Did you know that shopping for an electric bike is a little like shopping for a car? Really. When we shop for a car, we have to consider all the things you need the car to do for you, and try to find a vehicle which will be the best match for ourselves and our families.
On the one hand, you may be a solo traveller, who wants wants a sleek convertible sports car that’s super fast and fun to drive, turning heads wherever you go.
On yet another hand, you might need a 4-door SUV that will comfortably carry the kids and the dog, and have other practical considerations like good gas mileage and the costs of license, registration and insurance.
Well, when shopping for ebikes, you have to go through a similar decision-making process. We need to think about our riding style, how we plan to use our ebikes, and which one will best meet our needs.
Many riders want an easy boarding bike with a step-through frame, front and rear suspension, and internally-geared hub, which eliminate the need for a greasy derailleur. Other riders are looking for very specific components, including throttle control and pedal assist, hydraulic disk brakes, and a mid-drive motor.
Of course we prefer that you go shopping for an electric bicycle rather than a gasoline-powered car or truck. And with recent advances in ebike technology - including high-capacity lithium batteries and torque-sensing, intelligent pedal assist motors - there is no better time to leave the car behind and switch to an electric bike.
Just imagine the money you will save on gas, parking, registration and licensing, and the time you will save not being stuck in traffic, and the benefits become obviously very quickly.
But this article is about fat tire electric bikes, which are a unique category within the larger ebike marketplace. But before you read any further, be assured that we are not just talking about a type of mountain bike - fat tire bikes, or fat bikes - are suitable for urban environments just as much as off road.
Just like conventional fat tire bikes, the distinguishing characteristic of fat tire electric bikes are their wide (fat) tires - typically 4” or more in width, typically with knobby tread. BackCountry defines plus size bikes as follows:
“The representative width is typically a 3.0 (as compared to 1.6 to 2.6 for 'standard' MTB tires), but they can range in size from 2.6 inches to 3.2 inches. Big, bigger, biggest: A standard 27.5 tire with 2.1in width, a Plus tire that's 27.5 x 3.0, and a fat bike with 26 x 4.0in wide tires.”
With more surface area of the tire in contact with the ground, the weight of the bike and rider (and cargo) are spread out. Conventional and plus bikes, by contrast, have tires which range from 1” to 3” inches in width. All of the ebikes discussed in this article have a standard 26-27.5” diameter tires. So without further delay, here are some reasons to consider getting a fat tire electric bike right now.
With a fat tire electric bike you can travel further and to more remote places than you could on a regular bike. In an urban setting, a fat tire electric bike will smooth out the potholes and curbs, giving you a nicer ride with less wasted exertion. Wet or icy asphalt, gravel, and other urban jungle obstructions become less of a concern, and you will naturally feel more confident and free in your riding ability.
Fat tire bikes provide improved grip and traction, even in some challenging terrains. In off-road settings a fat tire electric bike really shines. You can smoothly roll over rocks and roots without a problem. And with the help of an electric motor with torque sensors, it is now possible to carve a path through fresh snow, or ride your bike on a sandy beach, without being an American Gladiator.