Where the Rubber Meets the Road
They look cool! Okay, there's a lot more to ebikes fat tires than just appearance, but you can consider that to be the first benefit on the list.
Now, honestly, there are downsides, too but fat tires for ebikes are vital in some riding conditions. Anything meant to improve performance in one area will impede it elsewhere. Look at low-profile sports car tires — they're great on a racetrack but less than ideal on the street. Fat tires for ebikes face a similar performance tradeoff.
Ebikes: Fat Tires vs. Plus-Size Tires
Before we get to the list of pros and cons, let's understand the difference between plus-size tires and fat tires for ebikes — because they can look really similar:
Fat Tires: Wider than 3.5 inches
Plus-Size Tires: Width between 2.4 inches and 3.25 inches
Think of plus-size tires as a way to get some of the benefits of fat tires without all of the sacrifices. They won't perform as well in some areas but aren't as compromised in many regular riding conditions.
For this reason, they've become a popular alternative to fat tires for ebikes. Still, fat tires exist for a reason, so let's discuss what might make them perfect for you.
Pro 1: Grip
One of the biggest benefits of fat tires is that there's more tire to hold onto the terrain. If you like riding on dirt, taking trails over rocks, plowing through snow, or navigating wet conditions, these tires keep you aligned with a larger contact patch than plus-size or regular tires.
People who live in areas that experience a lot of inclement weather like the peace of mind that they'll be able to ride through anything.
Con 1: Weight
Larger tires are larger and therefore, heavier. The extra weight will run your ebike's battery down more and make it harder to pedal when you have to manually move your ebike's fat tires. This added weight also requires a larger, sturdier suspension system to handle it.
Pro 2: Comfort
Thanks to their higher air volume, the shock absorption fat tires offer is a huge plus. Fat-tired ebikes ride softer and more comfortably than their smaller tired brethren. For people who have to ride long distances on their ebikes — say for a work commute — fat tires reduce fatigue during the ride.
Con 2: Cost
Fat tires are more expensive than smaller tires. Because they're still relatively less common than other tire sizes, fat tires tend to be custom ordered or low-volume items.
Pro 3: Stability
Because of how wide fat tires are, riders' balance is much less important. Additionally, you can hammer the throttle on an ebike with fat tires and remain stable even at high speeds. And when you're ready to corner, the extra grip will come in handy, too!
Con 3: Wear and Tear
The heavier suspension needed for fat tires means extra weight. This weight means the brakes must be beefed up and work harder to slow down the bike.
You'll have to work harder to make the bike get up to speed, turn and stop, which puts more stress on it. Drive components will need to be serviced more often to ensure they're up to the task of keeping the bike going.
Pro 4: More Power to the Ground
Want to experience the full acceleration of your ebike's electric motor without turning the rear tire to dust? Fat tires are the way to go! All that extra grip means extra fun when you want to leave other riders in the dust.
Con 4: More Power Is Needed
Power to weight is an important ratio. The less weight the bike has, the less power it needs to get going fast. If you want to experience the most performance possible from your fat-tired ebike, you’ll need horsepower, which means big motors at a higher cost.
Are Fat Tires Right for You? Talk to SUPER73!
Our ebikes are available for riders of all sizes — from kids to adults — and when our customers head out for a ride, they can't help but get massive grins as they conquer trails and pavement alike. If you're still curious about what an ebike with fat tires is like, take a test ride. SUPER73 is ready to provide your ride!