You can tell what a fat bike is by appearance alone and a single look is all you’d need. What many never understand, however, is the whole point of making a bike with wheels so thick that it makes you wonder how they’re able to move.
A fat bike, by definition, is an off-road bike that has oversized tires that range between 97 mm to 55 mm in width and are designed for low ground pressure to give you a soft riding experience regardless of the condition of the terrain. These make them the best bikes to use on tricky grounds like snow and sand that tend to collapse when some little pressure is applied to them.
We are going to explore some of the best fat bikes that cost below $1,000, their biggest selling points, their weaknesses, and then wrap it up with a quick buying guide that will help you choose the right fat bike for yourself.
- At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Fat Bikes Under $1000
- Top 8 Best Fat Bikes Under $1000 – Our Reviews:
- Buying Fat-Tire Bikes: Things to Keep in Mind
- The Bottom Line
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Fat Bikes Under $1000
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the fat bikes under $1000 that most people buy).
- Mongoose Argus Sport Top Pick
- Framed Minnesota Fat Bike Runner-up
- Gravity Bullseye Monster Aluminum Fat Bike Runner-up
Top 8 Best Fat Bikes Under $1000 – Our Reviews:
1. Mongoose Argus Sport
The Argus Sport is, without doubt, the Mongoose fat bike with the best tires in their catalog. It’s a well-balanced bike that brings together safety, comfort, and style into one beautiful machine that’s pleasing to look at.
These fat bikes have a strong aluminum frame that’s light in an attempt to keep the overall weight of the bike low while maintaining its composure on the road. This makes the bike well-suited for less challenging terrains like smooth roads, something that most fat bikes usually struggle with due to their low-pressure tires.
It has a neat internal cable routing that makes sure all the important parts of the bike are well concealed and protected from physical damage.
Moreover, it features a high-quality hydraulic brake system with impressive stopping power as well as a Shimano 10-speed drivetrain that grants the cyclist all the power for making those tricky climbs on the mountain and hill ranges. The hydraulic disc brakes can last for quite a while, too.
- Lightweight frame
- Hydraulic disc brake system
- Handles all terrains
- Alloy tapered suspension fork
- Kenda Juggernaut 26-inch tires
- Paintwork scratches off easily
- The seat is a bit uncomfortable
Read Also: Are Mongoose Bikes Good?
2. Framed Minnesota Fat Bike
The Framed Minnesota is a bike that comes laden with all sorts of features, some you’d only find in the most expensive types of fat bikes, and this makes it one of the best bargains on this list.
It features an aluminum frame and fork, as well as an 18-speed SRAM drivetrain that’s powerful enough to push the bike over steep climbs and challenging terrain. The bike is much smaller compared to some of its competitors on the list, making it an ideal bike for short riders who fancy getting behind a fat bike once in a while.
One ingenious design of the bike is the way it directs a good chunk of the rider’s weight to the rear center, which lowers the center of gravity, giving the rider more control on top of adding pressure on the rear wheels for better traction. It would be hard for the bike to slip even on muddy grounds.
- Small in size
- Solid construction
- Reliable drivetrain
- Good design
- Powerful brake system
- Very heavy
3. Gravity Bullseye Monster Aluminum Fat Bike
If you want a budget bike with some of the high-end features, then the Gravity Bullseye Monster Aluminum Fat Bike is exactly what you should be going for. It’s one of the most revered bikes within the mountain biking community.
The bike is made with an aluminum frame connected to a steel handlebar fork, which gives the bike the necessary rigidity to deal with uneven grounds and the strength to handle high weight capacities.
It has a 16-speed SRAM X4 drivetrain backed with alloy hubcaps; the two combine to make the Gravity Bullseye a very fast bike that’s able to maneuver tricky trails at high speeds.
Then, when it comes to speed, you don’t have to fret too much about tumbling down as the bike has powerful front and rear Tektro disc brakes that give you the confidence to accelerate the way you want.
The bearded 16-inch tires have just the right traction and size to allow the bike to deal with unstable grounds like snow and sand as well as slippery terrain like wet roads and muddy trails.
- Bearded tires with traction
- Sturdy alloy aluminum frame
- Ideal for tall riders
- Powerful Tektro brakes
- Weight 35 lb
- Assembly is complicated
4. Mongoose Dolomite Fat Bike
Another Mongoose bike that makes the cut, proof of how good the brand is when it comes to making fat tire mountain bikes. The Dolomite is the best fat bike among the brand’s long catalog and has become quite a hit with people who have been ardent customers of the brand.
It is a multi-functional bike that has a unique design of the chain, which makes dealing much easier despite the significant weight of the bike. It has a cruiser frame made out of steel that’s solid enough to give the bike the strength it needs to hold its own against challenging terrain and steep climbs. Despite the lack of any suspension gear system or set-up, the bike is surprisingly comfortable.
Mongoose Dolomite bikes come with a 7-speed drivetrain that combines well with dual mechanical disc brakes to give the mountain biker one of the best fat tire mountain bikes on the road. The bike also features high-quality Beach cruiser alloy pedals that stick to the feet giving the rider maximum range during rides.
- Knobby bike tires
- Solid steel frame
- The bike comes with a kickstand
- Ideal for heavy riders
- 3-Piece crank for steep climbs
- Not recommended for long rides
- Could do with a comfortable saddle
- Very heavy due to the steel frame
5. Kawasaki Sumo 4.0 Fat Bike
The Kawasaki Sumo 4.0 is a simple fat bike, and at first glance, it’s easy to dismiss it as a regular fat bike. What you may not know is that the Kawasaki brand makes some of the best mountain bikes in the world, and the Sumo 4.0 could well be in contention of tracking the title of the best fat tire bike on this list.
It boasts a triangular alloy aluminum bike frame that’s outfitted with a rigid front fork, which adds more strength to the overall construction of the bike. It has a 21-speed Shimano drivetrain with smooth shifters and a rear derailleur that barely makes any noise when changing gears.
The brakes on the Kawasaki Sumo are the Promax disc brakes that are durable and have a quick reactionary time that ensures chances of getting into an accident are as minimal as possible. The tires on the bike have very good traction and are versatile enough to be used on any terrain by any rider.
Lastly, on purchasing the bike, you get some free accessories like headsets and handlebar covers.
- Simple construction
- High-performance bike
- Reliable front and rear disc brakes
- The bike comes with free accessories
- Puncture-proof wide tires
6. Krusher Dynacraft Men’s Fat Tire Bike
The Krusher Dynacraft is a very colorful bike with most models coming in neon green; it would be hard to ride around without being noticed. However, behind that beautiful exterior, the bike does offer impressive features.
The frame of these bikes is made of steel, which makes the bike strong and durable on top of providing the necessary weight to deal with challenging terrain.
Unlike most of the other fat bikes on the list, the Krusher features a single-speed drivetrain, which may understandably discourage many from going for it. Still, despite that, the bike is able to climb mountains and hills with surprising agility.
These bikes have a good riding posture with both the handlebar and the seat adjustable, giving you the freedom to make changes to their height and positioning until you bet the most comfortable one.
The bike features coaster brakes with high reactionary times, and which come with a full-year warranty, something that anyone looking to cash in on a reliable and affordable bike will find hard to resist.
- Easy to assemble
- Powerful braking system
- Comfortable ride
- Solid steel frame
- Good traction wide tires
- The single-speed drivetrain isn’t sufficient enough
- The instruction manual is confusing for some people
7. Mongoose Vinson Fat Tire Mountain Bike
You don’t need to be told twice that you’re in the presence of a mean machine when you stand next to the Mongoose Vinson. The fat bike under 1000 looks strong, stylish, and something that would turn heads everywhere you go.
The Mongoose Vinson makes use of an aluminum framework and has a rigid front fork for added support, which can absorb any kind of shock the bike gets even when you hit some of the deepest potholes on the road.
The drivetrain on this bike isn’t a thing to joke about either; the Vinson packs an impressive 24-speed drivetrain that’s sure to take those fat tires up any kind of climb without the rider breaking their back.
There are dual disc brakes with decent stopping power that can bring the bike to a complete halt the moment you squeeze the brake levers. This makes it very safe, especially when you consider the high speeds the bike can clock when you really push it.
The tires are 26-inches wide and have good traction that keeps the bike grounded even when the surface is slippery and wet.
The best feature of the bike, however, comes in the form of the 3-piece chain crank that has been designed in such an ingenious way that reduces wear and tear — and trips to the repair shop, too.
- Solid frame
- 24-Speed drivetrain
- Powerful dual mechanical disc brakes
- Knobby fat tires with good traction
- Durable 3-piece chain crank
- Beautiful construction
- Low quality plastic pedals
- Uncomfortable seat without cushions
8. GMC Yukon Fat Bike
The GMC Yukon is a fat bike under $1000 manufactured by one of the leading fat bike makers around, and the brand is known for its high-quality products.
The GMC Yukon is a 26-inch wide fat bike with a strong aluminum framework whose lightweight nature greatly cuts down the weight of the bike to make one of the lightest and the best fat bikes you’ll ever come across. It has a 7-speed Shimano shifter and a rear derailleur that has enough power to deal with all kinds of roads without the cyclist feeling the strain in their body.
Although there’s a trade-off between speed and the general performance of the bike, users of this bike won’t complain at all as their 26-inch wheels with alloy rims have some of the best traction abilities on this list—they’ll plow through the worst of roads in the worst weather without losing any control.
The bike is versatile enough to be used on snow, mud, sand, smooth roads, and in all weather conditions.
- Easy assembly
- Looks good
- Reliable fat bike tires
- Solid construction
- Lighter than most fat bikes
- Ideal for heavy mountain bikers
- Powerful braking system
- The price is a bit steep
- Setting the front clutch is difficult
Buying Fat-Tire Bikes: Things to Keep in Mind
Fat bikes come in many shapes and sizes, and unless you’re used to them, it would be hard to know the features and qualities that make the best of them tick. The following are some tips you can consider when buying a fat bike under $1000.
Size doesn’t matter very much where fat-tire bikes are concerned since they’re all big and fat. The one thing you should be aware of is the tire pressure.
It has to be kept at a low-level for the bike to be able to navigate through tricky roads that are full of obstacles.
This is how fat-tire bikes are able to absorb shocks. Otherwise, all of these effects would be transferred to the rider making the ride uncomfortable.
This refers to the distance between the arms of the rider, and it plays a very big role in how comfortable the ride would be. Often confused with the stance width, a bike with a Q-factor that’s too wide or too narrow will put a strain on the cyclist in one way or the other, and this will affect the overall performance of the bike.
What you want is a balanced Q-factor and the only way to get around this is to mount the bike and take it for a short test run to get the feel. If the Q-factor or stance width is off, you’ll know it immediately.
Dealing with a fat tire bike can be energy-sapping unless it’s an electric bike with a brushless motor, and if that’s the only bike you have, then you may find it increasingly hard to get the motivation to go for a ride.
In this situation, you may want to go for fat-tire bikes that allow for wheel swapping. This will give you the freedom to switch out the fat tires with regular ones, and it would be like having a 2-in-1 mountain bike.
The reason why most fat-tire bikes lack a suspension is that their work is taken care of by the low-pressure tires. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need one.
If you intend to use the fat tire bicycle in mountainous areas, then a front suspension will come in handy. Therefore, depending on the purpose of the mountain bike, make sure you go for the models that feature a suspension if mountain biking is your thing.
Fat-tire bikes are the heaviest of all bikes, and this is due to the heavy tires and the steel frames that most of them have. Therefore, you should be looking to cut down on that weight as much as possible if you’re looking for a speedy bike.
Go for an aluminum framework rather than a steel frame, and if you are a heavy cyclist, then you may have to sacrifice the speed for a mountain bike that’s within your body weight. You could also go for an electric bike that doesn’t require your energy to power it.
The Bottom Line
Every fat-tire bike is designed in its own unique way that sets it apart from the rest. It’s impossible to find a bike that has all the qualities you want, and that’s where this guide comes in.
Each bike model mentioned above can be vouched for, and so are the many other options out there. When you next go to the bike shop, simply follow the tips outlined here and start looking for the ideal fat bikes under $1000 that will meet your needs.