With fat bikes it really is all about the tires. Great tires make a fatbike so much fun to ride, while a mediocre tire will constantly erode any good time you are trying to have. The Mission 4 tire comes in a 72tpi (<$50 street price shipped) and a folding bead 120tpi version (although I can’t find anyone who sells the 120tpi version anymore). Since most of the crappy fatbikes I buy come stock with this tire I literally have a giant pile of Mission 4 tires that are all barely used. Surprisingly I have logged a fair bit of time on these tires both on the snow and in the woods on single track, at least 100 hours of riding.
The rating is 1-5 with 5 being the best and 1 being the worst
Powder – 2 : Not as bad as slicks, but these tires are nearly useless without chains. They work pretty well if you have the correct size chain on them. They work MUCH better without chains if you turn them around and run them backwards (3 out of 5) but then your braking will suffer.
Mud – 2 : These tires have lousy traction in mud even at low tire pressures. Turning the around helps. (becomes 3 out of 5)
Road – 4 : Good road tires, seems to be made of a harder rubber than the Surly tires and don’t wear that fast.
Rolling Resistance – 3 : More rolling resistance at lower tire pressures that it seems like there should be for such a shallow tread pattern.
Weight – 3 : About what you would expect 1385 g for the 120tpi and 1650g for the 72tpi
Considering that at one point you could get these tires for about $33 from pricepoint, there is no fatbike tire that I’m aware of that is this cheap and still relatively lightweight. It’s still not uncommon to see this 72tpi tire going for $70/pair new on ebay although better received newer ‘mission command’ tire seems to be slowly phasing out the older missions.
That being said you get what you pay for. As soon as I get a new fatbike the missions are usually the first thing to go, and it’s not uncommon for me to drop $260 on tires for a fatbike I only paid $300 dollars for (without motor or batteries). Having the right tires makes all the difference and if you’re going to skimp, tires are most certainly the wrong place to cut corners.