Comment choisir un fat bike électrique (Partie 1) ?
FAT BIKE (definition): A fat bike is a city or all-terrain bike equipped with wide wheels (minimum 3.8 inches in width) at low air pressure (between 8 and 25 PSi) having the ability to cross soft ground or extremely rugged.
How to choose an electric fat bike?
You have read our article on Why buy an electric fat bike? and are determined to take action. Congratulations! If your choice is a STALKER Mad Bike electric fat bike, even better! Otherwise ... You can still read this article and we hope to be able to guide you in your choices.
Here's what to look out for when choosing the right electric fat bike. This purchase is noticeably similar to that of a classic ATV, with a few differences. The construction of a fat bike is not the same as an ATV, they are nevertheless different vehicles.
First step: Electric or Muscle Fat Bike?
The first question to ask yourself before buying a fat bike is whether you want to seek physical performance and if you have a taste for the effort, or if you are looking to have fun without having aches during a period of time. week (!) after an intense day.
A muscular fat bike moves forward with the strength of your legs. Some are equipped with derailleurs and speed cassettes which will allow you to multiply your pedaling forces and facilitate your progress depending on the terrain. The logic in this choice of vehicle leads you to look for the lightest fat bike possible with the best choice of components. Why ? Because a light bike will be easier to move and require less effort.
Either way, optimizing a bike choice tends to always focus on the weight factor. All manufacturers inexorably seek to find the best balance between weight and reliability of parts & accessories.
Schematically, the perfect fat bike weighs the weight of a feather and must have the resistance of a hammer!
An electric fat bike moves forward with two forces: your legs and the thrust generated by the motor which complements your physical strength to reach a speed necessary for movement. This means that an electric fat bike helps you pedal so you don't slow down as fast as a muscle fat bike would. Your body gains in autonomy, you exert less effort since the motor takes over part of the effort!
One statement is true: driving electric reduces the effort required to pass over the same course. The heart of the debate between choosing a muscular fat bike and choosing an electric therefore revolves around these two axes (no pun intended!):
The muscle progresses with the strength of your body, it's sport.
The electric allows you to ride everywhere and forgives your sporting shortcomings.
The muscle allows you to have a lighter bike to ride
The electric is carried by itself thanks to its motor, as long as there is battery.
Depending on these four criteria and their importance to you, you will be able to make your choice. Nothing prevents you from having an electric fat bike and a muscular fat bike to vary your desires.
We will now focus on the subject of the electric fat bike after this short introduction allowing us to decide on the Pro / Anti electric philosophies.
Choosing your electric fat bike: The Budget.
To cut short another debate: 95% of the bikes on the market are made in China. You won't have a choice if your chauvinism pushes you to buy a local bike, either part of your bike will be from China. The rest can come mostly from South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, England, Italy and the U.S.A.
In short, provenance is not an indicator of quality and stigmatizing Chinese production in the Cycles market is more a matter of ordinary racism than a material reality. It is indeed the manufacturer's specifications and the quality of its relationship with its factory that will qualify the reliability of your purchase. Learn about the relationship between the brand that designs your bike and its manufacturing plants.
Nevertheless, we can classify the quality ranges of Electric Fat Bikes in order of price indicatively as follows:
Low-end: Price less than 1.750 €
Mid-Range: Between 1.990 and 3.500 €
Top of the range: 3,500 to 4,900 €
Luxury: Beyond 5,500 € and up to 12,000 €
Exceptional and unique limited series: On estimate.
This range allows you to know in which bracket you want to position yourself according to the level of excellence that you can expect.
Second selection criterion: Your Use
Depending on your usage needs, you will have to guide your purchasing choices and consider the options available to you. Here is a list of the main uses particularly suited to electric fat bikes:
Go to work on poorly maintained urban routes
Move in hilly or mountainous regions
Course on greasy or muddy terrain
Course on soft sandy ground
On snow or ice
On slippery stone or gravel
Cross forests with rugged routes
Go over steep slopes
Take moderate sports walks
Carry heavy loads
Hauling heavy equipment
On the contrary, the electric fat bike is not suitable for the following practices:
Follow a path that is too narrow at high speed
The reasons that lead us to believe that these practices are not suitable for fat bikes are mainly based on the design of a fat bike itself. It is a question of making vehicles with a large capacity of crossing offering a large surface of adhesion to the ground. The frames and tires are often wider than those of a conventional mountain bike, the use of a fat bike and a mountain bike is limited.
You can find the rest of this guide in a second article that covers the following topics:
Which engine to choose?
What is a lightweight electric fat bike?
Which Electric Fat Bike Battery to Choose?
What type of fat bike tires to choose?
Which fat bike suspensions to choose?
What size for an electric fat bike?