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

Can a Fat Tire Ebike replace an ATV?


  • Total voters
    7

ME_here

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!
 

EriderM

Member
I would worry a little about submerging the hub motor if the water is too deep in a flooded field. Also, the rad bikes don't have suspension so some extreme bumpy areas could jarring. Does your work vehicle have 120v power if you need a little recharge? If I was in your line of work the mini would definitely entice me, even a rover with an added rack.
 

one4torque

Active Member
My attempts to use a hopped up sondors in this fashion have left me broke down 4 mi in the bush.

3 flat tires due to thorns and thin fat tires
1 burned controller
1 derauleur failure

So i would say it will have to be a VERY well sorted kit. Gl
 

Kyogiro

Member
Punctures wise, I transioned my tires to be tubeless to avoid the small punctures.

I followed this split tube method :

As for the rest, I really don't know, the ATV is definitively designed to sustain more hazardous terrain than any fatbike.
 

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AHicks

Well-Known Member
For unpredictable terrain, it's nearly impossible to beat a good ATV with a winch on it. That's just about the most "go anywhere" available (shy of a tracked vehicle anyway).

That's not to say you couldn't cut the hours put on the ATV by at least half with a fat tired bike. That alone would justify the purchase price...... Hard to put a price on the smile on your face!
 

ki11a

Active Member
The only way I think a Fat tire Ebike can replace an ATV is if it was a 2 Wheel drive/All wheel drive, meaning a motor in front and motor in back or a motor that is pushing both wheels with independant power.

The only option I know of that has this on an Ebike is the Ariel Rider - D-Class Dual-Motored Scrambler Ebike which is a decent chunk of change at $2000.

 
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mrgold35

Well-Known Member
It would be nice to get both and pick the transport depending on job/terrain.

I think I would lean toward getting a used ATV first. You could probably get a very good used ATV+trailer for around $2000. I figured that would be the same amount you would spend for the Rad Power Bike plus accessories (hitch rack, bike rack/storage bags, riding gear, tubes/slime/mr. tuffy, seat/seatpost, lights, etc...). I can ride my Radrover all year in NM because it usually cool to hot, dry, and sunny 90% of the time. I even work commute on my Rover with morning temps in the teens in winter (in the 40s by afternoon).

I do stay away from snow, ice, rain, and muddy conditions. The fat tires just kick up a ton of water/muck and pretty much soaks you from the waist down (or up your back) if you don't have fenders. Depending on the constancy of the mud w/ or w/o debris, it can cake up on the fat tires as if you are making a mud snowball and jam up between the frame/forks and tires. Even with winter studded tires, I wouldn't want to take a chance wiping out on my rover (wiped out once on muddy trail turn and hurt my shoulder and broke the handlebar stem of my rover).

Probably the cheapest option would be to find a used rover or another fat tire bike and convert to a mid-drive:
Mid drives would have waaaaay more tq to handle the almost any incline, come in around $1000+$1400 depending on drive unit+battery+LCD screen, and you could add the mid-drive to a fat tire trike for dual rwd power.

Addmotor-Motan-Electric-Tricycle-24-Inch-Fat-Tire-Electric-Trike-3-Wheel-Ebikes-750W-Electric-...jpg
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Good point raised here. One regarding the cost of an ATV. After MANY years riding them right from the door of a northern Mi. vacation home, I'm completely spoiled. Here in Mi. many of the northern sections allow them to be ridden on roads, much the same way as Golf carts in some Florida community's. Anyway, my ATV's were generally several times more costly (even used), than I would ever pay for an -e-bike! Given the same amount of time on an e-bike as I was granted on all sorts of ATV's, wonder what I'll think an "expensive" e-bike is worth a few years down the road?
 

richard.rivers

New Member
The only way I think a Fat tire Ebike can replace an ATV is if it was a 2 Wheel drive/All wheel drive, meaning a motor in front and motor in back or a motor that is pushing both wheels with independant power.

The only option I know of that has this on an Ebike is the Ariel Rider - D-Class Dual-Motored Scrambler Ebike which is a decent chunk of change at $2000.

Ariel D-Class climbs hill better than most mid-drive motors.