Fat tires?

Lisa

New Member
I am considering a fat tire electric bike but could use some help.
I will be using it to commute to work-16 miles, half on dirt roads that are gravely and have holes and ruts, half on pavement. Not looking to ride in the sand or snow.
Would fat tires be the way to go or a mountain bike the better way?
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I have two Radrover 4" fat tire bikes with about 1200 mile between them since Sept/16 I use mostly to commute to work. The second bike is the wife's; but, I switch off bikes to keep wear/tear the same. I also like riding after work and weekends (paved bike trails down to single track). I put around 45-75 miles per week depending on the weather. My work commute is only 6.5 miles one way; but, I sometimes take detours to ride the bike trails near the Rio Grande river. I can do 20-25 miles on a single ride if I do that.

My likes for the fat tire bike are:
- Fat tires do an excellent job smoothing out the ride as I transition from paved roads, side walks, curbs, dirt lots, hard packed dirt trails, sandy trails, pockmarked/washboard trails, and rocky conditions on a single ride. I also added the Bodyfloat seatpost that also helps smooth out the ride if your ebike doesn't have a full suspension.
- Only need 15 PSI plow through sand that would stop thinner tires or 20 PSI for paved road to improve battery/motor efficiency. I split the difference at around 17-18 PSI to handle both surfaces on a single ride.
- Having a front suspension is helpful in smoothing out the ride
- Stopping power, I think my +70lbs fat tire ebike stops better than my 32lbs 700c bike because of the larger contact patch of the tires (both have cable disc brakes).

Some dislikes are:
- knobby tires are noisy on asphalt/concrete. Upgraded to Vee Rubber 8 26X4 120 tpi tires and they have less road noise and still have very good grip on hard packed and softer trails.
- At 62lbs+another 10-12lbs for rack/bag/accessories makes it a heavy bike if you need to pedal without power
- HUGE, takes up a lot of space and hard to stuff in a back of a SUV and hard to lift on a bike rack. My wife at 4'11" and 130lbs cannot lift the Radrover onto or Saris Freedom SuperClamp 4 platform bike rack
- zero public transportation options. You need a full size SUV, pick up bed, or push your bike if you have issues.

I was able to purchase two Radrovers for the price of one of the more expensive eMTB. I think if I had to do it all over again (since the wife hardly rides her bike), I would looked into a 2.25" 2.8" tire eMTB with full suspension and mid-drive. You still get the fat tire benefits, easier to perform tire maintenance (front/back quick release), more balance bike because of no rear hub, lower center of gravity, usually greater range/power, usually lighter weight, smaller size, and easier to handle (public transportation back on the table).
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
I have 4 - 4 inch fat tire bikes, I might be happy with a 3 1/2 inch but I don't know that I would go much smaller

Main thing I like about them is the ability to change onto varied terrains with no instability of the bike

I am not an experienced bike rider and the fat tires give me more stability and confidence
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
Sixteen miles one way or both? A true dat tie bike is probably going to have difficulty going 32GB miles on a single charge.

What is your budget? A nice 27.5+ (the plus refers to plus size tires, topically sound three inches) mountain bike would be a good compromise over full fat tires.
 

Lisa

New Member
Sixteen miles one way or both? A true dat tie bike is probably going to have difficulty going 32GB miles on a single charge.

What is your budget? A nice 27.5+ (the plus refers to plus size tires, topically sound three inches) mountain bike would be a good compromise over full fat tires.

It's 32 miles round trip, but I figured on charging the bike at work. Mrgold brought up the public transportation and weight issues which I hadn't considered. Now I'm thinking mountain bike or folding fat tires might be better.

I was thinking under 3000 dollars
 

pxpaulx

Well-Known Member
Some of the new easy motion bikes would be excellent options with that budget - with the larger 500wh and 600wh batteries 32 miles would be no problem without having to charge at work either.

If you're even thinking about using public transportation, fat tire is a no-go, don't think 27.5+ options would be viable either. A nice MTB with a decent upright riding position should work well. You should be able to negotiate a nice easy motion or haibike (maybe a bulls) down to $3k out the door, don't aim low - a quality bike from a reputable brand is worth it imho (as an owner of 5 different e-bikes over the last couple of years).