Fat tyre electric bikes have gained a ton of popularity in the recent past. You can use them for commuting to work, mountain biking, hunting, or just kicking around town. But the question is, how do you identify the right fat tyre electric bike?
A good fat-tyre electric bike should have efficient brakes, a good quality battery, a comfortable suspension system, and a powerful motor. Also, the bike's frame size should fit the rider's comfort.
If you are stuck on how to choose your new e-bike, you are in the right place. This article highlights the main features of a suitable fat tyre electric bike. Read on.
Factors To Consider Before Buying a Fat Tyre Electric Bike
Before purchasing your next fat tyre electric bike, you need to be sure if the bike suits your riding requirements. Some of the factors that will help you determine which bike is right for you include:
The Type of Fat Tyre Electric Bike
Start by considering your primary riding plan and which fat tyre bike style suits your needs. Fat tyre electric bikes are also of the same main categories as conventional and other electric bikes, namely:
- Folding fat tyreelectric bikes
- Electric mountain fat tyrebikes (e-MTBs)
- Specific purpose electric fat tyrebike such as hunting bikes.
- General-purpose fat tyre e-bikes.
The specs vary for each option making it suitable for unique situations.
Folding Fat tyre Electric Bikes
Folding fat tyre e-bikes have smaller frames and are foldable. They could be the best choice if you want to commute around town with wide-tyre stability. Also, they can help you save space, especially on your RV, holiday home, or boat.
General-purpose Fat tyre Electric Bikes
General-purpose fat tyre e-bikes have a full-sized frame and are non-folding. The all-rounders come with accessories for carrying your valuable items and are ideal for about-town riding.
Fat tyre Electric Mountain Bikes
Fat tyre eMTBs can be your perfect choice if you plan to go on offroad trails. They have larger frames and other great features of regular mountain bikes.
Fat tyre Hunting Electric Bikes
Fat tyre hunting e-bikes resemble mountain electric bikes. What differentiates them from mountain bikes is that hunting bikes come with additional accessories making them ideal for an outdoorsman or hunter.
The Suspension System
Most recent fat tyre electric bike models come with front suspension-some with both rear and front. The suspension is handy when riding on rough trails with potholes and bumps. It absorbs shock and gives you riding comfort.
So, if you want to ride to work or school on relatively flat and smooth city roads, you shouldn't worry so much about suspension when selecting your fat tyre e-bike.
The Braking System
A fat tyre e-bike is relatively heavy and has a higher momentum when moving at high speed. Therefore, stopping it requires more braking power.
Luckily, there has been quite a significant improvement in electric bike braking lately. Today, most fat tyre electric bikes have high-quality brake discs on the rear and front wheels for ultimate braking power.
However, when examining an e-bike's braking specs, you should consider three major factors. They include:
- The rotor size
- The type of disc brakes; whether mechanical or hydraulic
The rotor size determines the brake stopping ability; larger rotors provide greater stopping power than smaller ones.
Also, brake Calipers squeeze brake pads onto the rotors using pistons. More pistons produce a quicker stopping force and better braking performance in turn.
Most fat tyre electric bike brakes have 4 or 2 pistons.
Mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes offer diverse braking experiences. The hydraulic system is more responsive and reliable. You require less effort to pull the levers when braking. However, the efficiency comes with a higher cost which you should also consider.
If you intend to use your bike commuting to work, mechanical brakes can serve you well. But, if you plan to push your bike's speed limits riding up and down hills, you should opt for a fat tyre e-bike with hydraulic brakes.
The Bike's Frame Size
Electric fat tyre bike frames resemble those of conventional bikes. The only difference is that fat bike frames have widened rear stays and front forks to accommodate the wide tyres. The right frame size is crucial in ensuring the rider's comfort. But how do you determine the right bike frame size?
If you own a conventional bike that you have been riding, this can be the simplest way to work out your sizing. Just compare the measurements from your regular bike with those of the fat tyre electric bike you intend to purchase. If you do not own one, follow these guidelines:
Bike sizes depend on the rider's body frame dimensions and height. But they do not depend on weight. Therefore, you should take various body measurements before shopping for your new bike. It is necessary to know your:
- Arm length
- Torso length
Ensure you take off your shoes before taking the measurements. And, having a helper can make it easier.
Taking Your Height Measurement
If you do not know your height, stand on a flat surface, slightly spacing your legs apart, and ask your helper to take your measurement.
Taking Your Inseam Measurement
The inseam length is a very crucial measurement in bike sizing. Do not rely on your trouser size; you need to be more precise.
- Stand against the wall and place your feet about 6 to 8 inches apart.
- Place a book and move it upwards between your legs and against the wall until it snugs your crotch to mimic the bike seat.
- Ask a helper to measure from the book's top to the floor.
Measure Your Arms and Torso
When sizing a bike, you also need your arm and torso length. To get your torso length, measure between your groin and the "V" mark in your throat. Measure from the middle of your palm to your collarbone for arm length.
Battery Brand and Capacity
A quality fat tyre e-bike should have a good quality battery. Poor quality batteries have shorter charge life, inadequate weather protection, and short lifespans. Look for reputable battery brands like Panasonic, LG, or Samsung.
Some of the listed features that will help you differentiate and compare e-bike batteries are:
- Amp Hours (AH)
- Voltage (V)
Voltage indicates the potential power a battery can send to the motor. Top fat tyre e-bikes come with either a 48V or 36V battery. If you need more power, go for one with a 48V battery. And this will impact the bike's price.
Amp Hours (AH) measures the battery's capacity, like how many litres of fuel a car's fuel tank can hold. The higher the AH, the more power a battery has and the more it costs.
The Type of Electric Motor
Regardless of the purpose of your fat tyre e-bike, the motor plays a vital role in the bike's performance. There are three categories of e-bike motors, namely:
- Front hub motor
- Mid-drive motor
- Rear hub motor
The names coincide with the positioning of the motors on the bike. The mid-drive sits on the bottom bracket of the bike with the pedals and the crank, while the rear and front hub motors occupy the centre of the rear and front tyres, respectively.
They differ mainly in the power they produce, the riding experience, and their cost.
The Mid-drive Motor
Mid-drive motors make the bike stable by keeping the centre of gravity low. They are also the most powerful and cost more than the front and rear drive categories. Most fat tyre hunting and eMTBs have mid-drive motors.
Rear and Front Hub Motors
Rear and front hub fat tyre electric bikes are less expensive than mid-drive ones. Front hub motors are most common in folding fat tyre e-bikes. And rear-hub motors are applicable in various fat tyre bike models.
The riding experience is the main difference between them. The rear hub motor pushes the bike, whereas the front one pulls it.
The mid-drive motor will give you the best performance on off-road, rugged trails. But if you plan to ride on lighter paths, choose a rear or front hub drive.
Power Rating of the Electric Motor
There are variations in fat tyre electric bike motor power output; the unit of measurement for e-bike motor power is a Watt (W). Most fat tyre electric bike wattage is between 500W to 1000W. So how do you establish which wattage is suitable for you?
The suitable power you require for your bike depends on how you want to use it and the weight you intend to move. If you plan to use your bike to commute or kick around town, a 500W motor will be enough for you.
However, if you plan to pull something behind your bike or go off-road, you would need a 750W or 1000W motor.
Also, consider your body weight. If you are heavy, you should go for a motor with a higher power.
Fat tyre electric bikes have excitingly transformed the biking experience. They are versatile, and you can take on any trail without worrying about performance.
However, knowing which fat tyre electric bike is suitable for your biking needs can be a big challenge, especially if you are uninitiated. If you think of getting one for yourself, consider the above guide for a more informed choice. Feel free to contact us at Eskute if you need assistance.