The Fantic Fat Sport is a fun and pretty capable fat bike that's capable of mixing it on the trails or just taking you to work and back in style. The Brose motor is excellent and the bike as a whole is well built and easy to ride, although the big tyres don't offer the same kind of control on technical terrain as proper suspension. It's a great laugh though, and a surprisingly competent commuting bike: cue incredulous stares from pretty much everyone when you're out and about in town on it.
You might not have heard of Fantic. They're an Italian manufacturer based not far north of Venice, but they're best known for their enduro motorbikes. Now they have a range of all-electric MTBs and fat bikes too. There are two models of fat bike, the off-road-oriented Sport that we have, and the more urban Seven Days. There's two builds of the Sport, the rigid Performance model here and the slightly more expensive Race which gains a Rock Shox Bluto suspension fork.
The alloy frame of the Fat Sport uses the fat 150mm/177mm fat bike axle standards front and rear and the top tube is slightly dropped for more standover height. There's a small extra tube between seat tube and top tube to stiffen up that hunction
The Fat Sport rolls on massive four-inch tyres on super-wide 26" Gipiemme rims. You really don't need much air in them although you can pump them up a bit if you're predominantly on the road. The huge air chambers make up for the fact that the frame and fork are both rigid alloy.
Transmission-wise Fantic use the Brose motor. Brose make all their motors on-site at their Berlin facility; They're a huge automotive component manufacturer and the motor they used is one they originally developed for steering assistance in vehicles. It uses a belt drive instead of a gear reduction so it's very quiet, and it's pretty compact too. Fantic spec a 417Wh BMZ battery on this bike and you get Brose's backlit LCD display and simple thumb remote.
The Fat Sport has a 10-speed SRAM GX drivetrain with an 11-36 cassette at the rear for a good range of climbing and cruising gears. When it's time to stop there's Avid DB1 brakes at both ends, with a 200mm rotor at the front and a 180mm rotor at the rear. The frame has rack bosses at the rear (though not on the seatstays) and also a plate for mounting a kickstand. It comes supplied with one, but you'll probably want to lose it if you're venturing off-road.
Dave says: fat bikes are a pretty good laugh generally and when you add a motor you take things up a notch. As a whole this bike is a really enjoyable experience, and oddly it makes a great commuting bike, something Fantic have obviously spotted as they do a street-oriented build of this bike too, the Seven Days. Off-road it's pretty capable and there are occasions when the giant tyres make the unrideable rideable, but if you just want an electric mountain bike then you're better off with something with a decent fork and smaller tyres, and there's lots of choice for this kind of money.
The Fat Sport is an enormous bike. The four-inch tyres can be run at a ridiculously low pressure without risking a pinch flat; I had them down at about 12psi, and I'm 94kg. At that kind of pressure they do a pretty good job of soaking up trail imperfections, although in terms of actual suspension performance they're more compromised than the combination of smaller tyre and a suspended frame or fork. You're not going to get a lot of rebound damping from a tyre: you can test that by throwing a wheel and watching it bounce off down the road. Out on the trails that tends to mean the bike kicks and bounces a bit, especially if you get a line wrong. I'ts certainly not as forgiving of your mistakes as a trail hardtail with a 120mm fork, and once you do get the bike sliding sideways there's a lot of mass to try and correct. On properly rocky and technical terrain, it's pretty brutal.
You can get the Fat Sport with a Rock Shox Bluto suspension fork; that's the Race build and it's (obviously) more expensive. I haven't ridden that bike so can't comment on what the for adds but to honest if I was looking for a hardtail to hit the more technical trails with I wouldn't go down the full-fat route, I'd opt for a 27.5+ bike with 2.5” – 3” tyres. You still get some of the big tyre benefit but they're more agile and easier to pilot over the rough stuff.
That being said those huge tyres do offer unbeatable levels of grip over pretty much anything. Fat bikes originated as a solution for riding on snow and sand, to spread the contact of the tyre over a larger area and offer grip without the tyre digging in and robbing you of momentum. It works there, and it also works on soft grassy trails, and sticky mud, and lots of other surfaces where a thinner tyre can be a bit of a chore. As an all-rounder it's hard to beat. The payback for that grip and traction off road is massive, soul-destroying drag on the tarmac. But adding a motor neutralises that.
The motor on the Fantic Fat Sport is the excellent Brose 250W unit and it's very well suited to this bike. The Brose system feels more responsive to rider input than the more common Bosch motor; it's more focused on your torque than your cadence, although all mid motor systems take account of both. The result is a more natural-feeling power, and because the motor is also nearly silent there are times when you forget the Fantic is a powered bike at all. At least, until you turn it off. Then you remember pretty quickly.
There's plenty of power available for cruising around or tackling the steep stuff, and the range of the bike is good considering the 417Wh battery isn't the biggest. We were getting 35km of mixed off-road from a single charge, and a bit more when sticking to the tarmac. It's not as much as a Bosch e-MTB with a 500Wh battery, but there's more drag from the tyres and less capacity in the power pack, so that's understandable. It's plenty for a decent trail adventure, or a longish commute..
Commute? Funnily enough the Fat Sport is great fun as a commuter. Being a giant among bikes it seems to buy you a bit of extra passing space from the other traffic, and it's happy to rumble along at 25km/h on the tarmac. There's no need to choose your line through the potholes, just tackle them head on. Assuming you don't want to go any faster than that and you're happy to get a wet bum when it rains, it's a lot of fun as a workaday bike. Without the motor it'd be massively impractical, but the extra 250 watts makes all the difference. If you were looking at a fat bike for the commute the other spec of this Fantic, the Seven Days, would make more sense. You get semi-slicks and a Brooks saddle, and there's even a mudguard option.
Everything I haven't mentioned so far worked fine. The 10-speed SRAM GX drivetrain worked very well and the cassette has enough range for proper off-roading. The Avid DB1 brakes weren't the most powerful hydraulic discs I've ever tried but they were solid and predictable: no issues there.
Overall the Fantic Fat Sport is an enjoyable bike to ride, and it's surprisingly versatile on- and off-road. At £3,195 it's a pretty spendy way to have a laugh, though, and if you're serious about commuting by e-bike then that kind of money will buy you a seriously well-specced city bike from a host of different manufacturers. Similarly, if you predominantly want to ride off-road then it's possible to get very competent trail hardtails and full suspension bikes at this sort of price that will handle the more technical stuff better. That's not to say it won't suit your needs though: if you're after a bike that can tackle difficult surfaces then a fat bike is great for that, and this is a fat bike that'll also turn its hand to tarmac too. It's not a Swiss army knife, more of a sledgehammer. But it's still versatile and enjoyable.