Fat bikes hit the mountain bike scene in the mid to late 1980s, modified to take on snow, sand, and other terrain where bicycles previously would have skidded out. They’ve been growing in popularity ever since, providing cyclists with an outlet even in the winter or outside the usual singletrack meccas. If you’re excited to try fat biking, you’re definitely in good company. There’s just one question that might trip you up once you’ve picked out your handsome new piece of gear:
What cycle carrier is best for fat bikes?
Because fat bikes are relatively new, and started out as special handmade mods built out of other bike parts, there isn’t exactly a huge selection of racks built just for fat bikes. That said, many racks for road or mountain bikes aren’t sized to accommodate those big, beautiful tires that make fat bikes so special. So what’s a fat bike fan to do? Check your specs.
Most fatties have tires somewhere between 2.5 and 5 inches, which rules out a lot of roof racks— especially tire hold roof racks that are designed to bookend the front and back wheels of the bike. INNO’s tire hold roof racks, for example, can’t hold more than a 2.7 inch wide bike tire. That’s plenty generous for most road and mountain bikes, but it eliminates all but the very slimmest fat bikes.
Fork mount roof racks also present complications. Even with the front tire removed, the back tire still might not fit in many models, and there are plenty of cyclists who don’t want to mess with removing a wheel even if it gets them better gas mileage and stability. That’s where the third option comes in and fat bike fans find their perfect fit.
The fat bike hitch rack
A fat bike hitch rack like the INH330 Aero Light QM can hold tires up to 5 inches wide. That’s perfect for most fat bikes, and you don’t even have to pop off the front wheel. It’s easy to manage, too, made of light aluminum and weighing just 30 pounds. That and the easy mount that accommodates both 2? and 1 1/4? hitch receivers makes it almost as easy to take on and off your vehicle as the fat bike itself. There’s even a built-in bike lock cable, so you have one less thing to worry about.
If you found the perfect beauty of a fat bike to bring home, never fear. If you’re committed to a roof rack, check your specs and make sure the frame can accommodate your tires. Or play it safe and pick up an INNO hitch rack for your fat bike before you pay the tab on your new bike. You’ll be starting you new fat bike life off right!