fat vs. full suspension

Fat bikes are durable bikes with fat tires. Full-suspension bikes have both front and rear suspensions. Both are ideal for specific reasons.

Fat bikes offer greater comfort and a more intense workout. They offer incredible grip. Full-suspension bikes are lighter, faster, and more appealing than regular bicycles.

They are both bikes that improve control, traction, and comfort. They are ideal for technical terrain and full-suspension bikes are better suited for professional use.

If you are having trouble deciding between a full-suspension bike or a fat bike, this article will help you. This article will discuss the differences and weigh the pros and cons.

What is a Fat Bike and How Does It Work?

Fat bikes have been a popular alternative to many types of bikes in recent years.

They are often admired for their fun and unique design. Their fat tires can easily overcome obstacles.

They are suitable for areas with heavy snow or loose sand.

Technically, a fat bike can be described as an off-road bicycle with extra-wide tires measuring approximately 3.8 inches and rims measuring a minimum of 2.6 inches.

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These tires are larger than typical bikes, so the fork, frame, and wheels are designed to accommodate them. They are also used for their quality, so they run at low pressures, usually 5-14 PSI.

It is important to spread the bike’s weight over larger surfaces than normal bikes. This helps to reduce pressure when riding on uneven or soft surfaces. It also ensures that you don’t sink or get caught up.

They are ideal for desert environments, bogs, and deep snow.

You can bounce off of potholes, rocks, or tree branches. These reduce vibrations and bumps for more comfortable riding.

What is a Full Suspension Bike?

A full-suspension bicycle is simply a bike with both a front suspension fork or a rear shock.

The rear shock adds more control, comfort, and traction.

These bikes perform better on rough terrain than other mountain bikes and are ideal for rebounding from bumps and losing grips.

This is done by dampening the force on the pedals and handlebars. It makes for a smoother ride and less fatigue during long races and rides.

The rear end’s increased compliance also gives riders a greater margin of error. These minor accidents are less likely than others to hinder the rider’s progress.

Fat Bike Riding: The Pros


Both full suspensions and fat bikes offer a more comfortable ride. You don’t have to worry about how the terrain will affect your bike.

Low maintenance

Fat bikes are often equipped with fewer gears. These bikes are easier to maintain and more straightforward to repair on your own.

A fat bike is a great option for beginners. It encourages you to be more independent after any hiccups and instills confidence in your actions.


This advantage is more controversial. Although it is considered a benefit for fat bicycling, others might argue against it.

These bikes are heavier and more difficult to propel forward, which can only be considered a benefit for those who ride for exercise.

You’ll burn more calories in any case while riding a fat bike.


Fat bikes offer better grip because of their larger contact area.

Their tires are often inflated to a lower pressure to allow for better grip and spread on difficult surfaces like snow or sand.

Fat bikes, unlike mountain bikes, let you glide effortlessly across the snow, deep mud, and any other surfaces you place your bike against. How to Buy Phentermine Online

The flexibility of the Frame

Fat bikes can be equipped with fat tires but they can also fit on 29er or 27+ wheels. Simply change the wheels and your fat bike could be converted to a mountain bicycle.

Cons of Fat Bike Riding

Difficulty in Pedaling

It can be difficult to pedal the bike due to its heavy frame and low number of gears.

The bike will push your body to the limits while climbing technical terrain. However, the bike would still be strong enough to withstand any terrain. This would be great if you are looking for a hard workout.


Fat bikes are not racing bikes. Fat bikes have heavier frames and more contact, which results in greater drag. Their tires also contribute to rolling resistance.

Prices high

Its cost is a small problem, especially when compared to full-suspension bikes.

These bikes require a large initial investment and can be expensive to maintain. It is still cheaper than modern full-suspension bikes.

The pros of full-suspension bikes

Bicycle Technology at its best

Full-suspension bikes offer many of the same benefits that fat bikes.

Full-suspension bikes are the best option if you consider technological advancement. Only the most skilled cyclists use them for long-distance trips and races.

Research and development have been a major part of the engineering of their shock absorbers as well as full-suspension frames.

Modern bicycle suspension systems are designed to prevent pedal bobbing. They reduce the rebounding and compression of the suspension.

These bikes also have anti-rise, which improves braking performance. As you break, this reduces suspension extension.

These frames and shocking designs can be adjusted to suit your riding style and abilities.

Penalty for Weight Forgiveness

Again, full-suspension bikes are more accommodating than fat bikes.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no penalty. It just means that the price difference is smaller than fat bikes or most other bikes on the market. This slight difference will not be an issue if you aren’t a professional racer.

Speed is a Need

A front and rear suspension can be very useful for many reasons. It’s difficult to overlook its effectiveness.

These bikes are very efficient at absorbing bumps, especially when it comes down to speed. They can travel faster on rough trails thanks to this ability.

Aesthetic Appeal

Put simply, full-suspension bikes just look cool. Their thick, steel springs can look very rugged, especially when they are fitted with a coil shock. You can also match your spring color to your frame.


This is a shared benefit between full-suspension and fat bikes.

Full suspension absorbs bumps and other jarring impacts that could cause damage to your bike. You will be able to ride longer, more quickly, and for longer periods of time with less fatigue.

The Cons of Full-suspension Bikes


A full-suspension bicycle can be more expensive than other bikes due to its weight. Because of its technological and higher quality, it is more expensive.

A full-suspension bicycle can be used on any terrain.

It’s worth noting that full-suspension bikes tend to be more expensive than fat bikes.

These vehicles are more advanced and feature more features, and their prices range from $800 to $1200.

More maintenance

Full-suspension and fat bikes require more maintenance than regular mountain bikes. Full suspension bikes require more maintenance because there are so many parts.

Additionally, they require regular maintenance.

It has oil to lubricate its rear shock. This oil should be changed and topped up every so often.

There are many seals that keep oil in and dirt out. These seals must be replaced and cleaned regularly.

It all depends on how frequently you ride and the type of shock.

Many manufacturers recommend that you have your shocks inspected every 100-200 hours of riding.

This involves changing the oil, and cleaning and replacing the seals.

Not for beginners

The difficulty is the clear distinction between fat bikes and full-suspension bicycles.

Full suspensions are not as effective at compensating for errors or lack of skill than a fat bike. You may find your riding rough, lazy, or sloppy if you don’t know how the bike works.

You may also miss out on important aspects of bicycling that are often overlooked by beginners if you use a full suspension.

Line choices, for example, are less important on full-suspension bicycles.

Your bicycle absorbs most bumps you make before they hit you, so you won’t be able to learn how to ride, like using your legs to adjust suspension or finding the right line.

The bike is also too complex to teach beginners important aspects. You won’t be able to corner on a full-suspension bike or do a bunny hop.

You’d be just robbing your fundamental abilities.

So… What’s The Difference?

It’s clear from all of this that there’s not much to choose between these two bikes.

Both a full suspension and fat bikes serve the same purpose. They are both designed to adapt to technical terrain and provide comfort, accessibility, durability, and ease of use.

However, I would choose a fat bike if I had to pick between the two.

These bikes are much simpler than full suspension. They have many of the same benefits as full-suspension bikes, but they don’t have any confusing features.

Fat bikes are simply fat bikes. Fat tires and fatter frames are on them. Maintenance is not required to ensure their efficiency. Because their tires are wider, they can handle larger tires and heavier frames.

Elite cyclists often use full-suspension bicycles.

They are packed with many features that will enhance your riding abilities. They require more skill and require more frequent maintenance.

However, I do not disregard the capabilities of a full-suspension bike.

These bikes are still great, but not ideal for beginners. It’s not worth spending $1,200 to buy a bike that you don’t know how.

Fat bikes could be your best choice for this reason and many more.

Maximizing your Full-Suspension Ride

Full suspensions may not be ideal for certain reasons but they can still be adjusted.

You can create a unique cycling experience by tuning your suspension to suit your riding style and body weight.

You can do this by setting up your suspension with precision. Each manufacturer has its own guidelines on how to adjust your full-suspension bicycle’s front and rear shock units.

This is often done by adding spring preload or air pressure. This would alter the suspension’s “sag”, which is the amount of suspension compressed by rider weight.

The best way to react to bumps on the trail is to adjust the sag to your weight and the sweet spot of your bike.

You can also adjust the compression and rebound damping settings for the suspension setup.

You don’t want to have less shock rebound as it could cause your bike to snap back during rebounds.

However, too much shock rebound can cause the ride to be too stiff. You can adjust the bike to suit your needs and interests.


Every bike is different. A fat bike can be advanced with all the features of modern full suspension.

You could also opt for a full suspension with all the features of a fat bike. The choice is up to you.

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