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Why do e-bikes have fat tires?

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Why do e-bikes have fat tires?

Old 04-27-21, 01:39 PM
  #51  
Calsun
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When I had a mountain bike there were hills I could not go up as there was not sufficient traction and the harder I pushed on the pedals the more the tire would slip. It may have been only for a short distance but it meant getting off and pushing the bike up the hill and hoping it was flat enough at the top to get back on and resume pedaling. Very wide tires produced too much resistance on harder surfaces and I ended up with a set of off-road and pavement rims and tires. The tires for dirt were still less than 3 inches in width and so not optimum for dirt or sand or gravel on less than flat terrain.

With an e-bike the pedaling effort of wider tires with a more aggressive tread is not much of an issue. I may need a wider tray on the bike rack but that is the only adjustment to be made. For riding on pavement I will continue to use my carbon fiber road bike but on dirt I want an e-bike wiith 3-4 inch wide tires. I plan to carry photo gear on a rear rack and so shock absorption is important and part of this comes with lower PSI and wider tires on the bike. This is even more important with so many bikes that ship with 20" diameter tires.
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Old 05-01-21, 02:47 PM
  #52  
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E-bikes are much more common for older people and commuters.
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Old 05-01-21, 04:04 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by SDReames View Post
E-bikes are much more common for older people and commuters.
Also more common with white males and white hunters. Not that common yet for commuters in the USA, though they have been very common if not ubiquitous for a decade in Chinese cities. Where they are increasingly being used in U.S. cities is by delivery people (especially with "cargo" type e-bikes) where they are an alternative to motorcycles and ICE scooters.

The OP was regarding fat tires and the answer is that the fatter the tire the greater the traction off the pavement. No different than with the much fatter tires on mountain bikes than are found on road bikes or street motorcyles compared to dirt bikes.
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Old 05-09-21, 09:16 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Doc_Wui View Post
This is my 26 incher. Bought it off Walmart for $79 shipped on clearance. It had rim brakes. The only thing original here is the steel frame and the seat post. I should have bought a better bike, but the $79 sucked me down the rabbit hole.

My brain gets all tangled up looking at all those wires...lol
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Old 05-09-21, 09:20 AM
  #55  
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My eGravel bike has 50mm tires; my road bikes are using 28. I was like, no way it will go fast on tarmac. Well, I was wrong. It is very fast on tarmac and a hoot on rough trails. Most fun I've had in years and I'm a pretty die-hard roadie. As people have already stated, the wider tires with motors allow for more stability and all-road use.

eBikes are here to stay, peope. Embrace it or don't care.
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Old 05-09-21, 05:14 PM
  #56  
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Of course they look rugged and look cool, but there is more to them than that. Wider tires have more float for riding in sand. They usually have more aggressive tread which helps gain traction in mud, snow and sand. They run at lower pressures and have bigger margin for deflection, so they provide greater compliance and a softer ride. Of course they're also considerably heavier and will have more air resistance, so they're more work to accelerate and run on.

I am mulling over getting an e-bike these days myself... am getting older and want one with a step-through frame, upright posture and a spring front fork and am torn regarding tire size. My current bike is a Specialized Roll, which has 650b x 2.3in tires that are near slicks and I like this setup for general riding, except on a local road out at the wildlife refuge that is gravel and has miles of "washboard" ruts perpendicular to the road. The Roll has no suspension except the seatpost, and that washboard is just killer on my wrists and forearms after awhile. I don't know if the spring fork alone will tame it, and the fat tires, especially if I run them softer there, should help further. Having a good sized motor and battery should really help with the added load of the big tires, even though yes, the tires would still decrease range. I'm not looking at anything with tires less than 2.125in - its a couple of city bikes with 2.1-2.4in tires and a couple of 4.0 tire monsters.
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Old 06-25-21, 10:12 PM
  #57  
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Can't tell from the pics, but if the exhaust of the Vette still points straight back tell your friend that on a long trip like that he will definitely get there with soot all over his rims and spokes, and I've seen more that a few tires melted that way! Some brackets and a thin metal shield bolted to the inside of the rack to protect the wheels/tires from the exhaust is advisable.
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Old 06-25-21, 10:36 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by reefmespla View Post
.... or am I missing something?
Yep. Not the concrete cowboys, but for those who ride rural roads with no bike lanes or even a shoulder, no sidewalks, etc., will tell you what they are for! With a road bike or even a mountain bike, if you hear a big truck behind you and see one coming the other way, or if you hear a bunch of cars and see a bunch of cars, you don't have to look for a "good spot" to get off the pavement The fat tire will roll over anything ... gravel, dirt, loose sand, potholes, bumps, etc!! You can just leave the hardtop with no worries and without even decreasing speed. When it clears, you're right back on! I can now safely ride roads I wouldn't dream of riding on anything other than a fat tire. I live in such a rural/country area, and there are no bike lanes, shoulders, or sidewalks for miles in any direction, and I can still go where I want to go! Now if I know I'll be riding on wider, safer roads or multi-use paths, I have a second set of matching narrower wheels/tires I swap out for.

But I realize my case is an outlier! Most are, indeed, like the 4X4 SUV that's never been further off-road than the time they cut Aunt Betty's driveway short and ran over her flowerbed!
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2005 Trek T2000 tandem, Giant TCR, Eddie Merckx Majestic Ti, Fuji Team, Giant Revel 29er, Windsor Clockwork (Orange) fixie, and a BikTrix Juggernaut Ultra 1000 fat tire eBike
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Old 06-25-21, 11:17 PM
  #59  
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Fat tires are definitely beneficial for heavier riders and heavier bikes, which electric bikes are.

A lot of people have opinions about rolling resistance, and wind resistance. I would like to see studies done.

I think fat tires have less rolling resistance on rough roads, as the tires absorb the bumps better.

If you look at the wind resistance of a rider, fat tires only increase this slightly, and it is only significant at high speed, or riding into a head wind.
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Old 06-26-21, 10:04 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by cj3209 View Post
My brain gets all tangled up looking at all those wires...lol
You're right. Two hydraulic brake cables, Two brake wires, Two shifter cables. One throttle wire, One display wire. That's eight cables, There's a fix for that., called spiral wrap. I'll get to it.
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Old 06-26-21, 11:08 AM
  #61  
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Three wires: front brake, rear brake and rear derailleur. No throttle, just PAS and I put the display in the front bag.
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Old 06-26-21, 02:40 PM
  #62  
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Oddly enough some people choose to drive Miata sports cars and others drive Jeep Wranglers and it is a matter of preference and often the image the owners wish to project. This has been going on for a very long time with bicycles. I remember 50 years ago seeing a bunch of overweight men in their riding jerseys and pants riding a Colnago or Bianchi bike that was clearly wasted on them but they could afford them and it was a status symbol. Lot of attitude around bicyles and e-bikes and their uses. I still have a difficult time understanding why anyone would buy a beach cruiser bike but to each his own.

For the last 20 years I have done most of my riding on the badly damaged roads in California and so a fat tire bike with a rear suspension is appealing. I still ride my road bikes but am thinking of adding a gravel bike that is going to be slower but absorb a lot more of the road shock. Then it becomes a decision between a Class 3 e-bike with midrive like the Cannondale Synapse Neo 1 or a non e-bike. With any such bike weighing 10 lbs more than my road bikes and having tires with a lot more rolling resistance the temptation is to compensate with a 250W motor. I am not keen on spending $5,000 for a bicycle and even more apprehensive with the rapid evolution of the drives and battery packs that will result in rapid loss of resale value if I upgrade a year or two later.
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Old 06-26-21, 08:14 PM
  #63  
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I've owned several miatas, and also two SUV's. The fat tire bike is like a big SUV. A light bike is like the miata There is no swiss army knife when it comes to bikes. You need the right one for the pavement or terrain.
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Old 06-28-21, 12:46 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
Fat tires are definitely beneficial for heavier riders and heavier bikes, which electric bikes are.

A lot of people have opinions about rolling resistance, and wind resistance. I would like to see studies done.

I think fat tires have less rolling resistance on rough roads, as the tires absorb the bumps better.

If you look at the wind resistance of a rider, fat tires only increase this slightly, and it is only significant at high speed, or riding into a head wind.
Seriously, you don't think the tires on the bike in Post #54 have more wind resistance than your standard 28mm - 32mm commuter tire? Well, I do. You should too. Not just wind resistance either. Until they started putting motors on those FAT bikes they were getting most of them back because people couldn't get to the ends of their own driveways under their own power. There are just as many people who enjoy punishing themselves with the resistance of huge rubber to make them feel like they are "working for it" as there are who want to keep the same road speed as on 'normal tires' with the cush and badass looks of the big rubber. But, tbh, I don't see nearly as many FAT bikes, e-assisted or not, as I used to do a year or two ago. 50mm tires will get most 'all-road' assignments done without requiring all your energy (or your battery's) just to get moving from a stop. The law of diminishing returns is right around 2.4". Get much bigger and all the benefits of a larger section start to go away. 2.8" to 3" is very hard to justify. At 4", the size of the average FAT tire you have deffo crossed into no mans land. You are giving it all to the man and he isn't giving much back, unless you are in very deep snow or sand. Ski's for the first scenario, a Camel for the second.
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Old 06-28-21, 02:43 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Seriously, you don't think the tires on the bike in Post #54 have more wind resistance than your standard 28mm - 32mm commuter tire? Well, I do. You should too. Not just wind resistance either. Until they started putting motors on those FAT bikes they were getting most of them back because people couldn't get to the ends of their own driveways under their own power. There are just as many people who enjoy punishing themselves with the resistance of huge rubber to make them feel like they are "working for it" as there are who want to keep the same road speed as on 'normal tires' with the cush and badass looks of the big rubber. But, tbh, I don't see nearly as many FAT bikes, e-assisted or not, as I used to do a year or two ago. 50mm tires will get most 'all-road' assignments done without requiring all your energy (or your battery's) just to get moving from a stop. The law of diminishing returns is right around 2.4". Get much bigger and all the benefits of a larger section start to go away. 2.8" to 3" is very hard to justify. At 4", the size of the average FAT tire you have deffo crossed into no mans land. You are giving it all to the man and he isn't giving much back, unless you are in very deep snow or sand. Ski's for the first scenario, a Camel for the second.
Have you ridden a fat bike?

I have a fat bike. Many people have said, It obviously takes more effort to pedal. Many then ask if they can ride it to see what it is like. All of them say they are surprised how little effort it takes to to pedal, and it is easier to pedal than a regular bicycle. To most people here, a regular bicycle is a 26 or 27 inch ladies bike.

In my opinion, on a good road the effort required to pedal it is equal to any good quality mountain bike. On a rough road, it requires less effort to pedal, as the tires absorb the bumps better. When it comes to sand and mud, I can ride in some places where others get off their bike and walk with it.

Wind resistance only makes a significant difference at high speed, or going into a head wind. If you look at the wind resistance of a bike with 2.4 inch tires, and include the wind resistance of the rider. The wind resistance of a bike with 4 inch tires, including the wind resistance of the rider, would be less than one percent more.

Having said that, the best bike for anyone depends on where they ride it. If a person only rides on decent roads or trails with hard surfaces, a regular mountain bike is all they need.

Another benefit of fat bikes is wheels breaking much less, particularly with heavy riders and rough tracks. Fat tires spread the forces out, and put less stress on individual spokes. As electric bikes are heavier, this is also a benefit with electric bikes.

If you haven't already, I suggest you ride a fat bike, and see for yourself.
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Old 06-28-21, 08:09 PM
  #66  
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I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Lightweight motorcycles use tires SMALLER than the 4" (100mm) behemoths on fat tire bikes.
The law of diminishing returns is LONG gone.
125cc motorcycles used to come with 2.75" tires on the front and 3" tires on the back as standard. When I fitted wider tires to my motorcycles I was still only using 3.5"(90mm) tires on the front and 4"(100mm) on the back only. Even large motorcycles used to only use 3.5" tires on the front and 4.5" tires on the back.
4" tires on bicycles is just a fashion thing and WAY beyond the limit of which size is useful for comfort.

Even a lot of brand new motorcycles with fat rear tires are still using front tires of no more than 4".

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Old 07-18-21, 11:03 AM
  #67  
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This is a trend. The wider the tire means the larger the surface area in contact with the ground and the higher the stability.
Most electric bicycles around me are very narrow.
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Old 07-18-21, 01:33 PM
  #68  
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Someone mentioned that "fat tire" trend is similar to the "SUV" trend in the automobile purchases, I think that's a good comparison.
People who want a rugged, off-road capable, go-anywhere e-bike, fat tire e-bikes are suited for that.
But likelihood that someone actually use their e-bikes off-road, off-pavement, go-anywhere.. is somewhat optimistic.
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Old 07-24-21, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
Someone mentioned that "fat tire" trend is similar to the "SUV" trend in the automobile purchases, I think that's a good comparison.
People who want a rugged, off-road capable, go-anywhere e-bike, fat tire e-bikes are suited for that.
But likelihood that someone actually use their e-bikes off-road, off-pavement, go-anywhere.. is somewhat optimistic.
I ONLY use my bike for off-road, or at least off pavement joy riding.
I have to ride for 2 miles on paved roads just to get to the dirt ones, and I have already ridden all the dirt ones so many times, people now know me (lets pretend that's a good thing), I now fold up my bike and drive it to some of the more lengthy trails available in my area. These have widely varying conditions, and I'm damn happy about my choice of wide ties!
What I don't understand is why people want to judge what others ride?
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Old 07-24-21, 12:28 PM
  #70  
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Yes, you could be the outlier that actually use fat tire e-bike for their designated purpose, I don't doubt there are others like you.
What I understand is that bike companies profit from what sells; sex sells, rugged image of bicycle rider sells, people like to imagine they could be an "outdoors man" sells.
They sell because people don't realize what it's like to operate a fat-tire e-bike off-road for extended amount of time, but like the image in their head that they can have an e-bike that's capable of it.
I'm glad that fat tire e-bike is working out for you.
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Old 07-24-21, 01:22 PM
  #71  
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Uhhh... Ohhh

Vivax is calling it quits.
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Old 07-24-21, 04:50 PM
  #72  
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Guess I am not an outlier. I ride an e fat tire bike (4.8" tires) with significant noise on pavement a lot. Although I like being off road in soft stuff there is not a lot of that where I live and it is significant distances to get to it. My typical jaunt to find good stuff might be 70-80% pavement to get there. I like 3-5 day jaunts of 200 to 500 miles. Is it worth it? yeah.

Benefits include not needing a bell or a horn on the bike path. People jump off the path before you can use a bell anyway figuring a service truck is coming. I don't really care for the noise but I put up with it. I have gotten use to the way fat tires ride. I have a big Q angle and I like the extra pedal width. When tubeless, you can pick up a nail, stop get out the plug kit and put a plug in it before you lose enough air that you have to pump it up right then. I can carry significantly more weight I get between 4,000 and 6,000 miles on a set. You can run off the trail and not lose control.

What I don't like. At certain tire pressures and speeds the bike will tend to dribble. You cannot park it in any commercial bike rack. Fat tires are good at slinging mud and goose crap that even with fenders may find you. Good tires cost a lot of money. Bike handling is sensitive to tire pressures. I run anywhere from 2 PSI in snow and mud up to 18PSI on pavement. They can shoot rocks and things like walnuts out to the side like they were shot from a gun if it hits them just right. No damage on that one yet. The extra traction you get can get you into trouble downhill on sketchy soil. You can have good breaking, go over a little ledge where the brakes stop the tire and the stopped ire slides when it contacts the ground again.
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