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Full Suspension Bikes vs. Fat Bikes

Full Suspension Bikes vs. Fat Bikes

What is a Full Suspension Bike?

A full suspension bike possesses both a suspension fork in the front and shock absorbers in the rear. Full suspension bikes give riders the benefit of enjoying a smoother ride, even on rocky ground.

With this type of suspension, the bike will bounce around less on rougher terrains as it will remain grounded, despite hard cornering or going over bumps in the road.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Full Suspension Bike

Advantages of a Full Suspension Bike

Disadvantages of a Full Suspension Bike

  • Fairly heavy bikes
  • Usually more expensive than conventional bikes
  • Require regular maintenance
  • Costly to replace spare parts
  • Unsuitable for riding up hills – suspensions will heavily slow the bike down

We recommend watching this video to learn more about the kind of speed that full suspension bikes can offer on rocky trails (credit to Global Mountain Bike Network):

What is a Fat Bike?

Fat bikes are designed to exert low pressure on the ground and make it easier to ride on soft and unstable terrains like snow, sand, and mud.

Fat bikes feature oversized tires that are 3.8 inches or larger, rims that are 2.6 inches or wider, and a specially designed frame. They typically have a wheel size of 26 inches in diameter and can be fitted with studded tires to allow for riding on ice or frozen trails.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fat Bike

Advantages of a Fat Bike

  • Offers low tire pressure to bikers, giving more traction on difficult terrain
  • Feature ultra-wide tires that offer bikers more grip on a slippery surface
  • Allows for riding regardless of the season
  • Require very little maintenance
  • Provides a very comfortable ride – less stress on hands and lower back

Disadvantages of a Fat Bike

  • Even heavier than mountain bikes
  • Very slow due to heavier frames and decreased tire pressure
  • Much more expensive than standard bikes
  • Very difficult to find spare parts for due to limited retailers selling them

With their bulky design, many wonder how enjoyable riding a fat bike can be. For those curious, we recommend checking out this video (credit to Global Mountain Bike Network):

Conclusion – Which Bike is Better for you?

The decision between getting a full suspension bike or a fat bike comes down to the type of trail you will be exploring.

If you are planning to try out off-road expedition rides, a fat bike is suitable for you as it will take you to places where trail bikes can’t reach. Fat bikes are also a perfect seasonal bike, and having one won’t stop you from riding, regardless of the weather.

On the other hand, full suspension bikes are suitable for riders that want to have more control and ride more smoothly. They are the ideal bike for exploring rough and rocky terrain with ease, precision, and comfort.

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