Updated: Jul 21, 2021
There are electric bikes for pretty much every circumstance. You may have seen someone riding a fat tire electric bike around and wonder what it is. In this post, we will answer the question of "what are the benefits of fat tire electric bikes?." We will also go into these fantastic bikes in more detail, so you can decide if a fat tire electric bike is for you.
What Is A Fat Tire Electric Bike?
As the name suggests, fat tire electric bikes have wide, high volume tires fitted to them. These tires give them specific characteristics and capabilities you don't get with a regular electric bike.
Benefits Of Fat Tire E-Bikes?
The original purpose of fat tire electric bikes was to make riding over soft surfaces easier. Their wide, high-volume tires allow you to ride over snow, sand, and soft mud, which would typically be challenging or impossible on a regular electric bike. However, over time, fat tire bike riders have experienced other benefits from their bikes.
One of these benefits is increased stability. The extra-wide contact patch between the tire and the ground increases traction. Therefore, when riding an electric fat bike on either paved or unpaved surfaces, you have less chance of the bike sliding from under you.
When you ride a fat tire electric bike over rough terrain, the increased grip gives you confidence. This is because the extra stability when riding over rocks, roots, and ruts makes the experience less daunting. The bigger contact point with the ground also helps with power transfer when you are pedaling.
To increase an electric fat bike's ability further, their riders like to run low tire pressures. The result of doing this makes the tire's footprint larger and distributes weight over a wider patch of ground. Therefore, they can ride over more changeable terrain and stay on top of softer surfaces. If you were to ride a traditional mountain bike in snow or sand, it would cut into the surface, bringing you to a stop. An electric fat bike will "float" on top of the surface, keeping you moving.
However, fat tire electric bikes also provide a comfortable ride. Their squishy tires act like suspension, smoothing out vibrations as you ride over bumps.
What Are The Cons Of Fat Tire Bikes?
Fat tire electric bikes are great, but they do have their disadvantages. Here are some things you need to be aware of before buying one.
The first thing about those massive tires is that they have high rolling resistance. This comes from the increased friction from the large contact patch with the ground. Increased friction slows you down as it compromises pedaling efficiency.
You will notice that fat tire electric bikes are much heavier than regular electric bikes. This is more the case for Fat tire mountain bikes. Their extra weight comes from their burly frames and wheels.
However, you won't really notice the weight while riding with electric motor assistance. But, these bikes are more difficult to lift onto bike racks or carry up and down stairs.
There may be some situations where the wide contact patch will give you less traction. For example, if the surface is particularly muddy, the wide floaty tires may not grip as well as narrow tires.
What Are the Fat Tire Ebike Specifications?
Fat tire electric bikes are pretty easy to spot, but generally, they have tires over 4" wide. However, you can buy these bikes with tires measuring 4.5", 4.8", and even 5" wide.
When it comes to wheel diameter, most common fat tire electric bikes have 20”, 24”, and 26” wheels.
What Are the Most Popular Fat Tire Ebikes on the Market?
When you choose your 1st electric bike, a fat tire electric bike may suit you. However, there are many different types to choose from; this can be confusing when you are trawling the internet reading electric fat bike reviews. Therefore, here is a rundown of the different kinds to determine the best fat tire electric bike for you.
1) Fat Tire Electric Mountain Bikes
Fat tire electric mountain bikes have a look very similar to conventional mountain bikes. They have similar frame geometry and riding positions, so they should not feel alien to a new rider. They feature straight handlebars, tough frames, and suspension. You will also see fat-tire ebikes with hydraulic disc brakes to give you excellent stopping power.
2) Folding Fat Tire Electric Bikes
Folding fat tire electric bikes are very versatile. A great example of one of these is the SDREAM X. The high-volume tires allow you to ride over many different surfaces. Therefore, it is ideal for both commuting and weekend fun. But, its folding frame makes it a convenient bike to own, as it is very compact when you need it to be.
The compactness of the SDREAM X allows you to carry it onto public transport or in your car easily. The design also means that it is super easy to store out of the way. The extra size of the tires may make it less compact than a traditional folding electric bike, but it will still be a convenient way to travel.
3) Fat Tire Bikes With Step-Through Frames
Electric bikes with step-through frames are less common, but they do benefit some riders. The low-slung swooping frame makes mounting and dismounting super easy. These are popular with the older generation.
Are Fat Tire Ebikes Actually Better?
A non-electric fat bike is more challenging to pedal, and its handling can be sluggish. However, the electric motor cancels out these downsides. You will not notice the extra weight while pedaling, and with the motor placed low down in the frame, handling is not an issue. They have a low center of gravity which makes cornering fun.
Are Fat Tire Bikes Practical?
Some electric bikes are only suitable when the riding conditions are good. Therefore, you may not be able to ride it to work or during your leisure time. However, you can ride a fat tire electric bike in different conditions, making it a practical option. You won't have to worry about not riding your bike when the snow starts to fall.
Can You Ride a Fat Tire Bike on Pavement?
Absolutely! As we have already pointed out, most fat bikes are suited to riding on soft surfaces. However, they can be ridden on smooth surfaces without any problem at all. The large volume tires smooth out the ride, making your journey very comfortable. However, you may want to increase your tire pressures slightly to make pedaling more efficient.
With all this in mind, a fat tire electric bike may be a good option for you. At SDREAM, we pride ourselves in providing well-designed electric bikes, and the SDREAM X electric fat bike is no exception.