With the explosive growth of fat-tire bicycle sales, it was just a matter of time before a company added an electric motor to the genre.
Vancouver-based Surface604 launched what it claims is one of the world’s first electric-assisted fat bike, the Element WideGrip.
The lithium-ion battery powered bike weighs in at a hefty 60 pounds. It has 4-inch-wide tires, 6 gears, and it is shoved along by a 350-watt motor (and your legs).
This model provides pedal assistance for up to 20 miles and enables “you to hit a speed of 20 mph,” according to the company. It takes between 6-8 hours to charge a depleted battery.
While electric-assist bikes aren’t new, putting the tech on an all-terrain, fat-tire bike is a unique idea. I haven’t had the chance to test one of these bikes yet but am curious how it would handle even modestly technical trail. At 60 pounds, I’d also dread slogging it home with a dead battery after going more than 20 miles.
Other, non-fat, electric-assist mountain bikes are similarly heavy. The battery of this model can be removed for charging or a lighter ride, bringing the weight down to about 51 pounds, which is still very heavy.
Who will buy this bike? We asked a representative of the company:
“Our customer base is the urban commuter that can’t be confined to typical bike lanes or dedicated trails but rather wants and needs to go out and explore, no matter the season, winter or summer. It’s also ideal for the beginner rider who needs a little push with our electric element model, utilizing the pedal-assist function or the full-blown electric-mode.”
The Element WideGrip Electric Bike is available now for $1,999.
Surface604 also offers a version of the same bike sans motor and battery for $999. It weighs 30 pounds. —Sean McCoy