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Why Do Some E-Bikes Have Such Big Tires?

Riding an electric bike is a fantastic, economical mode of transportation. Not only is it affordable, but it’s enjoyable too. Whether you use an e-bike for transportation to and from work or school or just for sheer enjoyment, you’ve probably noticed something unique about some e-bike tires: their size. Many have much wider and thicker tires than mountain bikes, especially when compared to road bikes.  So why are some e-bike tires so massive? 

Many e-bikes have fat tires for use on all types of terrain. Fat tires offer versatility for riding an e-bike on pavement, dirt, gravel, sand, and even rain and snow. The wider tires offer better traction for all types of situations, leading to a more comfortable ride in any season that’s more durable too. 

Not all electric bikes have fat tires. However, they’re rising in popularity amongst e-bikers and are more common on the newest generation of electric bikes. The reason is simple: the ability to take the e-bike anywhere and in any weather condition is very appealing.

What Makes a Fat Tire Better for Electric Bikes?


If you’ve never seen fat tires for bikes before, you might be surprised by their sheer size. They are so large they might look ridiculous to you, especially if you’re used to narrow road bike tires, which are designed specifically for riding on pavement. 

While fat tires may look odd if you’re not used to them, they actually have tons of benefits. Below we explore all the benefits of fat tires for electric bikes.

Lower Maintenance 

Large tires have a greater surface area, have thicker rubber, and hold a greater volume of air. Therefore, they are less likely to develop a leak, pop, or get a bent rim. Additionally, they can last hundreds of more miles and many years longer than a traditional bike tire before they need replacing. 

Why do they last longer? There are two main reasons; the first one is because they are better at absorbing impacts. Whether you run over potholes, large rocks, branches, or other debris, they can take punches much better than traditional tires due to their larger surface area and thickness without developing much wear.

The second reason is that they have more rubber– between the inner tube and the road. For example, the rubber of a traditional road bike tire might wear down enough to expose the core after only 1,000 to 1,800 miles. Compared to fat tires, they have a very thin amount of rubber.

On the other hand, fat tires can have between two to four times the rubber thickness. This means an electric bike with fat tires can last two to four times longer before being replaced. If you want the maximum longevity of your electric bike’s tires, consider fat tires. 

Great Durability 

Fat tires for electric bikes rank high in overall durability. They can be used in all sorts of extreme conditions and terrains with minimal worry, including:

  • Pavement and concrete 
  • Rain 
  • Snow 
  • Slush/slurry 
  • Sand 
  • Gravel
  • Dirt and mud
  • Uneven or rocky terrain

The wide surface area of fat tires enables e-bikes to grip all sorts of surfaces better. This allows riders to get from point A to point B no matter what types of surfaces stand between them. With regular, traditional tires, you would mostly be stuck to the road.

However, with large tires, you could take your e-bike on the shortcut through the woods and roll right over tree roots, and swallow streams without any issue. 

Beach Riding 

Have you ever fantasized about combining the joy of biking with the scenic atmosphere of the beach? Well, with fat tires, you’re in luck! As we mentioned previously, fat electric bike tires work great in all types of sand, so that means you’ll be able to ride your e-bike directly along the waterfront. 

While you’re riding along the beach, you can take in the beautiful view, watch the sun glisten on the water, and the waves splash along the shore. 

The fat tires will do fine on both dry sand and wet sand, so feel free to ride it closer to the water line if you wish. However, be careful of riding through waves too often, especially if you’re on the ocean.

The high salt concentration in the ocean can corrode your chain and drivetrain and can also corrode your frame. Most electric bikes are water-resistant, but saltwater is a whole other (destructive) animal and is best to avoid altogether. 

Compatible with Every Season

Large e-bike tires have unrestricted usage throughout the year. Whether it is January or July, you’ll be able to use your electric bike as long as you can stand the temperature conditions. Just like the old saying, “rain or shine,” riding your electric bike will not be prohibited by the weather

Many electric bikers owners use their electric bikes as their daily vehicle to get to work, school, and social engagements. From an operational cost standpoint, electric bikes have much lower costs than gas and diesel cars and even electric vehicles too.

They are very efficient, and you add to their efficiency by pushing the pedals yourself. Without fat tires, you would be unable to use your electric bike in the winter months.

It would be unsafe, it would be difficult to get traction, and you would be more likely to get stuck in the snow or get a flat. Having fat tires enables you to ride in the winter, allowing you to continue to use this low-cost transportation option all year long. 

Fitness Benefits 

We know, a big plus of electric bikes is that you don’t have to pedal 100% of the time. This means you don’t have to work up a sweat nor overwork your body– especially if you’re traveling long distances. 

In many terrain conditions, large e-bike tires require you to put in pedaling effort to keep moving. This means you will be using more muscles than you would with regular-sized tires. This adds up to a noticeable amount of exercise, which in the long-term provides tremendous health benefits.

Light cardiovascular exercise, such as biking, has been shown in multiple studies to improve cardiac performance, health, and longevity. 

Great Comfort 

Fat e-bike tires are seriously large. They have thick rubber and are very wide; they also have a large inner tube that holds a large air volume. As such, the tires act as a cushion, absorbing and dispersing impacts from potholes, rocks, drops off curbs, and other obstacles.

Think of fat tires as another layer of improvement to your e-bike’s suspension system. 

The tires taking more impact means that there is the less overall impact on your joints as well. That means your ankles, knees, hips, wrist, and tailbone will take less brunt of the excessive impacts. Your body will thank you. 

Visual Appeal 

Let’s face it, large, wide tires on electric bikes look different. In fact, they differ so much, e-bikes with fat tires cause many heads to turn. If you like attention drawn to you while you ride, fat tires might be a better choice. Fat tires are a great way to strike up a conversation with other electric biking enthusiasts or those interested in the hobby. 

Some great places to find other people interested in electric bikes include the beach, biking trails, city bike paths, and really anywhere bikes are ridden. Fat tires are sure to draw in a few questions of interest from colleagues, friends, family, and even passersby. 


As stated many times prior, fat tires have a wider surface, provide a better cushion, and better grip the ground. With all these benefits combined, you are less likely to have an e-bike accident and get injured. 

For example, in wintery conditions, your back tire is less likely to slide out from under you, and you have better stopping ability since the wider tire has more friction with the ground. Additionally, if you ever drive into a deep pothole, you’re less likely to be physically knocked off the electric bike since the fat tires absorb more impact. 

Why More E-Bikes Have Have Bigger Tires

Fat bike biking girl riding on snow trail path in winter. Outdoor sport in nature landscape

Not all electric bikes have fat tires. However, fat-tire bikes have been increasing in popularity over recent years. The reasons that some e-bike have them and some don’t is simple– just like many things in life, e-bikes can be used differently and in various situations.

Large, fat tires on e-bikes make them easier to ride on certain terrains, mainly snow and sand, and offer other benefits, such as supplementing your suspension and less maintenance. 

However, if you’re only ever riding an e-bike from along paved roads, where it never snows, then fat tires would be unnecessary. 

Can You Use Fat Tires on Any E-bike? 

You might be wondering, can you use regular road bikes tires during the summer, then switch to fat tires for the winter months? This is certainly a great question, but that answer is “maybe,” it depends on the bike. 

Fat tires only fit specific bike frames. You can usually fit regular mountain bike tires on a fat-tire bike frame, but not the other way around. 

The bike frame must be wide enough for fat tires in the first place. These types of bikes are called “fat bikes.”  Regular, run-of-the-mill mountain bikes and road bikes can’t fit the larger fat tires into their frames. 

What Are Some Great Thick E-Bike Tire Options?

If you have a fat bike and need a replacement fat tire, you likely want the best of the best. Don’t settle for an unknown brand with questionable quality. Check out these top fat tires that will keep you going even in the harshest conditions. 

Maxxis Minion Fat Tire 

The Maxxis Minion fat tire (on Amazon) comprises dual-compound rubber, which keeps it rolling at fast speeds on every terrain. It has some of the best cornering grip of any fat tire on the market, making it the best fat tire for quick, abrupt turns.

It works wonders in most conditions but is not the best for deep mud. However, it is available at a very affordable price. 

Schwalbe Jumbo Jim Folding Tire Speedgrip 

The Schwalbe Jumbo Jim Addix Snakeskin fat tire (on Amazon) provides an impressive balance of grip and speed. It has an incredible ride feel and has relatively lightweight for a fat tire.

With Schwalbe’s “speedgrip” compound, electric bikes equipped with these tires will have great rolling speeds without losing traction. Some e-bike riders might find the tire sub-par for aggressive outings in deep snow or muddy conditions.

However, overall, this tire provides an outstanding balance of speed, traction, and weight, making it a fantastic choice for almost all situations. 

Mongoose Fat Bike Tire 

The Mongoose Fat Bike Tire (on Amazon) is a heavy-duty unit with an aggressive, knobby tread pattern. It is suitable for dirt roads, muddy conditions, sand, and snow. It has a tremendous grip that is great for corners and steep inclines.

Additionally, the Mongoose tire has a great feel and really smooths out the trail while rolling over various obstacles. If you’re a frequent pavement rider, these tires may wear down faster than other brands, but their superior grip in off-road terrain and price point more than makes up for it. 

Are Fat-Tire Bikes Hard to Ride?

Compared to traditional mountain bike and road bike tires, fat tires take more effort to ride and maneuver. Fat tires add more weight to the bike, and because the tires are wider, there is more surface friction that you have to overcome as you pedal.

That means both you and the electric bike battery have to use extra energy to get the fat tires spinning and keep the bike moving. 

When are Fat Tires a Bad Option for an E-Bike?

Fat tires are never a bad choice. However, since they do take extra effort and energy to ride, they may not be the best choice in certain circumstances. For example, if you’re only ever riding on a smooth, paved street in good weather conditions, a fat-tire would be overkill.

Unless, of course, you want to add the extra weight and resistance for a better cardio workout.