Can You Ride Fat Tire E-Bikes in the Snow?

Here we are to state the obvious: it’s cold these days. And dark. With the fewer daylight hours to get out there and explore, we find ourselves more drawn to activities that can take us further, quicker. And so the natural question for the many that recently bought pedal assist fat tire bikes: “do fat tire bikes work in snow?”

The short answer is yes. And so adds one more reason to the very long list of why pedal assist fat tire bikes are one of the most powerful gear choices you can make. (We’re only just a little biased). Let us give you some reasons why your e-bike is going to be your best friend this winter.

But first, when we’re talking about winter riding, many ask…

What is the best fat tire electric bike?

For most that are in the market for an e-bike, a top consideration is versatility. The average rider will spend most of their time cruising around in the summer months, but will certainly want the option to get out there when the snow flies. To ensure you get the most out of your electric mountain bike (and have the most access to public lands) we recommend a pedal assist full-suspension bike with a rear hub motor. We designed the 2020 Apex E-Bike to perfectly fit the bill.

Important Considerations for a Winter-Ready Electric Mountain Bikes

The world of e-bikes is expanding at a breathtakingly rapid pace. As more and more people from around the country (and the globe for that matter) become more educated about the benefits of e-bikes, manufacturers of all sorts are racing to fill the need. What this also means is that the landscape of choice is rapidly expanding and riders have an amazingly wide range of options—one that expanding seemingly by the minute.

So, choosing what’s going to fit your style best throughout the seasons, here’s what we recommend.

Front Suspension Fork vs. Full Suspension with Shock

Many riders belabor the decision on whether to go with a hardtail or full suspension mountain bike. In the end, this is a personal decision—one that should be predicated on an awareness and foresight about what you’d like to be riding.

The short story: if you’re going to be riding super rough terrain and you’re considering trying out some downhill biking, opt for a full suspension. If you’re using it more for transportation, a hardtail will suffice. No matter what you decide, it won’t make a super noticeable difference in the snow.

Carbon vs. Aluminum Frame

Just like the decision about suspension, frame choice is totally personal preference. This decision though, just like the one above can seriously affect your price.

While carbon frames are lighter and easier to transport especially in and out of a bike rack or up and off of the tailgate on your truck, here we have a solid recommendation: opt into an aluminum frame. Trust on that one.

Aluminum frames are much stronger and more resilient to dings, nicks, and even crashes. So, accordingly, they typically outlast carbon frames especially for hunters. Plus, aluminum frames are much better for loading up and towing—an aluminum frame electric mountain bike can tow up to 300 lbs.!

Let’s Talk Tires

Those extra large tires aren’t just for show. The wider tire provides more surface contact between it and the ground, making for a noticeable leap in traction on any surface but especially on snow.

When the snow starts to fly and your rides are becoming snowy or even icy, we highly recommend getting yourself a pair of winter tires. There are many different choices—some with studs and some without—and it might take some trial and error to figure out which set works best. Here’s a great place to start.

How to Take Care of your Battery During the Winter Months

Most e-bikes come equipped with lithium ion batteries. Simply, even high-quality batteries don’t do very well in the cold. Our most important tips for making sure that your e-bike batteries not only perform are relatively simple:

  1. Charge the battery inside. Oftentimes the temperature dips too low for your battery to effectively charge outdoors or even in the garage.
  2. Store it inside. This ensures they’re warmed up and ready to go even if a week or so elapses between bike rides.
  3. Don’t let your battery sit for too long. And, if you’re planning on letting your battery sit for more than two to two and a half months, make sure you’re popping by for an overnight charge every few weeks.

The Best Winter Electric Mountain Bike Destinations

So, maybe you’re itching to get your electric mountain bike on snow and the forecast is stubbornly sunny. The good news is that there are more and more spots around the country and even further out to go have yourself a winter e-bike vacation.

From Wintergreen Gorge, Pennsylvania to Squilchuck State Park, Washington and many places in between, there is an abundance of cold-weather getaway destinations perfect for a bike-centric excursion.

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