Fat tire electric bikes are turning out to be the rising star in the popular electric biking scene. Thanks to their overall versatility, they continue to attract a steady stream of fans with each day that passes.
For those looking to join the growing fat bike bandwagon, you might be wondering where to start. Well, there are various styles and brands of fat tire e-bikes in the market; no shortage of options.
Unfortunately, not all fat tire e-bikes are created equal!
So, how do you select the best fat tire e-bikes for you? In this post, we take a look at the factors to consider when shopping for a fat tire electric bike.
Type of Fat Tire Bike
Choosing the right electric fat tire bike for you can be a challenge. You have to decide what type of e-bike best suits your needs and lifestyle.
There are a range of options, such as fat tire eMTBs, fat tire hunting e-bikes, folding fat tire e-bikes, and all-round fat tire e-bikes - each designed to thrive in their own unique situation. The features and specs will vary depending on the type, so it's important to choose carefully.
Fat Tire Electric Mountain Bikes
Fat tire e-bikes are built to conquer rough and rugged trails with ease. These bikes have larger tires, a heavier frame and a suspension fork that provide enough cushioning and shock absorption to keep you comfortable even on the roughest of trails...just imagine a MTB with a battery and a set of fat tires. So, if you're planning to explore remote off-road terrains, fat tire e-bikes are an excellent option for you.
Folding Fat Tire Bikes
Folding fat tire e-bikes offer a practical solution for city dwellers who need to get around quickly and conveniently. Their space-saving design and collapsible frame make them ideal for cramped public spaces like the subway or at the office, so you don't have to worry about taking up valuable parking space or having your bike stolen.
Plus, with their larger tires and heavier frame, folding fat tire electric bikes provide enough cushioning and shock absorption to keep you comfortable even on the bumpiest of trails, making it easy to get around without sacrificing comfort or convenience.
Hunting Fat Tire Electric Bikes
From a distance, hunting fat tire e-bikes look more or less similar to fat tire eMTBs. However, the major difference comes in the complementary accessories slapped onto hunting bikes. These are meant to make them the ultimate tool for a hunter or outdoorsman.
For instance, you will notice an increase in storage capacity with more racks and mounts on the bikes. The frame is also a little more rugged to sustain the rigors of the rougher backcountry trails.
Specifications of the Bike
Size of the Frame
When choosing an electric fat tire bike, the frame size is one of the most important considerations. The widening of the front fork and rear seat stay accommodate the super wide tires, so it's essential to have accurate knowledge of your body's dimensions such as height and arm length.
If you already own a bike, its frame dimensions can be used as a helpful guide in finding the right size for you.
Furthermore, some brands let you customize their frames to ensure you get exactly what you need for maximum comfort and enjoyment when riding.
Simply compare this with the measurements listed on the e-bikes in the store and find one that matches your bike. The main measurement you should be interested in is the frame height. Tall riders will generally feel comfortable on taller frames and the reverse is true for short people.
But if you don’t have a bike to do this, you will have to take the longer route and perform the sizing from scratch. You want to take a couple of measurements of your body, including your height, torso length, inseam, and arm length.
When it comes to sizing your bike, remember that height and body frame are the primary factors to consider. Your weight shouldn't be a problem here, so don't worry too much about that.
You should also consider how flexible you are. Older people sometimes struggle mounting traditional, step over bikes, so if you have reduced mobility you should consider purchasing a step through e-bike.
It's best to take your measurements without shoes on, and if you can, get someone else to help you with it for accuracy.
This way you can rest assured that the bike you choose will fit perfectly and provide the most comfortable riding experience possible.
When choosing an electric fat tire bike, it is essential to pay attention to the braking specs. Newer models come with high-quality disc brakes on both front and rear wheels for superior braking power.
These systems should be equipped with enough pistons, a suitable rotor size and should make use of either hydraulic or mechanical-disc brakes. All of these factors together ensure that you have the necessary stopping power when riding your e-bike at high speeds and with considerable momentum.
The size of the rotor affects the brake’s stopping ability in that larger rotors offer greater potential stopping power compared to smaller ones. Furthermore, the brake caliper uses a piston to squeeze the pads onto the brake’s rotor.
Generally, more pistons result in quicker stopping force, hence greater braking performance. Most brakes on a fat tire e-bike will either come with 2 or 4 pistons. Last but not least, you should check whether you’re getting hydraulic or mechanical-disc brakes.
These two types deliver different braking experiences. While the mechanical disc brakes use a cable to close the brake caliper, hydraulic disc brakes make use of fluid pressure to force the closure of the brake calipers.
When it comes to disc brakes on fat tire electric bikes, hydraulic brakes are much more efficient than mechanical ones. They are more responsive and require less effort to engage.
However, they also come at a higher cost. For normal commuting needs, the mechanical disc brakes should be enough, but if you will be pushing the bike to its limits and riding up and down hills then hydraulic disc brakes are the only way to ensure safe braking power.
Type of Motor on the E-bike
The motor is the heart of any electric bike. It plays a huge role in the overall performance of the bike regarding its intended purpose. Generally, e-bike motors are divided into 3 main categories, including front hub, mid-drive, and rear-hub motor.
These 3 categories essentially get their name from the placement of the motor on the bike. The front and rear hub motors sit in the center of the front and rear tire respectively, whereas the mid-drive motor is mounted on the e-bike’s bottom bracket, where the crank and pedals are located.
The main difference between each type of motor lies in the power produced, the cost, as well as the riding experience.
Mid-drive motors tend to be the most expensive category of e-bike motors. This is because they produce the highest amount of power and also provide better balance to the bike’s weight thanks to the central placement.
The low positioning of the motor keeps the bike at equilibrium while the center of gravity remains low. Generally, you’re more likely to find mid-drive motors on fat tire eMTBS and e-hunting bikes.
Front and Rear Hub Motors
These types of e-bike motors are typically more affordable compared to mid-drive motors. Front hub motors are commonly paired with folding fat tire e-bikes whereas rear hub motors are used across the different types of electric fat-tire bikes.
What differentiates these two motor types is the riding experience. While the front hub motor powers the front wheel, pulling the bike forward, the rear hub motor pushes the bike. You will notice this when negotiating corners and climbing hilly trials, although the differences are generally subtle.
So, if you plan to ride your bike on mostly rugged off-road trails, mid-drive motors will deliver better performance. But if the fat tire e-bike is simply for commuting to work on relatively lighter paths, then choose a front or rear hub drive.
Power Rating of the Motor
The power produced by the motor influences the top speed the bike can achieve and the ease with which the fat tire e-bike can accelerate and clear ascends. E-bike motor power is typically expressed as Watt (W), which is the standard unit.
Overall, three common power outputs are used on electric bikes, and these are 500W, 750W, and 1000W. Before you spend on the bike, it’s important to determine how much motor power will suit your adventure.
Aside from your primary intention of using the bike, you also want to consider the amount of weight you expect the electric bicycle to move. For instance, if you want a fat tire e-bike to simply take you to school and back, you should be okay with a 500W motor.
However, if you’re thinking of venturing off-road into the more rugged and hilly trails, then you’ll need a motor with at least 750W of power. This is typically what you’ll find on electric mountain bikes and hunting bikes.
In this case, you’re likely to be carrying and moving heavy loads using the bike, hence a lot of power is required. Finally, consider your own weight when choosing the power of the motor. Naturally, a heavier person will gravitate towards higher power output.
When shopping for a battery for an electric fat tire bike, selecting a reputable brand like Samsung or LG is essential as these brands offer the highest quality. The type of battery should also be taken into account as some feature higher amperage, longer shelf life and improved performance in adverse weather conditions.
Additionally, it's important to check the number of charging cycles that each battery offers with every charge, as this can affect its lifespan over time. It is important to maintain a good balance between cost and quality when choosing a battery to ensure optimal performance.
These will mainly include the Voltage (expressed as V) and Amp Hours (expressed as Ah). Both these are important as they can guide you in determining the capacity of the battery. Voltage is simply a measure of how much power can potentially be sent to the motor by the battery.
In most high-quality fat tire e-bike batteries, the voltage will range between 36V and 48V. The more the voltage, the more power the battery can send to the motor. However, keep in mind that as the voltage increases, so does the cost of the battery (bike).
Meanwhile, Amp-hours is a measure of the battery’s capacity-it can be compared to the amount of fuel a car holds in its gas tank. Usually, a higher Ah rated battery will hold more charge than a lower-rated one but also cost more.
hen choosing the electric battery for your e-bike, it's essential to consider the range it offers. This range is typically stated in the specifications of the battery and generally ranges from 20 to 60 miles per charge.
Other factors that influence range include rider weight, terrain type, and PAS level. Determining how much range will be suitable for your rides can help you choose the best battery for you and ensure that you’ll have enough power to complete each ride safely.
Suspension has become a common feature in the latest models of electric fat-tire bikes. You’ll mostly see a front suspension, although some brands are designed with both front and rear suspension.
Suspension is usually important when you want to ride on rough trails where you are bound to encounter numerous bumps and potholes. It serves to provide shock absorption when going over such terrain to ensure your riding comfort.
So, if you are just trying to get to work or school on the smooth and relatively flat city streets, then you shouldn’t worry too much about suspension on your electric fat tire bike.
Fat tire e-bikes are an increasingly popular choice for cyclists looking to take advantage of electric power without compromising the performance of their ride. With the right knowledge and some careful consideration, it is possible to find an ideal fat tire e-bike that fits both your personal needs as well as your budget.
To make this process easier, consider factors such as battery capacity, range, suspension type and motor torque when selecting a bike. Doing so will help ensure you pick the perfect ride for all your adventures.