|The 2015 Mukluk 2 with a Rock Shox Bluto.|
Well, that's an easy question to answer, but I don't think the question is about how tires react on trails. No.....I think this question is more about where fat bikes get ridden.
Most folks would never think about a fat bike as a "mountain bike". The thing is, a fat bike just might be the ultimate mountain bike. So instead of pigeon holing these bikes as "snow" bikes, or bikes for sand only, one really needs to look at what other all terrain vehicles use for wheels and tires. This would give you some clues. Take a look at jeeps, ATV's, rock crawler vehicles, and off road 4X4's. All use a big, fat, low pressure tires. The game is about traction and stability. Bicycles used off road are no different.
So, why wouldn't fat bike tires work the same way? They do work that way, actually, and since traction is enhanced, the extra grip leads to increased speed, and increased speed means high impact forces on the wheels. That leads eventually to a suspension fork. So, while the question about the tires being enough suspension is often asked, I think it really reflects a misunderstanding about how capable these bikes are off road. Because it is rather obvious to almost anyone that an undamped pneumatic tire hitting trail obstacles at speed will quickly become uncontrollable.
Don't call it a fat bike- call it the ultimate bicycle all terrain vehicle.