Electric Fat Bike Commuter

ZeroPointM

New Member
During the course of searching for a commuter electric bike I decided on a few key feature basics.
  • Must be production ready, no crowd funded or custom built.
  • Fat tire 4in+, with road, trail(base), and snow variants.
  • 500 watt base rating on the motor.
  • 14Ah preferred minimum battery capacity.
  • Must be snow and rain usable.
Right now my top choice is RipCurrent S in Black, Large or Extra Large frame. Depending on availability and finances base 48v/13Ah($1,700) with the 52v/21Ah($3,00) upgrade either right away or after sometime to boost my range and speed.

The price range is under $5,000, hoping to spend less as getting an electric bike is an attempt to cut down on vehicle spending over a few years time.

To help organize everything I have put together a site using googles sites app it can be found at the following link Electric Fat Bike Commuter.

Looking for other recommendations for bikes, tires, gear, guides, clothing, parts, etc.
 

MisterM

Active Member
Biktrix Juggernaut hardtail or Ultra full suspension w/48v 20ah. M2S has similar bikes but won't have larger battery available until summer. Get biggest battery you can afford as those knobby fat tires have high rolling resistance.
 

Pittsburghmike

New Member
I have the Biktrix Juggernaut Classic HD. I have ridden it on the road, hard pack bike trails, in the snow, rain and very swampy single track. It is a very capable all around bike.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Have you ridden a fat bike? I own one and would not consider it a great commuter. Not even if you have gravel trails. My bike is just not nimble. It takes effort to steer, not great for avoiding hazards. A bike with tires in the 2" to 2.5" would be more appropriate. I've found snow riding to be very challenging. Just because you have wide tires, snow conditions are much more important than tire size. Frozen snow is the worst, but 6" of wet is just as bad. If you ride with knobby tires for the snow, they are incredibly loud on dry pavement. Then with riding on anything icy, you'll need spike tires. Most fat tires are on the soft side for grip. So short mileage and easy flats. Good luck in your search, but ride a fat bike before ordering one!
 

jazz

Well-Known Member
I have ridden many fat bikes powered and not powered and find the opposite to be true. They do take more effort to get going but once you are going, they feel more stable, much more versatile over different terrain, more durable, ride much smoother even without any suspension, can coast forever and with the right tires not named Kenda, can be almost as quiet as any bike. I also happen to think they are safer because of their size and weight. Once you get used to a fat bike going back to a regular bike is a jarring experience.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I have ridden many fat bikes powered and not powered and find the opposite to be true. They do take more effort to get going but once you are going, they feel more stable, much more versatile over different terrain, more durable, ride much smoother even without any suspension, can coast forever and with the right tires not named Kenda, can be almost as quiet as any bike. I also happen to think they are safer because of their size and weight. Once you get used to a fat bike going back to a regular bike is a jarring experience.
How are they more durable? Fat tires make a bike last longer? I know they don't make brake pads more durable.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I have two 750w rear hub+throttle 2016 Radrover 4" fat tire bikes I use for work commuting and single track riding. They started out as his/her ebikes; but, the wife doesn't ride as much as I do and I end up switching off ebikes to keep wear/tear/mileage the same (+4200 between both ebikes). I've found the same advantages as @jazz with fat fire bikes compared to my old 700X40c commuter bike. Same experience with Kenda Juggernauts being loud, flat prone, wear down easily, and just ok grip in different terrain. We hardly get any rain or snow in the southwest and I don't like to ride when it is wet. I would also add, I think fat tire bikes compared to regular/plus size ebikes of the same weight brake a little better because of the larger tires and bigger contact patch on the road/dirt. Emergency stopping power at 15-22 mph when I'm at +275lbs comes in handy when work commuting with distracted drivers.

Most of the time, you will find a fat tire bike weights about the same as other plus size rear hub commuters. One big plus with my fat tire bike is it has a geared hub for 2X the TQ at 80 Nm compared to plus size tire rear hub bikes with direct drive hubs at 40Nm at the same size/weight. Having 2X the TQ really comes in handy with inclines, getting across intersections in a hurry, faster acceleration, or really windy days.

I also like I can roll over almost any type of terrain and transition from smooth/broken paved roads, sidewalks, dirt lots, sand/gravel, hard packed trails, and single track at almost any speed (which I do sometimes on a single ride if I take fun ride detour after work). My 700X40c bike would beat me up pretty good over the same terrain and speeds compared to my fat tire bike (both have front suspension and Suntour suspension seatpost).
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
It depends on how bad your streets are in your city. Where I live they are cratered badly and riding a fatbike really helps to absorb the bumps and potholes. I'd never go back to skinny tires unless I was riding on smooth roads.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I just watch Electric Bike Reviews on the RipCurrent S. That is one nice ebike for the price with a lot of upgrades compared to my Radrover.

I had to add an adjustable stem to raise the handlebars on my Radrover for more upright riding position for less "numb hands" and lower back strain from leaning forward too much. Might need to do the same if you commute long distance with the RipCurrent and need a touch more comfort.
 

Fitzy

Active Member
I dunno...I love my 2015 HaiBike FatSix. Plenty of happy commuting and trail-riding. Extremely durable, and has been excellent in adverse weather-conditions. ~$3000
 

Tim Skafidas

New Member
I have the Biktrix Juggernaut Classic HD. I have ridden it on the road, hard pack bike trails, in the snow, rain and very swampy single track. It is a very capable all around bike.
I have one coming. I wasn’t going to make it my primary trail bike, but being a hardtail how does it handle on single track? Is it good in snow? How is the range? Do you use studded snows in the winter? Any other thoughts or experiences are welcomed
 

CodyDog

Well-Known Member
Have you ridden a fat bike? I own one and would not consider it a great commuter. Not even if you have gravel trails. My bike is just not nimble. It takes effort to steer, not great for avoiding hazards. A bike with tires in the 2" to 2.5" would be more appropriate. I've found snow riding to be very challenging. Just because you have wide tires, snow conditions are much more important than tire size. Frozen snow is the worst, but 6" of wet is just as bad. If you ride with knobby tires for the snow, they are incredibly loud on dry pavement. Then with riding on anything icy, you'll need spike tires. Most fat tires are on the soft side for grip. So short mileage and easy flats. Good luck in your search, but ride a fat bike before ordering one!
I replaced my heavy spring loaded suspension fork with a rigid Surly fork on my Rad Rover fat bike. This made the front end 5 lbs lighter and very easy to steer.
 

Barry S

Well-Known Member
I replaced my heavy spring loaded suspension fork with a rigid Surly fork on my Rad Rover fat bike. This made the front end 5 lbs lighter and very easy to steer.
I saw the picture of your Surly fork in another post. Any problems installing it? Thinking about doing the same since I'm only riding on the road and keep the fork locked out anyway. Losing 5# on the bike would definitely be a plus. BTW, did you see the new Zig Zag tire from Vee Tire? I love that there's another road tire option for fat tire bikes although I love the Supercell.
 

Tim Skafidas

New Member
I replaced my heavy spring loaded suspension fork with a rigid Surly fork on my Rad Rover fat bike. This made the front end 5 lbs lighter and very easy to steer.
Commuting will be an easy bike path or road for me just a couple of miles. It’s really hilly and I’m never in a huge hurry coming down. I’ve been on a fat bike and it pretty awesome on where I plan to take it - mainly dirt roads and (occasionally) open single track. I plan on using the 4 inch tires this fall, then getting some studded snow tires for my winter riding. It’s rarely slush here (at 9,000-12,000 ft above sea level), but it occasionally gets crusty. Mostly packed powder or a few inches of powder snow. Next summer I’ll get the 27.5 wheels that will be available with 3” tires. I had a 27.5 mountain bike with 2.85” tires and loved it. Every review I have ever read said this bike will work well, but I expect a learning curve of course. I appreciate the advice and will keep you informed of how it works out!
 

CodyDog

Well-Known Member
I saw the picture of your Surly fork in another post. Any problems installing it? Thinking about doing the same since I'm only riding on the road and keep the fork locked out anyway. Losing 5# on the bike would definitely be a plus. BTW, did you see the new Zig Zag tire from Vee Tire? I love that there's another road tire option for fat tire bikes although I love the Supercell.

I had the local bike shop do the install. No problems with the fork. I hadn't seen the Zig Zag tire until you mentioned it. Love the tires. Glad to see we are having some choices in the tire department.