Just a few years ago there was virtually no FatBike tire selection. Surly made a couple of tires; one of was often used on the front wheel and the other on the rear. Surly themselves then stepped up and made another, more aggressive tread that moved away from point and shoot winter riding and into trail riding winter or summer.
Since then a few other manufacturers have entered the fray to good effect, offering an even broader selection of tires that can be used for virtually any terrain. There are now tires that offer good (i.e. minimal) rolling resistance on pavements, others that are studded or studable for icy conditions, and still others for almost any kind of dirt, snow, sand, and technical ride you choose to conquer.
There are of course also options now ranging between approx. 4 and 5 inches in width. Most FatBike forks fits up to 5 inch wide tires with at least an 80mm rim, and some will fit a 5 inch tire with a 100mm rim (the widest common set up out there at the moment) even if they come stock with the smaller 4 inch tire / 80mm rim set up.
The rear end is trickier. Some FatBikes come stock with the aforementioned 4 inch tire / 80 mm rim set up and that’s as much as they’ll accommodate. Others are specifically made for the largest setups currently available, and some fit somewhere in the middle depending on both frame and chainline clearance.
We’ve experimented with most setups and can tell you exactly what fits in what in most situations (frankly there are too many combinations to list here) so feel free to ask us what we think works if you have any specific ideas.
Lastly (for the moment at least) it’s definitely worth mentioning that some FatBike tires are now made to be tubeless compatible. On narrower tires the absence of tubes gives a plusher feel to te ride and of course reduces weight. Because FatBikes offer a pretty plush ride already the real benefit to adding tubeless to the equation is weight reduction. Ask us about our favourite tubeless tire and rim combos (we’ve experimented with a few now) for FatBikes and we’ll do our best to get you set up sans tubes.