Review: Phatfour FLX is like having a sports car in your driveway

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Phatfour

Fat bikes are appearing more and more often on the streets, but they do have an image that not everyone can identify with. That’s possible, but it does look really cool. Think of a Super73, or a Dutch-produced Phatfour. NL News LauraJenny investigates whether that image is really that bad, but also: is a fat bike practical? She does that on the Phatfour FLX.

Lately, fat bikes have not necessarily been very positive in the news. The bicycles are condemned by insurers, while they secretly want to insure through the fat bike supplier themselves without wanting to be named. A bit crazy, but those fat bikes do not come without problems: they are stolen a lot, which is because they are simply beautiful to look at and are nice and sturdy. They are also known for being easier to accelerate, so you often see them tearing past at 45 kilometers per hour. And that doesn’t help the image either, because many places in our busy country are not at all suitable for such speeds.

Phatfour

The stigma of the Fatbike

Time for us to put it to the test. Do people look at you differently when you ride a fat bike, how does it feel to have one, but also: is it practical? We were allowed to borrow the Phatfour FLX, equipped with a box at the bottom for a lock and a basket at the front for groceries. Good choice of brand, because I had a few concerns beforehand. The biggest concern is of course the theft: I have a minor trauma because my expensive, new e-bike was stolen after a month and my insurer did not pay out due to vague communication on the website. I was given two gigantic, quite heavy locks. That didn’t bother me, because they could just go in that container at the bottom.

In addition, my challenge with this bike is to use it as a kind of car. I don’t own a car, so I do my shopping by bike (okay, okay, if I don’t have them delivered). Is it easy to ride around with all the bags on this bike? Phatfour thought: then a basket would be useful. In short, the bicycle can be completely adapted to your wishes. And to your people: there is also a child seat available. That may sound strange, because you may not associate it with a fat bike, but it will surprise you.

Phatfour

A very Dutch bicycle

And Phatfour can easily make it possible, such an extra feature on a bicycle, because all bicycles are assembled at the company in the Netherlands. The bicycle factory is in Hoofddop. I think it’s great that those Dutch roots are cherished. Not that the device only consists of Dutch parts, because it has hydraulic brakes from Shimano, for example. But the frame, which is made of steel, is welded together in the Netherlands, and there are many other things that make these bicycles truly Dutch. The company was started by a few Dutch men who wanted to make nice fat bikes in addition to their jobs because they thought e-bikes were a bit boring and had seen the Super73 in the United States. They made the first prototype of the Phatfour themselves.

Heavy

When the bike was brought to my home, I immediately noticed something: it is a heavy thing. It feels more like putting a scooter in your shed than a bicycle. At first I couldn’t imagine that it wouldn’t affect the speed, but during my first ride I noticed: it’s actually nice that it’s a nice, robust thing, which makes it feel like a much more luxurious device. And he can go pretty fast too. I usually cycled the maximum 26 kilometers per hour. This is also because I never use e-bikes on a medium setting: I want speed, so in the case of Phatfour FLX that setting is 9. This also affects the range: normally it would be around 100 kilometers, but it does run. quite quickly backwards with the wind, the high altitude and hills. Oh well, you can always charge it in between.

Phatfour

Step up

The bike feels a bit more luxurious due to its weight, but also due to its sturdy appearance. It is also noticeable on the street: people look at what you are driving. I also noticed that people don’t look at you like you’re trash on your fat bike. Although I am of course also a bit older at 36. I have also never driven faster than that neat 26 kilometers per hour and that is not possible. According to Phatfour, a warning will appear if you go faster. I find it particularly unnecessary to go so much faster than 26 kilometers per hour. Even if you don’t cycle through a city center, there are often times when you have to stop or make turns. So a higher speed is not very realistic. Plus, it still feels nice and fast, partly because you sit a little lower.

Phatfour FLX: freaking luxury

Although the low sitting position of Phatfour FLX is not very extreme: many other fat bikes sit lower. As a healthy, tall Dutch woman, I think a bicycle that is slightly higher is very nice. And you can still sit on it like a kind of lowrider, because the device has a long saddle. Also useful if you want to take a child with you. The saddle is very comfortable by the way. I love sitting on the bike from the back as if I were Zorro and then cycling away in a relaxed manner. This two-wheeler is an ideal device for that. In any case, it is a very comfortable bike to ride around on. When you drive at speed 9, you do hear the engine zooming a bit, but that is not disturbing. Plus, I often have music in my ear, so I mainly hear that music.

Phatfour

Groceries

So the bike is comfortable. You don’t get strange looks on a fat bike (although people do look) and it doesn’t slow down despite that heavy frame. Then there are two more questions: my fear of theft and shopping. Surprisingly enough, shopping is done on this fat bike. Better than on a regular e-bike. I didn’t expect that, but that has everything to do with the fact that you have that long saddle. So you can slide back a little and hang two shopping bags on your handlebars: you don’t have to keep kicking those bags with your legs. I have that on a normal bike. Ideal. Your groceries also do not touch your wheel due to the design of the bicycle. Ideal. It doesn’t surprise me that a child seat is available: that should be fine too.

Relief?

However, there is a disadvantage to this bicycle that is especially noticeable when you transport freight: the lighting is in awkward places. It seems a bit as if the gentlemen suddenly realized afterwards that they had forgotten to include the lighting in the design. For example, if you have your sports towel in your front basket, the lamp will shine against it instead of on the road. The rear light is under the seat and is quite small. As a result, you see less anyway, but especially if you have a longer coat hanging in front of it, for example. I thought that lighting problem was one of the biggest disadvantages of the bicycle: it makes you less visible and that is the last thing you want, especially when you ride a black, slightly lower bicycle.

You also don’t want your bike to be stolen. I still sometimes look around to see if I see my stolen e-bike passing by somewhere. It just feels really bad when you spend 2000 euros on a two-wheeler and come to the conclusion that you will have to walk home because someone has stolen your beautiful bike. To be fair, that fear did not diminish with the Phatfour FLX. Now I have to add that this is also not my property. That makes me even more careful with it. For example, I didn’t dare park my bike at the cinema to watch Dune at three o’clock. I didn’t dare.

Phatfour

Sports car

Even when exercising, I always placed the trusty two-wheeler just in front of the window next to the door to ensure that I could keep a close eye on it, despite those two thick locks. Moreover, these locks also have a disadvantage: you have to spend some time ensuring that they are in the right place. I left it outside for 5 minutes twice while grocery shopping and then I felt like it took me longer to secure it than actually doing the grocery shopping. You can also lock an e-bike, but that is slightly less hassle.

Second car

Still, I didn’t find that very disturbing. It’s not useful to have a bike that you don’t want to leave at the cinema, especially if you go there often like I do. However, taking a little more time to lock your bike is not a disaster. When have you ever been in such a hurry that something like this really bothers you? It is actually good to be a little conscious about your bicycle. In any case, this bike doesn’t really feel like a bicycle to me, but more like a second car. Maybe a sports car. It’s beautiful, you don’t want it to be damaged or stolen, and you mainly take it with you when you go on a day of touring, rather than when you drive very practically from A to B.

I do not dare

Ultimately, I don’t really understand why they have such a bad image. They are just really cool bikes! The fact that they are often stolen and staged is not cool. Yet it is unfair to give a whole type of bicycle a bad name. It is a pity that you have to handle this bicycle more consciously than with another type of e-bike (although they are also stolen all the time). It is an ideal bike for many everyday things: to sports, to the supermarket and even to my care horse. But you still have to take that theft into account. Although Phatfour now offers Connected insurance, which puts a tracker in your bike and the engine can even be turned off remotely. Good to know: this bike does not have an app, so you can use it offline.

In love

Just like with a beautiful Lambo or Corvette, I have fallen a little in love with the Phatfour. I had cycled on a Super73 before, but they are a lot lighter and don’t feel like they carry that much weight. The Phatfour does feel that way and also lets you sit a little higher, which makes much more sense with those long limbs that we as Dutch people have. Moreover, its actual weight also feels more like a more luxurious bicycle and that automatically ensures that you handle it extra carefully. While at the same time he can probably take a beating much better. In any case, my time with the Phatfour was very pleasant and it even inspired friends to look into a fat bike. So the image is improving person by person, but you just have to get to know this type of bicycle a little better.

Conclusion

As far as I’m concerned, the Phatfour FLX is highly recommended. The handy compartment for your locks, the basket, that nice saddle and that strong speed make this an ideal device. You can enjoy cruising in the sun in the summer, but it also proves to be very suitable for everyday things. I think I’ll see if I would like to have it as a second bike in my shed. Of course, there must also be financial space for this. A fat bike is a bit more expensive: the regular Phatfour FLX costs 2,300 euros. On the other hand, regular e-bikes have also become much more expensive in recent years. In the past, you could buy an e-bike at Lidl for 700 euros. You don’t actually see that anymore. This makes it even more attractive to opt for a fat bike. If you’re already spending a lot of money, why not go straight to the Ferrari among bicycles?

Also read:

  • Cowboy C4 ST: great bike for rides in the city
  • Review: The Okai Neon electric scooter is a nice illegal gadget
  • Greyp E-MTB – How cool is electric mountain biking?
Phatfour
Plus points
Sits wonderfully
Feels sturdy and luxurious
Can be used for all everyday tasks
Less positive
Theft is lurking with these more luxurious bicycles
The lighting doesn’t seem well thought out
Range decreases a bit faster at setting 9 and wind

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