The 10 Best Fat Tire Electric Bikes
This wiki has been updated 16 times since it was first published in August of 2018. Thanks to tough, oversized tires and thick frames, fat bikes allow you to take on rugged terrain — such as sand, snow or rocky mountain trails — that would be nearly impossible to manage with a standard bicycle. So imagine what you can accomplish aboard one of these electric models, which are built with motors for extending your rides even farther, or for just helping you out on the way back. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 07, 2020:
The most important fact about electric bikes is the following: in the United States, the maximum legal speed for an e-bike is 20 mph. That means if you want to ride one of these bikes on a roadway in the US, any additional capability will not be useful to you. Now, of course, you may have a dirt track out back of your property where you need a lot of extra kick, or plan to take this bike all over the world. In that case, models like the Addmotor Motan M-5500, Speedrid 500W, and Ecotric Powerful have a great deal to offer. But if you're going to ride this like a normal bike and just want to get where you're going a little faster, there's no reason to spend extra money on power you won't be using.
One feature that's very useful to travelers is the ability to fold up the bike for storage and transport. The Speedrid Snow, DJ Folding, Rattan All Terrain, and Wallke X3 all have this feature. The high-end models in this category are well-built and have a lot going for them, but the price tag of the Wallke X3, DJ Super Bike, or Addmotor Motan M-5500 is high enough that novice users may think twice about starting with them.
The Addmotor Motan M-560 P7 and Rattan All Terrain are the top two choices because they have the best of both worlds: they're powerful but not unnecessarily so, durable without being overly expensive, and boast a lot of appealing features while still looking great.
July 05, 2019:
There are so many different electric bikes to choose from that finding the right one can be a little intimidating. Addmotor is one of the more popular manufacturers and they have a huge selection, so we've included some of their newest and most advanced models. Ecotric is somewhat on the other side of the spectrum, and while their bikes aren't cheap, they can come at about half the price of the more popular brands. Emojo is another good brand whose products don't cost a ton, though their range isn't up to par with much of the competition. If you're especially concerned with riding in style, the CiviBikes and T4B Greaser are worth checking out; they're both retro-futuristic options that don't really look like electrical devices. There are a couple foldable options like the Ride Scoozy and DJ, which are especially useful whether you're heading to work and need to take them inside or taking a trip to go shredding in the woods.
Whichever you choose, remember that they are motorized vehicles. Always treat them with respect and make sure to wear the proper safety equipment. We also have some good resources on selecting a safe helmet that we'd recommend you check out.
October 19, 2018:
Replaced outdated models with a diverse assortment of the latest offerings from various brands, including foldable and retro-styled bikes.
Cake Kalk OR You can't pedal or use it on the road, but the Cake Kalk is one of the most advanced off-road bikes yet produced. It looks remarkably futuristic, which should give you an idea of some of the technology inside it, which includes a high-efficiency single-pivot direct drive and a massive 50-amp-hour battery. However, its price tag is not for the faint of heart. ridecake.com
QuietKat Ridgerunner This company makes a number of high-end bikes, and their Ridgerunner is basically their flagship fat tire model -- and with an above-average tire width of 4.5 inches, it's one of the most stable options around. You can choose between a 750- or 1000-watt drive as well as a 17- or 19-inch frame, and it has both front and rear suspensions quietkat.com
The Power Of Fat
Since fat tire electric bikes are suitable for a wider variety of situations than a standard cruiser or commuter e-bike, they have the potential to appeal to more people.
Mountain bikers looking for a new challenge can crank the intensity up a notch or two by upgrading to a fat tire bicycle, which can comfortably handle snow, sand, and mud — terrain that would stop a normal bike in its tracks.
On the same token, cycling enthusiasts who crave a little extra giddy-up in their ride may step it up to an electric bike, which is essentially a hybrid between a bicycle and a moped, complete with a battery-powered motor.
But what about the avid e-biker, bored with city streets and smooth paths, who yearns to tackle steep, uneven mountain trails or thick sandy bogs?
Enter the fat tire electric bike. Equipped with a motor and oversized tires that are at least four inches wide, these all-terrain vehicles are as effective for extreme off-roading as they are for everyday commutes.
While the notion may at first seem counterintuitive, electric bikes offer plenty of health benefits. It’s no secret that aerobic exercise has a huge positive impact on our overall well-being, and e-biking serves as a less-daunting option for those who want to begin exercising, but don’t feel fit or confident enough to immediately take up cycling.
Since fat tire electric bikes are suitable for a wider variety of situations than a standard cruiser or commuter e-bike, they have the potential to appeal to more people. For example, hunters and campers are ideal candidates for fat tire e-bikes, as they’ll benefit greatly from the heavy-duty tires and powerful motor when they’re navigating difficult wooded trails with lots of gear.
When it comes to all-terrain vehicles, it doesn’t get much greener than a fat tire e-bike — no gas or fuel is required. The seats on these bikes also tend to have a more upright position than those on traditional bicycles, which helps reduce pressure on your wrists and leads to a more comfortable ride.
Fat E-Bike Shopping: What To Look For
Owning a fat tire electric bike is as simple as installing some giant wheels and slapping on a battery-powered motor, right? Believe it or not, the design of these vehicles is a bit more nuanced than that.
The styles you have to choose from largely mirror the types of regular e-bikes and conventional bicycles available. An all-around fat e-bike has a full-sized, relatively lightweight frame for commuting and cruising around town, but it won’t be able to handle extreme terrain like a more heavy-duty model would.
You’ll also want to consider what type of motor the bike features.
For that, you’ll want a mountain fat e-bike. The heavy frame will typically feature a robust suspension system to absorb shock on rocky trails, and the handlebars are usually designed to facilitate a forward riding position.
Travelers love folding fat e-bikes — with a small, collapsible frame, you’ll enjoy some serious versatility and portability even as you reap the benefits of their thick, resilient tires. Hunting fat e-bikes are similar to mountain bikes, but usually come with ancillary features geared specifically toward outdoorsmen.
The frame of a fat e-bike resembles that of a traditional bike, with front and rear portions that are a bit wider to accommodate the large tires. Your height and weight will dictate which frame size suits you best. You’ll want to go through the process of mounting and dismounting the bike to make sure you’re comfortable climbing on and off before you commit to it.
You’ll also want to consider what type of motor the bike features. Front hub and rear hub motors are positioned in the hub of either the front or rear tire, whereas you’ll find mid-drive motors situated near the bottom bracket closer to the pedals.
They tend to be more expensive, but mid-drive motors deliver more power and better balance, making them the preferable choice for mountain fat e-bikes. You often see front and rear hub motors on folding models.
Motor power and battery life are also important to think about. If you’re a heavy person or plan on frequent off-road riding, you’ll probably want to go with a high-output motor. You can expect to find batteries with ranges between 20 and 60 miles, so try to have an idea regarding the distances you’ll be traveling before making a decision.
Accessorize For Your Next Excursion
Whether you’re tackling tough terrain, pedaling into the office, or running errands around town, there are plenty of supplementary items you can add to your biking arsenal to make your life easier.
A simple solution is attaching a basket or storage case to your bike’s frame or handlebars, giving you a convenient place to keep your essentials while you ride.
Storage space: it’s one of the primary disadvantages to biking versus driving. A simple solution is attaching a basket or storage case to your bike’s frame or handlebars, giving you a convenient place to keep your essentials while you ride. A pannier rack is a useful option as well, which allows you to connect special pannier bags to your bike to create even more storage capacity.
Getting dirty may be part of the fun for passionate off-roaders, but for those who prefer to keep their gear relatively clean, a quality mud guard will come in handy. A chain guard performs a similar function, preventing your clothes from getting tangled or picking up oil from the chain.
Those of you who plan to use your fat e-bike to enhance your outdoor adventures may want to consider picking up a GPS device. It will help you navigate remote areas and track things like speed, distance, and altitude to aid in accomplishing your biking goals.
A nice set of bike lights is essential if you plan to ride in low-light situations during the early morning or nighttime hours. Not only do they enable you to see the road or path in front of you, they make you far more visible to motorists and other riders, which will help you avoid accidents.
On the topic of safety, it would be borderline irresponsible not to mention the helmet. Protecting your head and your brain should be on top of your priority list, and a high-quality helmet is your best tool for accomplishing this, whether you go for the occasional cruise or spend every weekend traversing steep mountain trails.