The Best Ebikes For Big Guys Of 2020 Helpful Guide


best electric bikes for big guys

Electric Bikes are a great way to get around these days. They can be fast and exciting to ride. If you are a bigger guy, finding a bike with enough power can be a challenge. Don’t lose hope. There are many good electric bike options out there for you that have plenty of power for big riders. If this sounds like a good idea to you then keep reading for our recommendations and guide to the best ebikes for big guys available today. For this review, we only considered bikes with a rider weight limit of 300 lbs or above and at least 500 watt motors.

If you are in a hurry, our top 3 choices are below. If you are interested in more detailed reviews of our top 5 electric bikes for big guys, a guide to electric bikes, and a FAQ please keep reading below.

Top Pick

ENGWE Upgrade 500W 20 inch Fat Tire Electric Bicycle

Editors Choice

eAhora AM200 500W Electric Mountain Bike

Best Value

ANCHEER 350/500W Electric Bike 27.5”

The Top 5 Best Ebikes For Big Guys

Below are our top 5 picks for the best ebikes for big guys on the market today. We considered features, performance, price, durability, customer service, and customer reviews in our recommendations.

Top Pick

ENGWE Upgrade 500W 20 inch Fat Tire Electric Bicycle


Summary

The ENGWE Upgrade 500W 20 inch Fat Tire Electric bike is a great high performance long range e-bike. It has a specified capacity of 330 lbs along with a 45-60 mile range and 24mph max speed.

This bike has a 500 watt rear hub motor with a peak output of around 800 watts. It has plenty of power for taking heavier riders uphill without much need for pedaling. It has an 8 speed Shimano Altus driveline to help with climbing if needed.

It has 20 inch wheels with 4 inch wide tires that provide a very cushy ride. The bike has front and rear suspension as well which aren’t all that needed on a bike with 4 inch fat bike tires. The suspension gives it a bit more cush to go with the cushy tires.

The bike can be operated in pedal assist, fully electric, and conventional bike modes. Pedal assist has 5 levels to give you just the right amount of electric boost. When you are coasting, the motor acts as a generator and recovers some battery charge. Every time you go down a hill the bike will charge increasing the range.

There are hydraulic front and rear brakes for stopping. The brakes have plenty of power. Some users found their brakes squeaked when new and needed adjustment.

The bike has a very poor manual that is nearly useless. The bike is really simple and easy to use so it’s not missed much.

The bike folds to allow it to fit in your car or storage space easier. It also weighs almost 70 lbs so it is not a carry around bike when you are not riding. Not real far anyways.

This is a great e-bike that is fun to ride and very comfortable and cushy feeling. Its weight capacity of 330 lbs makes it good for heavier riders. This makes it our top pick among the best ebikes for big guys.

Specifications

  • Motor Power – 500 watts
  • Battery Capacity – 48volt 12.8Ah
  • Max Speed – 24mph
  • Range – 60 miles pedal assist, 45 miles electric only
  • Max Rider Weight – 330 lbs
  • Charge Time – 6-7 hours
  • Speeds – 8 speed Shimano Altus driveline
  • Frame Material – Aluminum
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc brakes front and rear
  • Bike Weight – 64 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Smooth cushy ride
✔️ Downhill energy recovery system
✔️ High top speed and range
What We Didn’t Like
Bike is very heavy
Poor instruction manual

Video Review

Editors Choice

eAhora AM200 500W Electric Mountain Bike


Summary

Next up is the eAhora AM200-26″X4.0″ Fat Tires 500W Electric Mountain Bike. This is a fully trail ready mountain bike with a big motor, big batteries, and true mountain bike parts. It has a rider weight limit of 300 lbs.

This bike has a 500 watt rear hub motor combined with 48 volt 10.4ah batteries to give it lots of power. It can operate in pedal assist mode or full electric mode. The top electric powered speed is 28mph staying in the limits of a Class 3 e-bike.

This bike has air suspension with hydraulic damping. Damping and spring rate are adjustable in the front shock. This means it can be setup for any weight rider instead of a cheap one size fits all mechanical spring fork. Suspension travel is 180mm. This puts the bike into the range of an Enduro or Downhill bike and not a Crosscountry bike.

Braking is handled by hydraulic disc brakes with oversized 180mm rotors. They have plenty of power for screeching to a stop any time you need them.

Climbing will be challenging without the electric assist. It has 9 speeds with a fairly tall low gear so again it’s meant to be ridden as a pedal assist bike for hills. Fortunately, the bike has plenty of power to help with climbing.

This bike also has regenerative pedal assist so it recharges the battery on downhill sections. This helps increase the range quite a bit in hilly terrain.

Wheels are 26 inch x 4 inch which puts this into the fat bike category. The ride is extra cushy with fat bike wheels combined with 180mm of suspension travel. The 4 inch tires really give the bike a lot of stability which helps for larger riders and their balance.

This bike does not fold and is not meant to be carried around. It’s heavy at around 50 lbs. It is a great bike for riding and going on trails. It isn’t a bike your going to carry into your office for work.

The eAhora AM200 is a trail riding mountain electric bike that is suitable for larger riders. It is my top pick among the best ebikes for big guys.

Specifications

  • Motor Power – 500 watt rear hub motor
  • Battery Capacity – 48V 10.4Ah lithium battery
  • Max Speed – 28mph
  • Range – 45-55 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Charge Time – 5-6 hours
  • Speeds – 9 speed Shimano Altus pedal driveline
  • Frame Material – Aluminum
  • Brakes – Hydraulic disc front and back
  • Bike Weight – 52 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Air spring suspension and cushy ride
✔️ High top speed
✔️ Cushy smooth ride
What We Didn’t Like
Gearing is too high for climbing hills without the electric assist
Rear shock isn’t adjustable

Video Review

Best Value

ANCHEER 350/500W Electric Bike 27.5”


Summary

The ANCHEER 350/500W Blue Spark electric bike is a nice upgrade over their other bikes. Almost every system on the bike has been improved a little.

This bike is available in a 350 watt and 500 watt version. For big guy riders we recommend only the 500 watt version. More power is better for going up hills and moving around larger riders.

Let’s look at what is upgraded on this compared to the older 250watt and 350watt versions.

The motor is now controlled by a more modern looking switch board with an LCD display. Pedal assist has 5 levels instead of 3 levels on prior versions.

The wheels are upgraded to 27.5 inches instead of 26inches. Larger wheels are more efficient and smoother rolling. The tires are only 1.95inch wide which is on the narrow side for mountain bike tires. These tires are suited for pavement and gravel road and smooth trails which is what this bike is made for.

The front suspension fork now has a lockout knob. Suspension is about 2 inches with no damping. It does an okay job at absorbing cracks in the pavement and shallow potholes. If you try to ride on a real mountain bike trail you will find it bottoming out a lot.

The pedal driveline is a 3×8 Shimano Tourney system. This will give you good climbing performance with low gearing. If you need to ride with a dead battery it will be much better than a 7 or 8 speed electric bike.

The included seat post is short for taller riders. If you are over 6 feet you will find pedalling difficult without replacing the seat post. Seat posts don’t cost much and are easy to find at any bike shop.

The bike handles well thanks to it’s larger wheels and powerful motor. It is smooth enough on pavement and gravel roads where it excels.

We really like this bike and think it’s a great value for bigger riders. This makes it our best value pick among the best ebikes for big guys.

Specifications

  • Motor Power – 500 watt rear hub motor
  • Battery Capacity – 48V 10Ah lithium battery
  • Max Speed – 22mph
  • Range – 22 miles throttle mode, 38 miles pedal assist
  • Max Rider Weight – 330 lbs
  • Charge Time – 6 hours
  • Speeds – 24 speeds (3 x 8 ) Shimano Tourney
  • Frame Material – Aluminum
  • Brakes – Mechanical discs
  • Bike Weight – 53 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ 27.5 inch wheels
✔️ 5 levels of pedal assist
✔️ Good power for going up hills
What We Didn’t Like
Suspension fork not effective at absorbing bumps
Seat post isn’t long enough for riders above 6 feet tall

Video Review

Speedrid Fat Tire Electric Bike


Summary

The Speedrid Fat Tire Electric Bike is a solid reliable electric bike offering. It has a 500 watt rear hub motor and a 300 lb rider weight capacity making it suitable for big guy riders.

This bike has a 500 watt motor combined with a 48 volt 10ah battery. The pedal assist mode has 5 levels of assist. Low to medium power is fine for riding on flat ground. The high levels make hill climbing on this bike easy even on steep hills.

The bike has mechanical disc brakes for stopping. They have adequate power and were setup correctly out of the box. No adjustment was needed to get rid of squeaks or noises.

It has 26 inch wheels with 4 inch wide tires putting it in the fat bike category. The tires have soft feeling rubber that gives good traction. They seem better than what comes on a lot of similar priced e-bikes. The front suspension fork has a stiff enough spring. It takes larger bumps without bottoming out.

The bikes geometry is well setup and gives the bike good handling. It doesn’t feel short or twitchy like many e-bikes with smaller wheels.

The bike has a nice LCD screen for monitoring speed and battery charge. The controls for the bike are well thought out and easy to use.

One shortcoming is that there is no quick release for the front wheel. You have to use a set of wrenches to remove the front wheel. This makes transportation much more difficult. You can’t pull the front wheel off to toss the bike in the back of a car.

The pedals are softer plastic. Many users had broken pedals during rides. If you plan on riding this bike a lot you should consider replacing it with a set of stronger pedals. Any bike shop can help you with that.

We liked the black appearance with white graphics. It is one of the better looking under $1000 e-bikes out there.

Overall we liked the Speedrid Fat Tire Electric Bike a lot. It has good power with decent parts with only a few exceptions.

Specifications

  • Motor Power – 500 watt rear hub motor
  • Battery Capacity – 48V 10Ah lithium battery
  • Max Speed – 23mph
  • Range – 22 miles pure electric, 40 miles pedal assist
  • Max Rider Weight – 300 lbs
  • Charge Time – 6-8 hours
  • Speeds – 7 speeds (1 x 7) Shimano Tourney
  • Frame Material – Aluminum
  • Brakes – Mechanical disc
  • Bike Weight – 59 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Good tires with lots of grip
✔️ Lots of power for climbing hills
✔️ Stylish appearance
What We Didn’t Like
No quick release for the front wheel
Pedals are flimsy

ANCHEER 500W/250W Electric Bike


Summary

The ANCHEER 500W/250W Electric Bike is a good low cost city or dirt road bike ebike. It has 3 power modes. Pedal assist, motor only and pedal only. It is available with either a 250 watt or a 500 watt motor for higher cost. We only recommend the 500watt version for big guy riders although both specify a maximum rider weight of 330 lbs.

This bike looks like a mountain bike but is really intended for city riding up to dirt roads or very mild trails. It does not have the power or components for true trail riding. For city riding and road riding, it does great. The front shock is soft with no damping. It does a good job of absorbing potholes and cracks in the pavement or some of the roughness of gravel roads. If you try to ride this bike on a trail with many roots and rocks you will find the front suspension is constantly bottoming out.

This bike is spec’d out similar to a $400 to $500 non-electric mountain bike. It has Shimano Tourney components. It does have disc brakes which is a good upgrade and feature. It has 26 inch wheels with semi knob tires. To learn more about what to expect from a $500 mountain bike go here.

One annoyance is that the brake levers are reversed. The front wheel brake is on the right handlebar and the rear brake is on the left handlebar. This is the opposite of almost every other bicycle on the market.

The motor is a 500 watt motor. The motor is a rear hub motor located inside the rear wheel. It offers decent assist and can easily move the bike on flat land up to top speed. It is not enough of a motor for steep hills or trail climbing.

The pedal assist works good for road riding. It takes around a 1/2 rotation of the pedals to activate and start applying assist. It has 3 levels of available assist. At the lowest level it gives you a little help. At the highest level it will go faster then you are pedalling on flat ground.

It has enough battery to go between 25 to 45 miles. Range depends on a variety of factors such as rider weight, how hilly the terrain is, and how fast you want it to go. It is enough for short commutes and running errands. The battery can be charged on or off the bike. It has an on/off switch to keep from draining while not in use. The battery has a key lock to keep it from being stolen off the bike.

The seat is on the narrow side. For those who want a more comfort oriented bike seat, you may want to replace it with something else. See our guide to comfortable bike seats for overweight riders to learn more.

Overall the Ancheer 500/250 watt mountain bike is an excellent city or dirt road electric bike. It has decent parts for the money and is easy to use. We only recommend the 500 watt version for heavier riders.

Specifications

  • Motor Power – 500 watt (250 watt available) rear hub motor
  • Battery Capacity – 36V 12.5Ah Lithium
  • Max Speed – 20 mph
  • Range – 25-45 miles
  • Max Rider Weight – 330 lbs
  • Charge Time – 6 hours
  • Speeds – 21 speed Shimano Tourney. 3 chainrings, 7 cogs
  • Frame Material – Aluminum
  • Brakes – Disc
  • Bike Weight – 50 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Easy to use power system
✔️ Battery can be charged on and off the bike
✔️ Good overall package of bike, motor and battery
What We Didn’t Like
Brake levers are reversed
Front suspension fork is too soft for any trail riding

Video Review

Electric Bike Guide

There is a lot of things to think about when purchasing an electric bike. Where do you plan on riding it? How far do you need to go on it. Do you need to transport it on public transportation or the trunk of your car? How fast do you want to go? If you are a big guy can you still ride an e-bike and how much power do you need? Let’s explore all of these electric bike questions below.

What are the benefits of an electric bike?

There are several benefits to an electric bike. Lets look at a few of them.

  • They allow you to ride farther and faster than you could with a conventional bike.
  • People who can’t ride a regular bike due to lower body injury can ride e-bikes.
  • You can still use an e-bike to lose weight. This is especially true for people with injuries who can’t do other exercises.
  • E-bikes make great commuter vehicles. They are much cheaper to own and operate than a car.
  • They are fun to ride. Zipping around on a bike has never been boring no matter what kind of bike it is.

What should I look for when buying an electric bike?

Operating modes

There are a few different operating modes for electric bikes. They are motor powered and pedal assist. An electric bike may operate in one or both modes and also as an unpowered bike depending on the bike. Some electric bikes are able to switch modes.

  • Powered Bike – The motor can power the bike on its own with no pedaling input. The bike may or may not have pedals.
  • Pedal Assist – The motor provides power only when the rider is pedaling. A sensor on the pedal detects when the bike is being pedaled and powers the motor only when it’s being pedaled.
  • Unpowered bike – You pedal the bike with no electric assist or power.

Motor power

For a larger rider, you should look for an e-bike with a motor that has at least 500 watts of power. There are many e-bikes with 250-350 watt motors which are adequate for flat ground riding but they will struggle going up hills if they can go up them at all. 500 watts is good. 750 or 1000 watts is even better. For reference 1 horsepower is equal to 745.7 watts. The more power an e-bike has, the easier it will be to go up hills, and the faster it can go.

Battery size

Most electric bikes with at least 500 watt motors have 48 volt lithium batteries. 36 volt batteries would need really high discharge current to output 500 to 800 watts of power. More cells and voltage is better for a bike being ridden by a heavier person.

An electric bike with more battery capacity will have more range and can have more output power. Higher capacity lithium cells can discharge at a higher current without damaging the cells. More capacity is better. The downside to more battery capacity is that the batteries get bigger and heavier. There is only so much space on a bicycle frame to store batteries. If you need to carry your electric bike, battery weight becomes an important factor.

Bike Type

You can get electric bikes in all of the common bike types these days. The most popular types of bikes are listed below.

  • Road bike – These bikes are primarily meant for riding on smooth paved surfaces. They have a crouched down riding position with drop handlebars.
  • Mountain bike – These bikes are meant for riding off road on trails. They have flat handlebars and a more upright riding position. Most have front suspension or full suspension.
  • Fat bike – Fat bikes are a form of mountain bike with at least 4 inch wide tires. These bikes are very stable and can be ridden on a variety of surfaces from pavement to sand to mud.
  • Hybrid bike – These are a cross between mountain bikes and road bikes. They have a more upright riding position and flat handlebars similar to a mountain bike. They are lighter weight with tires and wheels that are more pavement oriented.
  • Gravel bike – These are another cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. They have droop handlebars and crouched down seating position of a road bike with wheels and tires that are more oriented towards gravel or dirt road surfaces
  • Commuter bike – These are an offshoot of a road bike. They tend to have flat handlebars and upright seating position. They have wheels and tires meant for pavement use.
  • Folding bike – This is a bike that can fold in half to be more portable. They tend to be road bikes with pavement oriented tires and wheels and flat handlebars.

Driveline

The bike will have some combination of chainrings (front gears) and cogs (rear gears). 3 x 7 drivelines with 3 chainrings and 7 cogs and 1 x 7 with a single chainring and 7 cogs are really common in electric bikes under $1000. Since e-bikes also have motor assist they don’t always have a need for really low gearing. If you get stuck out somewhere with a dead battery or the motor stops working, you will really appreciate having some low gears to make pedaling easy.

Higher end drivelines usually mean more range in gear ratios. This means you get better climbing (low gear) and better top speed (high gear).

As you go up in cost bikes transition from a 3 x 7 system to a 3 x 8 or 3 x 9 system. Then to a 2 x 10 and finally to 1 x 11 and 1 x 12 on high end bikes. 1 x 12’s are wonderful and simple to use since they have a lot of range and no front derailleur to worry about.

This may seem counter intuitive since higher end bikes lose the front derailleur and have fewer parts. Low end bikes have 3 chainring drivelines which would seem to be a more complex system.

See our article on 1x Drivelines to learn more about 1 x 12 systems.

Brake type

Bike brakes are either v-brake or u-brakes that clamp on the rim to stop the bike or disc brakes. V-Brakes are the traditional bike brake that are operated by a cable. They work by clamping brake pads against the sidewalls of your bike rims. They work well when setup right. They don’t work when the bike rims get wet. If the bike wheel becomes bent and out of true it effects their clamping effort. They have less stopping power then disc brakes.

Disc brakes work by clamping against a rotor attached to the center of your bike wheel. They can be operated by a cable or hydraulics. They have several advantages over v-brakes. They have much higher braking power. You can screech to a stop with 1 finger effort. They work on wet roads. The rotor is far from the wheels and wet pavement. They work with bent or out of true wheels because they are attached to the hub.

Disc brakes are better performing and preferred for any e-bike.

Frame Material

Most bike frames are made of aluminum. Aluminum offers good lightweight construction for a reasonable price.

Carbon fiber is the next most popular choice but it is much much more expensive. Carbon fiber bikes will weigh several pounds less than an aluminum bike. You will pay a few thousand dollars to save those few pounds.

Some bikes are still made with steel frames. Steel frames are a few pounds heavier than aluminum. Steel has good durability and the frames are more flexible than aluminum so it can provide a softer ride.

With an electric bike, you are carrying around several pounds of batteries. Some have 20 to 30 lbs of batteries which weigh as much as some bikes. It’s not worth spending thousands for a carbon frame when you are going to strap pounds of battery weight to it.

Wheel size

Bigger bicycle wheels give a smoother ride. Bigger wheels roll with less resistance and are more efficient. Common wheel sizes for full size bike wheels are 29 inch or 700C, 27.5inch or 650b, and 26inch. 26 inch is no longer common except for fat bikes or very low end mountain bikes.

Foldable bikes or small portable bikes have smaller wheels. These make the bike light enough to carry. They will not ride as smoothly and they will take more effort to climb hills.

Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes

California has developed a system of 3 classifications for electric bikes. Several other states and federal organizations have adopted it as well. The classifications are as follows:

  • Class 1 e-bike – pedal assist only with no throttle and a top powered speed of 20mph
  • Class 2 e-bike – Bike can be powered by the motor alone with a maximum powered speed of 20mph
  • Class 3 e-bike – pedal assist only with no throttle and a top powered speed of 28mph

To learn more about electric bike classifications go here.

Is it worth getting an electric bike?

An electric bicycle may not be for everyone. For those who enjoy riding them, they are absolutely worth the extra cost. An e-bike will always be cheaper to ride and own than a car. You can save a ton of money on your commute using an e-bike. They can allow people with lower body or back injuries who couldn’t otherwise ride a bike to enjoy biking.

What are the disadvantages of electric bikes?

There are a lot of advantages and only a few disadvantages to an electric bike.

  • An electric bike will cost more than a regular bike. The battery will need to be replaced after a few years adding more cost.
  • Some cities and states only allow certain classes of e-bikes on public roads. You need to check the laws where you live to see what you can and can’t ride there.
  • Many mountain bike trails do not allow electric bikes of any kind. More and more are opening up to class 1 pedal assist bikes. They will probably be legal on all trails within the next few years due to their benefits to older and injured bikers.

How long does an e bike last?

An e-bike can last as long as a conventional bike. The battery will lose capacity and wear out from charging and discharging. The average e-bike battery lasts between 10,000 and 30,000 miles. Depending on how much you ride that could be a long time. If you keep the bike indoors and out of the weather it will last much longer.

How do I maintain an e-bike?

Maintenance for an electric bike is the same as a regular bike except for the motor and battery. See the below video for some tips on maintaining an e-bike.

Electric Bike FAQ

Q: Do electric bikes have a weight limit?

Most electric bikes have a specified weight limit for the rider. 265 lbs or 120 kg is a really common weight limit. There are many e-bikes out there with over 300 lb weight limits. If you are a heavier person, there is a bike out there that can support you.

The weight limit on a bike is mostly due to the power available from the motor and battery and the pedal driveline durability. More powerful motor systems and more durable driveline components are both available.

Q: How fast do electric bikes go?

Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are limited to 20mph. Class 3 e-bikes are limited to 28mph. You can pedal an electric bike faster but the motor will not power you above those speeds. For electric bikes not following the classification standards you can get higher speeds. Above 28mph it becomes a moped in most states requiring you to have a driver’s license and registration.

Q: How often should I charge my ebike?

To ensure a long life for your e-bike battery you should never leave it completely discharged. When you are done riding your e-bike you should let the battery cool down a little if it’s hot and then recharge it. You should always keep your e-bike battery charged at 50% or a little above for storage.

Lithium batteries are sensitive and require some care. The 2 worse things you can do to them are overcharging and completely discharging them. Overcharging can lead to fires. Most lithium battery chargers have circuits to prevent overcharging. You should always read the owner’s manual for your battery and charger for any safety precautions.

Discharging a lithium battery completely can damage the cells. If this happens they may not hold a charge and can’t be fixed. All batteries have a slow self discharge over time. It’s very slow with lithium batteries but still occurs. As long as you don’t store the battery completely discharged for a long time this problem won’t occur. Most e-bike controllers have circuits to monitor battery voltage. They will cut off the e-bike before damage can occur.

Q: What’s the best electric bike for a 300 lb man?

If you want to get a good bike for a 300 lb person without spending a small fortune, the ANCHEER 350/500W Blue Spark electric bike represents a really good value. It has a rider capacity of 330 lbs. It is based on a $500 value mountain bike with several hundred dollars worth of motor, battery, and controller. It is a decent, reliable bike for a good cost.

Q: Can you ride electric bikes in the rain?

From a biking perspective, you can ride an e-bike in the rain just like any other bike. Some electric bikes have water resistant controllers, motors, and batteries. Some do not and will be damaged. You should consult your e-bikes manual to learn whether it can be used in the rain or not.

Q: Why are e bikes so heavy?

The average mountain bike weighs 25 to 35 lbs. An electric bike adds on a motor, batteries, and controls to that. The motor and batteries add another 20 to 30 lbs. This is how we get to e-bikes that weigh 45 to 65 lbs. To learn more about bike weight, see our articles on mountain bike weight and full suspension mountain bike weight.

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an adventure sports fan and an avid skier, sailor, mountain biker who also enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and travel. I take any chance I can get to get out in the snow or water.  I actively run an adventure sports meetup where I get asked many questions.  I decided to start this Gear Craver as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.

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