Nowadays, electric fat tire bikes have become more and more popular on the market. Therefore, manufacturers keep expanding the quality they offer. Unfortunately, a huge number of options and features make it more difficult for buyers to choose the right fat tire bikes according to their height and specific needs.
To help you make an easy purchase decision without breaking the bank, I have composed this article on how to choose your fat tire electric bike with details main investment criteria.
- What is an electric fat bike?
- Advantages of the electric fat bike
- How to choose your fat tire electric bike?
What is an electric fat bike?
This is a big electric mountain bike with wide tires. The fat bike will allow you to get off the beaten track during your long walks. In the forest, on the beach, in the mountains or city, the fat bike adapts to all landscapes. Difficult trails and soft ground will no longer scare you! Indeed, a fat tire mountain bike with oversized wheels gives itself a larger grip surface and better stability.
Advantages of the electric fat bike
Fat tire electric bikes have the advantage of being off-road and are easy to use. Like most mountain bikes, it will allow traveling through the forest, beach, and the city! Accessible to all, with a frame specially designed to accommodate wider tires and larger rims, it will take you on sandy, snowy and even mud-covered soils.
Thanks to better shock absorption offered by the rims with holes, you can practice cross-country biking! The fat tire bike will also suit you if you are looking for a simple electric mountain bike to get away from it all. However, I made a whole review of affordable mountain bikes specifically for that purpose. They are also reliable, easy to maintain, and an excellent value.
Folding electric fat bikes can offer us many advantages:
- They are ecological, and economical and help you maintain your physical health.
- It is easy for you to ride on sandy, snowy or muddy soils.
- They are very practical for long and short trips and are very easy to use.
- You can store it anywhere without taking up much space, it even facilitates their transfer by car.
Now you know what an electric fat bike is with all its advantages. I have listed below the main key aspects that will help you better guide your choice when choosing one or another model of fat bike.
How to choose your fat tire electric bike?
More than a classic mountain bike, a FAT BIKE will be more sensitive to the overall quality of the frame/fork, geometry and especially its wheels. Here is more information about them so that you can make up your own mind and assess which model of fat tire bike best suits your needs and desires.
For which activities
When we see a Fat Tire Bike, especially for the first time, the first thought that crosses our mind is whether this bike is made for extreme environments. It is not wrong, and it is even the main reason for its design, to have a bike suitable for riding on all types of surfaces, including snow and sand. But it would be a bit reductive to want to confine it to the role of a bulldozer.
Indeed, today more and more city dwellers are choosing the bicycle for their daily journeys, whether for ecological reasons, budget or pleasure. And the Fat Bike is no exception to this craze, far from it. It is true that his look alone can seduce more than one, but he has other advantages.
First of all, its versatile designs and qualities can be useful even in town, sidewalks, potholes and other speed bumps will make you smile. Ditto in case of snowfall, which can even be a bigger problem on asphalt in terms of grip than on dirt roads.
If you live in snowy latitudes in winter, you should know that the Fat Bike is particularly comfortable on snow. Beyond the various surfaces that you can walk around, this model has not been nicknamed a 4-season bike for nothing. So you will no longer have to leave your bike in the garage throughout the winter season. On the contrary, it will be an opportunity to see what is in the belly.
Obviously, a Fat Tire Bike remains above all designed for off-roading. So even if you use it mostly in the city, you can get off marked trails and asphalt without a problem.
Type of Bike frame
We often mistakenly think that the fat bike is an all-terrain bike, therefore with a mountain bike frame. You should know that there are city bikes with a more classic look. Other bikes have a snap frame which is great for going on vacation and taking the bike in the trunk or in the built-in truck.
When it comes to the material, you will have the choice between aluminum, steel and titanium. Namely, the more qualitative the material, the higher the price of the bike will be. Aluminum is advantageous because it is the one that best combines the notions of lightness and robustness.
The front fork must be fitted with larger sliders. It must be rigid and can be suspended on some models.
Wheel and tire dimensions
On a fat tire bike, the width of the wheels should exceed 44 mm. The tires must have a width greater than or equal to 3.5 inches. Some reach a width of almost 5 inches, but the majority of fat bikes have 4 inches in terms of tire width. Concerning the tires, do not hesitate to underinflate them slightly for use on snow.
Large tires increase the contact surface between the ground and bike. Thanks to this, it will be able to take you on unstable grounds. However, for a perfect adaptation to all types of terrain, you will need to adjust the pressure of your tires according to them.
The engine of the bike
On electric fat tire bikes, the motor can be placed in the rear wheel or in the pedals. More rarely, it is placed in the hub of the front wheel. However, this design is not advantageous because it can generate adhesion problems.
In terms of power, you should require a minimum of 250 W. Knowing that the higher the power, the better the device! The most powerful fat bikes can reach 1000 W! In addition, you should know that the power of this electric mountain bike must be delivered gradually.
Therefore, power peaks could lead to skids. For this reason, the motor should only be used when the bike is in motion. You don’t need to pedal; the bike unleashes its power directly. This button can be dangerous if you are not careful, unfortunately, press and you will drop the bike.
A good battery shows a good compromise between weight and performance. This means that the heavier your fat bike, the more powerful its battery must be. Therefore, it will offer you good autonomy. But be careful, the weight of your battery must not affect handling.
With regard to its position on the bicycle, the objective is not to alter the stability of the latter. With this in mind, it is better to favor models that place their battery on the down tube of the frame. Often, it will be a lithium battery guaranteeing good autonomy and real lightness.
You can find bikes with 36V or 48V batteries. At 48V, you have 500 or 1000W of power, which gives your bike better torque. Note that a 1000W bike is restricted in terms of its power.
A word of advice: do not use your fat bike at full power, but control the electric assistance according to the terrain. On flat roads, they prefer a low level of support.
Charging times vary by brand of battery and depend on battery power. Generally, the first 80% recharge is much faster than the last 20%. For example, a Shimano 418Wh battery, reaches 80% charge in 2h, while the last 20% will also take 2h. The electrons must balance and that is why the end of the charge is longer.
Here is a comparison chart of the recharging times for the most common electric bicycle batteries when using a standard charger.
This is a point to check before purchasing your fat tire bike. Most models weigh between 25 and 30 kg and are equipped with a powerful motor. This weight won’t cause you any difficulty. Note that an aluminum frame results in a lighter bike which can therefore be equipped with a less powerful engine.
Because the weight is directly related to the material of the frame. A light bike will necessarily be more expensive.
Suspensions or not
Not all electric fat bikes have a suspension. Urban models even don’t need it. Note that ride comfort without suspension will not be affected as long as you use it on neutral ground.
For more difficult passages on mountain bike trails, a front suspension and possibly a suspension strap are necessary. These options also increase the price of the electric fat bike.
Type of brakes
Brakes are good advice from manufacturers to keep the price down. You will encounter two types of brakes. The classic cable disc brake and hydraulic disc brake. If you plan to walk the mountain and have fun on the descents, opt for hydraulic disc braking. On the other hand, if your rides do not lead you to gain a lot of speed downhill, be satisfied with the classic disc brake.
Fat bike speed
This type of electric bike, like other mountain bikes, has a Shimano derailleur which relieves the electric motor and your efforts when riding. If you choose a bike from a well-known brand that can reach speeds of over 40 km / h.
Note that you can enter without electric assistance if your battery is empty. Because the electric fat bike is both a bike that can be used in classic mode and in electric assistance mode.
It is therefore important to wear protection during use. Put on a helmet or gloves. If you plan to use it without this accessory, use it with minimal assistance to avoid serious accidents.
The electric motor makes no noise, so you can surprise passers-by and risk a collision. Be careful and adjust your speed so as not to risk hitting people or children.
To cut short another debate: 90% of the bikes on the market are made in China. You won’t have a choice if your chauvinism prompts you to buy a local bike, either part of your bike will be from China. The rest can come mainly from South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, England, Italy and the USA.
In short, provenance is not an indicator of quality and stigmatizing Chinese production in the Cycles market is more a matter of ordinary racism than a material reality. It is therefore the manufacturer’s specifications and the quality of its relationship with its factory that will qualify the reliability of your purchase.
We can classify the quality ranges of Electric Fat Bikes in order of price indicatively as follows:
- Low-end: Price less than $1,300
- Mid-Range: Between $1,500 and $3,500
- Top of the range: $3,500 to $4,900
- Luxury: Beyond $5,500 and up to $12,000
- Exceptional and unique limited series: On estimate.
This range allows you to know in which bracket you want to position yourself according to the level of excellence that you can expect.
You should know that brushless motors are made in Asia and most electric bikes come from below. Many brands have entered the electric fat bike market by creating a style or logo. On closer inspection, we often have to deal with the same manufacturer offering different options for the bike.
Most electric fat tire bikes have an LCD screen, placed on the handlebars. It will allow you to select a driving mode or the level of motor assistance. To make the right choice, make sure you have a perfectly readable display and intuitive operation. Ergonomic, the control system should also offer you easy access to options, that is to say not forcing you to let go of the handlebars.
The most modern displays are usually the most convincing. In addition, they integrate GPS technology, so you will walk the paths, roads and trails in perfect conditions!
On some models, you can charge your mobile phone via a USB socket on the battery. Finally, city bikes with large wheels have support to place a bag or basket.
Should I get an electric bicycle with fat tires?
Fat tires bike has traditionally found their best use in snowy and mountainous terrain. Although it is difficult to transport and not ideal for speed, any type of off-road terrain is easier and more comfortable on a fat tire bike.
While the current surge in interest in big bikes may wane, serious adventure riders will still need them. For long-distance tours and expeditions in snowy or sandy areas, no bike will do better than an electric fat bike.
Can you ride a fat tire bike on the sidewalk?
Bikes with large tires can ride on any type of surface or terrain, but they are not ideal on the pavement. Large tires are heavy and do not roll as well as mountain bike or road bike tires. However, you can install semi-slick tires on the bike to reduce unnecessary tire wear.
What is the point of bicycles with fat tires?
At the end of the day, there are some places you can’t go without a fat tire bike. If there’s a specific place you want to go that requires a fat bike to get there, then yes, it’s worth it.
How much should you spend on electric fat bikes?
Buying an electric fat bike is an investment you won’t regret because it can be used by the whole family. The first prices are $1200, and if you opt for a high-end electric fat bike, it can reach up to $3000. So it’s up to you to choose the one that will meet your expectations.
Wide tire bikes continue to gain importance in the mountains and on the roads and they are ideal for riding over terrain that would be impossible to cross with a conventional bike. If you find the right fat tire bike that will highly reward you no matter where you ride it, you can pick this one.
However, as I mentioned above, choosing a good quality fat bike is never easy, and when you add the fact that it’s an atypical bike, and moreover electric, the puzzle begins. I therefore hope to have alleviated your headaches, and above all to have helped you make the right choice.
If you have any questions regarding any of them, please let us know in the comments. I will be happy to answer you and assist you with your choice.