With the wheels being one of the most important aspects of any fat bike, it makes sense for people to look into the best options. Some people will go with the basic stock choices that are available on the bike from the very beginning, while others will shop for aftermarket options to enhance their ride.
Those who are looking to make an upgrade should consider one of the following fat bike wheels listed below. Not only can they handle a variety of surfaces, but they usually have a focus on better performance overall.
Material plays a huge role, but build quality helps them last a long time also. Wheels that can hold up to all the different challenges are always going to be great options for riders.
1. Bontrager Jackalope
A lot of people swear by this fat bike wheel (that’s what I currently use) as one of the best out there, as Bontrager has a reputation for delivering high-end wheels. It is a tubeless-ready option that is 80 mm wide, giving a rider plenty of width without adding unnecessary weight.
Anyone who likes ride tubeless should look into a wheel like this one. Not only are they built for the quick transition, but it helps to cut down on any type of flat tires whatsoever.
It can be troublesome for some fat bike riders to go through certain parts of a trail without fearing the worst, so it might be worth the upgrade for some.
The wheel becomes better and better once a person looks at the build specifics. It is a very lightweight alloy rim, compatible with a lot of different fat bike options out there. Some of the simple things such as interchangeable axles and an offset spoke bed helps with overall performance as well.
Since this is a high-quality option, the wheels are pretty expensive as an upgrade. Not everyone who rides is going to feel like they are getting good value, so make sure that it is the right fit beforehand.
Those who ride multiple times a week will get great value out of these wheels, and they will last a long time. Those who only ride occasionally might think that the upgrade is just too much to handle.
- High-quality from a trusted brand.
- Tools ready.
- Very lightweight.
- The interchangeable axle still does not offer compatibility for all frames.
2. Jimaiteam 26er
Some fat bike riders are looking for the highest quality wheel options when on many different types of surfaces. In the winter, people are tackling the slippery snow and ice, while the sand dominates in the summer months.
Those looking to have one wheelset for the entire year can really benefit from these 26-inch options from Jimaiteam (Amazon).
The one thing that a person notices right away is that the width of these wheels is smaller than a typical fat bike option. Made of carbon fiber, they are strong and stable enough for people to still ride very safely.
With a slimmer profile, people can have a bit more maneuverability, which comes in handy when trying to navigate tricky trails and not fall off because of one sharp turn.
Another added bonus is that the dual-wall feature keeps the wheels from being vulnerable to any type of damage while on the trail.
Some people really worry about investing a lot of money into a set of new wheels, only to see them severely damaged because of the trail they are riding on.
A two-year warranty on a set of wheels is about as good as anyone can expect from a company, and it should add some confidence in making this purchase.
They are a bit costly because they are made of carbon fiber, but the company has a strong reputation for really providing great value overall.
- Handles any type of terrain.
- Very stable for a small wheel.
- Two-year guarantee.
- Feels more like a mountain bike to some.
- Expensive due to carbon material.
3. Flying Horse
There are some great fat bike wheel options out there, but most people do not want to feel like they are forced to spend a lot of money on an upgrade.
These alloy wheels from Flying Horse (Amazon) are a sound investment for people who want something better than a stock option but do not want to waste much money at all.
Coming in with an 80 mm width, people use these wheels for fat bikes and beach cruisers. They have two different options available so that people can match things up with their personal bikes, and once they are installed, they perform at a high-level.
To start with, the company made it very easy to install, without ever having to go to a bike shop. A simple set up that is discussed in depth in instructions helps people get started right away. From there, adding a tire of choice can get people on the trails in a matter of minutes.
No, these are not the lightest or most comfortable wheels on the market, but they are above average in both categories. People understand that they need to make some sacrifices when saving money, but it is not much at all when looking at things as a whole.
The one thing to keep in mind is that if a person does purchase a costly fat bike from the beginning, they might already have similar wheels on the bike.
This is more of an upgrade option for those people who did not spend a lot of money initially. Updating some of the components can make a huge difference in performance, and this certainly falls in that category.
- Extremely affordable.
- Quality material.
- Two different color choices.
- Might not be an upgrade for some.
- Future upgrades are necessary.
4. ICAN Fat Tire
A lot of people have this wheel as one of the best on the market overall. It is going to cost a good amount of money, but that is to be expected when looking at the specs. This is a high-level option for those who want the ultimate performance, durability, and so much more.
To begin with, the ICAN Fat Bike wheelset (Amazon) are made of carbon and have a width of 90 mm. This means that it can handle any type of fat tire with ease, and people are going to have a very smooth ride overall.
Everything feels very comfortable on the bike when going up and down different trails, and the material is built to last a long time as well.
What people notice with the very wide wheel is that they are more stable on the bike than ever before. Having an extra bit of control when riding is something a lot of people can firmly get behind.
Most of the time with other materials, it would mean adding quite a bit of weight to the mix. This is the case here, as a lightweight carbon makes it an effortless ride as well.
On top of the great product, what puts them over the top is that the company is very responsive in making sure that every customer feels completely satisfied.
They make fixes for people if there is anything that goes wrong whatsoever. Reaching out to them is something that is never an issue, and it should be the norm when spending this type of money on wheels.
For wheels like these, it does not make much sense for people to invest too much money in if the rest of the bike is subpar. It is just not going to be the same as riding on a bike that has some great components everywhere else.
That is the only type of rider that these wheels are not recommended for. Everyone else who can afford it and want to have the best of the best should give these a try.
- Best overall fat bike wheel on the market.
- Built to last.
- Great customer support.
- Very expensive.
- Pointless to add to a low-level bike.
5. Sun Mulefut
Since so many people love to go the tubeless routes with fat bike riding, these wheels from Sun Mulefut (Amazon) are definitely ones to check out. They are made up of aluminum, and the strong make up protects the tire from having any issues whatsoever. This leads to great durability, comfort that is hard to beat in this price category, and a pretty cool look in the end.
The major selling point with these tires is the fact that they are explicitly built for tubeless tires. High-performance riders won’t have to worry about figuring out the tubeless process, switching from a standard look, and more. The design decreases the amount of tire to road friction, which lowers the chances of a flat tire.
Yes, it would probably be a little better if the material was carbon, but it would also be significantly more expensive. Most people will be fine with a little bit of added weight, and the 80 mm width is sufficient for most tires anyway. To reduce some of the weight, there are holes around the rim that also doubles as a cool design feature.
- Best option for tubeless tires.
- Holes reduce overall weight.
- Easy setup.
- Aluminum is still a little heavy.
- Better options out there for tubed tires.
Biggest Factors When Shopping For Fat Bike Wheels?
Every person has a preference when it comes to buying the right fat bike wheel. Not only is cost obviously going to be an issue, but some important features also play a huge role.
Generally speaking, fat bike wheels come in carbon, aluminum, or alloy. Carbon wheels are the premium options, as they have the ability to cut weight significantly.
Those who really want the best in performance on the toughest surfaces should look at a carbon fiber option.
Aluminum is a solid option for those who are a bit more budget-conscious. They are still very strong, but a little heavier than carbon. A lot of companies will ship with a wheel made out of aluminum, or maybe even alloy.
Speaking of alloy, this is any mixture of two or more metals. It seems to be the cheapest option out there usually, and also the heaviest. It is used on a lot of entry-level bikes, but it does not mean that all alloy is made the same. Some options stack up very well with aluminum, and even decently well against carbon.
Once a wheel gets to a certain point, it is considered a fat bike wheel. Some people want a wheel that is a bit on the smaller side, sticking to anything between 3 inches and 4 inches. Others might want to go all the way up to 5 inches for width, depending on where they end up riding.
The more narrow a rim is, the better it will be for not only speed, but turning quickly. It makes the bike easier to handle, and those looking for ultimate performance might want to go that route.
A thicker rim provides more stability on uneven terrain. People sacrifice a bit of speed, but it is very hard to go fast on these surfaces anyway. That is why fat biking has really taken off on snow in particular, as it is nearly impossible to ride with any other type of bike.
Also, a wider fat bike wheel will allow for wider tires which rides much better in snow.
A Look At Spokes
The final important aspect of a fat bike wheel are the spokes. Most fat bike riders are looking for a wheel that has quite a few spokes, because that helps to control added weight and challenges on tough terrain.
The tougher the terrain ends up being, the more spokes a person should be looking for with their wheels. The last thing a person wants is a lack of stability, or even significant spoke breakage while on the trails.
Most companies will list just how many spokes are available on their wheels. If it is not listed, reach out to them directly before making any type of purchase to ensure that they are built to last.