Author Topic: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?  (Read 1601 times)

narrative

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Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« on: July 02, 2018, 02:41:36 PM »
So, I have been looking at this fat tire electric cargo bike.

My main use would be to take the kids to school. The ride is 3 miles (ish) the short way and about 5 going the safer way. If they could hop on the back I wouldn't hesistate to go the 5 mile route each morning. Yes, they can ride too (insert self-facepunch here), but the idea of them just riding on the back of my bike occasionally sounds like fun and a nice way for me to ride more even when they don't want to.

My biggest worry is about the weight. According to the specs, the bike weighs 75lbs. So that weight plus the weight of my kids (about 125 combined) seems heavier than I might be able to manage. Obviously the electric assist will help to get us going and keep us going when needed, but I can't shake the worry of how hard it could be stopping with both kids on the back and balancing it when they get off. Am I worried over nothing?

My other thought was about the electric motor. Does carrying that kind of load consistantly wear the motor out more rapidly?

Of course I am really just being want-y for another bike. We could always drive on the days we don't all ride. But this bike looks like a lot of fun... Thoughts?




« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 03:30:42 PM by narrative »

dcheesi

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 02:43:19 PM »
Link is mangled, here's the cleaned up version:

https://www.fattebikes.com/major-t/

Syonyk

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2018, 03:05:32 PM »
My biggest worry is about the weight. According to the specs, the bike weighs 75lbs. So that weight plus the weight of my kids (about 125 combined) seems heavier than I might be able to manage. Obviously the electric assist will help to get us going and keep us going when needed, but I can't shake the worry of how hard it could be stopping with both kids on the back and balancing it when they get off. Am I worried over nothing?

My other thought was about the electric motor. Does carrying that kind of load consistantly wear the motor out more rapidly?

A motor covers a multitude of biking sins, first and foremost weight.  It'll be perfectly fine.

Don't think of the bike weight in terms of bike weight - think of it in terms of total rolling mass weight.  If I had two kids on a bike, with some groceries, we're looking at 350+lb (by the time I add seats and the like).  The difference between a 30lb cargo bike and a 75lb cargo bike isn't that much, percent-wise, and the motor makes things far, far easier.

The motor... I mean, you might be able to detect a longevity difference, but, again, the total load on the bike is what matters.  It's not pushing an empty bike around.

Trust me, the weight of the battery and motor is well, well worth it for any sort of cargo bike unless you live in the flattest parts of the country.

robartsd

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2018, 05:12:14 PM »
My biggest worry is about the weight. According to the specs, the bike weighs 75lbs. So that weight plus the weight of my kids (about 125 combined) seems heavier than I might be able to manage. Obviously the electric assist will help to get us going and keep us going when needed, but I can't shake the worry of how hard it could be stopping with both kids on the back and balancing it when they get off. Am I worried over nothing?
If the bike is properly designed as a cargo bike, it will have the brakes needed to deal with the job of stopping the mass. I imagine that the front disk brake on this model is fine.

For balance, the low position of the motor and battery are and advantage. Mass of wiggling kids on the back would be a problem without the electric assist system. This bike seems to come with a side kickstand that the bike leans to one side on. A better solution for stability while loading is a center kickstand that holds the bike vertical (usually lifting the front wheel slightly off the ground).

Trust me, the weight of the battery and motor is well, well worth it for any sort of cargo bike unless you live in the flattest parts of the country.
Even in very flat places, an assist is great if you have to deal with starting in traffic frequently.

The only time weight of the bike itself should be a concern is if you need to lift the bike to load onto another vehicle - but that's going to be difficult for most cargo bikes due to size regardless of weight.

Syonyk

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2018, 10:49:59 PM »
Because you can't fit two kids on that silly little scooter, and you can't legally use that in bike lanes most places.

narrative

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2018, 06:22:28 AM »
Thanks for all the helpful insights.

@dcheesi - Thanks for fixing my mangled link. oops. I fixed it now.

@Syonyk - Good point on the weight with the bike loaded up. I am assuming there is a reasonable amount of weight I can manage and a limit where it will be too much. I don't think having two kids on there will put me into the "too much" category but I guess that's what a test ride is for. :)

@robartsd - good point on the kickstand being one sided. I hadn't noticed it until you pointed it out but most of the heavier bikes I've seen use the double sided one. I'm assuming that's for good reason. I assume even the sturdiest kickstand woudn't be enough to have the kids hop on without me holding the bike though, right? So it is more a matter of stability when it's parked?

@austin944 - Yep, the scooter does look fun, but doesn't fit my needs. It can't hold the kids. And I *want* to pedal.  :) 


robartsd

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2018, 09:14:59 AM »
@robartsd - good point on the kickstand being one sided. I hadn't noticed it until you pointed it out but most of the heavier bikes I've seen use the double sided one. I'm assuming that's for good reason. I assume even the sturdiest kickstand woudn't be enough to have the kids hop on without me holding the bike though, right? So it is more a matter of stability when it's parked?
I have heard of a few that are stable enough that kids climbing on the bike does not topple it. The wider the stance of the double kickstand the better (also depends on how level and firm the ground is). Still I'd want to be standing there holding the bike if it were my kids. If kids are capable of climbing on themselves, it would probably be easiest to straddle the bike first then have them climb on. That top tube looks a bit high for stepping over and once kids are on board you can't swing your leg over the rear. So far I think the Rad Wagon is a better value for an electric cargo bike, but I haven't seen either of these bikes in person.

canyonrider

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2018, 09:34:21 AM »
My two cents as someone with lots of miles carrying kids and other stuff on a non-electric cargo bike:

I think you should be more focused on whether this particular bike fits you and is capable of carrying your two kids and whatever else you want to haul. From a quick glance at the specs, it looks like it only comes in one frame size. That may work for you, or it may not. The best deal isn't a deal if the bike doesn't fit and is uncomfortable.

Also, what is the total weight capacity of the bike, and the weight capacity of the cargo deck? Most of the bigger manufacturers publish those numbers, and they may not be as high as you think. As an example, IIRC, the Xtracycle flight deck is designed to carry up to 125 lbs. total.

How will you safely carry your kids on the deck? Do you need a child seat(s), stoker bar, or other rail system, and is this model available with or otherwise compatible with these kinds of accessories?

Is this model compatible with other cargo accessories from other manufacturers that you may want to use, or are you limited to whatever this company produces?

Do you need fat tires for the types of surfaces and conditions you'll be riding? While they may offer a measure of additional stability, fat tire sidewalls are usually thinner and replacement cost higher than regular touring tires. Also add a bunch more rotating weight if you want to actually pedal the thing.

Edit to add: Yes, a wide kickstand is a must IMO. I use a Rolling Jackass that lets my kids get on by themselves with no problem. Also great for loading up any decent-sized load. Yes, it's expensive, but not in the context of dropping $2K on the bike.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 09:36:29 AM by canyonrider »

narrative

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2018, 03:32:52 PM »
Thanks for the awesome insight @canyonrider!

To answer a few things:

According to the company the back rack holds "170lbs at least." Not sure on total weight capacity of the bike though.

My kids are plenty old enough to climb on by themselves (9 and 11) so yes, me straddling the bike before they climb on is probably the best option. They seem old enough to ride on the back (with helmets obviously) without any special bars, but having no direct experience, maybe that's not a good approach?

Side note - my 11 year old is pretty tiny so together they weigh about 125lbs. So we should be under the weight limit for the rack even with bookbag weight and the issue is more if they can comfortably fit. Not sure about how we would handle bookbags with them both siting on the rear rack. Probably one bag in the front basket and then the kid on the back wears theirs.

And no, we don't *need* fat tires.  :)   My thinking was that having them would make my husband more like to ride and less likely to object to me biking with the kids in the winter. Not sure that's sound thinking though - probably just justification on my part.  :)

Debts_of_Despair

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2018, 03:54:01 PM »
Having three bikes seems infinitely simpler and cheaper than trying to cram an adult and two growing children on that thing.  Apparently you're willing to commit to a.) riding in bad weather and b.) taking the time to bike your kids to school.  That is the hard part.  The easy part is actually doing it.

narrative

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2018, 04:17:45 PM »
Having three bikes seems infinitely simpler and cheaper than trying to cram an adult and two growing children on that thing.

For sure! And we do already have bikes so this would be a moderately useful spendypants/fun purchase that lets me ride instead of drive on days when they don't want to.


fixie

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 02:05:22 PM »
Go for it, but a lower cost option may be better for you:  https://www.radpowerbikes.com/
Disc brakes have incredible stopping power, so don't worry about stopping even from 20mph.  Remember the front brake will have the greatest stopping power, but use both brakes judiciously.
The kidlins will need to understand that they should stay still while riding.  When stopping, allow the kids to dismount before you do, if possible, OR get a 2-leg kickstand, then you dismount and help them off.
The bike IS heavy but most 750 watt motors are plenty for the loads and range you indicated.
Make sure the bike is fitted for your body weight and height(handlebar height, stem length, seat height, standover height)...most of these are a single frame size with a range for body height.
Keep the cargo weight as low as possible...also keep in mind that the platform/rack/seat for the kidlins should be as low as possible.
Have fun...
-fixie

narrative

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Re: Electric Fat Tire Cargo Bike - Too Heavy?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2018, 08:30:46 AM »
Thanks!

I looked at the RadWagon and it looks like a great bike. My hesitation is that the rear rack is rated for 120lbs and my kids already weigh more than that together. :)  But the price is certainly nicer.