Fat Bike Gearing Question

fasteddy

New Member
I've started on the unending quest to educate myself about e-bikes, particularly 26 inch Fat Tired Bikes. I would like to purchase a couple, for myself and my wife, but I really need to know what features are best. I'm not looking to jump into the deep end right off the bat, looking at bikes priced between $2000 to $3000 Canadian Dollars, 750 watts with say a 15 to 20ah battery. I understand that the components won't be top of the line and I'm fine with that. I'm in the process of trying to figure what I need in the way of gearing for an Electric Fat Bike. The two brands I'm looking at pretty much have the same components and features, where they differ is in the gearing, One is a 7 speed, the other a 21. My question is what is best? Is the 21 geared bike going to have more issues with it's gear set then the 7? Am I missing out on a great gearing and an easier time of it if I take the seven speed? Why would one want one over the other? I really appreciate any clarity anyone could bring to this subject, it won't be the last question as I research, that's for sure. So glad I came upon this forum. Thanks
 

dmark

Member
My Biktrix Juggernaut Ultra 1000 has 11 gears, and I would prefer if it had only 5. I start in the lowest gear and then quickly shift to the highest gear, hardly using any of the gears in between, and I would prefer if there were fewer shifts required to make this transition. There might be some inclines where I would get the highest speed from a middle gear, but 5 speeds would be plenty for me to cover these scenarios. I think part of the problem for me is the SRAM shifter takes more action to shift than the more nimble Shimano shifter, although I find the SRAM shifter easier to operate while wearing heavy winter gloves.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
, where they differ is in the gearing, One is a 7 speed, the other a 21. My question is what is best? Is the 21 geared bike going to have more issues with it's gear set then the 7? Am I missing out on a great gearing and an easier time of it if I take the seven speed?
Depends on your riding style, your goals, the terrain you cover,your support team. It sounds as if the previous poster uses his bicycle always powered. 5 speeds is fine for that in flat terrain. I ride unpowered for exercise, but 6 hours at 5 mph into a 25 mph headwind is too much exercise. Thus I bought electricity for those days. I also have hills up to 15% grade. I bought a 24 speed bicycle with a motor that doesn't drag unpowered. I can pedal myself & 60 lb groceries unpowered up 15% in 32:28 and have in reserve 32:32 even slower. In 52:11 I can assist the motor at 22 mph if I am attempting an 80 mile round trip. With the quality of cables on my yubabike, I don't have to adjust the shifter bimonthly as I did on my previous pacific quantum MTB (a $200 bike). When the rain takes out the electricity, I don't have call a tow truck, I can pedal it unpowered. If your spouse is eager to pick you up after a road failure, go with the seven. If your terrain is flatter, 7 may be enough. If you are never going to pedal unpowered, 7 is enough.
BTW the "nimble" shimano thumb shifter on the Pacific Quantum MTB caused a 10 cm x 1 cm cyst over my thumb joint that it took 2 years to heal from, after I changed over to twist shift.
 
Last edited:

GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
My $900 Ecotric Fattie has 7 speeds, 500w motor and 13ah 36v battery. I have been up any hill I chose to go up and have gone 34miles on one charge ( using PAS 2) and have not run out of "juice" although it was obvious I was going to shortly ( another mile or 2). This is a rear hub bike so gears "help" move the bike taking load off the motor. If your looking at mid drive motors, gears actually work more directly with the motor to propel.

My only advise...know what you need for the "real" job. Now that my wife and I have some time riding I can find zero reasons to upgrade for the stuff we are doing. We have even held off buying an extra battery for her bike ( I have one) because so far our rides are well within the range of 25-30mi.

If your handy, on-line purchases of lower end fatties is pretty safe. Ecotric has been ok to deal with, not that we have had problems. They do get back if you email.

Fatties are fun. We often ride sand wash in Fl.

For reference, I'm pushing 70.
 

fasteddy

New Member
Thanks for the info, These bikes will ride on the back of our motor home and allow us to explore a bit farther afield when camping etc. I will get more use out of the fat tire option as my background is off road motorcycling, so if I see a single track style trail I will be sure to explore it, the wife well not so much into the exploring bit. What about pedaling without the electric assist, is it doable on a 70 lb bike? Would hate to run out of juice and find out I have to push it back..
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
What about pedaling without the electric assist, is it doable on a 70 lb bike? Would hate to run out of juice and find out I have to push it back..
Geared hub drive doesn't drag power off. Shimano brose & yamaha mid drives don't. Other mid drives do, you spin the motor with your feet. Direct drive hub drives do drag. When I had a DD hub motor, it felt like I was in 2 higher sprockets power off than I really was. Try out any bike candidate power off, you'll know what it is like at the end of a too long ride or after a bad rainstorm. My bike weighs 94 lb with panniers, tire tools, water, I pedal it unpowered all the time. Often with 60 lb groceries in the back outbound to camp. It is pretty hilly out near my summer camp in Marysville, less so here in the Ohio valley.
 

GypsyTreker

Well-Known Member
Make sure you can strap "up" your bike to transfer some of the load on the rack to the actual rv. Just towing my 26" fattie on back of our aliner cracked welds on the hitch mount. The distance from your tongue to the hitch amplifies the load. It was a pita for sure. I had to stop at a Home Depot and buy c-Clamps in order to get home. As to peddling without motor ..... Do it all the time,no biggie. Just use your lowest gear when it gets tiring . Its surprising how "not" difficult it is. Again I say this as an old gut who no longer tries to square off berms lol