Panaracer 4.0x26" Fat B Nimble tyre review

Panaracer Fat B Nimble.

Building the fat bike posed a dilemma; do I spend gazillion's on good tyres, or take a punt on a set of cheap Fat B Nimble's?

Yup, took the punt. Easy to fit, look nice and fat, even though their true width is nothing like 4.0" - more like 3.5" really. Not alarmingly heavy feeling either.

My first ride was on the road from my house, and straight away they felt draggy and slow. Indeed on roads they still feel heavy and hard going. I've learnt to avoid roads, which is a pain. There's fun to be had chasing Roadies on patently unsuitable mountain bikes. No chance with these tyres.

Pressures are also a tough call. There seems to be a sweet spot around 9psi for me where they fail to work, where below that they squirm all over the place. You can physically see the side wall deform by quite a margin - like those slow mo' images of drag racers getting off the line. Get it right and on hard pack or snow, they are great.

Well up to a point. They don't seem to offer huge amounts of grip when leaning over. Even stationary I can push them sideways. This makes for an interesting ride, and tough to explain to those not riding fat bikes. "Hey buddy, why did you slide there on those huge tyres?"

Slip, slip, GRIP!

Which really brings me on to my major gripe about them. The side-slip. Out for a ride on some sandy soil, not bothering anybody, 20km/h in a straight line, cruising really, the front tyre slid on something. Happens all the time, no bother. Normally only notice after the event on a normal bike. On the Panaracer's the front slid a bit, then slid a lot more, ending up sideways. It then decided to grip massively, throwing me over the bars, breaking my collarbone in the process.

Now is that something you want from a tyre? This slip, slip, grip thing happens a lot with these tyres.

The mud.

Ah, mud. You try explaining to fellow riders why your 4.0" tyres DO NOT WORK IN MUD IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM!!

In 24 years of mountain biking I've had some tyres pass through my hands, or rather under my feet. My favourite tyres ever, by way of explanation, have been the Maxxis Aspens - used those for years in all conditions quite happily, and they are virtually slick. So when I say that my big, fat 4.0" tyres are far, far worse than virtual slicks on a mountain bike, something must be up.

In a word, the Fat B Nimble tyres from Panaracer are the most utterly useless tyres I have ever had for riding in mud. They have zero grip. That's fine if the rear lets go, you just slide a bit. The big issue is when the rear has grip, and the front decides to let go. Or when both fail at the same time.

People, Fat B Nimble tyres are shockingly bad in the mud.


Buy something else. Buy anything else. Or if you have bought them, use a different bike. Out for a ride with a guy on a 29er the other day, he could ride away from me on anything. I tried his bike. It was two sizes too big for me, and I was wearing flats whilst he was clipped in. He'd got his handlebars configured as almost a negative sweep, so they almost swept forward. Even as badly configured as this, riding in conditions that foxed my tyres proved easy as anything on his bike.