As a cyclist, have you ever been left wondering if there was an alternative for those thin tyres of your bicycle? Does your cycle not have what it takes to manoeuvre through tough terrains? Do you want your new year's resolution early morning rides through the beaches enjoyable as well?
If your answer to all of the above questions is a 'yes', then a fat bike is your way forward.
Although there are citations to prove that ballooned up tyres were used in the early 1900s, it was not until 1980s that bikes were commercialised. Till then it was more of a showcase piece which raised the eyebrows of several cycle enthusiasts. It was only recently that the bike market saw a revolution of sorts with the arrival of fat bikes and since then the industry has grown leaps and bounds.
Fat Bike - How Is It Different
At first, it would seem that the only difference is in the tyre sizes. However, there is more to a fat bike than it meets the eye.
As mentioned earlier, the most definitive characteristic of a fat bike is its tyre size. A fat bike's tyre is much broader in size than compared to a standard bike's tyre. The width of a normal bike's tyre ranges from 25 mm to 30 mm. As opposed to this, a fat bike's tyre width could be anywhere from 89 mm to 130 mm, which is a threefold increase in size. The bike is also called a fat tyre bike for this very reason.
Another noticeable change is the wider rim to accommodate the fat tyres with large wheelbases.
What's more interesting to note regarding a fat tyre cycle is the air pressure in the tyres. For easier manoeuvring through softer terrains like snow and sands, the pressure in these tyres is kept low. Whereas for trail riding, the air pressure is increased.
The most common air pressure denominations used are:
- Soft Terrains: 8 psi
- Trail Riding: 12-15 psi
- Urban Rides: 20-25 psi
The tyre pressure also depends on your weight and can go as low as 4 psi. For urban rides, even though 20-25 psi is the preferred value, you can go as high as 30 psi. All these numbers are just nominal values, and you need to figure out the right value for yourself according to your preferences.
A fat tyre gear cycle is not very different from a normal bike's gear shift pattern. One notable difference in a fat bike's gear is the avoidance of a front derailleur as it is susceptible to clogging from snow or sand, which are the two terrains where a fat bike is generally used.
Choosing Your Fat Bike
While choosing a fat bike, the primary factor of consideration is the terrain where you will be using the bike. Usually, a fat bike is primarily used to navigate through challenging territories such as snowy and loose sand terrains. But, of late, it has found uses as a fat tire mountain bike as well to navigate through treacherous mountain terrains.
Most of the fat bike accessories are related to where these bikes are used. Some of the accessories that might come in handy are:
- Gaiters: Offers protection for your calves in a snowy climate.
- Fenders: Another important accessory due to the extensive use of fat bikes in snowy and sandy terrains.
Other accessories like helmets, knee caps, and different types of protective equipment are obligatory owing to the nature of fat bikes and their applications.
Fat Bikes in India
Fat bikes are increasingly gaining popularity in India. One reason for the slow-paced growth of the market in the country is because of the dearth of snowy terrains. However, of late, there has been an increased interest in fat bikes. One reason for this is that it makes navigating through difficult paths easier because of the better grip and traction that the tyres provide due to their larger size.
Your fat bike should be reliable enough to ensure that you can ply tricky territories easily. Study the different aspects of a bike thoroughly and create a shortlist of the models that you like the most. Assess each bike by comparing it to others in its segment. We, at Firefox, provide some of the best and wide range of fat bikes in India. If you require further clarification and counselling to ascertain which Firefox bike is best for you, get in touch with our team.