Fat tyre bikes (also called fat tyre electric bike, fat e-bike, snow bike) are ebikes with wider tyres (approx. 3.8 inches/ 97 mm) and wider rims (approx. 2.16 inches/ 55 mm) most specifically designed for rides on soft ground such as sand, snow, grass or any rough terrains. What makes the ride different from that in a normal bike is notably a smoother ride over uneven tracks thanks to the wider tyres and the possibility of having lower tyre pressure in fat tyre bikes.
The prime focus of fat tyre design is on the low tyre pressure which provides more effective and steady grip on tracks of any kind in almost every weather condition. Clearly, wider tyres and low tyre pressure bring on more of tyre thread surface touching the ground. That being said, it does not sink in soft mud, neither does it slip on wet or slippery tracks.Another significant point that low tyre pressure brings about is that it helps reduce the shock over obstacles like rocks or logs
It is generally believed that the combination of lower tyre pressure and wider tyre size brings more rolling resistance and thus you need more energy to keep the same speed than on a bike with thinner tyres. While this could be true on a very smooth surface, some recent studies suggest that in real world conditions, fat tyre bikes could be even faster as thin tyres tend to bounce and react more to imperfections on the road. While rolling resistance of a tyre could be an important factor in a non electric bike, it’s not that important in electric bikes as the assistance from the motor could easily compensate for slight differences in rolling resistance.
Yes. However, in average, a fat tyre is only heavier by 200 to 400 grams (400 to 800 grams for both tyres). While this might be a factor in a non-electric bike, a few hundred grams of extra weight don’t have any noticeable effect on your ride or range in an electric bike.
The answer is generally YES. The type of tyre is not the only factory in determining the max load on a bike. But generally fat tyre bikes can carry 20 to 30 percent more load than normal road bikes. What makes this bike a good choice for heavy riders is that generally fat tyre bikes comes with wider rims and stronger forks and frame. Not to mention that a heavier rider would clearly feel safer being on a bike with steady grip and more tyre surface touching the ground.
Fat tyres approximately cost twice the normal ones. However considering the long life of such tyres (2500-5000 km), this difference in price is neither a drawback nor a deal-breaker.
In general fat tyres are more resistant to puncture due to their stronger and thicker structure.
Despite a few drawbacks such as being a bit heavier and having more rolling resistance on smooth surfaces, the upsides of fat tyre bikes outweigh the downsides especially considering the fact that the drawbacks are usually compensated for in electric fat tyre bikes by the assistance from the motor. With all that said, yet If you are the kind of a rider who are going to use the bike only on smooth surfaces and pavements, fat tyre bikes might not be the best option for you. However, if you are like most riders, who ride their bikes on different terrains fat bike are the right call. In some ways, buying a fat tyre electric bike is the same as buying an SUV (Instead of buying a sedan and an off-road vehicle separately) to both drive to work and go camping!