Rattan Fat Bear Plus Review

Rattan Fat Bear Electric Bike Review
Rattan Fat Bear
Rattan Fat Bear Reibok 500w Gearless Rear Hub Motor
Rattan Fat Bear Folded Side View
Rattan Fat Bear Low Rise Handlebar Ergonomic Grips Color Lcd Screen
Rattan Fat Bear Control Pad Trigger Throttle
Rattan Fat Bear Shimano Trigger Shifters Gearing Window Stitched Leather Grips
Rattan Fat Bear Logan Hydraulic Brake Levers Motor Inhibitors
Rattan Fat Bear Chaoyang Big Daddy Tire 120mm Travel Suspension Fork Integrated Headlight
Rattan Fat Bear 160 Mm Front Hydraulic Disk Brake Rotor Dual Piston Caliper
Rattan Fat Bear 52 Tooth Steel Chainring Alloy Chain Guard
Rattan Fat Bear Alloy Chain Guard 170mm Crank Arms Welgo Folding Alloy Pedals
Rattan Fat Bear Rear Frame Shock 30mm Travel
Rattan Fat Bear Shimano Altus Derailleur Guard 8 Speed Cassette
Rattan Fat Bear Rear Mount Kickstand 180mm Rear Brake Rotor
Rattan Fat Bear Folded Front View
Rattan Fat Bear D Power 2 Amp Charger
Rattan Fat Bear 2 Amp Charger Specifications
Rattan Fat Bear Stock Mid Step Black
Rattan Fat Bear Stock Mid Step Dark Sea Green
Rattan Fat Bear Stock Mid Step Light Grey
Rattan Fat Bear Electric Bike Review
Rattan Fat Bear
Rattan Fat Bear Reibok 500w Gearless Rear Hub Motor
Rattan Fat Bear Folded Side View
Rattan Fat Bear Low Rise Handlebar Ergonomic Grips Color Lcd Screen
Rattan Fat Bear Control Pad Trigger Throttle
Rattan Fat Bear Shimano Trigger Shifters Gearing Window Stitched Leather Grips
Rattan Fat Bear Logan Hydraulic Brake Levers Motor Inhibitors
Rattan Fat Bear Chaoyang Big Daddy Tire 120mm Travel Suspension Fork Integrated Headlight
Rattan Fat Bear 160 Mm Front Hydraulic Disk Brake Rotor Dual Piston Caliper
Rattan Fat Bear 52 Tooth Steel Chainring Alloy Chain Guard
Rattan Fat Bear Alloy Chain Guard 170mm Crank Arms Welgo Folding Alloy Pedals
Rattan Fat Bear Rear Frame Shock 30mm Travel
Rattan Fat Bear Shimano Altus Derailleur Guard 8 Speed Cassette
Rattan Fat Bear Rear Mount Kickstand 180mm Rear Brake Rotor
Rattan Fat Bear Folded Front View
Rattan Fat Bear D Power 2 Amp Charger
Rattan Fat Bear 2 Amp Charger Specifications
Rattan Fat Bear Stock Mid Step Black
Rattan Fat Bear Stock Mid Step Dark Sea Green
Rattan Fat Bear Stock Mid Step Light Grey

Summary

  • A value-priced full suspension folding fat tire Ebike, with free shipping in the lower 48 states and a two-year comprehensive warranty
  • Comfortable ride thanks to the full suspension which is rare for a fat tire folder, with 120mm/30mm of travel in the front/rear, and ergonomic locking stitched grips
  • Reibok 500-watt rear hub motor is fairly quiet and offers regenerative capabilities, great performance from a Shimano Altus groupset and Logan hydraulic disc brakes
  • No attachment points for fenders, racks, or bottle cages, some cables are poorly managed, and the LCD screen is difficult to see in direct sunlight

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Rattan

Model:

Fat Bear Plus

Price:

$1,499

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Sand and Snow, Trail, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

2 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2019

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

59.2 lbs (26.85 kg)

Battery Weight:

6.5 lbs (2.94 kg)

Motor Weight:

9.1 lbs (4.12 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

20 in (50.8 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

15.5" Seat Tube, 27" Reach, 25" Stand Over Height, 30" Minimum Saddle Height, 23" Width, 68" Length (Folded: 41.5" Length, 31" Height, 20" Width)

Frame Types:

Folding

Frame Colors:

Light Grey, Dark Sea Green, Black

Frame Fork Details:

Aluminum Alloy, 120mm Travel, 32mm Steel Stanchions, 135mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

1000PD Rear Shock with 130mm Travel, 170mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Keyed Threaded Axle with 18mm Nuts

Gearing Details:

8 Speed 1x8 Shimano Altus Derailleur with Metal Guard, 11-30 Tooth Shimano CS-HG31-8 Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano SL-M310 Trigger Shifter on Right with Windowed Gear Indicator

Cranks:

Sulane Aluminum Alloy Arms, 170mm Length, Square Tapered Spindle, 51-Tooth Steel Chainring, Aluminum Alloy Chain Guard on Right

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Folding Pedals, Black, Reflective Panels

Headset:

Threadless, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, Straight 1-1/8"

Stem:

Aluminum Alloy, Telescoping Height, 310mm Base with 140mm Extension, 10mm Spacer, 25.4mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, Low-Rise, 590mm Width

Brake Details:

Logan Hydraulic Disc with 160mm Front and 180mm Rear Rotors, Dual-Piston Calipers, Aluminum Alloy Four-Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Ergonomic, Locking, Synthetic Stitched Grips

Saddle:

Generic, Silicone

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy, Quick Release, 185mm Travel

Seat Post Length:

270 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double Walled, 80mm Outer Width, 36 Hole, Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 11 Gauge, Black

Tire Brand:

Chaoyang Big Daddy , 20" x 4" (98-406)

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

5 to 20 PSI, .4 to 1.4 BAR, Tubeless Ready, 120TPI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Integrated Single-LED Headlight, Rear-Mount Adjustable Kickstand, Plastic Cable Wraps

Other:

Locking Removable Internal Frame Battery Pack with Samsung 2900 Cells, D-Power 1.4lb 2 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Reibok

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Gearless Motor
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

65 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.4 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

499 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

KBY-DISP, Adjustable Angle, Color LCD Display, Buttons: Up, Down, Lights, Menu, Power

Readouts:

Odometer, Current Speed, Pedal Assist Mode (0-3), Battery Level (Percentage), Trip Distance, Ride Timer, Wattage,

Display Accessories:

Trigger Throttle on Left

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (12 Magnet External Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by Rattan. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Rattan products.

Rattan is another new company for me, they have a direct-to-consumer model and their bikes are only available within the United States. They do offer free shipping for the lower 48 states, but charge for Alaska and Hawaii. The bike we are checking out today is the Fat Bear Plus, a value-priced folding fat tire electric bike… but unlike many of the other fat tire folders we’ve reviewed, this one has full suspension! On the front end, we have a suspension fork with a respectable 120mm of travel, and then in the back, we have a rear frame shock. Now the rear shock only has 30mm of travel and it is not adjustable (unlike the front fork which is adjustable for lockout and preload), but it performs well and really does make a big difference in terms of ride comfort. Combined with the aggressive tread and extra cushion of the Chaoyang Big Daddy fat tires, this setup allows the Fat Bear to tackle any sort of terrain, even sand and snow simply by lowering the pressure on the tires down to 5-10 PSI. These tires have great traction and are a lot of fun to ride, but they do have some downsides I want to call out. First up, not only is there no reflective striping in the sidewall, but there aren’t even reflectors on the spokes… I think it’s really important to have at least one or both of these for safety so I recommend adding some side reflectors of some sort if you buy one of these bikes. Also, these tires don’t include any puncture protection… kind of a bummer, because they will certainly see a lot of rough terrain riding. Now, they are naturally more resistant to punctures due to being thick fat tires, and they do have a higher than average thread count at 120TPI, but it would still be a good idea to add some sealant or other puncture protection. These tires are tubeless-ready as well, so you could also go that route! I mentioned the all-terrain capabilities of the Fat Bear, and it really looks the part, having what I would call a very rugged, rough appearance. It has sharper lines and corners on the frame, more visible weld joints, and the cable management, while functional, looks rough and leaves something to be desired with some control cables near the stem hanging too far out to the side for my liking. That makes me worry that the cables could snag on a tree branch and cause damage, but you can easily remedy this with some zip ties. Something else worth mentioning here is that the bike I reviewed is a prototype model, as opposed to their final production model, so please keep that in mind as the production model will be slightly different – hopefully for the better! I’ll be pointing out such changes when we get to them throughout this review.

Providing electric assistance here is a Reibok gearless rear hub motor with 500watts of power and 65nm of torque. This motor is another thing that sets the Fat Bear apart from the crowd, as it is able to capture kinetic energy from coasting or pedaling and use that to recharge the battery. Rattan’s system for this is called I-PAS which stands for “Intelligent Pedal Assist System”, and they say it not only handles regeneration but also helps the motor to be more efficient when assisting the rider, thus extending the range. Regenerative systems like these are certainly not new on Ebikes and they are the subject of much debate, with some seeing them as a cool and useful innovation, while others point out that they make for a more difficult and less efficient riding experience from the drag they create. I’m not here to settle that debate, but I will tell you my experience with Rattan’s I-PAS system. There is a noticeable resistance if you are coasting downhill, or if you push past the range of pedal-assist… it isn’t excessive by any means, but it’s definitely there. You’ll see the wattage readout on the integrated LCD screen change red and show a negative wattage, which indicates that the battery is being recharged. Being gearless this motor is noticeably quieter than its geared counterparts, with the big fat tires often creating more noticeable noise on pavement than the motor! We have the option of using throttle only with a trigger throttle on the left grip or using pedal-assist courtesy of a 12-magnet sealed cadence sensor. I appreciate that this is sealed to protect the magnets, especially since this bike is practically begging to be taken off-road. For moving the Fat Bear under human power we have a Shimano Altus system, which is a step up in quality from their entry-level Tourney groupset. This is a 1×8 setup with an 11-30 tooth cassette in the back and a 52-tooth steel chainring up front. This chainring has an aluminum alloy guard on the right side but no full guide for preventing the chain from bouncing off. At first, I was really disappointed by this, a full-suspension bike is naturally going to be ridden on some pretty bumpy terrain and I don’t want to have to worry about the chain bouncing off. However, despite my best efforts on curbs, rocks, and other obstacles, I was not able to get this chain to fall off a single time. The reason for this is the larger-than-average 52-tooth chainring, this means more “chain wrap” thus more teeth are engaged at any given time, helping to keep the chain secure. Before we move on I want to point out the metal derailleur guard, this helps protect the derailleur in the event of tipping the bike over or colliding with something on the right side, and I definitely appreciate having it here.

The battery on the Fat Bear is hidden inside the frame, and on my prototype model, the battery is specced at 48 volts and 10.4 amp-hours. On the production model, the battery is bumped up to 11.6 amp-hours, meaning capacity of about 556 watt-hours. Rattan uses high-quality Samsung cells and they estimate a range of 40-60 miles using the production battery and their I-PAS system. I rode 19 miles using either medium-to-high pedal-assist or throttle only and only used up 38% of the battery on my lower-capacity prototype, so I’m confident you would be able to easily hit those range estimates with the higher-capacity battery. Removing the battery is frustratingly complicated, and while you might not need to remove it very often it’s still a good idea when not riding the bike for a long time, especially if you’re storing the bike in a garage or somewhere similar that has a lot of temperature fluctuation. You must fold the bike first before you can remove the battery, and then unlock it using the included key. Then, you must remove the key, because it actually inserts into a locking mechanism that is part of the battery, so if the key is still inserted it will block you from removing the battery. Adding additional complication is the charge port cover, this rubber cover is on the left side of the frame and is on a leash, which I appreciate… but since it actually inserts into the battery charge port, it gets pulled inside the frame and broken when you pull out the battery. Basically, this means you have to remember to remove the charge port cover before removing the battery, otherwise it will get broken. If you aren’t used to remembering to do that, it will be very easy to forget and you could also easily lose the cover itself if you don’t realize what happened and it falls out of the frame! In addition to powering the bike itself this battery is also connected to an integrated headlight, this light is nothing to write home about with a single LED that is very visible from the front but doesn’t do a lot in terms of lighting up the road in front of you. Great for safety, but I recommend picking up a proper light if you’re riding at night – as well as one for the rear since we don’t have anything integrated there.

Looking at the cockpit we have ergonomic stitched synthetic locking grips, they feel nice and comfortable and I also appreciate the height of the handlebars, they felt very comfortable for me as a tall rider and I also appreciate that we have long cords so that they could be raised even higher. Shifting is handled by the Shimano trigger shifters on the right grip and they also feature a gearing readout window. For stopping power we have Logan hydraulic disc brakes, these do include motor inhibitors which is a good thing for a heavy bike using a cadence sensor! The brakes are connected to dual-piston calipers and (on my prototype model) 160mm front, 180mm rear rotors… a bit strange since the larger rotor should really be in the front. My understanding is that the production model of the Fat Bear will have 180mm rotors on both the front and rear. We also have the afore-mentioned trigger throttle on the left grip, this is a variable throttle so you can start slow and ramp up if you want, and it definitely comes in handy getting started since we’re working with a cadence sensor that can have some delay before the motor will kick in. Also on the left grip is the control pad with buttons for raising and lowering pedal assist, power, lights, and an info button for changing what is displayed on the screen. Speaking of pedal assist, we have three levels for that, with level 1 providing some assistance and a lower top speed, while level 3 provides a lot of assistance and will push you to a much higher top speed. On my prototype bike this top speed was at 20mph, but on Rattan’s website they list the top speed for the production at 25mph which would move it from being a Class 2 Ebike up to being a Class 3, so be aware of that! There is also a walk mode available by holding the “down” button for a few seconds, handy for maneuvering the bike if you’re carrying something too big to ride with or walking with a friend. The LCD screen is center-mounted and not removable though it does swivel up and down easily, great for reducing glare. This is a color screen, and while it looks nice it isn’t bright enough for my liking, being pretty difficult to see anything in direct sunlight. It does have a USB charging port on the right side for powering personal electronics though, and it even has an optical sensor, which will turn on the headlight and dim the screen automatically when it gets dark. You get a lot of readouts here, including a battery percentage which I really appreciate since it’s a lot more precise than the 4-or-5 bar readouts on many Ebikes. Also shown is speed, motor wattage, odometer, and trip time/distance. Something I want to point out is that my prototype bike displayed readouts in MPH when really it was measuring KPH and was simply mislabeled. Also worth noting is that when you visit Rattan’s website for this model, you’ll see pictures with a monochrome LCD screen. I asked Rattan about the difference here and apparently they have two models, one is the PRO with the monochrome display and no regenerative capabilities on the motor. The other is the PLUS version featuring the color display and I-PAS for regeneration. The website doesn’t make it clear how to choose which model you want or if there is a price difference… so hopefully, they will make some updates to their product page to make everything more clear.

Something I mentioned earlier is that this is a value-priced Ebike, coming in at $1499. There is also a pre-order special that bumps that price down to $1199 if you order before October 15th of 2019, which is a pretty significant discount, and you get a two-year comprehensive warranty! Whether this bike is worth the cost is really going to depend on what you want to use it for. To me this is really an all-terrain adventure bike, the full suspension and fat tires let it handle pretty much anything, while the range makes it a good fit for tossing in your camper and bringing on a trip to the mountains (or anywhere that has limited access to outlets for charging). Folding is a simple two-step process and this bike does slightly better than average in terms of compact folding, but keep in mind it’s still a fat tire folder so it’s not something you can just fold up and carry with you on the bus. Also, consider that we’re missing a lot of integrated components on the Fat Bear, we get a headlight and… that’s pretty much it. There are no fenders, no racks, no bosses for mounting either of those or bottle cages. The saddle is generic, reasonably soft but it doesn’t even have the rubber bumpers that are common on a lot of entry-level saddles. What I’m getting at here is that this would not be a good commuting bike. What it is good at is being fun to ride, the full-suspension makes rough terrain a piece of cake, the Reibok motor provides plenty of power, the rugged construction makes the bike feel very sturdy and also makes me not feel bad about getting it all covered in mud and water while out adventuring. The Shimano shifters and Logan hydraulic brakes also perform great. Then, of course, there is the I-PAS regeneration question. Personally, I like the regenerative capabilities, but I like getting a lot of exercise when I ride, and I also just think it’s cool that I can recharge my bike by pedaling. On the flip side, it is not only more exercise but less efficient, since you lose the ability to free-wheel and coasting downhill just won’t be as satisfying. If you prefer an easier and more efficient ride, or maybe you just don’t need that much range, then this bike might not be as good of a fit. The only other consideration I have is for the various differences between my prototype model and the final production model… since this bike is on preorder, I really can’t say one way or another if the production model does, in fact, have the advertised improvements, or how well it performs.

As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own a previous version of the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the EBR forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)

Pros:

  • Value-priced at $1499 with free shipping in the US to the lower 48 states
  • Shimano Altus 1×8 setup is a step-up from entry-level in terms of quality and has smooth shifting performance, and includes an alloy derailleur guard
  • Full suspension which is rare for a fat tire folder, with 120mm of travel in the front and 30mm in the rear, and the front fork is adjustable for preload and lockout
  • Chaoyang Big Daddy fat tires are tubeless-ready, have an aggressive tread and high thread count at 120TPI, and can run as low as 5 PSI to tackle sand and snow
  • Reibok rear hub motor offers plenty of power at 500 watts and is gearless, making it quieter than geared hub motors
  • I-PAS helps to make the motor more efficient in providing assistance as well as enabling regeneration, capturing kinetic motion from pedaling and coasting and using it to recharge the battery
  • Solid stopping power thanks to Logan hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm and 180mm rotors in the front and rear respectively, with included motor inhibitors
  • Color LCD screen swivels to reduce glare, has great informational readouts including a precise battery percentage, as well as a USB charging port on the right side
  • Ergonomic locking stitched grips are comfy, handlebars are positioned high enough to be comfortable for tall riders with further room to adjust thanks to long control cables
  • Integrated headlight can be turned on from a dedicated button on the control pad, it will also turn on automatically when it gets dark
  • Cadence sensor has 12 magnets and is sealed to keep it safe from debris and bumps, it works well with the trigger throttle when getting started
  • High capacity battery at 48v and 10.4ah that uses high-quality Samsung cells

Cons:

  • No fenders or racks or mounting points for them, and no bottle cage bosses
  • Internal-frame mounted battery removal process is complicated and makes it easy to break the rubber charge cover by accidentally pulling it inside the frame
  • The integrated headlight does a poor job of lighting up the road in front of you, but it is great for helping other people to see you
  • Chaoyang tires don’t come with puncture protection, but they are tubeless-ready and are naturally somewhat puncture-resistant thanks to being fat tires and having 120 threads per inch
  • No reflective striping on the sidewalls and also no side reflectors on the spokes
  • I-PAS regeneration system also means constant drag when pedaling or coasting, leading to more effort and a less efficient ride, but it does recharge the battery and extend your range
  • The tested model was a prototype and may not be indicative of the quality and performance of the production version, which is only available for preorder at the time of writing this review
  • Cable management is sloppy and some cables stick out to the side where they could be snagged easily, but this is easily remedied with some zip ties
  • LCD screen isn’t bright enough making visibility difficult in direct sunlight, but it is full color and looks great under less extreme lighting conditions
  • Battery removal process is complex and makes it easy to break the charge port cover by pulling it inside the frame

Resources:

Comments (11) YouTube Comments

Jason Knode
2 months ago

you have the statistics for the wrong bike. the new Fat tire that came out today has a 1000 watt maximum output instead of a 750 watt maximum output. The new bike also can go up to 70 to 90 mile on a single charge. instead of 40 to 60 miles as you have listed here. very confusing making both bikes look one in the same until today

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Hmm, I’ll pass this on to Tyson and see if we’ve made some mistakes. Sorry for the confusion, Jason!

  Reply
Tyson Roehrkasse
2 months ago

Hi Jason,

Unfortunately the bike I was given by Rattan was a prototype model, which had a lower capacity battery (among some other differences). The specs listed on the review are for the exact bike which I reviewed, although I do note in both the video and the written review what changes are expected to be different in the production version.

Based on the change in battery capacity for production (up to 11.6ah from 10.4ah on my prototype) and based on the range results of my riding the prototype bike, I don’t think that a range of 70 to 90 miles is accurate. If the production model can hit those numbers that is awesome, but I can only speak for the exact bike that I reviewed and the results I got riding it.

Your comments on the motor peak power are helpful, thank you – can you send me any link or information on the motor specs? 1000 watts is a high peak for a 500 watt nominal motor, and it seems a bit high based on my experience with the bike.

  Reply
Tim Treat
2 months ago

I just received my tracking info. My bike will arrive on Monday!

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Awesome! That’s great, Tim. I hope you enjoy the bike and I’d love to hear your thoughts after some riding :D

  Reply
Tim
2 months ago

I took it out for a 12 mile ride this morning. I is very hilly here in Mesquite NV but the Fat Bear performed flawlessly. I rode in PAS 3 mode to test range. I rode 12 miles, and still had 3/4 battery remaining according to the battery meter. It does regen nicely on downhill rides.

Love it.

Ron
2 months ago

I just received mine – 2 days by fedex!

Question: how do you turn it on? Buttons? Key? Nothing seems to work. Nothing powers up. Help.

  Reply
Tyson Roehrkasse
2 months ago

Hi Ron! The button to turn on the bike should be the power button on the top of the control pad. You don’t need the key to turn it on, but you might need to charge it – I would plug it in first and let it charge until the light on the charger is green, and then try turning it on after that. If it still won’t power on then I would recommend reaching out to Rattan support: https://www.rattanebike.com/pages/contact-us

  Reply
Ron
2 months ago

I am having issues with Rattan. The bike arrived with a leaking rear hydraulic brake. No rear braking.

Working with Rattan has been difficult at best. Can you provide me a phone for them in California?

Thank you.

  Reply
Court
2 months ago

Hi Ron, that’s a bummer! Have you tried reaching them at rattanebike@gmail.com if that doesn’t work, I can get you a phone number. Tyson worked with them, so I’ll have to check with him. Please let me know about email first.

  Reply

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