Published on March 10th, 2017 | by Nicolas Zart0
MOAR E-Bike Folds With Big Fat Tires
March 10th, 2017 by Nicolas Zart
Fat-tire bikes are all the rage these days, but they are certainly a bike style that can benefit from the help of an electric motor. The MOAR e-bike Fat Tire folding frame is a newcomer in this increasingly crowded field, and it looks like fun!
MOAR E-Bike Fat Tires — Fat Fun With A Little Help From My Electric Friend
Fat tires look funky on a regular bike. Although the idea of riding on sand and other surfaces that require better traction than regular tires can seem like fun, fat tires have one big problem. Simply put, they are big and require more pedaling effort, thus almost negating the original appeal of having fat tires. That’s why, in this case, an electric motor steps into the picture to pick up the slack.
I just enjoyed an incredibly fun test ride of the Emotion EVO Big Bud Pro AWD, which is essentially a fat-tire e-bike with two electric motors. This bike sits on my “top 5 e-bikes to own” list. Incredibly versatile, and enough oomph to ride in and out of sticky situations, it covers almost everything on my wish list. But something big fat-tire bikes don’t do is fold. It’s a shame, because it penalizes a clientele segment living in apartments or with limited storage space.
MOAR E-Bike, The Fat-Tire Folding-Frame Electric Bicycle
The MOAR — Fat Tires, Folding Frame, Electric Motor — is tackling that last problem. An Indiegogo project started by Moar Bikes in Santa Monica looks like it has great potential. It has already far surpassed the team’s initial goal. With 14 days to go, $363,645 has been raised from 393 backers, 1212% more than the initial $30,000 goal.
The project aims to offer a folding-frame, fat-tire electric bike with an 85 mile range, a 500–750 watt motor, a 48 volt Samsung lithium-ion battery pack (instead of the more common 36V), with a full suspension frame. Although only at the prototype stage so far, this MOAR e-bike already touts impressive features, such as waterproof electronics, projection headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and more. The frame is built using aircraft-grade aluminum, reminiscent of the URB-E we covered here and there. There will be three e-bike models to choose from — a weekend warrior, a daily commuter, and the e-bike enthusiast.
MOAR E-Bike Says No Upgrade Necessary
When a company says “no upgrades necessary,” I’m usually suspicious. After all, only I know what I want and need. However, upon closer look, it sounds as if MOAR did strike a good balance between its targeted price range of $999 to 1,999, build quality, and engineering. It’s true that entry-level e-bikes call for a certain amount of upgrades, which makes them well suited for budgets on a shoestring. My GenZe bike is a perfect example of a good base you can later upgrade to meet your specific needs. Going into the sub-$500 e-bike domain is where you find the real problems. They are usually made with low-quality components that eventually require upgrades, sooner than you might have expected.
The MOAR E-Bike, Technically Speaking
The MOAR e-bike comes with a choice of a 500 W to 750 W electric motor that spells plenty of fat-tire fun. It sports water-resistant disc brakes, assumably cable operated. A Shimano derailleur is to be expected with 8 to 9 gears — although, the company doesn’t mention which one.
In the ongoing rear-wheel electric motor (and sometimes front-wheel electric motor) versus mid-drive fight, the MOAR e-bike surprisingly decided to offer both and appease both camps. You can get the e-bike in either a 500 W rear hub or a 750 W mid-drive motor configuration, both using 9 Mosfet-rated motor controllers.
The 500 W rear-hub geared electric motor will give you 44 ft-lb (60NM) of max torque. It comes with either 7- or 8-speed gear configuration cartridges.
The 750 W rated mid-drive motor works through a Shimano 9 speed gear. It delivers an impressive 118 ft-lb (160NM) of max torque, which the company claims: “can tow an SUV from a standstill.” I’m not sure I would want to do that, but good to know.
The motors are designed for longer peak power as well. According to the company: “you can ride all day at 750w without burning up the motor. We estimate peak power for the mid-drive motor would roughly be in the 1,000-1,200w range.” That’s a tall order, specification-wise.
Yes, but how fast? US laws cap top speed at 20 mph (unlike Europe’s 28 mph). The MOAR e-bike also caps its top speed at 20 mph but gives you an LCD screen access to unlock a maximum speed of 28 mph for the mid-drive motor configuration and 25 mph for the rear-hub motor in off-road riding mode only.
The MOAR e-bike uses a Pedal Assistance System that sets the desired amount of power level to maintain a constant speed. The company also chose to use torque and speed sensing on its various models, torque sensor available on its Rapt model and 24/7, while a cadence sensor system is available on its Sun & Fun model.
Another feature I noticed the MOAR e-bike has is that it didn’t cut corners on lighting quality. It uses Cree LEDs. Specifically, it uses the T6 dual LED projection headlights that boast 1,000 lumens for up to 30 feet. These are rated at 30,000 hours of service life. Cree makes great LEDs I’m testing at this moment, along with LEDs from Verilux, another high-end, quality light bulb maker.
MOAR E-Bike Weights & Cons
Almost everything looks perfect on the MOAR e-bike, except for one thing. I’m not a big fan of batteries on the rear of a bicycle. We’ll have to wait to see if the company will offer other foldable models with the battery toward the middle of the frame. This location is probably related to the fact that the e-bike folds.
All cables are discreetly hidden in the frame and the e-bike has a USB charger for your phone.
Speaking of weight, the MOAR e-bikes weighs around 60 pounds without the battery. Each battery adds 9 pounds, 10 pounds, and 11 pounds, respectively — 10A, 13A, 17AH.
And now, for the prices. …
The Sun & Fun bikes are offered at $999, the 24/7 at $1,199, and finally, the Rapt at $1,999.
Overall, these are well-specced e-bikes with a great introductory price that show that the e-bike world not only continues to innovate but is also bringing down prices (long a concern to many).