put into a tire to add traction. However, this is what a lot of people use during the winter when they are on a fat bike. It helps with stability and control without adding any noticeable weight.
These tires are designed specifically to handle studs, so they run no additional risk as far as damages are concerned. They are still vulnerable to the occasional flat tire, but otherwise, they are very durable. The added traction allows for the tire to stay in place just a little bit better, actually improving the life of the tire in general.
Where people might run into trouble is if they ride their studded fat bike on pavement too much. This can lead to some pretty severe wearing down of the studs, meaning the entire tire usually needs replacing.
How to Save Money With Fat Bike Tires
Since it’s inevitable that ever fat bike owner will need replacement tires at some point, the easiest way to save money is to be on the lookout for great deals at all times. Fat bike tires don’t go on discount as much as other tires, but there are still some great deals once in a while. Stock up and have one or two spare tires to turn to every time.
Without spares, a person is pretty much locked into the price they find locally or even online at the time. There is no alternative solution, so that it could be quite a bit more money.
Planning usually pays off in the long run, especially for something that will need replacing. Those with a little bit of disposable income can benefit greatly from buying while on sale.
Are There Ways to Reduce the Risk of a Flat Tire?
A fat bike rider is always somewhat vulnerable to a flat tire, but there are ways to reduce the risk. For starters, going tubeless is worth it to some people. It’s a little more expensive, but it works. It’s essential to make sure that the tubeless sealant works in cold temperatures, but other than that; it should be good.
Also, the lowest tire pressure possible makes the most sense to prevent a flat tire. This is a little tricky if there is some pavement terrain in the future, but some people are willing to sacrifice
speed for durability. A lower tire pressure makes for a slightly comfier ride in most cases as well, so there are some benefits to that beyond avoiding flat tires.
All in all, fat bike tires are very durable as-is. There are a few steps a person can take, but it’s only going to benefit slightly. Something that causes an actual flat tire on a fat bike is probably going to cause a flat tire no matter what.
Remember, All Tires Wear Out
Even the very best tires in the world will eventually wear out. With fat bikes, a person shouldn’t worry about wearing their tires out at all. It’s a fact of life, so don’t baby the tires or the bike too much.
Always remember that the tires are as durable as they come for a bike as well. It’s one thing to risk a road bike on an uneven trail, but fat bikes are designed to hold up against anything.
The most important thing to remember is not to ignore any warning signs that a tire is vulnerable. Tires only get worse if they are used with bulges, rips, slow leaks, bald spots, and more. A quick check before each long ride is all most people need.