We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›
There are few bike styles that are as all-around capable as fat tire e-bikes. On the one hand, you have the burly, all-terrain surefootedness of a fat bike; on the other, you have the above-and-beyond performance provided by an electric motor. In other words, the best fat tire electric bikes offer the best of both worlds, whether on the road or in the backcountry, which is why we’re offering our picks for the best of the best.
How we chose the best fat tire e-bikes
As a lifelong cyclist—both road and trail—I offer some 30 years of experience riding bikes of all types. In recent years, I’ve relentlessly tested the best electric bikes and e-bike conversion kits and reviewed them for publications like Popular Science, Bicycling, Popular Mechanics, the Manual, and more. For this list, I explored recent releases from an extremely wide range of brands, testing bikes for different riding needs, experience levels, and budgets. My firsthand tests have been bolstered by input from the Popular Science editors and other expert reviewers.
The best fat tire electric bikes: Reviews & Recommendations
Fat tire electric bikes are characterized by their wide tires, durable frames, and versatile geometry. Not only does that rank them among the ablest of rides for offroad trails and surfaces, but unlike electric mountain bikes, a fat tire bike’s more traditional design makes them solid e-bikes for transit in city centers as well. Here are our top recommendations for these top all-rounders.
Best overall: Rad Power RadRover 6 Plus
- Motor: 750W
- Torque: 50Nm
- Battery capacity: 589-672Wh (depending on region)
- Supremely comfortable
- Extremely versatile
- Rad Power’s vast ecosystem of accessories
- Not designed for rougher terrain or trails
The RadRover from Rad Power has gone through several iterations now, and the 6 Plus brings it to a near-perfect package if you’re looking for an extremely versatile fat tire e-bike. In terms of performance, its 750W, 50Nm motor is solidly powerful, delivering plenty of oomph for climbing urban hills or moderate offroad hills. And its battery capacity is above average, providing a potential range upwards of 45 miles (though realistically more like 30).
Beyond the electronics, it’s also a well-considered bike by pretty much every measure. The frame geometry is highly versatile, suited for riders of a variety of body types to use in a variety of conditions. Its hydraulic disc brakes are plenty reliable. The moderate front suspension cruises over bumps, and the included headlamp and sturdy fenders are nice touches. Add its generously padded seat, and you’ve got an incredibly comfortable cruiser.
What’s more, it can be endlessly customized via Rad Power’s vast ecosystem of accessories, such as baskets, cargo carriers, bags, bottles, consoles, locks, mirrors, lights, phone mounts, tire armor, passenger seats, trailers, and even pet carriers—and a whole lot more. If you’re looking for a bike geared more toward trail riding, this probably isn’t your best option, but for all practical purposes, this is a great fat tire e-bike.
Best value: Heybike Mars 2.0
- Motor: 1200W
- Torque: 80Nm
- Battery capacity: 600Wh
- Wildly powerful motor
- Great torque
- Folding can be cumbersome
- Difficult to ride if the battery runs out
The Mars 2.0 from Heybike gets our value pick because it packs a lot of bike into an affordable, foldable package. That 1200W motor is outright wild, especially coupled with its 80Nmn torque. Suffice it to say that you’ll never have trouble getting up to speed with this bike. Its 600Wh battery is decent in terms of capacity, but don’t let yourself run out of juice while far from your destination, as its high center of gravity and relatively high weight make it difficult to pedal and control when unpowered.
In terms of design, the fact that it offers so much power in a foldable bike makes it extremely good for around-town commutes. It’ll zip you wherever you need to go; after that, you can fold it up and bring it inside. It can be a bit cumbersome to fold, but that’s pretty common among folding e-bikes. All in all, this is a great fat tire e-bike for versatile, go-anywhere riding.
Best for women: Juiced Ripracer
- Motor: 750W
- Torque: 80Nm
- Battery capacity: 777Wh
- Smaller size is perfect for smaller body types
- Solid electronic specs
- Great throttle
Women often point out that too many or even most bikes are designed with men in mind. To that end, the Juiced Ripracer is the ideal solution. It’s a great bike for anybody except the tallest riders, but women and people with smaller bodies, in particular, will appreciate its trimmed-down stature and lower center of gravity.
Beyond that, it puts up impressive numbers. Its 750W, 80Nm motor is fast and hill-defying, and its 777Wh battery is plenty big, especially considering its lighter, range-extending weight. And Juiced makes one of the best throttles in the business. It’s responsive and quick, and the twisting motorcycle-style design has a natural feel to it. It doesn’t have shocks, but the pillowy tires more or less negate the need, and it doesn’t have geared speeds, but the powerful motor makes them unnecessary. The Ripracer is a great e-bike all-around, and while it’s perfectly fine for urban use, it may be literally perfect for moderate offroad trails.
Best design: Juiced Scrambler X2
- Motor: 1000W
- Torque: 90Nm
- Battery capacity: 881Wh
- Monster specs
- Cool design
- Comfortable seating
- Standard mirrors and turn signals would be nice
For our “best design” distinction, we’re once again looking to Juiced because the Scrambler X2 is simply a very well-thought-out bike. The central concept is that it’s essentially a modestly powered electric dirtbike, but the word “modestly” is doing a lot of work there because these specs are great as far as e-bikes go. A 1000W, 90Nm motor with an 881Wh battery? What a beast.
But there are a lot of bikes with good stats on this list. The Scrambler X2 stands out because of its sleek, retro design concept. Super comfortable seating and stance make it great for longer rides. The front shocks handle bumps well, and the wide, bright headlamp is great for visibility. And it really feels like a motorbike replacement. With that in mind, the addition of standard mirrors and turn signals would be a plus, but that’s pretty nitpicky. If you’re looking for a very cool, very capable electric fat tire bike, this is definitely worth consideration.
Best rated: Ride1Up Rift
- Motor: 750W
- Torque: 95Nm
- Battery capacity: 960Wh
- Great performance
- Good offroad geometry
- Massive battery capacity
There are a lot of bikes that could technically rank as “best rated” if you’re looking at stars or number scales, but I’m going with the Ride1Up Rift because few bikes out there so consistently leave riders satisfied. It simply does pretty much everything right.
Its motor and battery are great—especially in terms of torque and range. 95Nm or torque will climb anything, and 960Wh of battery will keep going for 50 miles, easy. Its geometry is also nicely versatile. While you can ride it in pretty much any situation, it’s got a little more forward lean to it, accentuating offroad riding, further bolstered by its great front shocks. Pretty much the only real criticism I can find is that the not-included passenger kit only supports 150 pounds, which means kids and smaller passengers only. But that’s a very minor detail. In pretty much every way you could actually want it to be, this is a solid e-bike.
Best splurge: Quietkat Apex Pro
- Motor: 1000W
- Torque: 160Nm
- Battery capacity: 820Wh
- Crazy strong torque
- “Unlimited” mode
- Insane durability
- Suspension is somewhat stiff
To be perfectly honest, most people don’t need this bike, and that’s what makes the Quietkat Apex Pro an ideal splurge. I don’t think there is a tougher bike out there, period. It’s designed specifically for extreme backcountry use, like hunting or fishing, or any other time you expect to haul gear deep into the wilderness.
With its overpowered motor (160Nm or torque?!), huge battery, and virtually indestructible durability, it is ideal for ultra-adventure riding. I haven’t even mentioned the “Unlimited” throttle mode, which basically turns it into a straight-up motorbike capable of going speeds beyond the legal limit for e-bikes, so the company advises that you use this mode only once you get off the grid. There’s really not much else to say. The suspension is maybe a little stiff, but who cares? “Unlimited” mode speaks for itself.
Best budget: Himiway Cruiser
- Motor: 750W
- Torque: 80Nm
- Battery capacity: 840Wh
- Massive hill-climbing torque
- Powerful motor
- Big battery
- Pedal assist lag
- Mechanical brakes
For a sub-thousand-dollar ebike, the Himiway Cruiser puts up some admirable stats. Its 750W motor is strong and quick, particularly when you factor in that 80Nm torque, making this an absolute hill-killer. Its massive battery is great, too, capable of quite easily surpassing 40 miles on a single charge. The display can be a bit glitchy in terms of speed accuracy, and you may notice a lag to the pedal assist, but barring these details, the electronic specs are solid.
In terms of design, it’s a well-rounded bike with good front suspension, versatile geometry, and an all-around comfortable ride. The included rear rack is sturdy, and it accommodates a pretty decent range of accessories. It’s a fairly heavy bike, so I’m not a huge fan of its mechanical brakes—something this loaded would definitely benefit from hydraulic disc brakes. That being said, this is an affordable bike that delivers specs you’d typically expect to pay much more for.
What to consider when picking a fat tire electric bike
The e-bike space is increasingly dominated by fat tire models because so many riders appreciate the improved smoothness, traction, and versatility. That being said, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to ensure that you get one of the best rather than one of the many.
Bike motor: power and torque
In most cases, your first thoughts should be of the motor. While on flat pavement, the motor might not make a huge difference, but if you plan on riding offroad or uphill, you will want solid wattage and torque. For a fat tire e-bike, never dip below a 500W motor, and ideally, look at 750W or up. This will ensure that your motor performs on hills and won’t burn out if you push it too hard.
The torque determines a motor’s ability to transfer rotational power to the back wheel. More torque equals more hill-climbing ability, and it helps get the bike moving from a complete stop. Torque is measured in newton-meters, and you’ll never want less than 50Nm.
If you were shopping for a daily commuter, I would advise getting a battery that balances capacity and weight because high-capacity batteries tend to make an e-bike much heavier. But with fat bikes, which you’ll typically use more recreationally, I say go big or go home. You want a huge battery to stay out and play all day. Battery capacity is measured in watt-hours, and you’ll never want less than 500Wh. What that translates into in terms of range depends on factors like terrain, incline, speed, rider weight, and pedal assist setting, but you can count on that to last between 20-40 miles.
If you’re not comfortable on a bike, you won’t enjoy riding it. Comfort is largely a matter of individual preference, but there are a few generalities you can consider. Do you prefer a bike that has a more upright or forward-leaning stance? Do you like a seat that is plush or firm? A frame that’s smaller or larger? These can help you zero in on a few suitable models. From there, it never hurts to go for a test ride.
Fat tire bikes tend to be more all-purpose applicable than mountain-specific bikes, but they still lean toward off-road riding thanks to their wide, heavily studded tires, which lend themselves to soft and irregular surfaces. Even so, some fat bikes deliver more or less all-terrain capability. Models with more suspension and fewer cargo accessories are often more off-road oriented, but not always. Sometimes, the best way to know whether a bike is intended for heavier off-road use is simply by reading the manufacturer’s description.
Speaking of suspension, this can be an important consideration. Some people don’t need suspension at all, especially with the bouncy cushioning of fat tires. Others may prefer a good front suspension to take the edge off bumps and uncertain surfaces.
Q: Are fat tires good for electric bikes?
In the past, fat tires were used primarily for off-roading on soft surfaces, but they’ve become increasingly popular for all riding purposes thanks to their gentle, surefooted ride. In fact, these days, they’re beginning to rival narrower road tires in terms of popularity.
Q: How long do e-bike fat tires last?
That’s an extremely broad question, as a fat tire’s lifespan is determined by factors like make, usage, load weight, and so on. Generally speaking, you can expect a set of fat tires to last somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 miles.
Q: What are the disadvantages of fat tires on e-bikes?
Fat tires are big and bulky, which can make them heavier and more challenging to lift onto a rack or carry upstairs.
Q: Are fat tire electric bikes harder to pedal?
While fat tires can feel a bit sluggish when pedaling on paved surfaces, the motor of an e-bike tends to negate the issue.
Q: Are fat tire e-bikes good for street riding?
They can be great for street riding. The downsides are minimal, but the upsides are improved traction, stability, and smoothness.
Q: Are fat tires good for winter?
Fat tires are the go-to for riding on snow or otherwise slick surfaces. In snow, experienced riders will often deflate their fat tires to as low as 5psi in order to spread the traction.
Q: Can fat tire e-bikes manage backcountry use?
Absolutely. In fact, for unknown terrain where you might hit mud, sand, swamp, or otherwise soft ground, they can be invaluable for getting through whatever nature throws at you.
Final thoughts on the best fat tire electric bike
I was skeptical of the rising popularity of fat tires on e-bikes at first, but much to my surprise, they’ve become my ride of choice. The fusion of fat tire traction and softness with electric power and performance results in an outstanding level of versatility. While they tend to be heavier and more cumbersome than their conventional tire or non-electric counterparts, the benefits definitely outweigh what few drawbacks there are. It’s no surprise that fat tire e-bikes are becoming so popular in cycling.
Why trust us
Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.
Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.