Fat Bike Tires in snow

How Long Do Fat Bike Tires Last? Warning Signs to Look For

You may have heard of some salesperson’s promises such as: “fat bike tires do not flatten” or “it’s great for every type of terrain”. But to some user’s surprise, all those promises don’t seem to come true as their new fat bike tires didn’t last very long.

If you belong to such a group, you’d probably be asking why they got so flat quickly? Or better yet, how long do fat bike tires last?

Under normal conditions that aren’t too strenuous for your bike’s handles, you should expect to take out 2500-3000 miles from your new fat bike tires. Also, with luck and proper care you could take out close 5000miles. That is if preventive measures such as cleaning, proper drying, and periodic tire pressure checks are performed.

Fat bike tires are said to be more effective at handling terrible terrains in the worst conditions, but it’s not entirely true. There are certain conditions as well as terrain which causes your tires to get flat quickly.

The only way your new bike tires could last if you see the faults coming.

Why Do Fat Bike Tires Get Flat

Before looking at the warning signs you need to know why they do get flat:

  • Treading On a Hard Pathway: your tires are designed to ensure smooth rides on damp ground or thick snow during unfavorable weather conditions due to their durable studs and large contact area. But it’s not for regular road or skate park pavements, because the studs will wear and tear fast.
  • Sharp debris: During your journey, it is extremely possible to get sharp objects sticking out of your tire.
  • Too Much Air Pressure: Unlike regular bike tires, fat bike tires tend to be quite sensitive to air pressure. For instance, too much PSI in a fat bike tire is a bit uncomfortable for treading on snow or muddy hills. Air pressure needs to be lowered to ensure a smooth ride in bad terrains.

If you were to somehow force your fat bike tires with a high enough PSI to thread on bad terrains then they’ll begin to wear and tear faster.


Warning Signs You Should Be Looking Out For

Wearing Studs

The studs on your tires are one of the reasons why it’s so easy to ride on terrible terrains such as muddy hills or a foot deep snowy path. Once they are worn out it becomes quite difficult to move in such terrible terrains. As you’ve observed the gradual disintegration of your studs, try to prevent riding on hard smooth surfaces such as pavements.

If the studs happen to wear off completely you’ll need to replace the tires immediately. That way you can prevent any mishap from occurring during your next journey.

Development of Rips & Cuts

Despite fat bike tires being very thick, sharp debris that catches up with them will develop rips and cuts over time. This is why it’s recommended that you inspect your tires for any sharp objects sticking out or slightly hidden within your tires.

Cracking Rubber

Just like regular tires, fat bike tires will begin to get brittle and break up slowly if stored without use for a very long time. So it’s best to make sure you religiously use them. That way you can get your money’s worth and not risk wasting it given fat bike tires are quite pricey.

Can You Ride A Fat Tire Bike On Pavement?

It is a fact that fat bike tires are great for terrible terrains, but not all terrains. In the end it’s all about what’s good for the studs which play a crucial role in treading on bad terrains such as muddy hills or snowy paths. If you took your journeys on the road or any smooth hardened path such as a pavement made of cement or bricks then your tire is sure to suffer.

For one, rides on a smooth hardened surface or pavement will cause the tires to drag. And when it drags you get slower. One way or another, you may want to move faster, so you’ll have to inflate your tires. Doing such will then cause the studs to wear and tear faster.

When is The Right Time To Change Your Fat Bike Tires?

Worn Out Bike Tire Studs

If your tires don’t have studs then they can’t tread on terrible terrains. All you have at this point are studless tires that have less traction for snowy paths or muddy ones. If you go ahead with studless fat bike tires then you’ll be at risk of injury.

Cuts and Rips

Lack of proper inspection or scanning of your tires for sharp debris or even cuts can lead to a need for total replacement. If you leave sharp objects on your fat bike tire, you risk cutting up big holes each time you take a trip. Once the cuts are developed, your tire will need to be replaced immediately.

Development of Bulges

This usually occurs when you try to take out more miles from your worn-out tires, which is not safe. Yes, the tires are quite thick, but they still wear out. They can wear to the point the tube tries to bulge out of the tire. Once it’s close to this level you should get a replacement.

Thinning Width

The wide width of fat bike tires is one of the features that ensure smoother treading on a foot plus deep snowy path or any other terrible terrain. Apart from that, it can also be an important difference between handling a difficult turn or falling off your path. With all these in mind, you should consider getting yourself a new pair of fat bike tires. Especially if you’re a competitor.

Why You Should Change Your Fat Bike Tire

Fat bike tires that don’t function well need to be replaced immediately as failure does so comes with all kinds of consequences:

To Ensure Your Safety

A bad tire is a huge risk for the rider. You may be a veteran, it’s still not a good enough reason to use worn-out fat bike tires as you could be easily thrown off your path. For instance, treading a sloping muddy or snowy hill is going to be nothing short of a pending disaster that can leave you injured and your bike damaged.

Your Rides Become Easier

With proper fat bike tires you can go anywhere and everywhere without the worries of inconveniences. For instance, if you decide to take a trip on a secluded trail with defective bike tires where you can get stuck. To make matters worse, you may find it hard to call for help with poor cell service.

So it’s best to make sure your fat bike tires are in tip-top shape for handling terrible terrains as well as conditions.

To Have Better Control

As long as the studs are still intact and the width of your bike tires hasn’t changed due to wearing then you should have complete control on the trails. Worn out studs and the width of your tire can be a significant difference. This could either help you handle a difficult turn or just fall off your path.

Note: if you take part in fat bike competitions. You should change your tires twice as a regular rider would anytime you notice significant wear and tear.

How Much Does a Fat Bike Tires Cost

Fat bike tires are notoriously pricey due to certain reasons such as the product not being popular enough to increase demand to match supply. And the cost of production happens to be a bit higher than that of a regular tire.

If you have a thin budget for a replacement you can get fat bike tires within the price range of $100 to $200. But this will mean you’ll have to compromise on quality, as the tire may not last so long. The pricey ones tend to be more reliable as it could possess a more durable build.

Final Thoughts

Every tire and fat bike tires included has its expiration date, so it’s best for you to use it to the fullest. But you should cease once you begin to discover the signs of significant wear and tear. You get to avoid any kind of atrocities that could happen to your body as well as your bike. In the end it’s not worth the risk and try your best to replace your bike tires on time.

Now that you have an understanding fat bike tires, why not complete your ride with one of our Most Comfortable Bike Seats


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