Fat Bikes On A Budget. $199 and Up

What started as a niche trend a few years back is becoming a major product category in the cycling world. Wide-tire fat bikes are here to stay, and with that reality comes an expansion of the genre, including to budget-oriented bikes.

For as little as $199 you can now get into the fat-bike game. Sure, you usually get what you pay for. But less-expensive options offer an entry point for new riders and those curious about big bulging tires. Here’s a look at five budget-friendly obese options. —Amy Oberbroeckling

Mongoose Beast, $199 — For better or worse, we tested the Mongoose Beast from Wal-Mart last year. This steel-frame ride tips the scale at a leg-burning 50lbs and doesn’t scream quality. It is the cheapest bike we could find to test out the fat. See our full review here.

Fantom FB4 PRO Comp, $696 — Although they won’t ship until late February, the Fantom FB PRO Comp from Motobecane is on sale now for $696 at Bikesdirect.com. The company states that “the price may go up $200 later this year.” Move fast?

The 27-speed Motobecane comes with disc brakes, Shimano Acera components, and fat tires from Vee Rubber. It has an aluminum frame. For $100 more you can upgrade to the Elite model, which has higher-end Shimano Alivio components and better brakes.

Minnesota 1.0, $799 — We got a scoop on this bike earlier this month. (See our coverage of the Minnesota 1.0). This entry-level bike from The House costs $799, has an aluminum frame, disc brakes, 100mm bottom bracket, and SRAM X5 components.

For $100 more you can move to the Minnesota 2.0, which has a few upgraded specs like lighter tires and 18 speeds. These bike will be available for pre-order early next week. Delivery is January.

2013 Crawler, $1,399 — New from Origin 8 this year, the Crawler is an aluminum frame bike that comes with Avid BB7 disc brakes and the brand’s in-house tires called the Devist-8ers.

A standout feature is the NuVinci N360 internal hub, which uses ball bearing instead of gears to shift. There is no gear cassette. Instead, the internal bearings rotate off each other as you turn a shift knob on the handlebars to give a range of pedal power. We tested the NuVinci hub on a commuter bike last year and were impressed with the smooth shifting.

Terrain Destroyer, $1,250 — Made with a rust-resistant aluminum and stainless-steel components, this bike is built to roll across sandy beaches and near salt water. The Terrain Destroyer from TommiSea Bicycles weighs a beefy 38 pounds.

It comes with 8-speed Shimano Nexus internal gearing, a rear Shimano coaster brake, and 30-inch tires, which the brand is calling “the largest and fattest on the market.”

—Amy Oberbroeckling is assistant editor at GearJunkie.com.

Amy Oberbroeckling

Amy Oberbroeckling, an Iowa native, joined GearJunkie out of college and brought a passion for endurance sports as well as a flawless record in arm wrestling matches against famous rock climbers. Find her biking, trail running, cross-country skiing, camping, or tipping back a cold IPA.