Denago Fat Tire e-bike review: 28 mph off-roader with a big ol’ battery

As much fun as e-bikes are for getting around the city, I love taking them off-road and onto trails. That’s where fat tires really come alive, and the Denago Fat Tire Step-Thru electric bike showcases just what I love about e-bikes with big honkin’ tires.

This definitely isn’t a mountain bike or overlanding bike – this is a comfortable bike that can handle both light trails and urban/suburban riding. That means it’s going to be a great option for nature trails, gravel paths, dirt roads, and that sort of riding.

Between a powerful motor, large capacity battery and a comfortable setup, the Denago Fat Tire Step-Thru has a nice assortment of features and components for recreational riding on a wide range of terrains.

Check out my video review below if you want to see my real world testing of the bike. Then keep scrolling for my complete review.

Denago Fat Tire Step-Thru e-bike video review

Denago Fat Tire Step-Thru tech specs

  • Motor: 750 W rear geared hub motor with 80 Nm torque
  • Top speed: 20 mph (32 km/h) on throttle, 28 mph (45 km/h) on pedal assist
  • Range: 35-60 mi (55-100 km)
  • Battery: 48V 19.2Ah (921 Wh) frame-integrated, removable
  • Max load: 300 lb (136 kg)
  • Frame: 6061 aluminum
  • Weight: 79 lb (36 kg)
  • Suspension: Zoom fork, 60-75 mm travel (depends on bike size)
  • Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes, 180 mm rotors
  • Extras: Color LCD display with speedometer, wattmeter, battery gauge, PAS level indicator, odometer, tripmeter, USB charger, left-side thumb throttle, torque sensor, included front and rear fenders, rear rack, headlight and frame-integrated tail lights
denago fat tire e-bike

A balance of power and comfort

If you’ve been into e-bikes for a while or have begun digging into the topic ahead of buying your first e-bike, you’ll know that suspension and fat tires are two of the best things you can do for comfort. While the Denago here doesn’t have full-suspension, it almost feels like it does thanks to front suspension and plush fat tires. The lack of rear suspension is only noticeable on big obstacles and angry pot holes.

For the gravel roads and light trails that I spent most of my time riding on, the bike had plenty of shock absorption for me.

It also had plenty of power, combining a 750W motor with a top speed of 28 mph on pedal assist. Checking with a GPS speedometer showed that the 28 mph was often reading a big high by around one or two miles per hour, but it was pretty darn close. Optimistic speedometers are pretty common in the e-bike industry, unfortunately.

The 750W motor is quite torquey and will get you rolling quickly as well as climb a decent hill, though the bike’s heavy weight of 79 lbs (36 kg) certainly works against it when it comes to acceleration and hills. The included torque sensor should help mitigate that weight on startup by better translating your pedal force into responsive pedal assist, though I found that it strangely still had a decent pedal assist lag. Torque sensors normally help e-bikes start applying pedal assist power nearly immediately when the rider begins pedaling, but the Denago still had a bit of a lag. It was nothing that a short blip of the throttle couldn’t compensate for, but it still surprised me, and not in a good way.

What did surprise me in a good way was the range. With a big battery measuring 921 Wh, I could get a real world throttle range of over 35 miles (56 km), which is quite good for heavy fat tire e-bikes. With pedal assist in a low power level, I’d expect that to be over 60 miles (100 km) of range, though I couldn’t be bothered to keep it in low power mode for that long to find out. Higher power pedal assist and riding fast is just too tempting to pass up.

For any fast e-bike like this, I absolutely want to see strong brakes as an important safety feature. Fortunately, Denago delivers with hydraulic stoppers on large 180 mm discs. This is a huge win for me because there’s nothing worse than struggling to stop a heavy e-bike. Powerful brakes make the bike more controllable and give riders more confidence.

To afford those nice brakes, the company must have saved a few dollars on the drivetrain. You get a 7-speed shifter, but it’s not a particularly nice one. The Shimano Tourney setup is on the lower end of Shimano’s hierarchy but is acceptable for the type of leisure and recreational riding that most people will use this e-bike for, which is exactly how I was riding it.

denago fat tire e-bike

To make up for the fairly basic transmission, we get some really nice integrated tail lights. In fact, this bike must either be built in the same factory as Aventon’s e-bikes, or else Denago just ripped off their tail light design, because these awesome tail lights look and feel just like the ones that debuted on the Aventon Aventure last year and and have since found their way onto most of Aventon’s other e-bikes.

Regardless of where they came from, I’m a huge fan of frame-integrated lighting because it is harder to damage. E-bike lights that stick out are prime targets for damage at bike racks or anywhere else that bikes come into close contact with other bikes or objects. These frame integrated lights are slim and tucked away yet still quite visible to cars and other road users.

In fact, this would have been a prime opportunity to incorporate turn signals since the tail lights are actually spread apart. I’ve talked before about how I find most e-bike turn signals to be gimmicky since they are usually only a couple inches apart on a main central tail light. But with two independent lights on either side of the bike’s rear triangle, this could have been a great turn signal setup. Oh well, maybe on the next version.

Even so, there’s still a lot to like here. We’ve got a comfortable trail bike with a nice and accessible step-through frame design. We’ve got plenty of power and even more battery capacity than I know what to do with. There are nice components like those brakes and even a color LCD screen, and there are even two different sizes to better fit larger and smaller riders.

The Denago Fat Tire Step-Thru e-bike may have a few cheaper parts and carry some extra poundage, but it wears the weight well by not feeling too bulky while riding (just be careful lifting it by yourself!).

At the MSRP of $1,999, I’m not entirely blown away. It’s not a bad price when you compare it to other full-featured bikes. It’s only a hundred bucks more than the Aventon Aventure.2, and comes with 33% more battery. Update: They actually dropped the price by $200 to $1,799. Now we’re talking!

There are certainly better bang-for-your-buck deals out there. People often point to budget rides like the Lectric XP 3.0, and I’d agree that you get a lot with those types of e-bikes, but they don’t have the range or big-wheel comfort to match this ride. So if you want a large, comfortable bike that comes with lots of power and battery, you’ve got to pay for those luxuries.

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Author

Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd, and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power, The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide and The Electric Bike Manifesto.

The e-bikes that make up Micah’s current daily drivers are the $999 Lectric XP 2.0, the $1,095 Ride1Up Roadster V2, the $1,199 Rad Power Bikes RadMission, and the $3,299 Priority Current. But it’s a pretty evolving list these days.

You can send Micah tips at Micah@electrek.co, or find him on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.