Electric Fat Bikes are getting more and more popular, and for a lot of reasons. While traditional bikes have been around for literally centuries, Electric Fat Tire Bikes are a newer kind of bicycle that’s geared more towards outdoors riding and fun adventures than as an alternative means of transportation.
If you’re curious about the Fat Bike trend - maybe you want to know what it is, what it’s all about, and why it’s so popular today - read on to find out everything you need to know about Electric Fat Bikes, and how you can get in on this trendy new innovation in cycling.
Introducing the Fat Tire Bikes
The big difference between traditional bikes and fat bikes is quite simply, their tire size. Fat Bikes come equipped with fat tires - also known as wide tires or oversize tires - that are much wider than normal tires, and although the difference seems small, it actually changes so many things about the way you ride and use your bike.
So, what exactly is a fat tire? Generally, any kind of bicycle tire that’s more than three inches wide counts as a Fat Tire. Most fat tires are between three and five inches wide, while normal tires are generally much narrower at one to two inches wide.
Traditional bikes (with normal-sized tires) have been around for hundreds of years, but it wasn’t until the mid-1980s - in the midst of the Mountain Bike craze - that bike enthusiasts realized that with a few changes, their mountain bikes could be modified in such a way that they could effectively traverse off road. Particularly in Alaska and New Mexico, Fat Tire bikes developed as a way to cross sand and snow, and all kinds of difficult terrain. Thus, the Fat Tire bike was born. With wider tires to improve stability both on-road and off-road, the Fat Tire phenomenon quickly took center stage, especially among outdoorsy, adventurous types who wanted to blaze a trail and explore newfound biking routes across the country.
In 2015 and 2016 - nearly four decades since the dawn of the Fat Tire - Fat Tire bikes once again came into the spotlight. More popular than ever, Fat Tires have been consistently improving over the past five years, with new variations and features being introduced every season. Nowadays, you can even get Electric Fat Tire Bikes like the Roll-Road Shark for some of the most comfortable and smooth outdoor adventures.
Today, even with all of the modern additions to MTBs and the huge following that surrounds them, cyclists still choose Fat Tires for unparalleled outdoor experiences and adventures, and never-ending fun.
Fat Tires vs Normal Tires: Which Is Better?
Depending on your needs as a rider and bike enthusiast, both Fat Tires and Normal Tires will come with their own advantages and disadvantages. In general, Fat Tires are going to outperform normal tires in almost every kind of off-road activity, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Fat Tires are right for you. Check out our list of Fat Tire pros and cons to find out how they fare against traditional bikes.
Pros of Fat Tires
Fat Bikes offer a plethora of benefits over bikes with normal-sized tires, mainly:
- Fat Tire Bikes Are Easier To Control
Due to the wide berth of their tires, Fat Bikes are generally much, much easier to control than standard bikes. Fat Tires give you a lot more stability - even on rough roads - so they’re a lot easier to use and are great for beginners. However, despite their ease-of-use, even seasoned professionals love Fat Tire bikes because of their unparalleled off-road performance.
- Fat Tire Bikes Are Wider, So They’re Less Flat
Flatter tires may offer more speed for less effort, but wider, fatter tires give you a lot more traction on all kinds of surfaces. Whether it’s mud, grass, sand, or snow, Fat Tire bikes can take you anywhere you want to go, especially to places where normal bikes just can’t cut it.
- Fat Tire Bikes Are More Comfortable
Bicycle enthusiasts around the world love Fat Tire bikes for the simple reason that they’re just so incredibly comfortable to ride. Riding through gravel on a Fat Bike feels like riding through a cloud. Riding through sticks and stones and debris feels smooth and nearly imperceptible. Terrain that’ll give you the jolt of your life on a regular bike - bumps, potholes, etc. - all pass by like a breeze on a Fat Bike. Especially if you get a premium bike like Roll-Road Emma And Shark, you’re in for one of the most comfortable rides of your life, regardless of the terrain.
Fat Tire Bikes are more comfortable, yes, but they also give you a greater sense of power and safety. Obstacles and terrain that would be a challenge for even veteran bikers with a normal-sized bike become little more than fun nuisances under the weight and power of your larger, heavier, and wider tires on a Fat Bike.
- Fat Tires Bikes Won’t Get Stuck
If you’ve ever come across narrow crevices or cracks on the trail, and became afraid that your normal-sized tires would get stuck in them, then you’ll be happy to know that that won’t happen with a Fat Bike. Narrow crevices can do a lot of damage to normal bikes, but when you’re equipped with Fat Tires, you’re a lot safer and can ride a lot more confidently into all kinds of terrain, with crevices or otherwise.
- Fat Tire Bikes Are Great All Year Round
Spring and Summer are often the best biking seasons because it’s the time of year where the weather is great and cooperative outdoor adventures. However, for a lot of cyclists, Winter and Autumn is the time of year where you put away your bike because all of a sudden, they’re not feasible means of transportation. That won’t happen with Fat Bikes. Thanks to their sturdier build, their versatility, and off-road capabilities, Fat Tire bikes are good to go all year round. Whether it’s through snow in Winter or mud and leaves in Fall, Fat Tire bikes are capable of comfortable rides in all kinds of terrain.
Cons of Fat Tires
Despite all the benefits of Fat Tires, they are a few slight drawbacks to consider.
- Fat Tires Are Heavier
Fat Tire Bikes are built like tanks, and that unavoidably means they’re going to be heavier, and to an extent, a little slower. That doesn’t mean they can’t go fast - in fact, in the right conditions, they can be faster than any other bike - but it does mean they’re going to be harder to lug around, and it’ll be harder to do fancy bunny hops because of the added weight.
- Fat Tire Bikes Need More Space
Since their tires are a lot larger, Fat Tire Bikes occupy much more space than regular bikes, which is something to consider if you have limited space in your car, home, or garage.
- Fat Tire Bikes Are Less Tactile
Fat Tires are not only wider, but they’re also generally thicker so they provide a much less tactile experience. For the most part, this is a good thing - you won’t feel every single rock and bump in the road, so you get a much smoother experience - but if you’re the type of person who likes to feel those things, then a Fat Bike may not be for you.
- Fat Tire Bikes Offers A Tougher Workout
Fat Tire Bikes are harder to pedal, and if you race with one, you’re going to have to put in a lot more work to get the same speed you would with lighter bicycles. If you want a tougher workout, then consider this a pro instead of a con, but if you’d rather have an easier time pedaling, it’s something to consider.
Is A Fat Tire Bike Right For You?
Now that you know everything there is to know about Fat Bikes, how they work, what they’re good at, and what they’re not so good at, you’re probably wondering if a Fat Bike is right for you. Cyclists all have different needs and wants out of their two-wheeled daily drivers, and while a Fat Bike comes with a ton of benefits, it really isn’t for everyone. Here’s what we recommend:
Get A Fat Tire Bike If:
- You Love Outdoors, Sports, and Exploration
When it comes to outdoors traveling and all-terrain exploration, normal-sized tires are quite simply outmatched by Fat Bikes. Fat Bikes are extremely fun, especially when you take them off-road, and while normal-sized tires have their own benefits, when it comes to outdoors, sports, and exploration, there’s nothing like a Fat Bike.
- You Want A Versatile Bike For Both Commute And Adventure
Fat Tire Bikes are the king of versatility. While they offer an unparalleled off-road experience, they’re also great to take into the city for your daily commute. The Roll-Road Shark is a perfect example of this - a no-compromises blend of on-road and off-road performance, with the typical road-drag of Fat Tires beautifully countered by powerful, multi-level electric motor assist.
- You Don’t Want to Compromise On Comfort
If the most important thing to you is a comfortable ride, then a Fat Bike is hands-down the right kind of bike for you. Wider tires mean a smooth, comfortable ride on all kinds of terrain.
- You Want A Bike That Looks Cool And Trendy
Fat Tire Bikes are all the rage, and bike enthusiasts love the look and feel of their beloved “Fatties”. If you want a bike that looks cool and trendy, without compromising on smooth and sleek, then a Fat Tire bike may be just what you need. If you want a good example of a Fat Tire bike that’s the definition of cool, check out the Roll-Road Shark.