Electric bikes with fat tires simplify travel over rough terrain. Riding on sand, mud, or snow can be a challenge for standard bikes, However, ebike manufacturers have found that wider tires make conquering rough, loose, and uneven terrain a breeze. As a result, fat tire bikes are now wildly popular, with a massive following. Frames and forks are designed to accommodate the larger size tires and wheels.
At Open Road Motosports, we consider a "fat tire" to start at a 3" width, and more commonly are 4" wide. A few are even wider - up to 5". Our fat tire rim sizes are 20, 24, 26, and 27.5", with either 3" or 4" widths.
The prime advantages you'll experience with a fat tire ebike are more traction through increased surface friction and increased stability through a wider and stronger air cushioning effect. There is simply more tire on the surface the bike is riding on, and the plush ride feel is certainly appealing. A beginner bike rider can feel greater control and stability with these bigger tires when compared to the waggle of narrower tires.
Riders have the option of adjusting tire pressure to suit the current weather and terrain. Lower air pressure provides a softer, bouncier ride, while greater pressure can decrease surface resistance on a paved trail and provide greater battery range. In comparison to traditional bike tires, fat tires are typically inflated at lower pounds per square inch (psi) when compared with their narrow tire cousins - from 15 psi to 30 psi for the fat boys. While a 30 psi fat tire works well on paved trails, lowering the psi can improve trail contact and provide more float on soft surfaces such as wet sand or snow.
Regardless of tire size, tire pressure should be consistently checked. A bike sitting for a long period of time will lose air pressure, and you want to start a ride with properly inflated tires. Also, we recommend tire liners to protect against nasty stickers, aka goat heads, penetrating the tire and tube, regardless of tire size. Check out Tannus Armour, a very effective solution as goat heads can't penetrate through to the tube. This is a helpful service we can provide to riders where sticker branches are prevalent (Utah and the SW U.S.).