The Ultimate Guide to Fat Bike Tire Pressure

If you live in a snowy area, a fat bike can be a good way to stay healthy and get some outdoor exercise. Its low tire pressure and fatter tires make it a perfect ride for snowy and sandy terrains. If you want to conduct some riding exercises in the snow while also having a good time, a fat bike is what you need.

Due to its lower-than-usual tire pressure, checking the pressure and maintaining the desired level is a bit tricky.

Worry not as in this article, we will talk all about fat bike tire pressure and how to determine it properly.

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What Tire Pressure For Fat Bike : Chart

ConditionFat Bike Tire Pressure
Pavement pressure10psi and up
Hardpacked snow6-8psi
softer or less consistently packed snow4-5psi
Deeper snow2-3psi
light, dry snow, and very little traffic0-2psi
Fat Bike Tire Pressure Chart

What Psi Do You Pump Up Fat Bike Tires To?

When riding a fat bike, the pressure in your tires is just as important as the weight of the bike itself. Fat bikes are designed to ride on hard surfaces like dirt and snow, so you don’t need to air them up much more than other bikes.

For pavement, I would start with 10 PSI and drop air from there (never press into your tire more than 15 PSI). For fresh snow or packed snow trails, I would use 1-4 PSI. On trails shared with hikers or cross country ski trails, I would use 2-6 PSI.

Fat Bike Tire Pressure Guide Video

Fat Bike Tire Pressure Video Explanation From Real Rider

Determining Tire Pressure for Fat Bikes

Determining the right tire pressure is tricky when it comes to fat bikes. They need lower pressure to function, which may confuse some users. The key thing to remember is that when a fat bike moves on snow or sand, it will float, not sink.

If you inflate the tires too much, they will sink into the sand or snow and make rides difficult for you. Let us take a look at how to determine fat bike tire pressure step by step.

1. Determine Your Condition

At first, you have to determine the exact purpose your fat bike will serve. That will dictate the pressure of the tires.

Typically. 1-8 PSI is maintained for soft conditions such as snow or sand, 12-15 PSI range is followed for riding on a trail, and 20-25 PSI is range is followed for uses in the urban area.

2. Know the Exact Numbers

The numbers we provided are in a range, which still leaves some room where mistakes could be made. Knowing the exact PSI will help you get a better riding experience.

There is a 1-8 PSI range for snow, but depending on the snow, your exact PSI will be different. You will learn to understand the exact PSI better with experience. Also, you can consult a professional for some accurate insight.

How long do bike tires last?Click here to know the facts

Is 40 PSI Good Tire Pressure?

It totally depends on the vehicle when it comes to a specific bike tire pressure. 40 PSI is good for cars and hybrid tires on a regular bike. But when it comes to fat bike tire pressure, 40 PSI is way too high and not good for the tires.

The highest PSI range recommended for tires on a fat bike is 20-25 for use in urban terrain.

Measuring Very Low Tire Pressures

Measuring Very Low Tire Pressures
Measuring Very Low Tire Pressures

Very low tire pressure can be dangerous for you and your loved vehicle. Low tire pressure can cause the tires to get overheated and be affected by friction. If the tire pressure gets extremely low, it could even lead to an accident.

That is why measuring and keeping track of your low tire pressure is extremely important. The good news is, fat bike tires can operate fine with tire pressure that is typically considered low for other bikes and vehicles.

Even then, you should remain cautious and make sure that proper tire pressure is maintained. Besides keeping you safe, proper tire pressure also helps ensure that your rides are smooth and trouble-free.

You can use tire pressure gauges to measure the tire pressure of your fat bike. Using a tire pressure gauge is fairly easy. It does not take too much time.

Checking your tire pressure at least once a month is recommended. Always start with a cold tire. Do keep in mind that to measure low tire pressure, a fat bike tire pressure gauge that can accurately read heavier tires is recommended.

Rules of Fat: Dialing in Tire Pressure

Thanks to their unique nature, dialing in the ideal tire pressure on a fat bike is tricky and often confusing for newer users. Dialing in the proper tire pressure depends on your driving conditions.

Depending on the type of snow you will drive on, your bike tire pressure will be different. Below, we have created a fat bike tire pressure chart so that you can get a better idea.

1. Super Soft Snow

When the snow is super soft, you want to make sure that the tire is sturdy enough so that it sort of floats on the snow. If your tires sink in the snow, riding will be difficult for you. In super soft snow conditions, 1 to 4 PSI is generally recommended.

2. Average Snow

During regular and average snow conditions, the key thing to focus on is maintaining control of your fat bike. For such conditions, 5-6 PSI is recommended.

3. Hard Ground

For hard ground such as urban streets and pavements, high PSI is recommended. The harder the ground is, the higher the PSI will be. To know the exact PSI, it is always recommended you consult an expert.

Floor Pumps Designed for Fat Tires

Every bike owner should have a floor pump regardless of the type of bike he owns. For a fat bike, you need a floor pump that measures the pressure accurately. Some very popular and tested to be good floor pumps are-

  • Vibrelli Performance Bike Floor Pump
  • Topeak Joe Blow Fat Tire Pump
  • BV Bicycle Bike Floor Pump
  • Lezyne CNC Floor Drive

How do you put air in a fat bike tire?

To put air in your fat bike tire, you can either use a hand pump, electric pump, or Co2 Cartridges. It is always recommended that you consult with the manufacturer of your fat bike for their specific recommendations on which type of pump to use and how much PSI they recommend for different types of terrain.

Make sure not to over inflate as this will wear down both the tires and rims faster because it puts more stress on them.

The best way to put air in fat bike tires is with an air compressor.

A hand pump might work for a narrow tire, but if it doesn’t have the strength or power that you need, then an electric or manual pump should be used instead.

Take care when using these pumps as they can overinflate the tire, which can cause the tube to rupture.
You should also check your tires regularly and add air as needed.

Check them when they feel soft or low on the pressure before going out for a ride. If you have a spare tube with you it’s always best to plan ahead! Keep in mind that fat bike tubes are significantly wider than standard tubes, so you will need a new one if yours pops.

At what psi will a tire explode?

At what psi will a tire explode
At what psi will a tire explode

This is difficult to answer because there are so many variables that go into it. Some tires can take much higher PSI than others and some people have trouble with certain numbers.

Typically, a tire will explode at around 110 psi. But as we mentioned previously there are many factors that can have an impact on the tire’s PSI limit.

Don’t overdo the pressure

Fat bikes are tough enough to take the abuse (they can handle a lot of hard use), but they will also show signs of wear and tear quicker than traditional mountain bikes if you put too much pressure on their tires. As with most things related to cycling, it’s better to err on the side of caution and keep pressure levels moderate.

What is the correct tire pressure?

A good rule of thumb is to find the label on the tire that says what kind it is and then match it up with a chart.

Why is fat bike tire pressure so low?

Why is fat bike tire pressure so low
Why is fat bike tire pressure so low

Fat bike tires are designed to be as wide and have a low profile. The smaller contact patch doesn’t allow the tire to hold onto the ground.

So, while riders can ride with less pressure in their fat bike tires (around 12-14 psi), they won’t get much grip on surfaces like asphalt or gravel. Again, high pressure may cause punctures if the rider is on a trail with roots.

A lot of people will suggest that the reason for such low pressure is to keep the bike light and easy to handle. The best way to find out what’s right for you though is through experimentation.

How do I know what tire pressure is for my bike?

How do I know what tire pressure for my bike
How do I know what tire pressure for my bike

This is where it can get complicated, as there are many factors that come into play. The biggest factor that will affect the tire’s PSI limit is its size. Smaller tires require less pressure to maintain their shape, whereas larger ones need more.

One of the best ways to find what your tire pressure should be is by consulting a chart. Another way to measure your tire pressure would be with a Tire Pressure Gauge which you could buy from Amazon or at any bike shop.

If I don’t have either of those options? What do I do?

You can go out and ride on some paved roads and see how fast you’re going- if you feel like the speed affects your riding then try adjusting your PSI in small increments until it feels comfortable again

You should also pay attention to how hard you’re working to pedal- this will give you a good indication of what your tire pressure should be.

Tip: Always check your tire pressure before and after any ride for a better understanding of what range they should be at.


How Can a Person Tell if they Have the Perfect Tire Pressure?

Perfect Tire Pressure
Perfect Tire Pressure

There are a couple of ways to tell if you have enough air pressure in your tire.

  • The first and easiest way is by using an analog gauge on the side of the tire which will show how many pounds per square inch (PSI) it has inside, or you can use a digital PSI reading from either their smartphone or a bike computer.
  • The second way to tell if you have enough tire pressure is by feeling the tires and seeing how they feel. If the tire feels squishy, then it’s underinflated; hard as a rock, overinflated
  • Check your tire pressure regularly and inflate to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Is Traveling With a Tire Pump Recommended?

It’s not necessary to travel with a pump, but if you want peace of mind it’s always best to have one available.

Many fat bike tires will hold air for long periods of time without losing much pressure on their own. This is especially true when riding in cold temperatures or in areas where the terrain isn’t extremely challenging.

How Does a Rider’s Weight Change Tire Pressure?

  • The heavier the rider, the higher PSI should be.
  • For example: 160 lbs = 45 psi; 200 lbs = 50 psi; 250lbs= 60psi+

Check your tire pressure regularly and inflate to manufacturer’s specifications

FAQ’s on Bike Tire Pressure

What PSI should dirt bike tires have?

The PSI for a dirt bike tire totally depends on the purpose it is going to serve. If you use it on softer snow, low PSI is okay. But if you use it on a street or pavement, higher PSI should be maintained.

What is the appropriate fat bike tire pressure for summer trail riding?

For summer trail riding, the recommended PSI for a fat bike is between 12 to 15.

Is a fat tire bike easier to ride?

In general, it is more difficult and takes more work to drive a fat bike, as it is heavier than regular bikes.

How long do fat bike tires last?

Fat bike tires tend to last a little less than regular bike tires. Most experts say that they are supposed to last 2000-3000 miles.


After reading the article, we hope you have learned all about how to determine fat bike tire pressure as well as some very necessary related matters. No matter what, always stay safe on your snowy rides and adventures.

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