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Are fat bikes dead?

They were the next Holy Grail of MTB, but their minute of glory is already far away


They came as an explosion rarely seen before on MTB. 2 or 3 years ago, fat bikes flooded the biker planet.


Brands, magazines and events threw themselves headlong into what seemed to be the next Holy Grail of MTB and which today has become a segment almost forgotten by many of those brands that promoted it as a great step for the sport.


Fat tyre electric bikes were born for snow and sand, and in those concrete and residual scenarios they will continue to survive, but outside of them, among the general public, their death is almost certified. His moment of glory is over.


Fat bike, in its natural habitat

Fat bike, in its natural habitat


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The reasons for the huge boom experienced with this type of bicycle a while ago can be various. Initially, after losing the initial train of 29 ″, many brands did not want to miss another possible sales train and to which fat bikes began to gain popularity (not so much in sales, but in the media) all of them launched to present their models . Models that today, 2 or 3 years after its creation, remain unchanged or have simply disappeared from its catalog.


Actual e- fat bike sales did not follow the number of bikes produced by the brands. Objectives that are not achieved, more supply than demand and ships full of stock. The alleged next goose that laid the golden eggs on the MTB was beginning to show that the euphoria had been too great.


Few are the users who usually roll on snow or sand. Attempts were being made to sell fridges to the Eskimos. The arrival of the much more logical 27.5 ″ Plus has been his sentence. If you want the benefits of having a tire with much more ball than usual and almost none of the disadvantages of a fat bike (enormous extra weight, little choice of tires / wheels, additional ballast, Q-Factor through the roof…) on 27, 5 ″ Plus is the solution. In addition, with models that are compatible with traditional 29 ″ or 27.5 ″ Plus wheels, it is enough to have two sets of wheels to have two very different bikes. Who would want a fat bike now?


To this day, advertising for fat bikes has disappeared from practically all media. The presentations of new models for this discipline are more than sporadic. Many brands have removed this category of bicycles from their catalog and others are dedicated to changing colors to models that are the same as 3 years ago.


As if that were not enough, in pure performance, and depending on the snow conditions, a traditional bicycle or a Plus with snow tires is more efficient on the white blanket, as the protagonists of the first UCI race have demonstrated and explained by stages on snow, the Snow Bike Festival.


This time, not even the most aggressive marketing has served to keep bicycles alive that will return to where they should never have left, the snow and the sand.