Best Fat Tire Electric Bike: The Ultimate All-Terrain Companion
Fat tire e-bikes are innovative electric bicycles featuring wide and rugged tires that provide excellent traction and stability on various terrains. With their powerful electric motors and battery systems, these bikes offer enhanced pedal-assist capabilities, making it easier for riders to conquer off-road adventures, navigate challenging surfaces, and enjoy thrilling outdoor experiences.
The combination of all-terrain capability, electric assistance, and increased comfort makes fat tire e-bikes a versatile and exciting option for off-road enthusiasts and urban riders seeking a unique and exhilarating cycling experience.
When choosing a fat tire e-bike, consider factors such as motor power, battery range, frame construction, the suspension system (if applicable), and overall build quality. This ensures you find the perfect fat tire e-bike that suits your riding style, terrain preferences, and budget.
With their wide and chunky tires, these bikes provide increased traction and stability on various surfaces, including sand, snow, mud, rocky trails, and even city streets. Their ability to work effectively on different surfaces makes them perfect for adventurous riders. The wide tires offer excellent flotation on snowy or muddy terrain and help maintain control on loose gravel.
Fat tire e-bikes are equipped with powerful electric motors and rechargeable batteries, providing pedal-assist or throttle-based power to quickly conquer challenging terrains or cover longer distances. Whether exploring off-road trails or navigating urban streets, fat tire e-bikes offer a versatile and thrilling riding experience across all terrain.
On Sandy Terrain
When riding on sandy terrain, fat tire e-bikes genuinely shine. Maintaining a steady and consistent speed is the key to riding a fat tire e-bike on sandy terrain. Switching to a lower gear and applying smooth pedal strokes can keep the bike rolling instead of sinking into the sand. Distributing your weight evenly and keeping the bike’s weight back can help you navigate using the front tire more effectively.
Consider lowering the tire pressure to enhance your bike’s performance on sandy beaches or dunes. This increases the tire’s surface area in contact with the ground, providing even better traction and stability. Remember to inflate the tires to the recommended pressure when you return to firmer surfaces.
Exploring sandy terrain with a fat tire e-bike opens a world of adventure and allows you to glide effortlessly through the soft sands. So, whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach cruise or an exciting off-road escapade, a fat tire e-bike is a perfect choice for conquering sandy terrain quickly and confidently.
Note: This can be any bike you want but I bought a fat tire Mongoose dolomite (for the looks).
Step 1: Getting a Bicycle for the Base
Bicycles come in all shapes, sizes and styles. If you don’t already have a bicycle then you are going to want to buy a new one. You can use any style bike you want but there are a few things you will want to keep in mind when picking a bike out. First, you want a steel framed bike. Our battery box will be made out of sheet metal so we need something we can weld easily. If you go with an aluminum or composite frame then it will be harder to secure a battery box. Also, bikes that are not steel tend to be much more expensive. Our next requirement is that you need a frame that has room for the batteries. I custom built a battery to specifically fit in my bike frame (you can do this too if you check out my battery build here).
Since this is a budget ebike, I ended up buying a cheap donor bike from a department store. The bike I used is called the Mongoose Hitch/Dolomite. I DO NOT recommend this if you have money to spend on a quality bike or already have a good bike to start with. This bike is not meant to handle all the stress and strain of a motor that will go 50 MPH. I will be beefing up parts of the bike that I can identify as a weak points, but it is still cheaply produced. I will also always be wearing safety gear in case of an accident.
A little bit about the Dolomite:
I have always loved the looks of a fat tire bike. They have a very rugged and badass look to them. Out of all the fat tire bikes I was able to find online, the dolomite seemed like the best option with a relatively cheap price. Overall it is well built bike and Mongoose is a reputable company. This does not mean the bike is ready to handle all the extra power and torque of the electric motor. The Dolomite has a 26 x 4 tire which is massive compared to your average road/mountain bike. It is also fitted with disk brakes which is a necessity. If we plan to go fast then we need to have the stopping power to back it up. Overall, the bike looks amazing and is a decent platform to build off of.
If you are really looking for a budget option then I would suggest checking out used bikes on FB marketplace or maybe even craigslist. You would be surprised the kinds of deals you will find on there. Some of those bikes might need a little work like new tires or inner tubes, but they can be very solid. Even if the paint is bad then its not super important since we will be painting the bike in the end. As long as it’s not completely rusted out then it will be fine. You would have to do a little more research for this option but you would save a lot of money and have a great bike. In hindsight, I wish I would have looked for a used bike first instead of buying brand new.
Step 2: Picking Out a Electric Motor and Controller
Picking out the Motor and controller is essentially the heart and brain of the bike. They are very important and should be looked at carefully. If this is your first electric vehicle build then I would highly suggest buying a kit (like I did). They piece everything together for you so there is no guessing on which controller will work with which motor. Also, buying a kit is not that much more expensive than buying the components separately (In certain cases but this depends on brands and power levels). Name brand ebike companies will charge an arm and leg for parts but this is unnecessary. All the needed components can be bought from places like eBay, Ali express, or Amazon. A common misconception with these websites is that the parts are cheap and unreliable. Truth is, some of the parts are hit and miss. You just need to determine what parts are worth buying. A general rule of thumb to me is buy mid range price levels. That will be your best bet to get decent parts. There is a little truth in the saying you get what you pay for. I have made this mistake and trust me when I say never go with the cheapest thing out there. It will most likely be junk and not work very long. Hint: most name brand suppliers resell cheap eBay parts just with their name on it (they are essentially the same parts).
I went with a kit as opposed to piecing it together for this project since I was doing a higher wattage build and didn’t want to risk blowing anything up. The kit I purchased was from a vendor called Theebikemotor on amazon (can be seen here). The kit was around 600 dollars which seemed like a fair price to me. It also came with everything I needed and also included a nice LCD display that could display speeds and power levels.
If you do not go with a kit then these are the main parts you will need:
- Hub motor (if you buy just a motor then you will need to re-lace your wheel)
- Motor controller. The motor and controller will need to have matching voltages (unless you’re planning to over volt and over amp but please do not do this on your first build)
- Pedal Assist system (if you go with a lower wattage motor)
- LCD display (looks cool)
The options of companies and parts to buy are endless, so I just recommend browsing and researching before you buy anything. A great sign is positive reviews on the product. Do a quick google search on the company and see what other people are saying about the product. Chances are that someone out there has bought the same kit and posted their experience on an online forum somewhere.
Fat Ebike Kit 1000 watt Waterproof Connectors
This kit can transform a fat bike into an electric monster ebike. Fat bikes look awesome but suck to pedal because of all the extra friction the 4-inch tires cause. Adding an electric motor solves this dilemma.
With a 52v battery you can reach speeds of 28mph and climb almost any hill.
The waterproof connectors make this kit possible to ride on the wet sand on the beach and not even worry if your bike get wet. You just hose off the salt water after riding. We have ridden hundreds of miles on the sand for years without any motor failing. (read electric fat bike creations)
The motor has temp probes and the controller will shut down if the motor gets too hot. saving your motor from overheating and being ruined. Cheaper ebike kits don’t have this feature.
Installing this hub motor kit is a one hour project. The motor is quality tube controller without the wiring rats nest that most Chinese controllers have. It puts out 25amps on a nice slim package that can be easily zip tied to any frame (see photos). Literally the hardest part of installing this kit is taking off your old tire and installing on the new rim. For extra easy installation you can add with a fat tire and innertube already installed. Also think about getting one of our Luna Cycle triangle bags for making battery installation a snap. (read article about where to mount battery)
This kit uses quality waterproof connectors that make really solid and easy connections. No soldering required with this kit and installation is a snap. The small sexy controller is not an eyesore and can be mounted easily on the bike. This is not a cheesy ugly ebike controller (see our artice on the ebike wiring rats nest.) If anything ever breaks you can easily unplug it and replace it without messy soldering or wire splicing.
Regarding battery Options
This kit comes with everything you need to convert your bicycle minus battery and charger which you can add now or later.
Any of our 36, 48 or 52-volt batteries will work with this kit.
52 volts will get you more power and higher top speed at about 28mph.
A 48-volt battery will get you a little less power and top speed of 24mph but will be more reliable.
Once you have picked the voltage then you just need to pick the size. The higher the AH the farther the battery will take you. A 10ah battery will give you 25 miles on average and a 20ah battery will got you 50 miles. ah means bigger in size, more weight and harder to mount.
We have a few battery options you can select with the kit. but we suggest you look through our entire battery selection to get a battery that suits you best.
Both front and rear have threads for a freewheel and can be used on rear. The only difference is the axle width.
Front motor: Axle is a 135mm wide axle which will fit on most bike forks. We highly recommend you use torque arms if installing on front fork. This same motor could also be switched over to a standard bike later if you wish since 135mm is standard for rear on a normal bicycle.
The 135mm size (front) will fit on the rear of fatbikes that are 150mm or narrower. Otherwise you will need kit option with a wide 170mm axle for rear installation, this is the one marked rear. (front or rear option may be hidden if out of stock). Total axle length 202mm, 14mm diameter, 10mm at the flat spots.
Please note that having threads on a front does not mean you got a rear, both front and rear have threads for freewheel.
Installation and Important Documentation
- Front hubmotors, we recommend using a torque arm (or two). See this link for what a torque arm is.
- It is not advisable to use a front hub with suspension forks, we recommend using a rear hub if you have a suspension fork. It will not break suspension fork to use front hub but it will wear out the seals faster.
- After hubmotor installation it is recommended that you check spoke tension, tighten spokes if needed, and recheck tightness after the first few rides. All wheels should have spokes checked but handbuilt is better, generic option is machine laced from the factory which is not as high build quality as our hand-laced wheels using quality Alex rim, DT Swiss spokes and Spoke Prep. If you want the best wheelbuild out of the box you want the custom wheelbuild option.
- Compatibility note: The 1/2 hubmotor spacer is for use with single speed sprockets. If you do not have a single speed sprocket you do not need this.
- Lead time: For wheel builds please add a few days extra to our usual lead time
- SET DISPLAY TO 5 FOR KIT TO WORK. HOLD UP BUTTON AND SET BUTTON AT SAME TIME, NUMBERS ON DISPLAY WILL FLASH, SET THIS FLASHING NUMBER TO 5.
Highly recommended reading- documentation for using our batteries with this kit:
The best reason to pick up a DIY conversion kit is that it will save you money. Brand new electric bikes can cost anywhere from 450,000 to 3,000 or more. The kits, however, tend to cost around half as much as an entire eBike, as you aren’t paying for the frame, pedals, handlebars, and other traditional bike components. They also come with e-bike batteries, an LCD display, and different sizes of wheels to choose from. By customizing your own eBike, you get exactly what you need in terms of battery life, wheel size, and overall look without having to pay extra.
Do thorough research, however, as not every bicycle can integrate with every conversion kit. Look for a universal kit that has been purpose-built to fit as many bike frames as possible. over, you can save even more money if you know how to properly maintain an ebike.
That being said, electric conversion kits are a great way to jumpstart your electric bike journey. And, an electric bike purchasing guide can help you make the best decision.
According to expert reviewers, power output and speed increases are two important factors when shopping for an electric bike conversion kit. They’ll help you get faster speeds. Plus, it’s important to pay attention to power output as it will determine how fast your bike can go and whether you need assistance getting up hills.
Buying a DIY conversion kit can offer a range of customization options that are not available with a brand-new electric bike. This can be especially useful when it comes to the lithium battery pack, as these kits tend to allow consumers to mix and match components. In other words, you can pick a powerful battery that will allow for dozens and dozens of miles before needing to be recharged. There will be additional fees for some high-grade components.
Most DIY conversion kits are built to be fully modular, which can ease some of the headaches regarding repairs and replacements. These kits are usually designed so the battery can easily be attached and removed, which is a feature new electric bikes do not always offer. The same can go for motors, the hub, and gears. So if this interests you be sure to check out how to convert a bike to electric for a more detailed explanation of how these kits work. You can even learn how to turn a mountain bike into an electric bike if you so choose.
- To keep your battery in the best condition, re-charge it to around 70% full every six months and charge it fully before your first ride if it has been in storage for some time. (Source)
What are electric bicycles?
Simply put, an electric bike is a traditional bicycle that has been outfitted with a hub, a motor, a battery, and a variety of related gears.
Will the battery charge as I pedal?
Self-charging technology is on the horizon and some eBikes already offer batteries that charge as you pedal. However, the tech is in its nascent stages and is not quite efficient.
How do you do an eBike conversion?
The steps for installation will vary depending on the make and model of the conversion kit and your pre-existing bicycle.
Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.
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What Is an E-Bike?
Electric bikes are a relatively new invention, but simple: just add an electric motor to a regular bike, and you have an electric bike. These versatile marvels boast automatic power or throttles that give you an extra boost of speed when you don’t want to exhaust yourself going up a steep hill or while traversing rugged terrain.
E-bikes are a handy way to commute or exercise, with varying assist levels available to give you the perfect level of electric motor assistance as needed during your bike ride. That’s why electric bikes are becoming popular amongst bike enthusiasts and fitness-minded people alike.
Why Use Fat Tires on an E-bike?
It can be deceptively easy to look at a fat tire e-bike and assume it’s exactly the same thing as a regular tire but bigger. But you’d be wrong. The massive surface area addition to the tires provides a wide array of benefits that give riders a completely different feel on the road, trail, sand or even snow.
Here are the reasons to use fat tires:
Fat-Tire E-Bikes Work On Any Terrain
Fat tires provide a lot of surface area that comes in handy during your rides. The thickness allows you to ride on sand, snow and ice, and marshy conditions more easily than with narrower tires. You also won’t find any issues dealing with slick and rainy conditions – fat tires give you complete control over your ride. With the assist setting cranked up, you’ll even notice speeds comparable to a regular bike.
Fat-Tire E-bikes Are Ideal For Beach Riding
Being able to go anywhere with fat tire e-bikes means that you can even ride on beaches! Beaches are a popular vacation spot or even a relaxing weekend oasis, but they usually involve sand everywhere, which makes normal bike riding almost impossible – not anymore! Fat tires give you the flexibility to ride on sandy beaches and take in the sights while you cruise.
Fat-Tire E-bikes are Comfortable Easy Riding
Fat tires require far more air than regular tires, which means they have more shock resistance than standard wheels. So, what does this mean for your bike ride? Well, those bumps, sticks, and holes in your way are better absorbed by the air in your fat tires. It doesn’t sound like much, but riding on an e-bike with fat tires is one of the most comfortable rides you’ll ever experience.
As a bonus, you can adjust the air pressure in fat tires to change where you get the support you need. Fat tires can go down to just 10 or 15 psi, where they’ll act more as cushions for rough terrain such as woods or hilly trails with uneven ground.
Durable Than Skinny Tires
The sheer thickness of fat tires over skinny tires makes them very durable. Skinny tires have a reputation for cracking when they contact ice, but fat tires don’t seem to have this problem. The pure thickness of fat tires (usually around 4 inches or more) means you won’t be going through tires as you may with skinny tires.
Burn Fat or Get more exercise with Fat-Tire E-Bikes
For the fitness-inclined, riding on fat tires will burn more calories than regular tires. Due to the extra surface area on the wheels, you have to pedal harder on asphalt or other flat and even surfaces. Depending on your assist setting, you can even those parts out, but you’ll leave it off if you’re interested in shedding a few extra pounds or getting more exercise.
Fat-Tire E-Bikes Bring Better All-Around Control And Balance
Because of increased tread and tire surface area, fat tires also offer more control and balance. This means you can make pinpoint accurate turns and maneuvers through the most unforgiving terrain like forest trails and even hilly, rocky mountains. This same surface area and tread give the cyclist more balance and a larger platform and comfort.
Electric Power Eliminates Fat Tire Drawbacks on E-Bikes
One of the common disadvantages of fat tires before e-bikes was that they made the bike heavy and cumbersome to ride for extended periods or long distances. With an electric motor’s inclusion, you can get the extra zip needed to keep your ride from becoming too tiring too quickly.
For this very reason, fat tires are making a huge comeback on e-bikes, taken advantage of by cyclists.
E-Bike Pedal Assist Provides Versatility
When riding on fat tires, it can be easy to tire yourself out, even on roads and other flat areas. When this occurs, you can simply switch up your assist setting to take the edge off your workout’s intensity and give you a chance to relax and breathe. Additionally, when you use it in offroad conditions, assist can provide you a significant and reliable speed boost.
For you exercise-oriented readers, riding an e-bike with fat tires offroad is an excellent way to work out – turning and other offroad maneuvers are a great way to build up your core muscles. As mentioned before, fat tires are harder to pedal on flat ground, which is where the assist shines.
The Drawbacks Of Fat Tires on E-Bikes
While fat tire e-bikes have some convenient benefits, like offroading and beach cruising capabilities, that doesn’t mean they’re without their drawbacks. Skinny tires have their place within the cycling world, as judged by their own unique advantages and popularity. It’s also true that many of the disadvantages of these tires are remedied by the electric motor. But that doesn’t completely fix them by any means.
Here are the negatives of fat tires on an e-bike.
Harder To Pedal
The primary drawback to fat tire e-bikes is that they’re hard to pedal, especially on flat ground where the entire tire is making consistent contact with the surface. The more tire that makes contact with the ground, the more resistance you’ll face while pedaling. The electric motor can indeed reduce or even eliminate this problem altogether, but if your battery is low and you’re exhausted, and you can’t charge, you may face some trouble getting back.
Fat tires are more expensive than regular tires – this shouldn’t be any surprise to experienced cyclers out there. This is because fat tires require specialty parts such as hubs, rims, tubes, and others. Fat tire bikes don’t typically have a suspension system either because the tires act as their own shock absorbers.
This expense goes up if you want to get a custom-built e-bike with fat tires, which many people do to customize its performance or try to get the bike down to a lower weight.
Hard To Find Parts For
When a part on a fat tire e-bike breaks or needs replacement, you have a bit of a journey on your hands, because the specialty components necessary to make these bikes run are more pricey and hard to come by than components for a skinny tire e-bike. While they’re gaining in popularity, skinny tire e-bike parts are easier to find at a low cost.