Fat tire electric bikes have transformed the e-bike industry for the better. They’re powerful ebikes with fat tires and big wheels, and to top it all off, they’re affordable and portable! In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know about the best fat tire e-bikes in 2022. So without any further ado, let’s get into it!
How Does a Fat Tire E-Bike Differ From Regular E-Bikes?
Electric bikes use batteries to provide pedal assistance to the rider. Most electric bikes are equipped with a battery, motor, torque sensor, and lots of other circuitry for proper operation. Usually, these bikes have normal-sized tires and average features, but there are many variants of them.
One instance of such variety is the fat tire e-bike. If an e-bike has 3 to 4 inch wide tires with a huge wheel diameter, it can be considered a fat tire e-bike. There are other technical differences as well, such as power output, battery voltage, transmission systems, and more.
Distinguishing Features of Fat Tires E-Bikes
The first main difference is the tire thickness and the diameter of the wheels. Unlike regular electric bikes, fat tire e-bikes are meant for rough terrain – offroading, traversing hills, and a rough riding style in general. Due to this, they are equipped with bigger motors so they can trudge through difficult areas easily.
In addition to motor power and thick tires, fat tire e-bikes have sturdier builds, higher load capacity, and better shock absorption than normal models. Offroading on an unstable and lightweight e-bike is very dangerous, especially if there are no proper shock absorbers. This is why manufacturers design their fat tire e-bikes to have hydraulic shock absorbers and rugged aluminum bodies.
Another key feature of a fat tire e-bike is that it is much more versatile than a regular e-bike. Your usual electric bike is meant for well-paved roads and pathways, whereas with a fat tire one, all types of terrain are accessible to you. For instance, if you’re out for a casual ride, you can adjust the tire pressure or shock absorption to suit your needs. In short, a fat tire e-bike gives you the best of both worlds.
History of Fat Tire E-Bikes
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the best fat tire e bikes in 2022, let’s take a step back and see where it all began. Fat tire bicycles first appeared on the scene all the way back in the early 1900s. However, the fat tire trend was only incorporated into electric bikes in 1980.
An Alaskan denizen invented his own version of the fat tire bike by welding together multiple rims. It was done so that he could ride safely over the snow as the wider tires would create more contact with the ground.
Other than that, there isn’t a whole lot of documentation or claims by people/companies about who invented the first-ever fat tire electric bike. According to our sources, fat tire e-bikes emerged on the scene first in New Mexico and Alaska. All in all, fat tire bicycles were the first to come, and as technology progressed, electric bike companies followed suit.
Fat Tire E-Bike Checklist
Before you start hunting for the best fat tire e bikes in 2022, make sure you know what to look out for. Given below is a list that you can use for quick reference before your purchase.
- Thick tires
- Large wheel diameter
- Tall and sturdy frame
- Powerful motor
- Good gradability
- Drive type
- Long range
- High-quality batteries
- Stringent brakes
- Stable suspension
That sums up all the crucial parts of a fat tire e-bike. Let’s check them out in detail in the next section!
Features of Fat Tire E-Bikes – What to Look Out For?
There is a huge variety to choose from when it comes to fat tire e-bike motors. The power, measured in Watts, is the main thing to be concerned with. As we’ve seen, fat tire e-bikes are designed for relentless rides on tough terrain. This is why they ought to have high power outputs.
For instance, you can’t take a lightweight 250W e-bike out for a mountain ride. The best folding fat tire electric bikes in 2022 have power outputs ranging from 500W to 1000W. If you’re looking for a commuter that gets you around town easily while climbing somewhat steep hills, 500W may be enough for you. On the other hand, if you’re a heavy rider planning an offroad adventure, 750W or 1000W may be the way to go. There are instances of even more powerful motors as well, but they’re mostly built for specific cases.
Tires & Wheels
Thick tires and large wheels are what make or break a fat tire e-bike. Fat tires are built with sturdy and long-lasting material, and they provide a larger contact area with the ground. This means that you will be able to ride safely on unstable terrain like hillsides, mud, or sand. Another thing to keep in mind is that fat tires offer better traction and grip, resulting in better stability. In simple words, a 4-inch thick tire is the defining feature of a fat tire e-bike.
Many users report that the best fat wheel electric bikes in 2022 have excellent handling and gradability. This is all thanks to their large wheel diameter which increases ride quality and makes your ride smooth, even on steep roads.
The battery is a crucial part of any e-bike, not just fat tire e-bikes. While exploring the e-bike market, make sure to watch out for three things about batteries in particular – voltage, amp-hour rating, and the brand.
The voltage can be understood as the capacity of how much electric power the battery can deliver. So for instance, most of the fat tire e-bikes on our list will have batteries ranging from 36V to 48V. The difference in battery capacity translates to range in e-bike terms. How long the battery lasts will dictate how long you can ride your e-bike.
Next, we have the amp-hour rating. This number describes how many amperes of current the battery can deliver in an hour.
As far as battery brands go, make sure to go for a well-reputed one in the industry. Panasonic, LG, and Samsung are the big three when it comes to Lithium-ion e-bike batteries.
In most cases, suspension isn’t the biggest concern for e-bike riders. This is because most people are looking for an average city commuter, and for that reason, they’re correct in their judgment. However, it’s entirely the opposite when it comes to fat tire e-bikes. In fact, suspension is key when you’re headed out for an offroad venture.
Suspension increases rider comfort and improves the riding experience in general. Road bumps will feel less violent and rides will become smooth and steady. A lot of fat tire e-bikes have front suspension – some models even have full suspension (front and rear). In short, if you’re in the market for the best fat tyre electric bike in 2022, make sure to check for hydraulic or front fork suspension.
Frame & Build
The frame of an electric bike is one of the most important factors to take into consideration before making a purchase. Although stainless steel has been the industry standard for manufacturing vehicles for a long time, it is quickly being replaced by an even tougher contender – aluminum alloy.
The difference between steel and aluminum builds is that the latter is much lighter, and if the production quality is high enough, it is just as strong as steel. The best fat tire e bikes in 2022 are coming out with aircraft-grade aluminum frames that are reliable and lightweight at the same time.
Another thing to keep in mind while exploring fat tire e-bikes is the height of the frame. The height of the bike should complement the height of the rider. Other than that, the only main difference between a fat tire e-bike frame and a regular one is that fat tire e-bikes have wider front forks.
The momentum of an e-bike depends upon its mass and how fast it’s going. We’ve already established that fat tire e-bikes are built bigger and heavier than regular e-bikes, so to stop a fat tire e-bike, a lot of braking power is required. This is why you should always pay special attention to the brakes of an e-bike before buying it.
There are three considerations to be made when it comes to brakes – rotor size, number of pistons, and the type of brakes (mechanical or hydraulic). The bigger the rotor, the higher the stopping power. On the other hand, more pistons mean quicker stoppage. Usually, a regular e-bike would have 2 or 4 pistons.
Lastly, hydraulic brakes are proven to be more efficient, responsive, and reliable than mechanical brakes. This is because they use hydraulic fluid to close the brake calipers, making them ideal for hardcore riders, whereas cheap fat tire electric bikes have mechanical disc brakes.
Types of Fat Tire E-Bikes
Although there is no formal distinction between the categories, we can divide fat tire e-bikes into three main types. This will make it easier for you to classify them and figure out which one it is that you want.
Foldable Fat Tire E-Bikes
First in line are the foldable fat tire e-bikes – meant for portable use and ease of access. The best folding fat tire e bikes in 2022 come with relatively smaller frames and lower net weight. This makes them perfect for people who want a casual riding experience but with wide tires.
The foldable aspect makes them a great option if you need to save space. For instance, a foldable fat tire e-bike could fit in an RV, boat, or in a big trunk.
Hunting Fat Tire E-Bikes
Hunting fat tire e-bikes are built specifically to make life easier for hunters. They’re quite similar to mountain bikes in terms of build and features, however, they have some extra perks. For instance, a hunting fat tire e-bike would have additional accessories or components that are meant to complement the hunting lifestyle and backcountry trails. These are mostly targeted at a niche market.
General-Purpose Fat Tire E-Bikes
Finally, we have the all-rounders. These fat tire e-bikes are the most common and versatile of the bunch and for good reason. They offer all the power and might of a fat tire e-bike while maintaining general-purpose functionality. For instance, they have features and components that almost everyone can benefit from. This is why you will see a lot of all-rounder bikes on our list of best fat tire e bikes in 2022.
A general-purpose fat tire e-bike has a reasonable amount of everything – motor power, battery capacity, suspension, component quality, and the rest of the features. These fat tire e-bikes are adjustable to almost any kind of lifestyle, which makes them an optimal option for most people.
What’s Right For You?
Now that you have a good idea of what to look out for in a fat tire e-bike and what types are there, you must be thinking – what should I go for?
Well, there is no straightforward answer to that. Your fat tire e-bike choice depends upon your needs. Are you someone who’s looking to traverse through commercial streets on a fun wide tire beast? Then an affordable option with reasonably strong specifications may be a good option.
In such a scenario, 500W of motor power and a 36V battery will be enough for you. Obviously, there are other considerations as well, but only you will know all the details of your riding style. On the other hand, adventurers and daredevils may have to go for a fat tire electric bike 1000W motor with hydraulic brakes and 20×4-inch wheels. This may raise the price point but that is to be expected with fat tire electric bike 750 watt motors or higher.
All in all, e-bike choices are relative. As long as you’re choosing one that is from a reputable company, and has high-quality components, you will be happy with your purchase. Other than that, you can pick out the important details from this guide to help you along the way.