2016 FATBike Tire 4.8 – it's gettin‘ comfy!
Hier gehts zur Deutschen Version!
„FATBike Tires Part 1 – FAT is comfy!“ – that was the beginning of one of our very first articles. Much has happened since then so it's time for an update.
Last time it was like looking for a needle in the haystack. This time we had to split the article into three to keep it all clearly arranged. We're gonna start with FATBike Tires 4.8 – our favorite topic. Part II deals with the sportive side of life: FATBikes Tires 4.0 inches. And last but not least we'll take a look into FATBike spikes.
As already in 2014 we limited this article to tires that are commonly available in Germany/Central Europe or are OEM stuff. Who needs a great tire that can be bought in Taiwan only…
In case you feel something is missing: we're interactive! Just drop us a line and let us know!
Okay, nuff said. Let's start! And by the way! Thanks to our latest cooperation with Alex* we can offer a range of direct links to Alex‘ shop. All such partner links are marked with „*“.
45NRTH Flowbeist 4.6
The first 4.8 inches FATBike tire we're gonna show is just 4.6 inches wide. Flowbeist was developed for front wheel use where his aggressive studs should ensure top notch steering and braking force. To ensure the beast bites also in extreme cold a softer rubber compound was used to build up his shoulder studs. 45NRTH is for sure the specialist for REALLY cold weather!
Flowbeist* is available in 4.6 inches width with a foldable „ultralight“ 120tpi casing. „Ultralight“ stands for 1.500 gram. Well… The rest sounds good to you? To us as well!
45NRTH Dunderbeist 4.6
Flowbeist navigates. And Dunderbeist pushes! Same casing, same dual compound but both are combined with a profile that was optimized to provide thrust. A short research has indicated that „Dunder Beist“ comes from Norwegian and means „loud beast“. Is this true? No idea. But Dunderbeist* is sort of awesome.
Awe-inspiring, too is the price. Approx. 150,- to 170,- Euros per model should cause your piggybank to panic. Some may call it Dunderheist…
Kenda Juggernaut Sport 4.5
FATBikes Tires 4.8 – yet another 4.5 inch version! Yeah, we're liberal, man! Whatever, the Kenda Juggernaut Sport has been on the market for a while. Its 60tpi casing is available as foldable as well as wire version. We determined the weight for a foldable Juggernaut to be merely below 1.500 gram. In our experience the Kenda Juggernaut works best on narrower rims with around 80mm width. On wider rims it tends to feel sluggish.
Its indisputable strengths are price and availability. You can buy a Kenda Juggernaut* for less than 50,- Euros and the overall availability is great. Kudos to Kenda!
Maxxis Colossus 4.8
When you're writing about FATBikes you get used to a certain level of superlatives. But… Colossus??? Yeah, that rocks! And with it we officially enter the category FATBikes Tires 4.8. Maxxis Colossus was created to be an optimal snow tire. I.E. its rubber compound is optimized for use under arctic conditions. Does it work? Good question. We're up for a set of test tires and can „hardly“ wait for winter to set in…
The Maxxis Colossus will be available in two versions that mainly differ in their casing. Choice can be made between 60 and 120tpi whereas the latter is both, tubeless ready and equipped with Maxxis‘ latest EXO snakebite protection.
Maxxis promises approx. 1.500 gram per tire and calls pretty bearable 89,50 Euros (60tpi) or 109,50 Euros (120tpi), respectively for one Colossus*. Let's wait for the final street price…
Maxxis Minion FBF & FBR 4.8
Besides the Colossus Maxxis have also fed their alpha dog Minion to fit on a FATBike. As with the standard Minion Maxxis relies on different front („FBF„) and rear („FBR„) profiles. It is supposed to be a trail tire that, according to Maxxis, works perfectly well on loose forest floor, roots and dusty gravel roads.
Click here to read our article on the Maxxis Minion (sorry, German only).
Also usual for Maxxis: the Minion will be available in two different casing alternatives. A simpler 60tpi casing plus there will be a 120tpi version which is foldable, tubeless ready and EXO equipped.
We've weighted the tire in at a whopping 1.660 (FBR) and 1.670 (FBF) grams.
The Minion FBF/FBR* retails at 89,50 Euros (60tpi) or 109,50 Euros (120tpi).
Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.8
The Jumbo Jim by Schwalbe is sort of a phantom in the FATBike tires 4.8 class: you can't buy it but it's supposingly the most widely used FATBike tire today. Its one reason for both circumstances: Schwalbe can hardly cope with the enormous demand by the bike producers. All that comes from the factory directly goes into OEM production. That's truly sad for all FATBikers who long to mount a „JJ“ onto their FATBike. On the other hand it ensures a steady supply of new FATBikes.
Apart from that the Jumbo Jim 4.8 is an excellent tire for long tours and resistant against wear. The rather small studs sometimes limit the thrust – yet its ample traction compared to a normal MTB tire. There are two versions: Snake Skin and the slightly lighter Light Skin casing. Both are 120tpi but Snake Skin is ready for tubeless mounting.
The Jumbo Jim 4.8 weights 1.300 gram (Snake Skin) or 1.200 gram (Light Skin) which is pretty light. Even considering that individual tires may differ from that numbers the Jumbo Jim* is currently one of the lightest FATBike tire.
IF you get hold of one your dealer will probably ask for 102,90 Euros (Snake Skin) or 92,90 Euros (Light Skin) which is pretty reasonable considering what you get.
Specialized Ground Control Fat 4.6
That's general education – Specialized is as committed to FATBikes as merely another bike brand. So, it's just a logical consequence that the excellent Ground Control Fat tire gets some brothers. However that news are happening in the 4.0 inch class.
The Ground Control Fat 4.6 enters 2016 with nearly no changes. But it gets the pretty odd appendix „2Bliss Ready“. That's how Specialized calls what we consider as tubeless ready. The foldable 120tpi casing results in slightly less than 1.500 gram. We're riding Ground Control Fats for several thousand kilometers a year. And we can say: great! Specialized's FAT caterpillar works very well during all seasons and leaves a good impression all the way through.
Apart from that there another thing that makes the Ground Control Fat sort of special: you can buy it. For about 99,- Euros you can become a lucky Ground Control owner. It is not really a bargain but worth it's money!
We heard it through the grapevine: during the Specialized Days we espied a Ground Control Fat that is named „Sport“. Apparently this is a non-foldable 60tpi (??) version that is currently part of Specialized's OEM range. Potentially there's a cheaper version of the Ground Control appearing over the horizon? We'll stick to this topic!
Surly Bud & Lou 4.8
If rubber is made from rubber trees then rubber trees are made from Surly Bud and Lou. For no other tire rubber is pressed into the moldings as excessively as for the binovular twins from Minnesota.
There's not much to say about those legends. Within the league of FATBike Tires 4.8 they've been leader of the pack for ages. Though the its competitors are catching up those stud-stacked monsters still are an amazing choice. The 120tpi casing allows a weight of a mere 1.500 gram – considering the lavish use of rubber and the huge studs this is surprisingly low value.
The traction is unrivaled and the handling is astonishingly smooth and lively for such massive tires.
A sort of disillusion comes up when it comes to the price. In case you're forced to pay list price Bud* and Lou* tear big hole in your budget – nearly as big as 150,- Euros… Luckily the street price is well below that. Also the tires are widely available and very resistant to wear. This compensates for the high price.
Surly Knard 4.8
Knard. That's how I would call my firstborn. Surly names one their long term success factors Knard which so far was available as medium FAT 3.8 inch version. Knard 4.8 is supposed to extend Surly's range to an easy rolling superFAT tire. The truck load of tiny studs optimizes the rolling resistance and makes the tire ideal for hard packed surfaces.
Moreover there aren't too many information at the moment. It comes with both, a 60 and 120tpi casing and its weight is likely to be close to Bud and Lou.
The 120tpi version of Knard* is being sold for approx. 120,- Euro. Within its league it has to face tough competition. Let's see how it's gonna compete.
Vee Tire Snowshoe
Let's talk about Vee Tire. The tire specialist Vee Tire Co. from Atlanta has a whole range of FATBike tires to offer. As indicated by its name the Snow Shoe prefers any cold weather. The 4.5 inches wide rubber is made of either 50A „PSC“ or 57A „Silica“ compound. Its casing is a 120tpi foldable version.
The PSC version weighs in at 1.300 gram whereas the slightly lighter Silica version is said to be as light as 1.260 gram.
For 119,- Euros you can call the Snow Shoe* (by using this link you will be redirected to our partner where you get 15% off any Vee Tire by end of 2015) your own.
By the way: we'll introduce the Snowshoe XL in our upcoming Spike-Special!
Vee Tire Bulldozer 4.7
Click here to read our test on the Vee Tire Bulldozer PSC!
Forget about the boring old story about black tires! You can have the Vee Tire Bulldozer in black as well but its super sexy brother comes in a nice white dress! You can further choose from a 72tpi wire casing and a 120tpi foldable casing. The Bulldozer, weighs in solidly over 1.430 gram on our official FAT-Bike.de kitchen scale was fine tuned for 2016 and now rolls much easier that his ancestor. We tested it on a 2016 Rocky Mountain Blizzard and were pretty impressed.
Just like the Snow Shoe Shoe the Bulldozer* is sold for 119,- Euro (and again: by using this link you will be redirected to our partner where you get 15% off any Vee Tire by end of 2015) your own. The white-dressed Bulldozer will cost you 30,- Euros more.
Vee Tire Snowshoe 2XL
Well, HERE we go! FATBike Tires 4.8? Chicken stuff… Vire Tire Co. has dared to cross the magic line and build a REALLY FAT tire. Luscious 5.05 inches are the new benchmark. You could also wrap an anaconda around your rims… But as for an anaconda you can neither choose from PSC or Silica rubber nor are constrictor snakes approved for tubeless installation we'll stick to the VeeTire Snowshoe XL.
The official FAT-Bike.de kitchen scale determined stunning 1.940 gram official weight. In fact Vee Tire Co. has raised the bar!
He is the emperor of the FAT tire universe, the big black king. When will his highness meet his FATBiking subjects? Frankly spoken we're not sure. But we're up to get a testing sample a.s.a.p.
The price for one Snow Shoe XL* is supposed to be 139,- Euro (and again: by using this link you will be redirected to our partner where you get 15% off any Vee Tire by end of 2015). And for 20,- on top you can have a white version as well!
For me? Headache and burning fingers. And two more articles on FATBike Tires are yet to come… Whatever. It's worth the effort. Never before there were so many FATBike Tires 4.8. There is one for literally every driving style and type of use. Unfortunately the prices are, apart from a few great exceptions, very often damn high. There is also some room for improvement in terms of availability. But hey, FATBikes – and we jointly with them – definitely are on a right path!