Are fat tire bike tires better for heavy riders? – GoMTBiking

Published by Praful N on

Mountain bikes with fat or wider tires are great for riding on rough trails. Does it mean that fat tire bikes are good for heavy riders?

Are fat tire bikes better for heavy riders?

Yes, fat-tire bikes which include fat bikes and mountain bikes with thick tires can be better for heavy riders in regions like rough trails, snow, or sand. But for riding in smoother regions like road or pavement they can make you struggle a bit to pedal because of the extra weight. 

But there is no right answer to this question, it depends on where you’re riding and there are some factors that also make this question discussable.

In this article, I’ll discuss everything about the other factors and related queries related to the main query.

Why are fat tire bikes better for heavy riders?

When you’re talking about fat-tire bikes, it can also be mountain bikes with fat tires or typical fat bikes with thick cartoon tires.

There is no such evidence that can clearly state that fat tire bikes can be super beneficial for heavy riders. As I have mentioned in the intro, there are many factors related to it.

  • Fat tires are amazing for rough and technical terrains with lots of obstacles like rocks and can also be beneficial for a heavy rider compared to riding on thin tires as you know these tires can handle much more stress compared to the thinner tires. But there are some weight limits for every bike and it is not solely focused on tires to handle the top stress.
  • Most of the fat tire bikes are mountain bikes or fat bikes which are designed to have a solid geometry, suspension system, brakes, and a versatile bike as a whole. So that’s obvious for fat tire bikes to be better at handling weights compared to the skinny tire bikes like road bikes.

But the mentioned factors are mainly focused on riding fat-tire bikes on riding on trails. But it also depends on the riding style and experience of the rider. If he’s not good at cornering or jumps, even the fat tire bikes will not help him and also can be more destructive for him because of his weight and also the fat tire can get fat because of the weight pressure while hitting the corners. This happens in rare cases.

So yes!! For trails, mountain bike or fat bike with fat tires are great and better for heavy riders in handling weight. And also the most important thing is to remember the weight limit for every bike which I’ll be discussing in the later section of this article.

Let’s talk about heavy riders riding fat bikes in smoother regions like roads or pavements.

Why are fat tire bikes not better for heavy riders on roads?

In trails, yes fat-tire bikes can be better at handling the weight of heavier riders. But for roads or pavements, having fat tire bikes will make you struggle a bit while pedaling.

Yes, even on a road mountain bike or fat bikes with fat tires will be good at handling weight compared to the road bikes with skinny tires. But it also depends on the frame because road bikes also have some limitations for weight similar to mountain bikes to fat bikes. But keeping the weight limitation in mind. You’ll struggle a bit in pedaling.

Heavier riders tend to be overweight and having fat tires can slow up your speed because of the low psi ranging from 10-25 which ends with having a rolling resistance issue making you push harder with your weight and inconvenience of the tires.

But it can also end up in having a good tough workout but most of them don’t like it and always want to have a smooth ride on roads.

Related: Are fat bikes harder to pedal? (Everything you need to know) – GoMTBiking

How much weight can a fat tire bike hold?

Fat tire bikes that include fat bikes and mountain bikes are designed to handle a weight limit of around 300 pounds in 90% of the cases and the cheaper ones are designed to handle 200-250 pounds in the rarest cases. 

Most of the fat tire bikes come up with a 300-pound weight limit which can vary from bike to bike.

As I have mentioned in the previous section that, tires are not the only factor to consider for a heavier rider. They can make you feel more comfortable while riding because of the weight distribution in the tires but are not the only factors for riding on a fat tire bike. The major factor to look for is the weight limit and the structure of the bike which you ride.

Even if you have fat tires on your bike if the weight of the rider is crossing the weight limit given by the manufacturer of the bike then that’s not healthy for you and your bike.

And also don’t solely depend on the weight limit given by the manufacturer. Try to be below the threshold. Also, other factors like protective gear, filled-backpack, accessories, and some extra things can add a lot of weight with you on bike. This can easily make your fat tire flatten out in the long run if your weight becomes an extra load.

Cargo or luggage weight will account for a lot of weight which includes saddlebags, food baskets, normal baskets, rear racks, and handlebar bags. So I’ll always consider the overall weight and not only your body weight.

So always remember to have fat tires and also most importantly look at the weight limit and don’t go beyond that.

Cons for heavy riders riding a fat tire bike

The only con for a heavy rider is injuries. When you’re talking about a 300-pound rider he’s mostly going to be a fat and overweight rider because most of them tend to have average height and 300 pounds with an average height of 5.8 feet is obviously going to a fat rider.

What are the potential injuries for the fat rider?

People who are overweight tend to have less control over themselves while riding fat-tire bikes like mountain bikes or fat bikes. It’s a fun sport but you gotta be fit and active for physical activity. There are a lot of skills required for typical mountain biking.

If you’re overweight you will mostly lose control over your bike while hitting the corners and can even end up flattening up the fat tires. If you’re an experienced and skilled rider that’s going to be different. But for a newbie or an average rider, fitness is also a major requirement.

Take every single benefit of riding fat bikes and make sure you have proper work out and fitness routines so you can master this amazing biking sport.

Which style of bike is best for heavy riders?

All the bikes which include fat-tire bikes like fat bikes and mountain bikes are good for heavy riders and also road bikes are also good for heavy riders.

It’s not about the style of bike, but it’s all about the weight limit. Even road bikes come up with a good weight limit of 240 pounds and sometimes 300 pounds for better bike models.

But fat tires are always good for heavy riders in terms of comfortability. The major factor is the weight limit, but having fat tires will allow you to have proper weight distribution in the right places.

If you’re too overweight, try aluminum or steel models for better durability regardless of the tires you have on your bike. Nowadays even the high-end carbon models are good when it comes to durability and strength.

Also, carbon bikes are light and stiff which helps in having better performance in terms of speed.

High-end carbon bikes are expensive, so most of them don’t go for carbon models. It totally depends on the rider’s priority if he solely focuses on reducing weight then carbon can be the best option.

Can a 400-pound person ride a bike?

Yes, a 400-pound person can ride a bike only if you choose a fat tire bike that has a weight limit of over 400 pounds. Most of the bikes come up with a 300-pound weight limit, there is no rule about a 400-pound person not riding a bike but in the long run, it is not going to be healthy for your bike with a lesser weight limit.

Weight shouldn’t stop you from riding a bike. Even if you ride a bike with a lot lesser weight limit, there’s not much problem in the short run. But wouldn’t recommend you going with this in the long run.

Also if you’re fat and short with a weight of 400 pounds can make you struggle with the fitness aspects. It mostly depends on your fitness and the weight limit.

What bike can hold 400 lbs?

This is mostly going to be a fat tire bike like a fat bike or mountain bike. Not every bike is designed to hold 400 pounds. Some of the cruiser and hybrid bikes also come up with this weight limit.

My recommendation for riders weighing over 350-400 pounds.

  • Mongoose dolomite fat tire bike
  • Mongoose malus fat tire bike
  • Outroad mountain bike
  • Mongoose hitch fat tire bike

And you can see most of them are fat-tire bikes.

Read more: Best bikes for riders weighing over 400 pounds 

My takeaway!

Are fat tire bikes better for heavy riders? Yes, they’re better when it comes to riding trails because they provide much more comfort compared to the thinner tire bikes. Most of the fat tire bikes are fat bikes and also mountain bikes with thicker tires.

But tires are not the only factor to consider, you should always look at the weight limit for a bike and it’s recommended to not go beyond the weight limit.

If you enjoyed reading this article about fat tires bikes for heavy riders, share it with your friends and colleagues. 

Keep riding😉