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Electric bikes are soaring in popularity around the globe. They are not just cost-effective, but also eco-friendly to commute. Moreover, they are also very convenient to ride, park, and store. 

If you’re buying an electric bike for the first time, you might get confused about what type of wheels you should go for. Big wheel electric bikes provide a lot of benefits, but they also come with some downsides that you need to consider. 

In case you’re not sure about what type of wheels you need to have on your electric bike, worry not. We are going to discuss everything you might want to know on this topic. We will discuss pros and cons of various types of wheels… so as to help you decide whether or not you should buy a big wheel electric bike. 

Pros & Cons of Big Diameter Wheels 

When it comes to the wheels of electric bikes, you can have various options to consider. You can opt for small or big wheels depending on your use case. 

While most people consider a big wheel electric bike to be a bike that has a wheel of larger diameter, some believe them to be a bike that has wheels larger in width. To accommodate both kinds of readers, we will be going to discuss pros and cons of both so that you can make a better buying decision.

When it comes to the diameter of the wheels, electric bikes are available in the following wheel sizes: 14”, 16”, 20”, 26”, 27.5”, and 29”. 

Pros

The smaller wheel sizes are better if you are looking for a compact and portable electric bike. For instance, an electric bike with a 14” wheel will be lighter and more compact than an electric bike with 26” wheels. So, it would be easier to store and transport such electric bikes.

In addition to enhanced portability, the smaller wheel sizes also contribute to better steering and handling. Such electric bikes are easier to maneuver in congested urban areas due to their shorter turning radius. They are also easier to control and are, therefore, perfect for beginners.

Cons

As for the downsides, the electric bikes with smaller diameter wheels lack capability to traverse off-road terrain. They are also less comfortable to ride over bumps, potholes, and other obstacles in your way. Big diameter wheel electric bikes may not be as portable and compact, but they let you travel on any kind of terrain you want…while also ensuring a comfortable ride.

What’s the Best Diameter to Go For?

Well, 20” electric bikes strike the perfect balance between portability and capability. Electric bikes with 20” wheels are easier to maneuver in tight urban spaces, have compact size, and can also be used for off-roading. 

We, at Engwe, offer electric bikes in various wheel sizes but if you ask our favorite, we would recommend you to go for them as well. We will be discussing our top picks later on, in the article.

Now, let’s discuss the other aspect of big wheel electric bikes – the width of the wheels.

Pros & Cons of Big Width Wheels

When it comes to the width of the wheels, electric bikes can have a width ranging from 1.25” to 5”. 

Pros

The electric bikes with thinner wheels and tires are usually suitable for urban use and racing, while the electric bikes with thicker wheels (or fat tires) are suitable for off-roading. The reason is that fat tire electric bikes have a greater contact surface area with ground, which increases traction on difficult terrain. 

These tires don’t slip on wet and slippery surfaces… and don’t sink in soft-packed terrains like sand, snow, and mud. Therefore they are suitable for riding on hills, trails, beaches, and whatever terrain you like.

Fat tire or big wheel electric bikes are also very comfortable for urban riding as well. It is because they provide a cushioning or shock absorbing effect when you roll over obstacles like bumps and potholes.

Cons

As for the downsides, the increased width in wheels and tires come with a hefty price tag. They also have sturdier frames and components, therefore they weigh more. Also, they are harder to pedal without electric assist as the increased tire contact surface area leads to more resistance.

What is the Best Width to Go For?

If you ask us, electric bikes with wheel width ranging from 3-4” strike the perfect balance between everything. The 3” wheels give you reasonable off-road capability without compromising much on portability. 

The 4” wheels, however, are perfect for every kind of off-roading – including beach and hill riding. These electric bikes are also perfect for those who want a comfortable ride over bumps and for those who want to work out in nature. 

Our Top Picks!

If you are looking to buy your first electric bike, we would suggest you go for a 20” wheel size. And within 20” wheel dias, we would recommend you go for 4” fat wheels. These wheels are perfect for every kind of off-roading – including beach and hill riding. Here are our top picks that we believe provide the best value for a lot of riders. 

Engwe C20 – 20” x 2.4”

  • Motor Power: 250W
  • Battery Output: 36V 10.4Ah 
  • Load Capacity: 150kg

The Engwe C20 is a compact and portable 20 inch electric bike meant for urban riders. It features a lightweight aluminum frame that can be folded down for easy storage and transport. The C20 has a net weight of just 24kg. 

As for the features, this electric bike has disc dual brakes, a front fork, an LCD display, a 7S gear from Shimano, and dual lights, to name a few.

Engwe M20 – 20” x 4.0”

  • Motor Power: 750W
  • Battery Output: 48V 13Ah x 2
  • Load Capacity: 150kg

The Engwe M20 is a moped-style electric bike with fat tires and dual suspension. The M20 has a powerful motor and a dual battery setup that makes sure riders can undertake longer and fun adventures. 

As for the features, the M20 comes with disc brakes, an LCD display, a 7S gear system from Shimano, and dual lights.

Engwe Engine Pro – 20” x 4.0”

  • Motor Power: 750W
  • Battery Output: 48V 16Ah
  • Load Capacity: 150kg

The Engwe Engine Pro is also a fat tire folding electric bike that riders can use to undertake any multi-terrain adventure. 

The Engine Pro comes with dual hydraulic brakes, a dual suspension system, color LCD, an 8S gear system from Shimano, dual lights… and plenty of accessories including a sturdy rear rack. 

Before You Go

If you’re buying an electric bike for the first time, you might get confused about what type of wheels you should go for. Big wheel electric bikes provide a lot of benefits, but they also come with some downsides that you need to consider. We have tried to provide both pros and cons to help you make the right decision for yourself.

We also presented our top picks that we believe provide the best value for a lot of riders. If you want to buy any of the e-bike that we discussed above, do check our lineup. In case you’re a dealer or a publisher, we invite you to have a look at our Affiliate Program. It is free to join, and we offer a 5% commission on every sale made through your affiliate link. Happy riding!

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