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The Best Fat Tire Electric Bikes of 2024

April 1, 2024 - Blog

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Best Hardtail

QuietKat Lynx


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Best Dual Suspension

HeyBike Horizon


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Best Rigid

Specialized Globe Haul ST


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Whether you’re trying to cut down on time spent in the car or hiking a tree stand out to your hunting spot, fat tire electric bikes make getting around town or trails fun and easy. Skinny tires are built for speed, but if you already have a motor, you may as well embrace the stability and comfort of fat tires. I tried out three of the best fat tire electric bikes with varying levels of suspension to help you decide on your new ride.

Best Hardtail: QuietKat Lynx

Best Dual Suspension: HeyBike Horizon

Best Rigid: Specialized Globe Haul ST

How I Tested the Best Fat Tire Electric Bikes

I tested the QuietKat Lynx and HeyBike Horizon around the foothills of Salt Lake City, Utah, on dirt trails and paved roads. I also met with Amelia Helmick, senior compliance engineer at Specialized, to discuss the merits and inner workings of the best fat tire electric bikes and try out the Globe Haul ST.

Electric Bike Classifications

The first thing to understand about e-bikes is that many states regulate them using the following classification system. All of the bikes on this list are capable of class three performance (It’s the most fun). 

Class 1: Pedal assist only and top speed of 20 mph

Class 2: Pedal assist and throttle, top speed 20 mph

Class 3: Top speed 28 mph (throttle up to 20 mph) 

Best Fat Tire Electric Bikes: Reviews & Recommendations 

Best Hardtail: QuietKat Lynx

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Key Features

Motor: ​​1000W automatic hub drive

Battery: 20Ah/48V 960Wh

Range: 30 to 60 miles

Weight: 100 pounds

Load Capacity: 300 pounds

Gears: Single speed

Suspension: KKE 34CS 203mm inverted mechanical coil fork

Tires: 24 x 4.5 inches

Pros

VPO (Variable Power Outlet)

Bluetooth compatible

Looks awesome

Throttle

Cons

Need a bike pump to inflate tires

Seat and handlebars aren’t adjustable

App is only free for one year

The QuietKat Lynx is sexy. It looks more like a motorcycle than an e-bike with a handsome pleather saddle, dramatic headlight, and cafe moto inspired build. I was turning heads and making friends while testing the Lynx around my neighborhood. The 1000W hub-drive motor has an impressive 1440W peak output giving you some real get-up-and-go and hauling power. 

The Lynx feels more like a motorcycle than an electric bike.

Ashley Thess

QuietKat’s pedal assist is unique with eco, trail, and boost as your options instead of a one through five numerical setting. The Lynx also has a variable output power (VPO) system that allows you to toggle through the three different e-bike classification for compliance with your local laws. There is also a secret fourth option: unlimited mode. While most states follow a three class system when it comes to electric bikes, if you’re on private land, you can let loose on unlimited mode — or class four — utilizing more than 750W with no speed limit.

The pedals are a little low for a dry river crossing, but as long as you don’t dunk the battery, the Lynx can handle wet, uneven terrain.

Ashley Thess

Even with two people on this bike, it went 10 mph on steep uphills and 28 mph on flat roads. The 4.5-inch tires have a deep tread and feel stable on dirt, pavement, and rocks. Assembly was involved but not complicated; you will need a bike pump to fully inflate the tires. The seat and handlebar height aren’t adjustable, but I’m 5-feet-7-inches tall and felt in control while riding. 

There’s also an app that connects to the Lynx via Bluetooth with GPS capabilities, ride tracking, and maintenance recommendations. It also allows you to put your bike in lock mode, making it impossible to turn on the bike, or theft mode in case someone walks away with all 100 pounds anyway. The only catch is it’s only free for 12 months, and then it’s $60 a year.

Overall, this is a rad bike that will take you almost anywhere you need to go. The suspension takes curbs, stairs, potholes, and more with grace. It’s comfortable and stylish for city riding and powerful enough for hauling gear on rough terrain. Plus, the throttle is super fun. Just don’t let it go to your head; one tester attempted to jump a tree stump and landed directly in a ditch when this 100-pound beast didn’t quite float through the air.

Read Next: QuietKat Apex Pro Review

Best Dual Suspension: HeyBike Horizon

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Key Features

Motor: ​​1200W peak motor

Battery: 692Wh

Range: 55 miles

Weight: 79.4 pounds

Load Capacity: 250 pounds (330 pounds total, minus the weight of the bike)

Gears: Shimano 7 speed

Suspension: Hydraulic front and Horst-link 

Tires: ​​24 x 4 inches

Pros

Speedy

Foldable

Dual suspension

Adjustable seat and handlebars

Bluetooth compatible

Cons

Pre-assembled part needed to be re-assembled

No lock mode

1-year warranty on bike and battery

HeyBike’s latest model, the Horizon, is unique in that it’s a full-suspension, class three fat tire electric bike that also folds in on itself for more compact storage. Its unfolded dimensions are 75.6 x 24.4 x 46.5 inches, and folded it’s 49.2 x 23.6 x 31.5 inches. There’s a hinge on the bottom of the down and seat tubes allowing the wheels to join together. The handlebars also hinge down. Now, this bike is still nearly 80 pounds, so the folding component doesn’t make it portable, but if you want to put it in your trunk to take it to a trail, or stow it in the corner of the garage, it’s a nifty feature.

The Horizon fits in the trunk of my Subaru Crosstrek with some room to spare, but lifting it in by myself wasn’t the most fun.

Ashley Thess

While the Horizon looks more like a traditional electric bike than the Lynx, it’s still speedy. I loved that I didn’t even have to pedal to get going; just press down on the throttle lever with your right thumb and sort out putting your feet on the pedals later. It has a Shimano seven speed derailleur, but honestly it feels a little pointless. If I want to go faster, I’m just going to up the pedal assist rather than shift gears.

The pedal assist can be adjusted one through five, with a max speed of 28. The hydraulic front fork is a nice addition to the Horst-link, absorbing impacts from curbs, stairs, roots, etc. no problem. I like that the seat and handlebars are adjustable. This bike zips around, so I like having a lower seat to easily stabilize myself with my foot at a quick stop.

Out of the box, the Horizon was a breeze to assemble. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even watch the video. That’s why I was originally sure it was my own fault when the front fork wasn’t locking into the head tube, giving way too much play when I pulled up on the handle bars. But, the front wheel came pre-assembled on the bike. I had to reattach the wheel a couple times, and eventually it tightened properly. 

The HeyBike is also Bluetooth compatible, but the app is lacking compared to the QuietKat (but, it is free). You can change the pedal assist setting and track your activity, GPS location, and battery life. But there is no lock mode or maintenance info. 

HeyBike’s Horizon is a fast, stable, and comfortable ride ideal for commuting or ripping around trails. The folding feature is great for riders looking to take their e-bike to their favorite trail and long stretch of nowhere. This bike is ideal for someone looking to have it all in a foldable, full suspension, fat tire electric bike.

Best Rigid: Specialized Globe

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Key Features

Motor: ​​700W rear hub

Battery: 772Wh

Range: 60 miles

Weight: 77 pounds, 2.6 ounces

Load Capacity: 419 pounds

Gears: microSHIFT Advent, 9-speed

Suspension: None

Tires: 20 x 3.5 inches

Pros

Adjustable seat and handlebars

Network of service centers and retailers

Bluetooth compatible

Two-year warranty

Best load capacity

Cons

No suspension

Skinnier tires

Throttle sold separately

Technically the tires on the Globe aren’t fat, they’re wide. But I wasn’t going to let half an inch stop me from covering this adventure bike from Specialized. If you plan to stick to gravel, dirt, or paved roads, this rigid fat tire electric bike will get you where you need to go smoothly. The 700W rear hub motor is powerful enough for steep hills and heavy loads. At 419 pounds of weight capacity, you can even purchase a passenger kit to make riding with a friend more comfortable. 

The Globe Haul is equipped to carry quite a load for long trips.

Specialized

Switch through the five pedal assist settings with the +/- buttons, or rely on the dual torque sensor to increase your speed the more pressure you put on the pedals. The sensor measures force on each pedal to quickly pick up on when you’re exerting more force with one foot or both, and your speed will increase. You can also add a throttle and hook it up using the Specialized-Globe app. Also with the app, track your rides and stats, place your bike in lock mode, and run firmware updates. 

The Globe is a smooth ride with plenty of power. Specialized also has a large network of service centers and retailers should you need assistance. For example, HeyBike only has one retailer within 20 miles of me. Specialized has 14. They also offer a lifetime warranty on the frame of the bikes (as does QuietKat), and a two year warranty on the battery, compared to one year for HeyBike and QuietKat. A larger company can offer these kinds of amenities. 

Read Next: Best Electric Bikes for Hunting

Things to Consider Before Buying a Fat Tire Electric Bike

Suspension

Suspension is more comfortable if you’re on rocky trails, and a necessity if you want to jump tree stumps, but if you plan on sticking to dirt, gravel, or paved roads, you might be paying more for no reason. That said, if you want to rip through whatever terrain dares come your way, a hardtail or full suspension fat tire electric bike is the way to go.

Motor

When selecting a fat tire electric bike, pay attention to the motor and peak power. Both of these are going to affect your hauling power. Rear hub motors are going to offer the best hauling capacity and drive that power from the back, where the weight is. Electric bikes aren’t legally supposed to use more than 750W motors, but class four, or unlimited mode for the QuietKat, allows for a loophole on private land. You will see motors with a peak power over 750W which is what your bike will tap into for propelling heavier weights.

Battery

The miles per charge range on electric bikes will always be listed for the lowest pedal assist or eco mode in the QuietKat’s case. If you don’t intend to drive so conservatively, or plan on hauling weight or going up a lot of hills, this will vary significantly. You might consider a portable charger or extra battery for long trips.

Security 

A quality U-lock is a good start for the best fat tire electric bikes, but the real prize for thieves is the huge, very expensive lithium ion battery. They’re easy to remove, even if your bike is chained and in lock mode. Helmick recommends bringing your battery with you if you leave your e-bike outside at night.

FAQs

Q: Are fat tires better on an ebike?

Fat tires provide a more comfortable and stable ride. The extra surface area lets them grip better and distribute weight more evenly. Skinny tires are built for speed, but on a 70-plus-pounds e-bike

Q: How long do e-bike batteries last?

This depends on a lot of factors like load weight, pedal assist mode, terrain, and temperature. If you’re considering a long tour, it might be worth it to buy an extra battery. 

Q: Can I use a fat tire bike on the road?

Yes, fat tire electric bikes are great on the road as long as they’re legal in your area. The fat tires create a comfortable ride on even the most poorly maintained roads.

Final Thoughts on The Best Fat Tire Electric Bikes

The best fat tire electric bikes are better for the environment than gassing up your car for a sub-3-mile commute, and super fun to ride. The models on this list are efficient and capable on trails, and those with suspension can tackle off-roading, too. One of these is sure to improve your in-town errands and weekend adventures.

Best Hardtail: QuietKat Lynx

Best Dual Suspension: HeyBike Horizon

Best Rigid: Specialized Globe Haul ST

The post The Best Fat Tire Electric Bikes of 2024 appeared first on Outdoor Life.

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