Do Fat Bikes Need Suspension?

by Daria Vitel 

December 15, 2022

If you are a pro in the world of electric bicycles, you must be familiar with fat tire electric bikes. On the other hand, if you are a newbie or someone looking to buy your first bike, and you are not familiar with the terminology, we have written a whole post on fat tire electric bikes and what they are meant for.

Some think that fat tire electric bikes aren’t a good choice for recreational riding, but we have a whole list of reasons why you should get fat tires even though you are not a professional. There are still many dilemmas surrounding these bikes, and many wonder whether the suspension you get from the tires is enough for a comfortable riding experience. Can we save some money by not having to install additional suspension?

Why Would I Need Suspension?

If you have bought an electric bike with fat tires or have been searching for one, you might have noticed that not many models on the market have both fat tires and suspension. In fact, it’s tough to find such a model, and they have been a very recent addition to the market. That is why it might take some time to find the perfect choice for yourself, but don’t lose hope!

Fat bikes are traditionally made for use on snow and sand, so most models don’t have any additional suspension. Riding on a soft surface doesn't require suspension. However, fat bikes are used not only for sand or snow.

Riding on  a sand

These bikes have been used for mountain biking, cycling in extreme weather conditions, and riding on muddy terrain. That’s why additional suspension might come in handy - it’s not something you need just because all bikes have it. It’s something you need if you use your bike in a certain way. Keep reading to decide whether you need suspension.

Do Fat Bikes Need Suspension?

The short answer is - probably not. The fat tires absorb quite a lot of impact, making your fat-tire bike feel like it already has some suspension. However, the answer cannot be that simple, and it comes down both to the type of cycling you engage in and your personal preferences. A rigid fork will do the job for some, but others want a well-tuned, suspended one.

How Do I Decide?

Riding on  a fat tire bike

The first factor you must keep in mind is where you’ll be riding. If you plan on riding on very soft surfaces such as snow, sand, soft dirt, and similar terrain, you probably won’t need specifically good suspension. However, if you plan to use your fat tire electric bike all year long on all types of terrain, you might require some additional suspension.

The next thing you have to ask yourself is how comfortable you want your rides to be. If you think that comfort is very high on your list of priorities, you should not settle for a rigid fork. On the other hand, if you find your lower back and glutes in pain after a long ride, you should look into a better seat or better suspension.

The number of your rides should also determine whether you invest in suspension or not. If you ride your bike quite a lot, suspension can help minimize the impact or rough surfaces and possible defects on the frame of the bike and other components. It’s also quite useful for personal safety.

Can I Install A Suspension On My Fat Bike?

Yes, you absolutely can. If you have read anything about fat tire electric bikes, you know they can be heavily personalized. We suggest you take your bike to a professional, though, as poorly installed suspension can both create a feeling of discomfort and potential trouble with the rest of the bike’s build.


Fat tire bike

Suspension is somewhat optional in a fat tire electric bike, as fat tires do bring a bit of suspension into the equation, but it depends on how you’re going to use the bike. Make sure to check out our fat tire buyers guide to get some additional information on what you should look for in your next ride – happy biking, and stay safe!


Daria was born and raised in the Ukraine, studied in Barcelona (where she discovered her passion for e-biking), and is currently living in Barcelona. Her main passion is cycling and digital marketing, that's why she is always looking for an amazing new e-bike to make her journey even more unforgettable!

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