As ebikes continue to take over the biking world, people are starting to notice something peculiar: their tires are unusually fat. While they might seem like a gimmick at first, there is a lot more to the fat tires than meets the eye. They actually provide ebikes with significant benefits.
Fat tires enable ebikes to tackle slick terrains and sandy beaches. In addition, they help make riding over bumps more comfortable since they are better at absorbing rough terrain. Being 4 inches thick, these tires can also help you burn more body fat since you pedal a little bit harder. Their thick treads allow for better balance and traction.
Read on to find out why ebikes use fat tires, as well as the pros and cons of this kind of set-up.
What Is An ebike?
Ebikes are a fairly new concept in the world of cycling, but basically, an ebike is a regular bike with a battery-operated motor. The ebike is highly versatile and comes with automatic power or throttle that provides you with an extra boost of speed to help you tackle those steep hills and rugged terrains without using up much of your energy.
Ebikes offer a great way to get some exercise and are also the perfect mode of transport for commuting to work. They come with adjustable assist levels to provide you with the desired amount of powered assistance for your ride. This is one of the key reasons why ebikes have become so popular among fitness-minded people as well as bike enthusiasts.
Why Do ebikes Use Fat Tires?
At first glance, a fat tire might seem exactly the same thing as a regular tire only bigger. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The extra surface area added to the tires offers a wide range of benefits that provide riders with a completely different experience when riding on the trail, road, sand, snow, and other surfaces.
Here are some of the key reasons why ebikes use fat tires:
Fat-Tire ebikes Handle All Kinds Of Terrain
The massive surface area of the tires allows you to ride your bike on all kinds of terrains including snow, ice, sand, and marshy conditions more easily than you otherwise would with regular slim tires. Fat tires also come much in handy when dealing with slick and rainy conditions as they give you more control over your bike. This combined with a higher assist level setting allows you to achieve substantial speeds.
Fat Tires Are Perfect For Riding On The Beach
Fat tires give you the ability to ride on any terrain, which means that you can comfortably take your ebike with you to the beach. We all love beaches; they are a popular vacation spot and offer a great place to relax on the weekends. However, since they are filled with sand, taking a normal bike ride at the beach is next to impossible. However, fat-tire ebikes offer the freedom and flexibility to ride on the beach while taking in the sights.
Fat Tires Allows For An Easier And More Comfortable Ride
Given their bigger size, fat tires use much more air than standard tires. And as a result, they are better at absorbing shock than a regular wheel. The higher shock resistance has a notable effect on your overall riding experience. With the fat tires, you are less likely to feel those annoying bumps, rocks, and holes in your way thus ensuring a comfortable ride all through.
As an added advantage, the air pressure in the fat tires can be adjusted to the level that gets you the most support. For example, when navigating rough terrains, for example, the woods or trails with uneven ground, you can lower the tire pressure to 10-15 psi where your fat tires will act more like cushions.
Fat Tire Last Longer Than Skinny Tires
Fat tires are much thicker than skinny tires which helps to make them much more durable than skinny tires. Skinny tires are notorious for cracking when they come into contact with ice. On the other hand, this doesn’t seem to be an issue with fat tires. As noted earlier, fat tires are typically around 4 inches or even more meaning that you don’t have to worry about going through the tires as quickly.
Fat-Tire ebikes Help You Burn More Fat
If you are a fitness-minded person, riding on fat tires allows you to burn more calories than standard-sized tires. Thanks to the fat tires’ additional surface area, riders have to pedal harder when riding on flat and even surfaces. While you can adjust the assist level setting to accommodate for this, you are better off leaving it off if you are looking to get in some more exercise and shed off more weight.
Fat Tires Offer Better All-Around Control And Balance
Thanks to the extra surface area and increased tread thickness of the fat tires, they offer more balance and control. This allows you to make precise turns and maneuvers even in the toughest of terrains such as forest and hilly trails, and even rocky mountains. Besides offering more control, the increased surface area and tread offers cyclists better balance as well as a bigger-sized platform and comfort.
Powered Assistance Counters The Drawbacks of Fat Tires On ebikes
Perhaps the biggest downside to using fat tires is that it makes bikes much heavier and cumbersome to ride, especially when riding over long distances or for extended periods. However, with the addition of an electric motor, as is the case with ebikes, you get the extra boost of power you need to keep riding without getting too tired too quickly as before. And as a result, fat tires are seeing a huge comeback with cyclists now able to enjoy their full advantages with the ebike.
Pedal Assist Offers Increased Versatility
It goes without saying that riding on fat tires, even on flat surfaces, can be incredibly tiring. However, with a fat-tire ebike, you just have to level up the assist setting to reduce the intensity of the exercise and give yourself a break. Pedal-assist can also help to provide a substantial and reliable speed boost when riding in offroad conditions.
If you want to get in some more physical exercise into your routine, a fat-tire ebike offers the perfect solution. Turning and doing offroad maneuvers on the ebike helps to quickly build up your core muscles. As noted earlier, pedaling on fat tires requires a little bit more effort, and that is where the pedal-assist comes in.
The Downsides Of Fat Tires On ebikes
While fat tire ebikes offer plenty of benefits (including the capability to ride on the beach and offroad), they also have their fair share of drawbacks. Fat tires have proved their worth in the cycling scene, based on their popularity and advantages. And while most of the negative aspects of the fat tires are alleviated by the electric motor, it doesn’t completely fix them.
So, what are the disadvantages of fat tires on ebikes
More difficult to pedal
One of the most notable disadvantages of the fat tires is that they are harder to pedal. This is particularly true when riding on flat and even surfaces where the whole tire is in consistent contact with the ground. Why this is a problem is that the more the surface area in contact with the ground, the more resistance the rider faces. While the electric motor helps to counter this issue, if your battery is low or dies, getting to your destination will be a bit of a struggle.
Another downside is that fat tires are more expensive than regular tires. This is to be expected given that fat tires use specialty parts including rims, tubes, hubs, and so on. Note that most fat tire bikes don’t have a suspension system since the tire doubles as a shock absorber.
The price gets even higher if you want your fat tire ebike customized, whether it is to improve its performance or to reduce its weight.
Spare Parts Are Hard To Come By
Since the fat tire ebikes use specialty components, they are more expensive and are often difficult to find. This means that if one of these parts breaks or needs replacement, you will be faced with quite a challenge. On the other hand, parts of the skinny-tire ebike are cheap and easy to find.