Fat Bike vs (Hardtail)-MTB

General Discussion about electric bicycles.
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sleepless   1 mW

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Fat Bike vs (Hardtail)-MTB

Post by sleepless » Feb 07 2020 8:12am

Hi all,

I'd like to build the most universal ebike possible. My ebike journey started with a fully which I kinda regret today. The idea was that I can ride it on the road with (mostly) disabled suspension and then go offroad with full suspension. But here's the thing: I'm driving on paved roads with disabled suspension most of the time anyways and thanks to the rear suspension, I can't mount a battery on the frame. A pannier rack is also a problem of course. Thats why I'm commuting with a backpack with a battery in it all the time. And after work (when I go grocery shopping) I put all my groceries on top of the battery in the backpack which sometimes causes the nickel strips to come off :mrgreen:

You see, my build is really not well suited for my requirements.

I need the bike to be as universal as possible because it is and will be my main vehicle. I have no car so I ride it probably 350 out of 365 days per year with at least 30 km per day (so >10.000 km per year). I also have an unmotorized road bike but thats rather sports equipment. I will be running it with a BBSHD and a Phaserunner with 3.000 - 5.000 watts like I currently do with my fully. That is totally illegal in Germany. That's why I am and will be communiting offroad sometimes. But most of the time it'll be paved bike paths or country lanes. Also I will be riding it in every weather condition (snow, rain, sunshine...). I don't want it to be a fully due to the problems I described. I want to mount the battery in the frame and also want to have a pannier rack with side bags or even a basket. On the other hand, I'd like to remove the pannier rack sometimes to go offroad just for fun.

Well, I currently believe that a fat bike would suit me best. I somehow just think that the fat tires are enough suspension for most cases and due to motorization, the fat tires shouldn't be an issue on roads either. But I actually don't know how a fat bike behaves on a road with say 50 kph? I also don't know if I should buy one with a suspension fork? Or are my considerations regarding a fat bike just dumb?

I'd just like to hear some thoughts. Preferably from people that have experience with MTBs and fat bikes.

Thank you guys!

torker   1 MW

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Re: Fat Bike vs (Hardtail)-MTB

Post by torker » Feb 07 2020 10:01am

I have 2 elecs . One full suss and 1 hardtail. I love the full suss on dirt roads. The hard tail with 2.3 inch tires is a little rough on the dirt.

I would love to have a fat bike with front suss. I have not ridden one but I think 4" tires would be cushy and you could add a suss seat post.
Dave When I die I want to slide in sideways yelling WooHoo what a ride !

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SlowCo   100 kW

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Re: Fat Bike vs (Hardtail)-MTB

Post by SlowCo » Feb 07 2020 12:12pm

Why are you riding on road with the suspension locked? Surely it's much more comfortable with the rear suspension working. Especially when carrying a heavy back pack. And why not place your battery pack in front of your down tube?
What FS bike do you have?

markz   100 GW

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Re: Fat Bike vs (Hardtail)-MTB

Post by markz » Feb 07 2020 1:28pm


kcuf   100 W

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Re: Fat Bike vs (Hardtail)-MTB

Post by kcuf » Feb 07 2020 3:03pm

ride commute both


fat simpler yet comfy

fewer tire choices

still my fav choice


proper oil air sus costs money

altho normal tires fit bus racks

better landing jumps

but fewer choices mounting batteries

or luggage racks
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Marin   1 kW

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Re: Fat Bike vs (Hardtail)-MTB

Post by Marin » Feb 07 2020 3:56pm

I have a fat bike no front suspension that I love to ride but my full sus is so nice. I just had to find a frame to allow a decent battery. I 15 ah in it and both bike sre bbshd. I even have sus seat post on both for triple sus on the f/s, its riding on a cloud.
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markz   100 GW

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Re: Fat Bike vs (Hardtail)-MTB

Post by markz » Feb 08 2020 5:06pm

I dig full suspension fat bikes
like this one - https://bikerumor.com/2013/10/07/ib13-1 ... uspension/
I'd hate to read the price on it

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Fat Bike vs (Hardtail)-MTB

Post by dogman dan » Feb 10 2020 7:18am

Yeah,,,, you want it. And it does exist. In a gas motorcycle. I mean fast on road, pretty nimble suspension for off road.

Perfect, except in many places riding that motorcycle on a bike trail is very illegal.

The only real solution is to throw money at the problem, which is a real problem when there is no money. You need two tools for two completely different jobs.

My advice is for now, keep your off road bike. Its waaaaaaay too fun to give up. Then make a more legal, and cheaper, commute bike that you can ride on the road. Something super easy and affordable, like a 7 speed steel frame beach cruiser with a rear DD wheel. Or similar equipped, affordable hard tail mtb. That cheap DD can be run on 2000w, which is still illegal, but will allow you to have some power when the police are not watching you ride.

Then later, as money is there for it, get a major upgrade for your off road bike, so that a good battery can be carried mid frame.

Meanwhile,, a pannier rack is possible. It just needs reinforcement, for a seatpost rack to carry that much weight. If you look closely, you can see where I added two struts that go from the rack, to the bottom of the seatpost.
Giant OS 3 Ebikekit build.jpg
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It will help for on road riding, to have the battery down in the bottom of the panniers. But inside a protective box to keep the cargo on top from popping tabs. Make a box from a plastic corrugated sign board. (coroplast)

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