Fat bikes are becoming more and more popular, with their fun and unique features and their ability to get up to speeds of 20mph on snow-covered terrain. However, they are also heavy, which means that the low weight ratio doesn’t come in handy on sidewalks or paved roads.

 ride a fat bike on the pavement

Can you ride a fat bike on the pavement?

Yes, with a little creative engineering, it can be done. I have tested many different setups (most of them impressive), but not all of them worked for me and my needs in real life. However, the most common mistake I’ve seen is that people can’t ride an e-bike on concrete. They make it seem like this would not be possible because of extra torque created by bigger tires and/or heavier weight. Only a small difference in grip angle with pneumatic tires vs rim brakes also prevents you from going fast on sidewalks or roads (as well as unpaved cycle paths). Let’s have a look at the best bmx bikes for beginners.

How to ride a fat bike on the pavement?

There are a few things you will need in order to ride on the pavement:

-A fat bike with at least 27″ wheels, which rolls more comfortably and has more grip.

-Tires that can handle rough pavements, such as tubeless or sand tires.

-Shimano Rollerbrakes, preferably the T4 version, for an even better braking experience.

-A heavier ebike with a 200w or greater motor.

-Pneumatic tires.

– Able to lock the bike up on paved roads (a parking rack).

The technique depends on your weight and riding style. The idea is that you’ll have good traction in dry streets but more flex when wet, so it won’t make a huge difference whether those pneumatic tires are mounted or not. You might push them closer to the rim for better grip, simply because they roll easier with minimal tire pressure increases their resistance against bumps. If you are super upfront, there’s also a natural tendency to lock the wheels, especially when your back tire hits camber on bumpy roads, then use weight transfer for faster traction. In any case, it might help if you’re not heavy and have altitude conditioning exercises every day!

Tips for a Fast Fat Tire Bike on Pavement

  1. A fat bike is usually heavier than other e-bike models, but every time you put a heavy chunk of metal on your back, it’s getting more and more stable as the weight rises up to 1 meter (5 feet). If it has additional suspension like suspension forks, making multiple efforts really strengthens the whole system.
  2. Use those drag brakes! They are awesome, even though you’re putting some gas behind them. They are usually way better than any footbrake, and yet they still have a little spring when you pull the lever gently so that it’s not turning the wheels in circles but doesn’t disconnect them from the motion too much (the opposite of your typical brakes design). My suggestion is to use both drag brakes and hand brakes, at least on corners (there will be more details about why later ), but you can also use even old training brakes that aren’t good enough for mother nature anymore.
  3. Riding up a hill is not too bad if it’s dry. In normal conditions, your bike will just rise like before and when the road starts to go down again, at some point, you’ll be able to accelerate slightly on flat soffets of those downward climbs while still rolling quickly enough along with back tire pickup on higher sections.
  4. When coming down from a slightly upward incline and keeping your front tire rolling through it, you can stop sliding by simply accelerating when tires hit that section of road again. This generates forward traction not just because the motor will end be always making full power while standing still but also because, at first rider’s weight, there is an extra source of kinetic energy which gets thrown back to them (and into the frame). Just try once – it works!
  5. Always plan ahead for the inevitable return of the roadway up so that you’re on it well before possible wheelspin happens. If a hill actually has some slope, this simple trick can save you from smacking into something hard, painful, or even dangerous situation like rock where in the past would have been best-case scenario to be launched over your bike because plane ratio changes and some part of frame breaks away instead of rider’s legs which were already firmly planted into the saddle.
  6. Having a brake set up 2 steps above what you actually need is a good idea if there is any chance of your bike slipping like nuts in really slippery conditions. Especially remember this while driving – it may work on cars that won’t start spinning willingly with that extra power but will try to regain automotive control when their tires lose traction, just transmit pedal force back via clutch or operation stick only thing else can do for motorized units.

Advantages of Fat Bikes On Pavement

  1. Larger tires and knobby rims give more traction on ice, snow, and other slippery surfaces.
  2. Fat bikes are not affected as much by crosswinds or gusts because they have a larger weight behind them which keeps them stable in these conditions.
  3. They tend to roll over obstacles easier than narrower framed bicycles, so you don’t hit your head as often when riding over uneven ground or large potholes.
  4. Not as much cornering pressure is required, so if you hit a pothole or patch of ice – it will result in somersault instead of landing on top of you. If your frame is wider than 26 inches tires and smaller diameter rims are more likely to be flat when doing this anyway (and that’s a really rare condition). Even maybe higher chances because head hitting the ground can also happen with fat bikes too but at least over such a small area that it’s a minimal problem, so to say.
  5. Fat bikes work well for people who lack a lot of upper body strength because stability is provided by the larger mass, bike inertia and more importantly, most fat bikes have a longer wheelbase which works as a crutch in certain situations where others tend to oversteer for some reason.


When it comes to fat bikes, you either love them or hate them. If you’re in the latter group, then you might want to rethink your position. Fat bikes are fun and easy to ride, and they can be a great way to get around in the winter months. They also provide some great exercise while riding and will help keep you fit.

Keep Reading: What are fat tire bikes for?