- On average, parents spend between $300 and $550 for a kid’s fat bike.
- Mid-fat bikes have 2.6-inch tires, and fat bikes come with 4-inch wide tires.
- On average, models weigh in the 24-pound range.
- The best kids fat bikes come with mechanical disc brakes.
We’ve spent 10 hours researching more than 20 kids’ models to put together this list of the very best fat and mid-fat tire bikes on the market right now. Our current top recommendation is the Co-op Cycles REV 20 6-Speed Plus – an excellent mid-fat tire bike ready for singletrack and trail riding with great parts and a best-in-class lightweight aluminum frame.
- Simple Shimano Revo twist shifter
- Good mechanical disc brakes
- Extra-wide, 2.6 in. all-terrain tires
- Shimano Tourney drivetrain with 6-speed
The REV 20 is a 6-speed ride with plus-size tires and disc brakes that are so responsive, traction, stopping power, and confidence are guaranteed. The 6061 aluminum frame is sturdy yet light and the 20-inch tires are 2.6-inches wide, engineered with terrain-gripping bumps that deliver the thrilling experience fat bike riders crave.
The intuitively easy-to-use Shimano Revo twist shifter plus gear-changing capability delivered by a single flick of the wrist, simplify the ride. Kids will love the fact that this fat bike handles up to 80-pounds of weight, so pile on the gear. Who needs a suspension system when Shimano Tourney shifters and the rear derailleur and cogs handle the bumps? Logan mechanical disc brake offers parents reassurances that their wild child can stop fast, and at around 24 pounds, this lightweight ride won’t disappoint riders or the parents who worry about them.
-Jack of All Trades-
- Frame and fork made of Hi-Ten steel
- Beefy Chaoyang, 20 x 4 tires
- Shimano Tourney rear derailleur with 7-Speed
Hard to find but well worth the search if you want your kid riding a fat bike manufactured with a steel frame that sports 7 gears that ride on 20-inch wheels. This truly rugged ride with monster tires is exactly the reason this model flies off retailer shelves, not to mention the fact that the fork is also made of high-tensile steel that laughs at rugged terrain. Mountain biking? Yes, please.
Kids charge up hills via the 7-speed Shimano drivetrain controlled by grip shifters for easy access and when the powerful mechanical disc brakes are applied, controlled descents and stopping are confidence builders, even for fat bike beginners. How wide are those beefy, textured tires mounted on that 20-inch wheel? Four inches – a fact not lost on kids who measure their prowess by the thickness of the tires on their bikes. Weighing in at over 35 pounds, this ride is designed for kids who are fearless (and that includes girls).
-Lightweight, Cheap and Zippy-
- Full SRAM drivetrain with 9-Speed
- Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes
- Specialized A1 Premium Aluminum frame and fork
- Available in 3 colors
Designed to be a smaller version of the Specialized adult Fatboy, this gem is designed to accommodate 20-inch wheels and features an ultra-low stand-over height. Specialized likes to tell shoppers that “The family that eats trails together stays together,” and you can take that statement to the bank. Tektro Aries mechanical front and rear disc brakes control stops, so kids stay safe while they’re out there taking chances.
Related: Best Fat Bikes
The hefty frame is manufactured of A1 premium aluminum that artfully balances lightweight with a solid construction, so it’s the perfect blend of efficiency and durability. Additionally, geometry consists of a roomy top tube and short chainstays for safe climbs and descents. The A1 Premium aluminum fork plus SRAM X4 9-speed rear derailleur doesn’t skimp on gears, and those beefy tires will absorb all of the bumps and trail obstacles standing in the way of your child’s confidence-building exploits.
-Best for Snowy Hills-
- Fits riders ages 8 and up
- Shimano Rapid Fire 2 x 8 shifters
- Good mechanical disc brakes
- 24 x 4 inch knobby mountain fat tires
There’s a reason this bad boy sells out fast: It’s a muscle-bound bike that welcomes as much abuse as riders dish out, and then it asks for more. Fabricated for all-terrain adventures, this red-hot ride with its signature extra-thick tires is designed for riders ages 8 and up (between 4-feet; 8-inches and 5-feet; 6-inches tall). What do kids love most? Those 24- x 4-inch knobby mountain fat tires, of course.
Mongoose spared no detail when mandating this bike’s aluminum hardtail frame and alloy fork crafted with 135 mm spacing for a strong, stable ride. Shimano Rapid Fire 2 x 8 shifters and derailleurs love nothing more than eating up terrain while showing off this fat bike’s wide gear range. Mechanical disc brakes stand ready to bring the bike to an immediate halt in all weather conditions, so what’s not to love about this ride?
-Best Mid-Fat Bike-
- Best-in-class 2.8˝ mid-fat tires
- Tektro MD-M280 mechanical disc brakes
- 8-Speed Drivetrain
- High-quality race-ready components
Would any bike review be complete without at least one Trek? Of course not. This one happens to be new for 2021, so if your kid likes to be the first on the block to own the latest and greatest, getting him, this Trek Roscoe 24 is likely to earn him or her some street cred. Considered a mid-fat mountain bike, the company says that the primary purpose of this bike’s design and engineering is to help kids build confidence, a worthy goal.
Designed to emulate the adult-size Trek Roscoe, project engineers insist that while the product “takes its cues” from the adult version, parents can count on a bike that’s “built from the ground up for kids.” Weighing in at 25.50 pounds, this fat bike rolls effortlessly on 2.8-inch mid-fat tires and the 1x drivetrain and a wide-range cassette both contribute to a stable, reliable experience. Designed for kids between 51- and 59-inches tall, this Trek bike belongs in your family, especially if the adults ride Roscoes, too.
-Best Value Mid-Fat Tire Bike-
- Kenda Slant 6, 24 x 2.6 in tires
- Great Cannondale Ergo saddle
- 8-Speed Shimano Drivetrain
- Ready for cross-country
Yes, this Cannondale Cujo 24 Plus also belongs in the category of “hard to find,” but that shouldn’t stop you if your child has his heart set on it and there’s a gift-giving occasion on the horizon. Packed with the features that distinguish a proper fat bike from wimpy competitors, the Cujo 24 Plus frame and fork are made of aluminum and the Shimano drivetrain shifts smoothly through 8 gears for subtle transitions on climbs and descents.
Cannondale has managed to pull off a combination of road-gripping tenacity with a comfortable riding experience, thanks in part to the Ergo saddle and Kenda Slant 6 tires on 24 in. wheels that deliver on both stability and traction. Tektro disc brakes deliver on excellent stopping power and since you get a Cannondale lifetime warranty if you snag this 24-pound bike, don’t give up on your mission to find one!
–Best for Trails-
Also considered a lucky find by parents who keep running into “sold out” signs, the Salsa Timberjack deserves a thorough search. Upon introduction, Salsa made this bold claim: the Timberjack 20 “is destined to usher in the next-gen of off-road bicycle explorers.” Given this much cred, no wonder it’s hard to track down.
Manufactured of 6061-T6 heat-treated aluminum and sporting 8 gears and 20-inch wheels, everything about this bike’s geometry is made to fit small bodies and it weighs just 24.9 pounds. Plus size tires are 3-inches thick, so they never met terrain they couldn’t conquer, and this fat bike’s features include a tapered steerer with 3-pack mounts on fork legs, BOOST width hub spacing, a 1 x 9 narrow, wide drivetrain, and fork. Mounts that hold water bottles or light gear are included so kids get into the habit of toting their own stuff rather than turning their folks into Sherpas.
-Best Cheap Fat-Bike-
- Mongoose Supersized beach cruiser 4 1/4″ knobby tires
- Mechanical Disc Brakes
- Steel frame and fork
- 7-Speed Drivetrain
Yet another on our list of hard-to-find fat bikes is the Mongoose Logan boy’s fat tire bicycle. Should you skip this review if you’ve got a feisty daughter? No way. She’ll love this supersized beach cruiser with 4 ½-inch knobby tires (the widest in this review) and a frame design that offers plenty of clearance. The Logan has 7-speed gearing and the rear derailleur make this the perfect bike to conquer tough surfaces – especially if your girl can out-ride any dude in her circle.
Weighing over 55 pounds, this fat bike is a stand-out in terms of its alloy wheelset with drilled rims, and disc brakes make stopping easy. Low-rise handlebars provide comfort and stability on rugged surfaces and the super-sized beach frame gives this ride a distinct silhouette that differs from mountain and all-terrain models in the fat bike classification. Is it worth time and effort to track one of these down? You bet.
How to Choose a Kids Fat Bike
Why should adults have all the fun when kids are equally eager to own their own fat bikes? This bike style has been around since the late 1990s when Rey Molino and Mark Gronewald designed the first model for sand and snow terrain. Most manufacturers have at least one on their menu these days, so you’ll have plenty from which to choose. But this list comes with a warning: many of these models are difficult to find so if you run into the one you want, you’re advised to grab it fast.
The objective of fat bikes with wide tires is to “float” atop loose surfaces like snow, gravel, and sand. Combo wheels and tires are heavier and kids enjoy less power, but by the time the bike starts moving, kids’ bodies are already conditioned to bumps and obstacles via the tread. Low pressure helps kids maintain momentum because those tires act as a suspension system that helps to mediate irregular terrain.
Mid-Fat vs Fat Bike
What’s the difference, and why are both types on this list? The simple answer is that mid-fat bikes have 2.6-inch tires, and fat bikes come with 4-inch wide tires. Because both classifications of fat bikes are currently in vogue, why wouldn’t fat bike lovers enjoy having a choice? Mid-fat bikes are often called Plus bikes because there’s more rubber on the terrain that delivers a higher traction level, despite dramatic terrain differences. Plus bikes give riders more confidence while taking corners, and they deliver a more stable experience. Further technical climbs are easier to pull off, as are other maneuvers.
Do fat bike weight differences matter?
There’s a surprisingly wide weight differential associated with the kids fat bikes in this review due to unique fabrication materials (aluminum or steel), tire weight and design features. The weight range for fat bikes on our list runs between 24 pounds (Co-op Cycles REV 20 6-Speed Plus) and a hefty 55 pounds (the Mongoose Logan). On average, models weigh in the 24-pound range, though a few of the manufacturers don’t publish bike weights when posting statistics and technical specs.
What kinds of brakes work best on fat bikes?
As a rule, discs are the preferred brake of fat bike manufacturers for myriad reasons. For starters, rim brakes aren’t very popular to begin with so why use them when they can sell more bikes with disc brakes? Further, disc brakes are less labor intensive to install, and rim brakes are a nightmare when terrain is snow covered. Early fat bikes were fitted with cantilever brake studs and IS disc brake tabs. There is no V-brake option because this brake type isn’t long enough to clear 4-inch-thick tires.
How much should you budget for your child’s fat bike?
Can you find a great fat bike for your kid that also comes with a great price tag? You can – and one of the reasons that some of the models in this review are fast disappearing is because they’re so affordable. Yes, you can spend $1500 on one – but you’ll find plenty of choices that don’t hit the $500 mark. Several models in our review are priced at less than $400, so you could have more problems locating the model you want than you will find one that wreaks havoc on the family budget.
How to determine if a 20-inch or 24-inch wheel is right for your kid?
The secret to determining which wheel size is best for your child comes from standardized measurements that offer the best fit options. If your child is between the ages of 6 and 9, her height is between 4-feet and 4.5-feet tall and her pants inseam is between 22- and 25-inches, 20-inch wheel size is a good match. If your child is between the ages of 8 and 11, his height is between 4.5- and 4.9-feet and his inseam measurement are between 24- and 28-inches, riding a fat bike with 24-inch wheels won’t present problems.