The Best Fat Bikes of 2015

Big wheels aren’t just for snow anymore. These fat bike behemoths let you power over (or straight through) whatever's in your path.

Aaron Gulley

(Inga Hendrickson)

Big wheels aren’t just for snow anymore. These fat bike behemoths let you power over (or straight through) whatever's in your path.

Aaron Gulley

Fatback Corvus

BEST FOR: Making Fat Fast

The Corvus ($4,500) is so fast and powerful that we came to think of it as the human-powered equivalent of a snowmobile. With a sleek carbon-fiber frame and a pared-down SRAM XO1 1x11 drivetrain, this bike is built for going hard in snowy conditions. It’s a bit longer through the cockpit and chainstays than comparable bikes, which is perfect for stretching out and logging long miles. And yet the 69.5-degree headtube and 24-pound weight made for quick steering and goatlike climbing, even over technical, ice-crusted rocky passages.

fat bikes trail bikes mountain biking buyers guide winter buyers guide aaron gulley outside outside magazine outside online Fatback Corvus Norco Bigfoot Salsa Bucksaw 1
(Inga Hendrickson)


Norco Bigfoot

BEST FOR: Getting in the Game

It’s hard to justify dropping lots of money on a bike you might ride only three months a year, which is why we love this affordable Norco ($1,345). At 32 pounds, it’s as bulky as its mythical namesake. And yet the low standover height and 70-degree headtube angle make it more agile than a yeti. The reasonable price comes from entry-level spec, including a nine-speed drivetrain and bargain Shimano parts, which all worked great on the trail. The only real complaint was with the Vee Rubber Snowshoe tires, which we found a bit squirrelly, especially on slick surfaces. But that’s an easy enough fix, and even with new tires the Bigfoot will cost you less than pretty much any other decent fat bike currently on the market.

fat bikes trail bikes mountain biking buyers guide winter buyers guide aaron gulley outside outside magazine outside online Fatback Corvus Norco Bigfoot Salsa Bucksaw 1
(Inga Hendrickson)


Salsa Bucksaw 1

BEST FOR: Technical Trails

The Bucksaw ($5,000) could be the bike that brings fat tires to the mainstream—all year long. It’s the first production full-suspension fat bike, with a super-efficient Split Pivot rear suspension and a dropper seatpost that made descending as comfy as bull-riding a giant pillow, with no obstacle too big or meaty to ride. More surprising, though, was the Bucksaw’s rock-crawling prowess uphill. Scampering up steep rocks, logs, and techy benches was laughably easy—provided you can keep the 32-pound rig pistoning forward.

fat bikes trail bikes mountain biking buyers guide winter buyers guide aaron gulley outside outside magazine outside online Fatback Corvus Norco Bigfoot Salsa Bucksaw 1
(Inga Hendrickson)

Filed To: Biking / Mountain Biking / Gear
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