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The Truth about FAT Tire Ebikes: Sidestep the Bullsh
#1
FAT tire bikes are relatively new, and many people have not had one. At the present time, it is fashionable to make electric FAT bikes. In the future, people will realize, the heavier weight, and the increased rolling resistance of FAT bikes, reduces the range of the battery, and means they they go slower when peddling. As people get to know, FAT bikes will become less desirable. Eventually manufacturers will realize bikes with narrower tires are better.

Some other things not mentioned in this video.

FAT tires get many more punctures. Which to me, makes them undesirable.

Motor bike tires are better for high performance electric bikes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT0sXETZHfw
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#2
They tend to suit specific needs. I saw a woman who had an ebike with fat tires and she said she needed this type of heavy duty bike because she uses it as her sole transportation (to work and for running errands). That type of traction and ground control plays an important role for heavy commuters. I would imagine the sense of security is bliss.
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#3
I totally disagree with this.

Let's say you are right and batteries do get weakened over time. Which they do depending on charge cycles. But if that is the case, they can be replaced or have a warranty.

Second case, the production will only increase. There are countless examples, where these bikes have killed the competition, parcel delivery being one. In California hills, they provide the much needed traction, assistance and lighting for cruises. Same thing on the beaches and grass patches. A normal fat tire bike is very limited without the generated motor torque.
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#4
I have mixed opinions about fat tires both on conventional bikes, and on e-bikes. I think they do provide enhancement to traction and offer a larger contact point when used in the correct terrain, and with the correct tire pressure and tire compound.

Overall, on pavement, the contact patch of the tire is important but tire compound will play a much more significant role in traction. So a larger "fat tire" with a less expensive and sticky tire compound will perform worse than a smaller, better compound tire. The same goes on the trail, just take a look at many world cup DH racers and top-level XC racers, its all skinny tires and they are among the most challenging terrain you could face.

I find many e-bikes now stick fat tires on, and they are from a variety of low-cost manufactures and they just don't perform well on wet surfaces, they can also have mixed performance on mud and other terrain they are supposed to excel at.

Another interesting note when using fat tire Ebikes in the snow and sand, 2 places they are supposed to excel is that other elements of the bike, such as the motor, torque sensor, cadence sensor and overall weight come into play almost more so then a fat tire. I find fat bikes with torque sensors outperform bikes only equipped with cadence sensors as the ability for the bike to apply power at a rate equal to user input rather than the on-off switch-like function of many hub motors is the biggest factor. That on-off feeling of power makes the tires spin and lose traction, and the weight of these heavy bikes through them sideways (I have drone footage of Zugo Rhino and Quiet Kat Rubicon in the snow (both 4-inch fat tires) I can show. The
Zugo with no torque sensor slips and slides all over, the rubicon (much more expensive) with a nice torque sensor powers through the snow.

Another element to snow is the fat tire skinny tire argument. Say the bike is 50 lb, you put a 4-inch tire on and the weight is distributed across a larger contact patch, this means that the weight bearing into the snow is now lessened, causing you to rest on the snow, in lighter snowfall you will not punch thorgh to the ground, this could cause more sliding. On a thinner tire with a smaller contact patch, more wight is able to be applied over a smaller area, therefor you have more ability to make contact with the ground, and less snow under your wheels contact point. In snow, a combination of weight over the contact point and the proper contact patch leads to good traction. A large contact patch with low weight will actually result in more sliding, combined with extra power from a electric hub motor and it can lead to worse traction then a larger tire.

Another huge element of braking power and traction is weight and its displacement over the frame. Heavier bikes with larger tires brake faster, they also accelerate slower.

I think many brands oversimplify the issue, making you feel a fat tire will immediately bring you extra traction and great bump resistance like its a shock absorber. They don't get into the nitty gritty of details that can either enhance those benefits or eliminate them, making it useless and really just a cosmetic feature.

Many e-bikers are new to biking and e-bikes so the big tires look like they are capable so they assume they must be great. I find many experienced bikers are very wary, both of electric bikes and fat tires, and many new to biking think both are the new best thing you must have.

So I am still not sure, when fat tires came out I enjoyed plus-size tires on my MTB, I still run larger 29X2.5 Maxxis ASSEGAI and enjoy them, although I will probably go back to my minions at a 2.3 or 2.4 next change. and on some E-bikes I enjoy it. Hunting e-bikes and e-beach cruisers deserve fat tires, other bikes I think could feature slimmer tires with more focus on performance and compound.



Sand is another demon, big tires help but loose sand is a challenge no matter what I find. low low air pressure is essential, but you need to carry a pump with you if you plan to transfer from sand back to the pavement in a ride.
Enjoy the Ride!
Scott
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#5
(03-15-2023, 07:48 AM)ichitan Wrote:  FAT tire bikes are relatively new, and many people have not had one. At the present time, it is fashionable to make electric FAT bikes. In the future, people will realize, the heavier weight, and the increased rolling resistance of FAT bikes, reduces the range of the battery, and means they they go slower when peddling. As people get to know, FAT bikes will become less desirable. Eventually manufacturers will realize bikes with narrower tires are better.

Some other things not mentioned in this video.

FAT tires get many more punctures. Which to me, makes them undesirable.

Motor bike tires are better for high performance electric bikes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT0sXETZHfw

I would have to disagree. I spoke to the owner of a fat-tyre e-bike. Having no experience with these bikes, I too wondered about the logic of something so heavy and potentially inefficient.

However, the owner of this e-bike was an older guy (probably 60s) who used to ride a lot of motocross. Age and the wear and tear on his knees had led him to give up motocross riding but he still wanted something similar.

He loves his fat-tyre e-bike. It gives him a lot of the same fun/experiences that he once enjoyed on motocross bikes, but with less weight, less hassle, and more ability to enjoy much gentler, go-anywhere ability. The fat tyres let him tackle surfaces that would be impossible or difficult/uncomfortable with narrower tyres.

The bottom line, as someone pointed out in this thread, is that it's a mistake to compare fat-tyre e-bikes to other e-bikes or regular bicycles. These machines definitely have their uses.
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