While many fat bikes are over $1000, it is very possible to find high-quality fat bikes for under $500. I’ve looked around and rounded up a list of quality fat tire bikes that are under $500 and I ranked them on price, function, and durability.
Below is the list of the top 5 fat bikes that are your best choices for under $500. I think you’ll really like what I’ve found for you.
Mongoose is a big name in bikes as they have been around for nearly 50 years. They easily provide the best value for beginners and a real bargain for more advanced riders.
Whether you’re looking for a great way to explore the wild, or just need a rugged and dependable commuter, this fat bike is for you. With the Mongoose Aztec, you’ll be able to ride through all types of terrain and enjoy your ride with plush suspension and powerful disc brakes. You’ll also appreciate the quick 4-inch knobby tires that offer grip and speed as well as the wide 26-inch rims that make the bike stand out.
It has an 18-inch all-steel frame with the expected SRAM / Shimano shifters and gears that are proven time and again.
Mongoose makes 3 reasonably priced fat bikes with the Aztec being the most modern. I do list all 3 in this article since they are hard to find, but Mongoose is your high-quality fat bikes under $500.
Mongoose recommend this bike to riders from 4’6″ to 6’2″.
One thing I would do if you pickup this bike and it’s been awhile, consider picking up a gel seat cover to make the ride more comfortable.
The Mongoose Malus is another quality fat tire bike made by Mongoose. Generally speaking, if you can go with Mongoose, you’re going to have a high-quality bike that is going to last for years.
The Malus is much like the Aztec, but the Malus has a slightly smaller 17-inch steel frame so if you’re looking for a bike slightly smaller than the Aztec, the Malus is going to be your winner.
This fat bike has the same proven SRAM shifters with the Shimano rear derailleur that they put on the more expensive bikes. The disc brakes are just plain awesome on this bike too. Make sure regardless of the bike that you go with disc brakes because mud and dirt won’t get stuck in your brakes the same way they do with the older-style brakes so the brakes are far more dependable if they are disc brakes.
Mongoose recommends this bike for riders up to 6 foot tall although many riders a few inches taller report no issues with the bike.
My third choice for the best fat bike deals below $500 is … another Mongoose. Surprise!
I kid though, because Mongoose really does give you the best deals on fat bikes by far. The Dolomite is a little older and heavier than the Aztec and Malus but it’s also generally about $50 cheaper as well.
The Dolomite also has an all-steel frame and same SRAM / Shimano shifters and gears that just plain work and are dependable. You also get the front and rear disc brakes that are made to be splashed with mud and snow and keep on going dependably.
Mongoose suggests this bike to riders under 6 foot and much like the other ones, due to their design fat bikes are very accomodating of riders of different heights.
To be honest, any of the 3 Mongoose bikes I list at the top here are winners and sometimes it’s more about what you can find in stock.
The Krusher brand isn’t as well-known as Mongoose, but they have an excellent rating and all of the makings of a great fat bike.
Fat bikes by their nature are more basic than say trail bikes or enduro bikes. That also means it’s easy to get one from a brand not as well known and save some serious money. This bike tends to run a good $50 less than the bigger brands for basically the same bike.
The Dynacraft has an all-steel frame, 26″ wheels, and strong disc brakes. It even has a kickstand! (kickstands are not common on fat bikes)
So if you’re on a budget, I would seriously consider the Krusher Dynacraft for your under $500 fat tire bike.
This list wouldn’t be complete without listing fat tire bikes geared towards teenagers and kids. The Mongoose Argus is the very best youth fat tire bike under $500.
What makes it the best?
This bike has 24 inch wheels with the same wide 4 inches to ride over everything. It is meant for riders ages 8 and up, from 4 feet 8 inches up to 5 feet 6 inches. So this bike is sized just right for your kids aged 8 to 18.
The Argus comes with mechanical disc brakes so they’ll work no matter how much mud, slush, and snow you put them through. They’ll just work and are reliable.
This fat tire bike comes with the same 7 speed drivetrain with the SRAM shifters and Shimano derailleur that is common on all the best bikes.
To top it off, it comes with an all-steel frame that can withstand anything you can put it through which usually involves running over big branches and such.
This is also the latest design (made in 2020) from Mongoose for youth. So it has all of their history of learning how to make the best bikes.
So this is your go-to bike for kids without a doubt.
Rounding out the list is the best bike for kids younger than 8. So if you are looking to buy a bike for a 3 year old, a 5 year old, or a 7 year old, this is the fat bike you want.
The 16-inch wheels version of the bike fits riders from 3 to 5 years old, from 38 inches to 48 inches tall.
The 20-inch wheels version of the bike fits riders from ages 6 to 7, from 4 to 5 feet tall.
The Argus MX is the little brother bike to the larger Argus ST and it has all of the same great bike components but in a smaller version.
There are quite a few things I really like with this bike and Mongoose paid attention to what the smaller kids would need in a bike. For one, it only has rear brakes on it. The good kids bikes don’t have front brakes because kids are just learning how to use brakes and having only a rear brake means that sudden stops won’t tilt the bike forward like could happen if you hit only the front brakes on a bike.
Other than that, this bike has the all-steel frame and 3-inch wide tires (as they are smaller) so they are still fat tires for a small bike and can handle riding on the beach or the snow even.
One thing to note about this is that fat tire bikes by their very nature are very stable even when riding fairly slow. This means this is actually a really great trainer bike for kids as it is more stable than other kids bikes.
Questions Related To Fat Bikes
There are always lots of questions related to fat bikes, so I’ll go ahead and take the time right now to answer some of the more common ones.
Are Fat Bikes That Are A Little More Expensive Any Better?
To be honest, until you go over $1000, the best fat bikes are actually under $500. You can see one of my posts here about the best fat bikes under $1000 and you’ll notice that there are a lot of bikes in both lists because there are some great deals on bikes under $500 and they have plenty to get you going!
Is A Fat Tire Bike Worth It?
In a word, yes. In more words, yes if it fits your needs. In even more words, I would say that any bike is worth it if it fits your needs and fits within your budget. If you like to go riding in the winter where there is snow and slush, then a fat bike is perfect for you. If you like to ride along the beach in the warm summer weather, then a fat bike is for you.
Fat bikes are built for be able to explore anywhere but not at higher speeds. There are many reasons you would want a fat bike and if it fits your needs, I would say go for it, you’ll love it!
Is a 500 Dollar Mountain Bike Worth It?
For a fat bike, absolutely! These bikes are very durable and made to last and you’ll have these for many years. Depending on your needs and where you are in your biking skills, a $500 bike may be plenty or it may not have the advanced features you need. How much you should spend on a fat bike is entirely dependent on your situation. If you’re a beginner just starting out, I would say the under $500 fat bike is plenty.
Is A Fat Tire Bike Easier To Ride?
Fat tire bikes are in fact easier to ride than other bike types. The wider tire has more of a contact patch with the ground and is naturally more stable. If you want to read more, I put together a post of the science behind why a fat tire bike naturally is more balanced than other bike types.