Can a fat-tire e-bike replace an ATV?

Can a Fat Tire Ebike replace an ATV?

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New Member
I need a motorized vehicle for work that can handle most any terrain. All of my coworkers use an ATV, and I'm wondering if I can get away with a fat tire ebike.

I do safety and maintenance inspections on utility poles, mostly following power lines out into the middle of nowhere. I travel ~10 miles a day. I have about 25lbs of tools that I carry with me (I'm 5'6, 140lbs), it's not a lot, but I do need some type of rack/basket.

I've been looking at the RadPower fat tire bikes and I think they look awesome. However, I've never had a fat bike nor an ebike. So it's crazy to think about buying sight-unseen and trying to use it in place of an ATV! But the ~$1500 price tag is more appealing than a 4x4 ATV, and I wouldn't need a trailer to haul it on.

My biggest concern is the terrain I deal with. Mostly hills/descents on off-angles. Cactus. Cow s*it. Barbed wire. Mud. Small water crossing or flooded fields. Tall, tough sage brush bushes and other rugged vegetation.

Would a rear-hub motor be a bad choice (specifically the RadMini)?

Would I be too likely to damage an ebike with the terrain mentioned, and by dropping it over, or pulling under, barbed wire fences? (I'm guessing I'm really screwed if the ebike touches an electric fence!)

I'm mostly looking at using this with a lot of pedal assist, almost as a motorcycle (but ELECTRIC!).

Am I totally stupid for considering this as a valid option? Maybe an ebike won't have the resale value like an ATV after a few years, but if I can get one for <$2000, and use it for work and outside of work, it would be worth every penny!

George S.

Well-Known Member
Since no one has said anything... You might look at options for building a heavy duty ebike with a powerful mid-drive motor. Something like the Bafang BBSHD. There are fat tire bikes available online. A lot would depend on how well you could maneuver it. In terms of power and durability it could probably be done.

Lot of BBSHD builders on this forum, which is pretty specialized for building.


Well-Known Member
hmm, this question might have been posted in two sections...there is another thread with the exact same details that was just posted yesterday.


Well-Known Member
I would think there will be too many days when the terrain is wet and muddy, when your partner needs a ride, when it's raining bad and you just want to huddle under your poncho and creep along the fire roads, Might even be a day when you have do a lot of hill climbing and wear out the battery by lunchtime. Or a day when you have a flat tire, mount the spare tube and it blows too.

You know the old saying. Get the right tool for the job.