In recent years, fat tire bikes are getting quite popular. Before 2006, They were made only by custom frame-builders who liked to pedal in the snow (or sand, like beaches). Then, in 2006, a Minnesota-based bike manufacturer, Surly Bikes, mass-produced the first notable bike in the “fat” genre with its Pugsley frame. They still build a lot of fat-tire bicycle models.

Surly Wednesday - a bike fitted with fat tires
A bike fitted with fat tires: Surly Wednesday – in the full-forward, short chainstay position you can run 26 x 3.8˝ tires on 80mm rims, and in the full-rearward, longer chainstay position you to get the option of 26 x 4.6˝ tires on an 80mm rim. Wednesday is made out of our own proprietary 4130 CroMoly steel and is ED coated. ED coating is a process that leaves a coating that, externally, provides a solid foundation for paint while also providing an added layer of corrosion protection internally. Photo: Surly Bikes

So, many people think it is a new invention, but actually, it’s not. W. Ritchie, a track rider was the first who built a bicycle fitted with balloon tires at the beginning of the 20th-century. The photo below is from the November 1924 issue of the magazine “Cycling”.

W. Ritchie, Balloon Tyres  (fat tires) (1924)
“Balloon” tires -a motoring fitment- are now suggested for cyclists, but W. Ritchie, the famous track rider built a bicycle fitted with them many years ago. Now they are called “fat tires”.
Cycling, November 1924
November 1924 issue of magazine “Cycling”. It mentions W. Ritchie, a “famous” track rider who built a balloon tire (fat tire) bike.
M. Özgür Nevres

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