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The Best Fat Tire E-Bikes for Rolling Over Everything and Going Everywhere

Apr 20, 2022

Comfortable Ride

High-volume tires allow you to run low tire pressures, and low tire pressures typically beget a more comfortable ride. Fat bike tires take that notion to the extreme. Whereas you might run 60+ psi for a road bike, 40+ psi for a hybrid, and 20+ psi for a mountain bike, fat bikes allow you to ride with as little as 5 to 10 psi in your tires. You’ll want to add pressure for pavement and remove air for off-road riding—there are plenty of helpful guides online, like this one from MTBR—but the overall decrease in tire pressure allows the tires to compress over bumps, smoothing out the ride for you.

Off-Road Capability

Another benefit of big tires and low tire pressures is off-road ability. Fat tire e-bikes can traverse snow, sand, mud, and some mountain bike trails, depending on trail difficulty and your own handling skills, of course. With slightly higher tire pressure, they work well on pavement, too, using the big tires as suspension to smooth out bumpy pavement.

Fewer, But More Inconvenient, Flat Tires

Fat bike tires can go flat for a variety of reasons, but one advantage to the construction is their resistance to pinch flats: The tire sidewall is so tall that it’s more difficult to compress it fully and pinch the tube against the rim. Still, you’re susceptible to punctures and tears from off-road and urban riding, and carrying a fat tire tube is more inconvenient than a normal tube. If you flat on the wheel with the hub motor (all five of our picks have this style of motor), you’ll have to unplug the motor to disconnect the wheel and change the flat. We’d recommend practicing this at home so you know how to do it on the road, and carry an extra tube, flat kit, and pump. If you’re plagued by punctures where you live, consider investing in a pair of tire liners to fortify your rubber.

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