Newbie-Advice on Fat Tire, Full suspension All Terrain bikes!

FXB3

New Member
Hey all. Another Newbie to the site and Ebike world looking for advice on an Ebike purchase. I’ll cut to the chase for those not interested in reading a long bio. However, I feel anytime you ask total strangers for advice on something it’s best to give them as much background information as possible so they, in turn, can give the best advice possible. So read as little or as much as you like and please know I greatly appreciate anyone taking the time to respond!

I’m looking to get a Fat Tire, full suspension, mid drive trail bike/All Terrain? Enduro?, at least a 750 mid drive motor with a throttle control. Price range preferably below $2500 but willing to stretch that to get what I’m looking for or higher quality.
Bikes I’ve been interested in.....
M2S 750 FS
M2S All Terrain Ultra FS
BikTrix Juggernaut Ultra FS
Also.....what does Ultra mean? (faster? class 3?)
Riding style..
I'd like to be able to take all types of trails. I'm not hucking off of 20 foot jumps but would like to be able to take on the the bumps, whoops and jumps of fire roads or single trails as well as riding miles of street to get to the trails around me.

History...

I'm a college tennis coach of 24 years so far. 51 yrs young. 6' solid 190 lbs. Workout regularly in different capacities. Had knee surgery in late September. I've taken a 1 year leave of absence from my Coaching position and moved from Northern Cal to San Diego to move my daughter and I in with my Girlfriend and kids so I'd have help with my rehab which has been quite extensive (they had to break my leg, disconnect patella from Tibia, clean it out, shift patella toward inside of leg and reattach to tibia with 2 screws). I'm finally well on the road to better than new recovery and then Corona Virus hit thus shutting my 2 key avenues of rehab, going to the gym and surfing. They just shut down the surfing in San Diego this past weekend.
I've played every sport you can over my years and have been a big surfer and skateboarder my whole life. As far as my biking experience goes, I raced BMX bikes in my youth, got into Mt biking in my mid 20's and was a weekend rider until about 30. Also, got into Motocross and owned a Honda RM250 for about 3 years during that time. I then had my daughter at which time I didn't ride it enough and sold it.After about 15 years of not riding muchI Bought a friends old Sant Cruz Heckler about 3 years ago and stared riding again a little bit. Unfortunately, that bike was stolen during the move down here in September. :(

Why a Fat tire Ebike....
I own a boosted electric skateboard and a OneWheel XR. Both are super fun but I was missing the biking. One thing about San Diego is there are bikers everywhere...and I mean everywhere! I never really saw an electric bike up close until I moved here. It seems every other bike is electric. I've been jealous of the guys riding Fat Tire electrics ON THE BEACH as they go up and down the coast quickly looking for the best surf break. Huge advantage. I want a fat tire to ride on the beach but also I like the secure feel and the way it feels a bit like a dirt bike on the trails. I also want the power to get to all the great trails here and not have to expend all my biking energy on the way there or put bike on car and drive there. I'd like a throttle because some times my newly repaired knee can't give me what I need. At times I'll be on a single trail maneuvering the bike through turns and need a little speed boost to keep going and I can't peddle because of one reason or another pertaining to the knee.

So 2 weeks ago I was doing research on Ebikes. I got an itchy trigger finger and picked up the Ecotric Rocket Fat Tire on Amazon. I made this purchase because it was under $1000, it had front suspension and although it was not yet reviewed its sister bike with no front suspension got very high marks. It arrived with a few small issues main one being the back rim/tire was not true. I didn't know much about fat tire bikes and thought it would get seated or work its way out after a ride or 2 (no bike shops open to bring it to either). That never happened. I took it on 2 good 10+ mile rides on streets to fire trails to single trails and had a blast! Good power and peddle assist when needed, handled well as I felt I could throw it around a bit and throttle came in handy when needed. However, after the 2nd ride the motor started making a loud noise and it just didn't ride right. It's been in the garage for last week as I've tried to fix it myself and little response from the company. Thats when I found this site and realized I made a mistake buying this bike expecting it to perform the way I want to ride. I will be returning it.

So with the corona virus shutting my favorite activities down but biking being allowed it's led me to this! I'm super excited to find a bike that meets my needs and also joining what seems to be a super cool community or riders and resources on this site!

Thanks for your time!

Frankie
 

Allroads

Member
I too did a fair amount of research and decided on M2S. They've managed a decent level of components across the board and varied lineup of models to suit most entry level buyers. Priced right with little inventory makes buying a challenge. This is my first buy and certainly not my last.
 

Mike_V

Active Member
Hi FX,
Dude rode a Santa Cruz !
Then why not buy a downhill bike and install a good mid drive kit ?
After your Ecotric kids toy return, you're done, even if the bicycle falls apart.
Good Luck
Mike
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Ultra is a mid drive (motor weight is sprung on a FS, weight is centered, and power delivered through bike's chain so can leverage the bike's gearing). The M2S 750 FS is a rear hub (motor is in the rear wheel so will be rear heavy and less efficient due to centrifugal inertia, weight is unsprung on a FS, and motor cannot take advantage of the bike's gearing, it works independently pushing the rear wheel and may overheat on big hills).

It really doesn't make sense to have full suspension with heavy rear hub due to suspension dynamics. Ultra is not perfect, it's heavier than other mid drives but more powerful and you'll probably want it for a heavy fat tire with FS. Also check out the Luna X1. It's not a fat tire but pretty wide. Will be better for single track but not really geared to be a fast street bike. Quiet gear option is a must on the X1 with M600 motor. Luna also has the fat BABE but depending on how many hills you ride the IGH may not have enough gearing. It's not a FS but on a fat bike you may not need FS.

Good luck.
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
I’m looking to get a Fat Tire, full suspension, mid drive trail bike/All Terrain? Enduro?, at least a 750 mid drive motor with a throttle control. Price range preferably below $2500 but willing to stretch that to get what I’m looking for or higher quality.
Bikes I’ve been interested in.....
M2S 750 FS
M2S All Terrain Ultra FS
BikTrix Juggernaut Ultra FS

The Biktrix will be at least $900 more than your price limit. Just how flexible are you with pricing?
 

FXB3

New Member
The Biktrix will be at least $900 more than your price limit. Just how flexible are you with pricing?
Well as I do more research I realize that I may have to be very flexible! So I'm open to learning more and possibly paying more.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
I didn't see our price limit but none of the Ultra FS will be under $2500. I would look at HT as you don't really need FS on a fat bike.

BPM Imports was selling a HT F1000 for under $2300 but it appears they have removed their discounting and the latest feedback I've seen would make me hesitant to recommend (batteries seem substandard).

Frey is probably the best option out there for a Fat HT Ultra but it's going to take a few months to get a bike.

Luna Fat BABE might be the closest to meeting your needs if you don't need gear range for hills. Might be worth a 2 hour drive to LA to test ride one if they are still open.
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
Luna Fat BABE might be the closest to meeting your needs if you don't need gear range for hills. Might be worth a 2 hour drive to LA to test ride one if they are still open.

I got an email they are not open for test rides nor for retail store/bicycle pickup.
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Here's another option to consider if you don't want to break the bank. It's not FS. It's not fat tire. It's not 750W. Why suggest it? Well, it probably has wide enough tires for the beach and it's reasonably light with above average components for trail riding without breaking the bank:

Fuji Ambient for $1649

That is a google cache from when the price was lower. They raised the price but I heard they will honor the lower price if you contact them and ask nice, including free shipping.

It has an older Bosch performance motor which is a little louder than the current generation. It's not 750W, but if your goal is to get exercise you really don't need 750W in a mid drive. It's nice to have more power, sure. Just something to consider if you don't want to spend $2-4K.

 

FXB3

New Member
You guys are all awesome! Appreciate the advice and you've guided me to so many great options. Now that I've delved deeper into the ebike world and what I really want I realize I may have to raise my budget by at least 2k more. It also appears to be a small market for Higher quality, Fat Tire, Full suspension, mid drive with throttle, all terrain Mountain bikes. I do like the Luna BABE. My search continues and please feel free to suggest others but I wonder these few questions.
1. Should I give up on a full suspension for a FAT TIRE? Do I even need rear suspension on a Fat Tire.
2. Should I give up the Fat Tire and just stick with a standard size which has more availability in FS?
 

TomD

Well-Known Member
Hard to say. It's a big investment and only you know what's important to you.

Most of the "fat" options out there come with 4" fat tires. Will that be wide enough for riding loose sand on the beach? Are you just planning to ride on packed stuff where a plus size tire might suffice? I can't really help here as I've never ridden a fat tire, much less an ebike on the beach.

Most people seem to either love or hate fat tire bikes. Maybe you got an idea from riding your cheaper bike before it died.

The only options you really have for a fat mid drive under $4K are:

1) lighter M600 HT Luna BABE ($3K with quiet gear + shipping)
2) heavier Ultra mid drive HT like Frey Hunter, BPM Imports F1000, M2S, Biktrix ($2K+)
3) even heavier Ultra mid drive FS like Frey, M2S, Biktrix ($3K+)

A lot of people seem happy with their M2S and Biktrix. I think the M2S look cleaner. Biktrix supposedly have done some tuning to make the Ultra smoother, but look so fugly although maybe they've updated the battery logo and design. YMMV. From a cost stand point and the ability to spec anything you want the Frey would be my choice.


But with Frey you are looking 2+ months out (6 months if you want free shipping) so Frey may not be an option if you want a bike sooner rather than later.

There are other fat mid drives like Haibike Full Fat Six but they have 250W nominal (500W peak) motors and I just don't think they are that compelling from a cost / performance for a FS fat bike. In the $6K price range I'd rather splurge on something like this (not that it's really any better than the cheaper options, but probably the coolest looking fat bike I've seen other than the Luna Apex which no longer seems in production):


As far as whether a FS eMTB might be better, I would test ride some and see what you think. Specialized has their entry level Turbo Levo on sale for $4.5K after rebate. Not that I would recommend that model, more just one to test ride at your LBS.
 

FXB3

New Member
Hard to say. It's a big investment and only you know what's important to you.

Most of the "fat" options out there come with 4" fat tires. Will that be wide enough for riding loose sand on the beach? Are you just planning to ride on packed stuff where a plus size tire might suffice? I can't really help here as I've never ridden a fat tire, much less an ebike on the beach.

Most people seem to either love or hate fat tire bikes. Maybe you got an idea from riding your cheaper bike before it died.

The only options you really have for a fat mid drive under $4K are:

1) lighter M600 HT Luna BABE ($3K with quiet gear + shipping)
2) heavier Ultra mid drive HT like Frey Hunter, BPM Imports F1000, M2S, Biktrix ($2K+)
3) even heavier Ultra mid drive FS like Frey, M2S, Biktrix ($3K+)

A lot of people seem happy with their M2S and Biktrix. I think the M2S look cleaner. Biktrix supposedly have done some tuning to make the Ultra smoother, but look so fugly although maybe they've updated the battery logo and design. YMMV. From a cost stand point and the ability to spec anything you want the Frey would be my choice.


But with Frey you are looking 2+ months out (6 months if you want free shipping) so Frey may not be an option if you want a bike sooner rather than later.

There are other fat mid drives like Haibike Full Fat Six but they have 250W nominal (500W peak) motors and I just don't think they are that compelling from a cost / performance for a FS fat bike. In the $6K price range I'd rather splurge on something like this (not that it's really any better than the cheaper options, but probably the coolest looking fat bike I've seen other than the Luna Apex which no longer seems in production):


As far as whether a FS eMTB might be better, I would test ride some and see what you think. Specialized has their entry level Turbo Levo on sale for $4.5K after rebate. Not that I would recommend that model, more just one to test ride at your LBS.


You pretty much nailed it. Yes I want to ride the beach. Yes I want performance on the trail. Yes I love the feel of the fa tire ride. Yes, my short time riding the cheaper fat tire bike led me to wanting one.
im now looking at all options including the HT models. Totally agree with you on the appearance of the M2S compared to Biktrix. Really like the Luna BABE but don’t know much about belt drive and IGH.
thanks again!