RideFATbikes.ca - STACK and REACH - FAT BIKES


The three (3) main Fat Bike configurations are :

  • (AM)   All-Mountain, Single-track, Climbing, Upright position
  • (Adventure)   Double-track and Winter Snow-biking
  • (Race)   Aggressive XC  - Lowest rider position

These three configurations are broken down into sub-categories by the Fat bike manufacturers to further tweak certain aspects of the frame geometry, with the universal goal of better fitment.  The recent Fall 2016 / Winter 2017 Alloy frames have been updated and several companies made big changes to their Fat Bike configurations.

  • This FAQ section is a quick overview of Frame Geometry and rider position.  A much more expanded section is found on our web site under the <<< Stack and Reach >>> section, which has been favorably reviewed by several online Industry resources.

There is a growing trend to move away from the saturated "Adventure" snow-biking configuration, and Brands are repositioning their frames as either "AM" (upright/singletrack) or "XC" (aggressive lower stance).  This is a good sign, as companies are looking at ways to redesign their Fat Bikes for better performance year-round.

The traditional "Adventure" configuration is well known by a few brands and they have fine-tuned their offerings, to accommodate riders with more features at no charge... such as rear rack mounts.

Our Stack and Reach charts will visually show the sizing design results of major Fat bike frames sold in the USA and Canada.

Choose your frame wisely.  Know your body geometry, sizing and riding conditions going into the purchase, or you will probably end up with the wrong Fat bike.  

Much more detailed information can be found on our dedicated Stack and Reach web page.



Double-track or "trekking" refers to long trail rides on fairly level or rolling terrain, over dirt, mud, sand or snow.  The idea here is to "adventure" on your fat bike at your own speed, for long hours, and stay comfortable while doing it.  The rider is sometimes stretched out a bit more over the top tube with fairly consistent speeds.  The frames are designed to attach cargo bags and allow for long excursions or endurance races.  We fine tune rider fitment on these adventure bikes by honing in on certain frame design aspects that we know will benefit each cyclist, and enhance individual rider enjoyment.

Watch the video "Off the Beaten Path" in our video section, to give you an idea of what Adventure Fat Bikes should be like. (it's the first video...filmed in Iceland... grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy it!)

 A sub-category of these Adventure Fat bike, when designed properly, will allow the rider to take on jumps, and difficult terrain, as they occur will trekking. 



Single Track refers to tight, technical rides, where quick reflexes, frequent and abrupt steering, frequent changes in speed and rider balance control are repeatedly tested  with low margin for error.  This can occur in XC and AM environments with a lot of rocks on the course, and in race conditions.  Your Fat bike will need MTB reflexes.  Usually, gradual downhills can turn into steep descents, or short climbs can turn into very steep 15% or more ladder climbs... where your chainstay will make a significant difference in climbing efficiency. 

The type of Fat Bike utilized here would have a more compact geometry, with a slightly shorter top tube (than double-track configuration),  average head tube length, shorter chain stays, and sometimes the seat tube will be lower (to reduce the stand-over height).  

The frame will encourage a more upright rider position (than the double-track configuration).  Successful Fat bike designs in this category will accept both 27.5in and 29er x 3.0in tire and wheelset combinations, in addition to traditional 26in Fat bike wheelsets capable of handling 4.8in winter tires on 80-90mm rims.