The Best Electric Bikes for Large People

Electric bikes can empower you to overcome physical challenges that might be getting in the way of riding a traditional unpowered bicycle. I discovered the technology in 2012 when a knee injury started making my commute to work uncomfortable… I was still capable of pedaling but there was discomfort towards the end of long rides and especially up hills. I made this video way back then explaining what ebikes are and showing my commute.

I’m not a big person myself at 5’9″ and 135 lbs but with a backpack full of work gear, balanced somewhat precariously, I began to understand what it must be like. Several of my family members struggle with weight and one of my friends is very tall so this guide is meant to present some options for different types of large people, whether it be fat and weight gain for plus sized individual or long legs and torso for those who are extra tall. I have ridden and reviewed ebikes of all sorts and some were too small for my body size and I banged my knees and felt cramped on the frame so I feel like I understand some of the challenges and hope this helps :)

Good Electric Bikes for Overweight Riders

These models offer a large saddle, upright body position, sturdy frame and include racks so you do not have to endure the added strain of weight on your back. They can be great for people who are overweight or just heavier in general.

Pedego Classic Interceptor Review

  • MSRP: $2,995
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

A sturdy, powerful cruiser style electric bike with large 500 watt geared motor and 48 volt Lithium-ion battery. Balloon tires, comfort saddle, suspension seat post and oversized handlebars create a relaxed upright ride...

Pedego 24″ Step-Thru Interceptor Review

  • MSRP: $2,995
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

A smaller version of the Interceptor that's easier to mount, it offers great power thanks to its smaller wheels paired with a 500 watt geared hub motor and 48 volt battery. Offers twist throttle and five levels of assist for increased range, throttle override puts you…...

E-Lux All-Trac Electric Cruiser Review

  • MSRP: $1,999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

An electric fat bike designed for comfortable cruising with large oversized handlebars, a suspension seat post and smoother tires. Basic drivetrain with seven speeds, throttle on demand and five levels of pedal assist, full…...

Daymak Florence Review

  • MSRP: $1,999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015, 2016

A stable, three-wheeled electric bike (trike) with front and rear cargo baskets for hauling supplies or groceries. Full length matching fenders look great and keep you dry, the basic headlight and large…...


 

Good Electric Bikes for Tall Riders

These models are available in several frame sizes so you can choose what fits your body type, they are also solid feeling, have racks and larger motors for moving the added weight that height brings.

OHM Urban XU700 16 Review

  • MSRP: $4,199
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

A high power, high speed, urban style electric bike with nearly every accessory you could, great for commuting or trekking. Extremely quiet drivetrain, four levels of assist and regen with variable speed trigger throttle, removable…...

Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 Review

  • MSRP: $3,799
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

One of the most capable step-thru cruisers around, excellent range, stiff frame, good weight distribution and safety features. Aluminum alloy fenders and rear carry rack are painted to match the frame (and they…...

Felt OUTFITTER Review

  • MSRP: $5,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

A stylish fat tire electric bike with unique camouflage paint job, stylish Old Man Mountain cargo racks and integrated Motion Stella 300 headlight. Offers 11 speeds with a quality SRAM X1 drivetrain, second generation electronic systems by Bosch...

Haibike XDURO Trekking Pro Review

  • MSRP: $4,650
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015

A long-range capable touring our commuting style electric bike that climbs well, has a balanced weight distribution and offers 27 speeds for a steady cadence at most speeds. Excellent accessories including LED lights, full-length fenders and sturdy rear-rack with spring latch...


 

Good Electric Bikes Kits for Large Riders

Maybe you already own a bike that fits your body perfectly but are struggling to ride? These kits are higher quality, fit a range of bicycle frames and offer more power for moving big people.

e-RAD 750 Watt Mid Drive Conversion Kit Review

  • MSRP: $950
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014, 2015

The most powerful but still legal mid-drive electric bike kit I've tested, can be unlocked for increased speed if you intend to ride off-road or on private property ~40 mph top speed. Perfect for cargo style ebikes, fat ebikes and other heavy duty applications, pairs with cassettes,…...

Falco Hx 750 Review

  • MSRP: $2,195
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

A modular, open source electric bike kit with powerful 750 watt gearless motor. Works in torque sensing, cadence sensing or throttle mode for different applications...

E-BikeKit 500W Direct Drive Kit Review

  • MSRP: $862
  • MODEL YEAR: 2014

Value electric bike kit in multiple wheel sizes, works with front or rear, throttle only design. Excellent support and warranty, easy to install, multiple battery options for weight or range...


 

This guide isn’t comprehensive and new models come out every year but I hope it serves as a starting point and guides you towards brands that make e-bikes that work well for big people. One of the best ways to relax, connect with your community and stay healthy (either by reducing stress or getting a cardiovascular workout) is cycling. You can do it almost anywhere and work it in to a busy schedule by making it part of your transportation routine… even if that’s just running to the local store or riding to a friend’s house. I spoke with my Uncle about his experience riding to work and back every day in this video interview and it was really inspiring to hear how his health had improved since he started (and how much he enjoyed it). Electric bikes aren’t as cheap as normal bicycles but they can help to make cycling fun or even possible again for those with physical challenges or rigorous terrain.

18 Comments

TenBlinkers
1 year ago

Under bikes for overweight riders - what about the rest of the cargo bikes? RadWagon, elMundo, Pedago Stretch, Xtracycle Edgerunner, HPC SuperMundo, etc. Most if not all of them can handle over 300lbs.

Court Rye
1 year ago

That's an excellent point! Thanks for adding those bikes in the comments, I'll update the list above with a cargo bike section because you're correct that they do tend to offer greater strength for carrying heavy loads and most are adjustable to suite a wide range of rider heights as well :)

Orbit City Electric Bikes
11 months ago

We have found the Juiced Bikes ODK U500 (Cargo Bike) to be excellent for overweight people. The simplicity of the bike makes it easy to ride. The power is great, too. It holds up to 400lbs with no problem.

Court Rye
11 months ago

Good call Tom! Thanks for chiming in about this model... I re-reviewed the ODK V3 recently and plan to post it soon. I'm excited to come visit your shop sometime. Hope business is going well!

mike
10 months ago

Court, thank you, sincerely for all of your work. I need to get active again and I was going to get a regular mountain bike to use around town and take camping with me for some trail riding. After coming across a review you did on youtube I made the decision to go electric. I love this section for overweight people, as I am 300 lbs, but I noticed that these are all cruisers. Is there anything suited for a big guy that needs to get around hilly atlanta, with dirty ambitions for the weekend??

Court Rye
10 months ago

Great question Mike! Yeah, I leaned towards cruisers primarily to improve comfort... they offer a more relaxed upright ride and that could reduce strain on the back, shoulders, neck and arms for someone who has more weight. If you're excited about the mountain bike style and want to go off-road a bit then you could certainly go for a trail bike and even swap the handlebars for mid or high rise or even cruiser to sort of approximate an upright ride. Many ebikes say they limit rider weight to ~250 lbs but I see many people go beyond this (especially with gear). My friend Sam who runs the Electric Bicycle Center in Fullerton, CA is 260 lbs and he rides everything (and takes them off-road too). So it might come down to choosing a good bike with decent power. Here's the mountain ebike section of the site, just explore that and consider your height, whether it has a top-tube that you can clear easily and how much you want to spend. The 2016 IZIP E3 Peak has a really powerful mid-drive motor and smaller 27.5" wheels (vs. 29ers on many hardtails) and the price is decent. Good luck and report back what you decide and how it works out for you :D

TenBlinkers
10 months ago

Mountain bikes can be a good choice IMO, as they're built to take more strain. From what I've read, spokes and rims are the critical components to handle extra weight, followed by forks and welds. Low gauge spokes (12 or lower) and double rims would be what to look for, I believe. Perhaps someone can chime in to confirm.

The other good choice is cargo bikes – they’re designed to handle heavier loads. Not as good for off-road though :)

Amy
10 months ago

I appreciate that you did this section. I am over weight and out of shape. I used to exercise all of the time but 4 kids later not so much. I am 5 foot 4, over weight and always found bike riding hurt my butt even when I was in better shape. Any recomendations under $2500-2000? Thanks

Court Rye
10 months ago

Hi Amy, I really enjoy the Pedego Interceptor and they produce a "mini" version for shorter riders making it easier to mount and stand over. This bike is tough, sturdy, powerful and well made. It costs a bit more but they do offer a more basic mini-cruiser for those on a budget who don't mind foregoing pedal assist. Hope this helps! There are other smallish cruisers out there but Pedego has a great network of dealers and it seems like these two fit your budget pretty well. If you pedal a lot I suggest swapping the saddle out for something more narrow so you don't chaff the inside of your thighs but that might sacrifice the squishy supportive comfort of the saddles they come with stock... decisions, decisions ;)

Mitch
7 months ago

I think this section was well written, and in my case I have been looking for a e-bike to re-energize me back into riding again like I used to. I am 310 lbs. and was more than 100 lbs lighter some time ago ago when I last rode to keep in better shape. I found the Specialized Turbo x (2015 model) has worked well for me. I live in a hilly park of Kansas City where the roads are rough, not too many trail options, so I needed a bike that was up for the job of not just helping me up a hill. Im happy to say in the case of this bike (200W nominal motor) its worked just as I want. It will get me up the large hill and keep me exercising (as the other bikes in this section indicate they would do as well). Thanks Cort, you helped me!

Court Rye
7 months ago

That's wonderful Mitch! Thanks for sharing your experience and the compliments, I do my best. Ride safe out there and have a blast ;)

Pat
6 months ago

Hi all. I'm ridiculously out of shape and 350 lbs. I bought a Kalkhoff agattu xxl model in 2013 and absolutely love it. Out on the bike every chance I get. They are rated to 170 kg (374 lbs). At the time there were no Kalkhoff dealers in Atlanta and I ordered from 50 cycles in London (no tax made up for shipping) but there is a kalkhoff USA now. Great quality German bikes. There is another bike coming out now for 2017 season the Staiger ENA (rated to 150 kg (330lbs) again quality bikes. These two come in different sizes too small 45cm, medium 50cm and large 55 cm.

Court Rye
6 months ago

Nice! Good for you Pat, glad the bike has been working out well and appreciate your specific feedback about the weight rating of the model you chose. I've got more Kalkhoff reviews in the works which will be posted here eventually and the same parent company makes Focus and Gazelle which I'll be posting on later this year :D

Robert
5 months ago

Hi, I really like you reviews, well done and thorough. I have a question I need some help with. I have a cruiser bike I'm comfortable with and want to put a front wheel emotor kit on it. I'm 6'0" and weigh 220lbs, so which category would I fit in, large people??? Also, what size motor should I be considering, 250, 500, or 750 watts? I have to keep the price as low as possible. Intend to ride neighborhoods and town only.

Court Rye
5 months ago

Hey Robert! Many electric bikes have a maximum weight load of 250 lbs so I think you're alright that way but given your height, intended use in neighborhoods and around town along with your budget I'd aim for a 500 watt or stronger kit (e-RAD makes some good ones) or get a fully built cruiser like the ones E-LUX makes (The Newport is their most affordable model at under $2k). They are cheaper than Pedego but still very powerful. I always prefer built bikes vs. kits because they look better and kits can be tricky to install... It seems like you always have to make trade-offs because the frames are slightly different from bike to bike. Hope this helps!

Fergus McQuickly
1 month ago

Hello! I am a 6'6", 230-pound, 50 year old man. I am in very good shape and I am seeking an electric offroad bike that can handle my size. Thank you! Fergus

Court Rye
1 month ago

Hi Fergus, I'd suggest asking around in the forums as well as the comments here. Are you interested in full suspension, a hardtail, or do you have a set budget? Maybe I can list a few options with that info for you ;)

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