Can You Put Fat Tires On Any Bike? Convert Your Mountain Bike to a Fat Bike

A question people often ask is, Can you put fat tires on any bike? In short, the answer is yes. Fat tires are a great way to increase your speed and traction in wet or muddy conditions. They can also be used for commuting if you live in an area that gets lots of rain.

However, there are some things to consider before going out and buying fat tires and putting them on your bike.

Can I Put Fat Tires On Any Bike Like a Mountain Bike or Hybrid?

The answer is – yes, you can! People using fat tires as winter tires for your bike is nothing new but that’s not their only use. They also perform exceptionally well on the beach.  

Mountain Bike Tire Sizing Basics

There are several aspects you need to consider when sizing a mountain bike tire. The most basic measurement, and the number you usually hear first when talking 

To begin, the most basic bit of information you will need to know is that mountain bike tires
come in three standard diameters. These diameters are:

– 26 Inches
– 27.5 Inches
– 29 Inches

Apart from the diameter, the width of a mountain bike tire is also very important as this will help determine if you can fit the tire on your frame. The width of the tire (width) is measured in millimeters.

Most fat tires are 2.1 inches wide or more. So make sure that your frame has enough clearance to accommodate these tires or you will run into problems. An easy way to check if your frame would be able to handle fat tires is by looking for the number of millimeters in your current bike tire size. 

For example, if you are using 700C x 23mm tires then a 26 Inch tire would be approximately 2.1 inches wide (23mm x 26mm = 2.195 mm). If you can fit a 26-inch tire then you can fit a fat tire onto your bike. 

Typically, mountain bike tires come in two types: one is a knobby style and the other is an all-round type – the difference being that knobby tires are designed to grip on to rough surfaces better than all-round tires which are intended for smoother surfaces.

Are Fat Bike Tires Better?

No not fat tires are not better than any other bike tire type. All different types have their specialties and are suitable for different things.  

It’s always a good idea to talk to a professional before purchasing fat bike tires. They will be able to advise you on the pros and cons of each tire and help you decide which one is best for your bike and your situation. 

One common use case for fat tires, and even more common, is to use them during the winter to get a better grip on snow or ice. Apart from that, they are great if you are planning to do a lot of heavy off-road riding on muddy trails as they will give you that extra traction. 

Why Are Fat Bikes So Popular?

One reason fat tires bikes or fat tires, in general, have become so popular is because they offer next-level comfort while riding. While at low pressure these huge tires help your suspension system to absorb the shocks on really rough terrain. 

The other obvious major advantage is their fantastic grip which will help you handle difficult trails and let you ride your bike in places where you usual tired would struggle, like in the mud or on sandy beaches. 

How to Install a Wider Mountain Bike Tire

1. Make sure you choose the correct size of whatever type of tire you want to replace your old one with. You must remember to buy tires for the correct size according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you change any of the tire dimensions (width/diameter), then you need new tires.

2. You can take the wheel off the bike just by flipping it upside down.

3. The old tire can be removed by finding the valve stem on one side of the rim and using a tire iron with a beveled edge to separate the rim from the wheel. This step should be repeated every inch until the old tire has been removed completely.

4. You may need to wash the tube if your tire has one. It is recommended that you inflate the tube to check for any holes or tears. (Only do this if you plan to reuse the tube.)

5. Mount the new tire to the rim if you don’t plan to reuse the tube. It should be relatively easy since it is not inflated yet.

6. Afterwards, reattach the wheel to the frame by re-inserting the axle into the bike.

7. Reflate the tires to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure or whatever you like to run the tires at if you are an experienced rider.

Conclusion

Fat tires can be put on basically any mountain bike and knowing how to do that can be really useful. It will make your mountain bike even more versatile since you will be able to use it better in the winter or help you get past the really muddy section of the trail where you always get stuck.

Photo of author
Written By Robert Gibbons
From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 50+ trails across the globe. For Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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