So you're probably wondering exactly why do these bikes have massive tyres. They must be designed for riding on the beach or the snow right?
Well... yes and no. The original fatbikes were developed in Alaska for riding on snow. At the time, the market was dominated by small, niche', independent framebuilders. Making one frame at a time to special order.
The scene really took off in 2005 when Surly bikes released their 3.8" wide Endomorph tyre. The availability of a proper fat tyre... changed everything. Wikipedia has a great page on the topic.
Now, almost every tyre and rim manufacturer offers fat tyre products.
If you're after the backstory of fatbikes, then you really can't go past the Fat Bike History forum on MTb-Review.
But getting back to the original question... what are they for?
The answer is simple. For riding. Everywhere and anywhere.
The original design may have been for snow use (and carried over to sand riding), but modern fatbikes (like Salted Bikes) are designed for all kinds of riding on all kinds of terrain.
WHAT'S A FATBIKE?
Oh make no mistake, they positively rule on sand (and snow). They actually make it possible to ride on those challenging surfaces.
But 4.0" (and larger) tyres also make a huge difference to regular trail riding too. More traction when climbing is one advantage thanks to the massive contact patch. With fat tyres, you'll find yourself cleaning climbs that you could previously only dream of making.
That same amount of rubber on the trail also brings with it shorter braking distances and incredible cornering.
And then there is expedition/adventure riding. You're no longer hampered by the small floatation of 2.5" tyres on 30mm rims. 4.8" tyres and 80mm rims make the world your trail.
Are the tyres heavier? Yes. There's no way around that. More rubber = more weight. But weight is not why you ride our bikes. If you're looking at Strava more than the scenery, then you probably don't want a fatbike.
If on the other hand, you're more into riding where others can only dream of, and having an absolute blast while doing it... then you've come to the right place.
At Salted Bikes, we're dedicated to the big picture when it comes to fatbikes. We're believers in the fatbike as an all purpose machine that can excel on any terrain.
Why don't you come with us for a ride and find out for yourself.
Gary Theiss testing the Popcorn prototype
Rock Candy 110mm travel prototype