Electric fat tire bikes are beginning to make a bigger splash on city streets lately, standing out amongst the crowd for their 4-inch tires and rugged look. And while these bikes are great for rough terrains and soft sand often associated with recreation rides, fat tire bikes are often overlooked when it comes to finding the best commuter bicycle for city riding.
Their wide tires and sturdy frames make them a slower ride than their more lightweight road bike counterparts. But the physical elements of a fat tire bike, combined with an efficient pedelec system, could make these bicycles a great option for city riding.
Here’s six reasons why a fat tire electric bike, like the Boar from Surface 604, might just be the best commuter bicycle for you.
1. Smooth Riding
Fat tires mean more traction, and therefore a slower ride, which might seem like a downside, unless you consider common road conditions like potholes, construction and just general wear and tear on our city streets. Because they can be ridden on a PSI as low as 5, these 4-4.5 inch tires, like the Boar’s Kenda Juggernaut, create a built in cushion to reduce the amount of cracks and bumps you feel during the average commute. Imagine hitting a patch of construction and not having to worry about being tossed and turned on your way to work.
2. Balance like a Boss
Everyone has that moment on a bicycle, even the most seasoned riders, when out of nowhere they lose their balance during a ride. Whether it’s having to stop suddenly, taking a turn a little too narrow, or while hauling some extra cargo, we all could use some stability on two wheel once in a while. Fat tire bikes are built to be stable, the thick tires taking up more surface and helping keep the bike upright even when you may feel a little off-balance. And when you add in the electric assist for acceleration, riding becomes a stress-free, well-balanced breeze.
3. Taking it Slow
Okay, this one may not make sense to most commuters, since the goal is getting to the office, next meeting or returning home as quickly as possible. But consider this – high speed means you’re not as able to take in your surroundings, but it also means you’re not able to react as quickly to fellow cyclists, oncoming vehicles, or pedestrians along the way.
Fat tire electric bicycles offer the best of both worlds, giving you the option to go a little faster, but also be able to concentrate on what’s happening around you, making your trip a little safer. And for those days when you feel like taking the scenic route home, you won’t feel like you’ve missed a thing taking the slow, comfortable roll home.
4. One Bike for All Roads
The common adage amongst bike owners is that the number of bikes you should own is N + 1, where ‘N’ is the number of bikes you currently own. This tongue-in-cheek way of looking at bicycle purchases is great for someone with a little extra disposable income. But for the more budget conscious, practical consumer, owning several bikes for all their varying needs isn’t realistic.
A fat tire electric bike, like the Boar, offers a ‘one-bike-fits-all’ option – a bike that takes the rider from city streets, to forest trails, and the sandy beaches, all in one trip. The built-in motor also means hills are no problem, regardless of the terrain, making it a great option for some who needs one bike to get them from A to B, and anywhere in between.
5. Weather? What Weather?
One of the most common excuses used to not cycle is weather. Be it persistent rainy days in the Pacific Northwest, or the biting cold and snow in the East, weather definitely plays a role in people getting out (or not) on two wheels.
With a fat tire electric bike, many of those concerns disappear, thanks to their wide tire base that can take on whatever Mother Nature throws at them. Slick roads from rain or ice are little trouble for the soft tires and snow is eaten up by the treads on these 4-inch bad boys. And on those hot summer days, when riding a bike seems like too much exertion, an electric assist bike motor is there to take over so you can enjoy a cool breeze along the way. The best commuter bike is the one that can do the work for you!
Finally, and maybe most importantly, a fat tire electric bike can give you the freedom to move around the city comfortably and the way you want. Maybe you’re newer on a bike, and need a little support while you find your riding legs. Or perhaps, for varying reasons, you no longer have the physical stamina to get yourself to work by bike. Fat tire electric bikes give you the freedom to control how much assistance you want, and take you wherever you can dream of going by bicycle, no matter the conditions.
They may not be like the slender, skinny-tired road bikes built for speed, but electric bikes like the Boar from Surface 604 offer another option to people looking for more utility and practicality. It may be some time before they take over the bike scene, but in the meantime, they provide a little something for everyone, and maybe even a reason to finally get on a bike!
“A co-founder of Modacity, a multi-service communications and marketing firm focused on inspiring healthier, happier, simpler forms of urban mobility through words, photography and film”