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Fat Tire or Narrow Tire?

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    Fat Tire or Narrow Tire?

    Fat tire and narrow tire have their own advantages and disadvantages, how should we choose? Here are some points for your reference.

    Fat tire: The tire has large contact area with the ground, large friction force, strong grip on the ground, and stable riding on wet and slippery roads. But at the same time, because of its strong friction and heavy tires, it also consumes more electricity.

    Narrow tires: Narrow tires are light in weight, less in friction and smaller in floor space, which saves more electricity than fat tires. However, the tread's contact area is small, and the grip is affected to some extent. When the road condition is bad or the slope and curvature are large, the riding will be unstable.

    The above is the most basic difference between fat and narrow tires. If it were you, which one would you choose?

    Originally posted by AOSTIRMOTOR View Post
    If it were you, which one would you choose?
    Before I became educated on E-bikes before joining this informational E-B- Forum. I would of chosen a fat-tire if I were fat and a thin tire if I were thin
    My first E-bike was a Rad Rover with fat tires. Beware Fat-tires are not knobby tires and are basically useless for a fanatical hard core Dirt Biker.
    1st & final ride on my Fat-tire Rad Rover. About 1000 yard into the forest I ran over a twig and the derailer broke off. As I was in Walk mode going home The Front tire went flat. About a week later l saw an ad for the Luna Surron light-bee. That was about 3 years ago. And with better knobby tires and a few upgrades I`m a happy Dirt-Biker. I would call them not to Thin and not too Fat = perfect for me.


      I would go for fat tires as as they provide higher surface pressure against the road. They also give you more suspension, comfort and ease.​


        The tyre/tire debate has long been a bone of contention for some yet there are some basic rules that most agree on.

        First things first and thats rim height and width... Secondly is tire profile and width - We all know that a dedicated road bike runs a tall and very narrow combination which provides maximum efficiency and a longer traction footprint.

        A smaller rim (Say 16") with a wider tire is going to gain in traction width while having less footprint length - It requires more energy to drive more tyre and wheel regardless of pattern or profile.

        Tire choice is hit and miss and the tech is changing all the time... Finding something that suits your terrain and budget is the best place to start while keeping the above in mind.

        What's most important is tire pressure and adjustment to terrain - I use a Surron X to cross train on when not riding trials and I have it set up with around 16psi front and rear... This makes the standard tyre grip like glue yet it I can still run at a pace and hit stuff hard without bending anything.


          Tire talk borders on religion and politics!

          However I'd like to point out that not all tires of the same size are even remotely close in terms of handling, traction, rolling resistance, longevity, etc. etc.

          So be careful presuming that just because a tire is skinny or fat or whatever that all tires that size will be similar

          Stock tires on inexpensive bikes (like rad's) are generally crap

          I'm presently riding fat tires that are knobbies and not only have excellent dirt traction but also handle exceptionally well on pavement with ability to lean past 45deg even at 10psi or so... and on top of that even after 2000mi only show little wear, expect to get another 1000-2000mi....

          Click image for larger version  Name:	bike_0412.jpg Views:	0 Size:	174.7 KB ID:	158238


            For street Ebikes,especially converted hardtails, I look at tire pressure and the effect it has on ride,handling and comfort for long rides. 30-35psi produces a frequency that is felt as being fairly smooth.
            Much lower tends to feel bouncy at high speeds, and higher feels harsh. It also provides enough contact patch for good braking performance. For close quarters urban riding I stick with good old 26" wheels. The accelerate fast, handle quickly, and have a wide choice of tires. 26x2.15" is the largest my fork will accept, and seems to be working well for me. 30psi f/35psi r.
            I'm running a Tannus Armour in the rear. It provides some damping to the surface irregularities in addition to preventing flats from steel wires left by blown out tires.
            For open roads I would probably go with a 29" wheel and a narrower tire at the same pressures. Gary Fisher Dual Sport, or Cannondale Bad Boy come to mind.
            The biggest effect on range where I live is high winds off of the ocean. Big motor and big battery are all I know of that will deal with that. Rolling resistance is a small consideration to me.
            Last edited by Retrorockit; 12-07-2022, 10:37 AM.


              Moderately narrow for me. Light enough to carry up a flight of stairs is a must.
              I weigh 155 lb, bike weighs 53 lb, 95% paved city streets and paved bike trails, Schwinn MTB no suspension, BBS02 52V 11AH.
              Front 26x1.5 Schwalbe Marathon at 50-55 psi, rear 26x1.75 Continental Ride Tour City at 45-50 psi.
              I have ridden heavy e-bikes, fat tires, knobby tires. Just not for me.


              • Circuitsmith
                Circuitsmith commented
                Editing a comment
                It's not the weight of fat tires that turn me off. It's the handling.
                Like driving a sports car vs a 1970s Buick.

                I wouldn't want to tote 72# up a flight of stairs at the end of a long ride.
                The smallish battery and motor deliver all the power and range I need/want.
                Last edited by Circuitsmith; 12-08-2022, 02:00 PM.

              • AZguy
                AZguy commented
                Editing a comment
                Again, which tires? Cheap tires generally handle like crap.

                The tire's I'm running handle exceptionally in every condition, including pavement with ability to lean past 45° (this coming from a guy that used to race motos) and my bike with 26x4.8" hard core knobs doesn't weigh anything close to 70+lbs... more like 45lbs or so... maybe 50 with some gear hanging on it..

                Oh well, getting into dead pony territory... saying fat tires don't handle as well as skinny sounds like comparing apples and asparagus... and in my eyes, having ridden decades on skinny tires (both cheap and premium) and the last 10,000mi on fat tires (also both cheap and premium) is a complete is that fat tire bikes are heavier, they aren't more than ~2kg more weight...


              • Circuitsmith
                Circuitsmith commented
                Editing a comment
                "Oh well, getting into dead pony territory"

                Yeah, forums like this are typically dominated by a couple of Voices Of Authority; uneasy with other points of view.
                Carry on with your path, I'll carry on with mine.
                So long....
                Last edited by Circuitsmith; 12-08-2022, 03:30 PM.

              Originally posted by Retrorockit View Post
              The biggest effect on range where I live is high winds off of the ocean.
              The Atlantic ocean I persume? I was/am a fanatical wind surfer. Sail magazine: I saw an article where a skate-boarder retro-fit a wind surfer sail to his skate-board and made it from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. After reading this article I was thinking about using or retro-fitting my wind-Surfer sail onto my pedal Bike. I gave up for the fear of ripping or destroying my sail. Fat tires. wide Sandy beaches and lots of ocean wind. Key West to Canada hear I come. (maybe)


              • dirtman
                dirtman commented
                Editing a comment
                stts commented
                ""Hah. A thousand million of me could elect T**** and save the world. Bwahahahaha""
                You just admitted that it`s OK to Cheat or Steal an Election.
                Last edited by dirtman; 12-10-2022, 02:23 PM.

              • Retrorockit
                Retrorockit commented
                Editing a comment
                The system never gets fixed because they all got their jobs that way.
                Back in the good old days there were laws requiring broadcasters to allow time for opposing views. It was also illegal to own all the broadcasting stations.
                Ronald Reagan took care of that.It's called deregulation.So now your smaller government/bigger business can tell you to STFU.
                You can't blame everything on Obama. He had a Republican congress that blocked everything he tried to do. There's plenty of blame to go around. You Wingdings need to start owning some of this. DeSantis might actually fix "something".But probably not "too much".

              • AZguy
                AZguy commented
                Editing a comment
                Awllrighty now... and certain ethnic groups started the california wildfires with blue lasers from satellites and Anderson Cooper eats babies... oh yeah and certain political groups have child sex slave operation beneath pizza parlors in DC...

              Narrow tire and a rear shock is a must. I will never build another hard tail. Fat tires take up some of the blows but not as good as a downhill MTB.

              Fat tires wile they are light and kinda cool make the bike look scary heavy big to pedestrians who then go to city hall and complain.
              Last edited by TwentyIsJustTooDamnSlow_!; 12-08-2022, 07:52 PM.


              • Diggs Ut
                Diggs Ut commented
                Editing a comment
                I enjoy bicycle touring and can't figure out how to put a rear rack strong enough to hold all my stuff on a soft tail......

              • ncmired
                ncmired commented
                Editing a comment
                On full suspension bikes, Riese & Müller has some inverted rear triangle erector-set-like rear rack designs that can take some weight.

                Topeak's RX BeamRack probably struggles at its rated 15lbs capacity, but might make a good starting point if you added some triangle struts.

              • Retrorockit
                Retrorockit commented
                Editing a comment
                My 2004 GF Solstice (being built on a Trek Navigator frame) has a 25# rated rack that plugs into socket in the frame behind the seat tube.The main backbone is big enough to hold CO2 cartridges. My wife's Navigator 400 IGH bike has one too.They also had trailer hitches there back in the day.

                It's interesting that my Pinhead seatpost locking clamp ( to keep my Thudbuster LT on the bike) sticks out over the rack release so it can't be removed either. For some reason Trek changed their mind on the size of the hole in the frame and offered the bigger pin under warranty. IDK if this was just a Comfort bike thing, or if the hybrids had it too. So you can't assume one of these will fit even if you have the right bike for it. The small frame rack was different than the larger frames version also. Definitely not one size fits all.