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Fat tires - can you put them on any bike?

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Fat tires - can you put them on any bike?

Old 08-02-19, 07:48 PM
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KittyBikes
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Fat tires - can you put them on any bike?

Hey all -
This may be a dumb question, but even though I am terrible at it, I enjoy riding and I'd like to keep riding in Michigan all year long. We sometimes get a significant amount of snow, especially January-March. I have a hybrid bike and it does better than I thought it would on trails and gravel, but I don't think it would handle snow well. Can I just attach the fat tires on my current bike? Do I need to buy new wheels? Or will I end up needing to buy a different bike?

Thanks so much!
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Old 08-02-19, 08:00 PM
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You can put conventional MTB wheels and tires on a fatbike, but not the other way around. Fatbikes have completely different axle spacing, because in some cases the rims are 4 inches wide. A fatty front hub is as wide as an MTB rear hub.

So if you want to ride in the snow, start shopping for fatbikes before winter hits.
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Old 08-02-19, 08:18 PM
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If I get one, I'm going to try to find something used. I just spent money on a hybrid bike...but I hate exercising indoors for the most park unless its weight lifting. Running/riding on the treadmill/stationary bike is just not for me! Thank you for the info.
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Old 08-03-19, 06:10 AM
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What kind of snow are you thinking of?
Fat Bikes are great for semi-packed snow like snowmobile tracks, but not required for hardpack and snow-cleared roads. For stuff like that, regular width tires, preferably studded, will do just fine.
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Old 08-03-19, 06:36 AM
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The size of the tire you can use is limited by the clearance at the fork and brake bridge. You can't put fat tires on anything but a fat bike, but you may be able to use a somewhat wider tire and relatively small increases in size can make a difference.
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Old 08-03-19, 07:19 AM
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The fat bike tire width will not clear the fork or chain stay of a regular width designed bike. I have a fat bike and enjoy riding all year long because I have it. They roll great on the snowmobile trails and ridable up to 4" of snow, but it isn't easy breaking fresh snow first.
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Old 08-06-19, 05:22 PM
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Fat tires

Not any kind of expert but Iím sure you can slap fat tires on any kind of bike just as long as they fit
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Old 08-06-19, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by linigari.1 View Post
Not any kind of expert but Iím sure you can slap fat tires on any kind of bike just as long as they fit
Aye, there's the rub.

Literally.

(I'll let myself out now)
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Old 08-06-19, 05:32 PM
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If you have a Hybrid, you can mount "Fatter" tires. Probably. Perhaps 40mm tires + STUDS.

A 26" or 29er MTB might be able to take slightly wider tires. 60mm?

If you really want a FAT bike, then you'll have to get a specific style of bike. Walmart may have some cheap FAT bikes. Maybe not for heavy trail use, but it might be good enough to get a taste for the concept.
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Old 08-07-19, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
Aye, there's the rub.

Literally.

(I'll let myself out now)


Dad jokes, eh.
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Old 08-07-19, 10:24 PM
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Hmm. I will have to think about this topic and maybe I will go back to the bike store to see what they think, although I bet they will probably try to sell me another bike if they can, haha.

I live in Central Michigan, so we get a fair amount of snow, the majority of it from January-March. They're not as great about plowing as they should be here, so yes, sometimes the snow is loose and not packed down, and it's icy. I do have an indoor stationary bike for when it's an absolute no-go, but I'd like to get out there as much as I can.
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Old 08-08-19, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by KittyBikes View Post
Hmm. I will have to think about this topic and maybe I will go back to the bike store to see what they think, although I bet they will probably try to sell me another bike if they can, haha.


I live in Central Michigan, so we get a fair amount of snow, the majority of it from January-March. They're not as great about plowing as they should be here, so yes, sometimes the snow is loose and not packed down, and it's icy. I do have an indoor stationary bike for when it's an absolute no-go, but I'd like to get out there as much as I can.

I have to ask what size were you thinking of?

I'm pretty sure a 4" tire will not fit, even it there is clearance on the fork and frame, the brakes will get in the way if you have non-discs.

Also it's most likely the rims are too narrow for a wider tire. For example plus sized tires of 2.8-3.0" shouldn't run less than 30mm width rims. Too narrow and you risk the tire popping off the rim, which is pretty terrible especially on front wheel.


I do a fair amount of winter riding in NJ, though last year was a bit of a bust, and run 3 types of tires on 3 bikes.

1) 5" tires for when there are several inches of unpacked snow, these are on a dedicated fat bike

2) 3" round studded tires on a 29+ full hardtail bike, great for trail riding, but studs are noisy on the roads and down right sketchy on rock faces

3) 2.1" Nokians for the clear ice days, These are on a regular 29r hardtail


IMO all three are probably an overkill for your needs. Just get a bigger and more aggressive tire which can shed snow pack. Michigan winters can be brutal, if you plan to go out in sub-zero weather, I'd consider getting a bike meant for it.
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Old 08-08-19, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by KittyBikes View Post
Hmm. I will have to think about this topic and maybe I will go back to the bike store to see what they think, although I bet they will probably try to sell me another bike if they can, haha.

I live in Central Michigan, so we get a fair amount of snow, the majority of it from January-March. They're not as great about plowing as they should be here, so yes, sometimes the snow is loose and not packed down, and it's icy. I do have an indoor stationary bike for when it's an absolute no-go, but I'd like to get out there as much as I can.
Me too, in the Lansing area.

If you really want to fit 4" fat tires you will in fact need another bike, so the shop would not be steering you wrong there. But, if you want to ride the bike you have and ride mainly riding for fitness on (sounds like) snow covered roads and pathways, you would be well-served by a set of studded tires sized to fit your hybrid. Something like the Suomi Hakkapeliitta W240 in either 32X 700 or 40X700 size should fit your hybrid fine, assuming it has 700c wheels. (most do) Scroll down here:

https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/studdedtires.php

You local shop may be able to order them for you or something similar. Don't flinch at the price-compared to 4" fat tires (not to mention the wheels and frames made to fit them) they're a bargain. And they'll be slow and heavy, good for getting a quick work out in unpleasant conditions, and when you put your summer tires back on you'll feel like you're flying.

Also, consider trying skiing. Either cross country or downhill, depending on what's available close to you. Or even snowshoeing.
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Old 08-10-19, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 5teve View Post
But, if you want to ride the bike you have and ride mainly riding for fitness on (sounds like) snow covered roads and pathways, you would be well-served by a set of studded tires sized to fit your hybrid. Something like the Suomi Hakkapeliitta W240 in either 32X 700 or 40X700 size should fit your hybrid fine, assuming it has 700c wheels. (most do)
I second this advice so long as we're talking about paved roads -- because my winter experience is pretty much limited to paved. I'm in the central U.P by Lake Superior, and my go to tires in winter are a set of 700 x 38 studded tires on my commuter bike. I ride mainly paved roads and streets that are eventually plowed. There will be times when the snow building gets annoying, or when the ice melts into slush and I struggle, but in the main the pavement is plowed and I'm able to ride regularly.

My other thought is that buying a good set of studded tires is an inexpensive experiment in comparison to buying a second bike. Even if you end up doing both, you probably wouldn't regret having both options available.
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Old 08-12-19, 10:22 AM
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Do any of you ride on frozen lakes? It's all fun and games till you get too ambitious and loose grip.
Completely different riding and you find yourself running 3-4 psi.
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