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Why a fat tire e-Bike?
So why are all the hunting e-bikes fat tire bikes? As I sit here and think about it, isn't that mostly just a lot of extra weight? Someone please tell me the advantages/disadvantages.
Maybe it’s where I hunt, my walks to my stands are up to 1/2 mile. I’m only 70 years old and can easily walk in to my stands without spending $3-6 grand for a bike. But some people want one, that’s their prerogative.
We got 2 fat tire ebikes this past year. They’ve much Easton ride on gravel and rough terrain. Between the tires a shocks, it’s a very smooth ride.
I don't know the why, so I can't help you with your question. Sorry.
I do know that after a short ride on Jaquomo's e-bike, I want one! That thing was really cool!
Have you ever tried to ride a normal size tire bike in snow or slick mud? You probably wont last long. Besides the extra traction, fat tire bikes provide additional shock absorption if you dont have suspension. They arent as heavy as you would think. However, ebikes are heavy regardless of tires. So a couple extra pounds wont make any difference at all really.
Traction and forgiveness (15 lb pressure in those fat tires). On my MO deer hunt last year I had to climb a steep 3/4 mile ridge twice a day, carrying a pack, bow, and extra clothes. Hiking it left me sweaty and stinky, and with dizzy spells due to recently diagnosed Pulmonary Hypertension.
The fat tired Rambo climbed over the roots, through the ruts, and up the slope, no sweat. With my conventional MTB tires I would have likely crashed.
On the nasty stretch where I crashed and knocked myself out elk hunting a few years ago on my conventional MTB, the fat tires float over the loose rocks like nothing.
Here's a link to my latest article about the MO hunt and the benefit an ebike brought to that hunt vs. grinding up that ridge on a loud ATV and alerting every deer around.
Lou has it. Really common sense, better ride, better handling heavy muddy rutted up terrain and comfort. Shawn
I'm an avid mountain biker and own several high end mountain bikes and a fat tire e-bike for hunting. Fat tires are able to handle mud and soft terrain much better than a conventional 2" - 2.6" width mountain bike tire. They also perform much better when you're not on an established trail. You're also able to let some air out of them and in turn get a smoother ride comparable to having front and rear suspension. My e-bike is a hardtail, so this helps a lot. I usually run <10 psi in both tires.
As far as climbing, a narrow tire will always be more efficient than a fat tire due to surface area. If you hunted off established trails designed for mountain bike use, a narrow tire would be the way to go. But, in grass, gravel, mud, leaves, etc. the fat tires are going to handle better.
Sounds like the benefits have already been covered by the earlier replies. You should definitely read Lou's posts on the website about his trips, it's a great read.
Fat tires are way better in almost every terrain and surface type. Also there is minimal weight difference and also an increase in strength. If you walk into any bike shop the fat tires are starting to outnumber the regular tires!
Any nay sayers? Input is much appreciated!
The majority has been covered. Ill say this... I've been riding my fat bike (human powered) a lot this year. Historically I'd go as low as 8PSI or 6 if it was really soft snow... This year I've gone down as low as 4PSI. That low PSI just lets the tire conform to the terrain so well enhancing traction - and adding a bit of suppleness to your ride (my fatbike is fully rigid, vs my "normal" mountain bikes). Be it sand or mud or snow (ice you need studs) low PSI helps a lot, and you can go lower with fat tires than slimmer tires while still having enough air to prevent most pinch flats.
Now, with these hunting ones people may have packs and gear on a tag-along style trailer etc, so a bit more PSI may be needed to prevent pinch flats and have good ride quality. Point being though, those fat tires are going to help a lot when it comes to traction and comfort - especially if you are not a skilled mountain biker already.
Another way to go is to buy a nice used fat-tire bike and then add a Bufang 750W or 1000W electric drive motor and battery. You could do this for well under $1600 and have more speed and power than you know what to do with!
I have a fat-tire and a 25-year-old 26”, both hardtails.
On an established trail, the antique does as well as my level of fitness allows. The Fatty is a lot less efficient unless the surface is really squishy....
I don’t ever encourage off-trail riding because of Erosion concerns, but the lighter the footprint the better, always. So when it’s pretty muddy out, I stick with the Farley so I can plow right down the middle of the established path and not do so much plowing. 16-foot-wide “singletrack” will break your heart, if you have one....
I have no opinion one way or the other about bikes, but I use an electric golf cart quite a bit. Dale said he had no trouble walking the half mile to his stand, and I understand that, but if you do that in October down here, you’ll be stinking like a whore on nickle night by the time you get there. Just saying.....
"stinking like a whore on nickle night" I prefer the classy two bit whores. It's only a half mile, just walk slow, very slow.
I have regular carbon fat tire with two sets of wheels. 4" x 26" for the snow and another set that has 3" x 27.5" for the summer and early archery season with fancy hubs and carbon rims. That bike with the light wheelset is 25.5 lbs. Awesome setup for a peddle bike where the ebikes aren't allowed.
Last Nov I picked up a Levo fatty with only 480 miles on it for $3k !!! It is incredible with it's 4.6" x 26" wheelset in the snow. Pretty sure my light wheelset will also fit it. Can't wait to give that a go on some of my scouting trips this summer !!!
I think the 2.75" to 3" at a bigger diameter are about the perfect size for dry terrain as they go over rocks better than the smaller 2.5" x 26" old style wheelsets. Fat tires create this same effect on a 26" wheel and with electric power don't really have any draw back.
This is why I have a fatty for both a pedal and e bikes :)
I had a fat tire motorcycle quite a few years ago and can say that having super wide tires was a definite disadvantage in rocky terrain. Narrower tires would miss a lot of rock that I would hit with the super wide tires. I literally got beat up! The super wide tires were also a challenge to steer through rocks. I would think that fatter tires would float on top of mud and snow but can go just as well or better in mud with knobby narrower tires.
With that said, there likely are differences between a fat tire dirt bike and a fat tire electric bike. The tires on my fat tire dirt bike were about twice the width of the ebikes so that makes a big difference in performance. Having the cushion affect on rock with ebike fat tires is a definite advantage. For the most part it sounds like there are definite advantages to having fatter tires on ebikes.
The first time you ride a fat tire bike on a loose gravel road, with washboard and ruts, you'll understand the appeal of fat tires.
The 2-tracks I rode on my elk hunt last year would have been dangerous for me on my regular MTB. The fat tire e-bike made them a breeze.