Reasons Why Fat Bike Rims Have Holes – The Science Behind It

People who ride bikes that have fat rims understand why the bikes come with fat 4 inches rims. When you purchase something that’s big or fat, you may expect that everything else associated with it will be fat or big too.

However, if you own a big bike, with fat rims, you may wonder why it also comes with big holes. What is the rationale behind it? Does it make the bike to be less heavy on the ground? How does it benefit the make-up of the bike?

Why Wonder About Fat Bike Rims & Big Holes?

If this is the first time that you’re riding a big bike, you may have noticed that some things are harder now than when you may have ridden a small bike. Handling this big fellow is a bit harder. The weight is more of concern whether you’re riding your big machine or just pushing it along. Sometimes you wonder if riding the big fellow up a hill is different than when you ride a small bike up that same hill.

Here’s the popular notion: Fat bikes can be more difficult when it comes to climbing elevations, riding through tough locations, or picking up speed when it is necessary for it to do so.

So, a rider may wonder if smaller bike rims will make more sense under a fat bike. The idea is to shed some weight wherever possible. However, one thing stands out. The bike rims and tires need to be strong, and sturdy enough to hold the weight of a fat bike. They must be strong enough to withstand any difficulties they meet, no matter where the bike goes.

What about the big holes that come with the fat rims of these bikes? Are they necessary? Could they make any difference? What if they are not there at all? Or the holes were made to be smaller considerably than they are at the moment?

What really makes sense?

In this write-up, we will consider the science behind fat bike rims with big holes. What are the disadvantages of having those holed in the rims?

The Science Behind Fat Bike Rims & Big Holes

You may sometimes fret over the big holes you see in your fat bike rims. Maybe they make the bike itself cost more. Could there be any other advantages attached to having the holes in place?

Experts have solved the riddle. They claim that the big holes we often see in fat bike rims are there to reduce the weight of the wheels in the most efficient way possible. This explanation seems very reasonable because we all know that just by looking at the rims of fat bikes, we know they are heavy. Therefore, it makes sense for both professional riders and casual riders to look out for fat bike rims with big holes. The difference may not be much, just a few hundred grams of weight but it does make some difference.

holes in bike rims

The width of the rims is big enough to balance things up with the holes. The holes are not able to reduce the strength of the rim in any way. There have been many ideas along these lines for many years, but this trick worked out as the best out of all.

The scientific finding is clear: there are no disadvantages to having those holes there at all. However, they must be done correctly. In this way, it becomes the job of manufacturers to make the holes on specific bike models at first. The idea’s success has led to more bike models having the holes cut on their rims.

Fat Rims with Big Holes: How Expensive are they?

The clear answer is yes. Don’t let this discourage you to the extent that when you see them, you ignore them. One of the few things you need to think about is the benefits and how they outweigh the cost of the rims. But you want to know why they cost more, and that’s a good thing.

For one thing, these rims with holes are usually made of top-quality materials. This is not to say that there are no fake rims with holes. There are those manufactured with cheap materials out there in the market today. Take note that the expensive rims with holes are made by only top-level companies, recognized for their worth, and excelling at what they do for many decades.

Why Should You Buy the More Expensive Rims

If you care about your safety or the safety of all those who ride with you, you won’t budge when it comes to adding extra cash to purchase a sturdy, long-lasting fat bike rim with big holes. Of course, this is the one that lasts longer, for it retains its strength for a long time.

This is a reason why you shouldn’t even think of going cheap on a pair of rims for a fat bike tire if they have holes in them. If the rims are not strong enough to withstand the pressure from the road, there may be disaster looming.

Best Tips for DIY Drilling Holes in Rims

big holes in rims

People resort to drilling holes in the fat rims themselves. This can be risky, but if done well, it works nicely. It is also a way to save some cash. What you need to do in this case is to buy standard pairs of rims and customize them. Mind you; it is not easy to drill the holes yourself.

First, get the proper tools. You will need the following things to get started in the appropriate manner.

  1. A hole saw
  2. A drill
  3. Gorilla tape or ribbon

You need the ribbons to protect the tire from damages that may come upon it when drilling through the holes.

You may also want to know what type of holes you could bore into the rims. Make sure the holes are in about 1 inch to 1.5-inch range. If you go too big or too small, it may not make sense. If you drill it smaller at first, you can increase it later. If it is too big, it may compromise the rim in the end.


There are mainly two reasons why people drill holes in their fat bike rims. One is for the good looks, and the other is to lighten the weight a bit. Whichever is your choice, everything can be dealt with properly without any regret. If you put the holes in it with ribbons, you may have done a wonderful job that appears very beautiful to others who will boost your confidence when they tell you they love it. However, your biggest advantage here is the increased performance.

What if you don’t like drilling the holes in your bike rims? It doesn’t make you look stupid. You can still enjoy using your fat bike as is, without feeling lost out on anything.