Capable of rolling over rocks and ruts with ease, it’s no surprise that fat-tire ebikes are among the most popular types of two-wheelers out there.
- Fat-tire bikes are undefeated at tackling rough terrain, including potholed streets, rutted trails, grass, sand, mud, snow, gravel, and more.
- And when you pop a set of plump tires onto an electric bicycle, you get a ride that is not only comfortable but agile.
- Big tires also mean fewer flats.
- This is a guide to help you find the right fat-tire ebike for you.
Few things enhance one’s comfort on an ebike more than fat tires. Whether you are rolling over cracked pavement or tearing down dirt trails, a pair of burly tires will give you unparalleled confidence even in the diciest situations.
The downside of fat-tire bikes is they are sluggish to start and slow to bring up to speed. But when you combine big tires with big power in the form of an electric motor, this problem all but disappears. (A motor also adds considerable heft; more on that later.)
So it’s not hard to see why fat tires and electric bikes work well together. But which kinds of riders should consider buying one?
Who Should Buy a Fat-Tire Electric Bike?
We can’t all live off pristine bike lanes. If the road quality in your area is somewhere between inconvenient and downright treacherous, fat-tire electric bikes are a great way to get around safely. The ability to smooth out massive cracks and bumps makes fat ebikes adaptable for weekend backcountry adventures as well as weekday city commutes.
Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), if you are sick of constantly changing flats, far tires have taller sidewalls, which means they are less exposed to rubber-piercing debris on the road.
Who Shouldn’t Buy a Fat-Tire Electric Bike?
If your weekend plans include bombing down twisty trails (such as singletrack), you should instead consider getting a mountain ebike. These bikes have special components designed to handle the stress of bouncing over obstacles.
Another reason to avoid fat ebikes is that they can be exceedingly hard to carry, with some versions weighing as much as 80 lb (36 kg). If you plan to park your bike in your garage or on the street, bulkiness might not be an issue. But if you need to transport your ride up a flight of stairs or onto a train each day, every ounce counts.
Here are the some specific recommendations if you are thinking about buying a fat-tire electric bikes.
No American ebike brand is more closely associated with fat tires than Rad Power. Since 2007, the company has steadily pumped out a long line of versatile, affordable ebikes that feature chunky tires for toggling effortlessly between paved and unpaved surfaces.
The Class 2, aluminum-frame Radrover 6 is no exception. Its 26x4 inch (66x10 cm) puncture-resistant tires are durable enough for both off-road and urban riding, while its 750W motor can scale hills with ease.
The RadRover 6's front suspension complements its cushiony tires on rugged trails, but the 60mm fork also adds extra pounds. The bike clocks in at a pudgy 73 lb (35 kg), making it weightier than other fat ebikes in Rad’s lineup. Learn more.
You will not be wanting for power with Aventon’s Class 3 Aventure. The ebike’s 750W rear-hub motor puts out a peak 1130W, providing enough oomph to reach 20 mph (32 kph) with the thumb-operated throttle, or 28 mph (45 kph) with pedal assist.
Sturdy 4-inch-thick (10 cm) tires and front suspension deliver a silky smooth ride on even the roughest terrain.
Additional features, including hydraulic disc brakes, built-in fenders, and integrated headlights that function independent of the battery, contribute to an all-around great value.
The Aventure’s main disadvantage is its size: 73 lb (33 kg), not counting accessories, such as in front and rear carriers. You may want to double-check the weight rating on your car’s bike carrier before buying this one. Learn more.
Known for its BMX-inspired mini ebikes, Super73 delivers a characteristically stylish Class 2 model in the form of the ZX.
Few brands can compete with Super73 on looks, but what differentiates the ZX is its performance. A brushless hub motor puts out 1350W of torquey peak power, while mechanical disc brakes bring the rider to a gentle stop. Plus, it’s comparatively light at 63 lb (29 kg).
While the ZX lacks suspension, its burly tires, which come in 4.5- and 5-inch-thick (11-13 cm) options, can roll over broken asphalt and loose gravel with ease. A micro knurling design enhances the tires' grip when turning.
The bike also benefits from a removable 615Wh battery, small smart display, and an app that can be used to switch between Class 1, 2, and 3 settings.
Bear in mind that the ZX has no cargo capacity, so if you plan to bring extra gear on your cycling excursions, you’ll need a backpack. With this bike, it’s strictly about commuting. Learn more.
If you are on the hunt for a fat-tire adventure ebike that marries high range and high power, the Class 3 Himiway Cruiser is an attractive choice at $1,699.
The Cruiser’s 750W motor provides solid acceleration and its sizable 840Wh battery can travel 35-60 miles (55-96 km) on a single charge. (Fat-tire enthusiasts take note: If you plan to air down your tires to take on soft terrain like snow or sand, you will sacrifice range efficiency.)
Are there other ebikes that can cover greater distances before their batteries peter out? Absolutely. But few of them can compete with the Cruiser’s price.
Bonus features include a bamboo rack for holding cargo, an LCD screen to display data, and quality metal pedals.
The chief weakness of this budget bike, as you might expect, is budget components, such as Tektro disc brakes and Shimano 7-speed transmission. Still at this price point, the Cruiser is a bargain. Learn more.
Finding a mid-drive ebike for less than $3,000 is almost impossible. Finding one as fully loaded with high-end accessories and parts as the Lectric XPremium is unheard of.
Pedaling this 75 lb (34 kg) aluminum behemoth up hills feels surprisingly effortless thanks to its responsive 500W mid-drive motor.
Chubby, puncture-resistant tires grant traction and stability. Hydraulic disc brakes offer brisk stopping power at speeds of up to 28 mph (45 kph). A pair of 48v 10.4Ah batteries extend the range to as far as 100 miles (161 km).
The XPremium can be folded up for carrying, but given its immense weight, this may not be an attractive feature to some.
All told, the Lextric XPremium is a solid value. But taller riders beware. The ebike comes in only one size and may not be suitable for those over 6 feet tall (1.8 m). Learn more.
Almost no rut or rock is off limits when you’re riding the Aventon Sinch. Like the Aventure, this ebike comes equipped with stout 4-inch (10 cm) tires, front and rear suspension, an LCD display, and a mighty 750W motor. Unlike the Aventure, the space-savvy Sinch can be folded for convenient storage.
But even though the Sinch is foldable, transportation can still be a hassle due to its bulky size (68 lb; 31 kg). Some have also complained that it does not latch when folded, making it difficult to bring on public transport.
Lastly, unlike the Aventure, the Class 2 Sinch tops out at 20mph (32 kph), so if it is speed you want, you should look elsewhere. Learn more.
The Ripcurrent is Juiced’s best-selling bike and it’s not hard to see why.
A 750W motor with 80Nm of torque propels the ebike up hills in a flash, while a torque sensor controls the flow of power from the motor to the pedals. The Ripcurrent can also cover a truly impressive 40-120 miles (62-193 km) on a single charge, depending on the weight of the load, the quality of the road, and how much you use the e-assist.
A pair of beefy tires (4 in; 10 cm) imparts the rider with the confidence to take the ebike up to its top pedal-assisted speed of 28 mph (45 kph).
When you throw in a pair of fenders, a rear rack, an LCD display, and an integrated headlight, you get a versatile vehicle that can handle multiple kinds of trips and terrains.
The Ripcurrent is available in three sizes (medium, large, and extra large) and two frames (standard and step-thru), all of which look equally sleek and modern.
But to love the Ripcurrent, one must overlook an undeniable flaw. This bike is insanely heavy. In fact, at just over 80 lbs (36 kg), it is the heaviest option on this list. Learn more.