In the early years, electric bicycles weren't the hottest two-wheelers.
Even in 2020 there are still enough copies with a battery on the back, which makes it seem as if you are on the road with a lunch box.
Brands such as VanMoof and QWIC prove that it can also be done differently in terms of design.
For those who want to take it one step further, there are the Fatwheel Vintage Cruiser and the Bigwheel Cruiser.
Of the two, the Fatwheel Vintage Cruiser is the most eye-catching, not least because of the 26-inch wheels and 4-inch tires that surround it.
But the frame is also striking, partly because it looks like a petrol tank is processed, just like a motorcycle.
The steering wheel also resembles that of a so-called chopper, or the bareest possible motorcycle.
Our test sample was provided with a matt green paint, with all metal parts in black.
Thus 'our' Fatwheel Vintage Cruiser looked even more like a real motorcycle than other copies.
The large headlight completes the picture.
The rather hefty battery pack is indeed mounted in a prominent place in the frame, but is not out of place in terms of design.
The battery is a 48V lithium-ion unit with a capacity of 12 Ah, with which you can count on support for up to 80 kilometers.
This pedal assistance is adjustable in nine positions, which is a bit too much of a good thing.
Even more so, the top gear does not quite match the speed of 25 kilometers per hour.
You are actually still pedaling too much.
The drive is provided by a 250W motor from Bafang, one of the major manufacturers of motors for electric bicycles together with Bosch.
The Fatwheel Cruiser (left) resembles a motorcycle. (Photo: NU.nl/Seren Aybas)
The Fatwheel Cruiser (left) resembles a motorcycle.
(Photo: NU.nl/Seren Aybas)
Pedal assistance too enthusiastic
The motor works in combination with a so-called paddle assistance sensor.
It seems that this person has to wake up every time.
You have to apply a lot of force to set the bike in motion, after which you suddenly get a good push that is not in proportion to the pedaling force.
That is not so nice if you have to maneuver, want to or turn the corner.
According to the Ankeveen-based importer and seller Don van Schijndel, it is a product characteristic, not something that can be circumvented.
Once up to speed, thanks to the sprung saddle and the shape of the handlebar, you sit like a princess.
The large tires also contribute to the comfort, although they are of course noisier than regular ones.
Despite their striking appearance, the tires are very common and easy to find, according to Van Schijndel.
You don't have to get them from China, where the bike comes from.
These eye-catching tires are available for purchase should the need arise. (NU.nl/Seren Aybas)
These eye-catching tires are available for purchase should the need arise.
Finishing at detail level a little less
You will not notice that it is a Chinese electric bicycle.
Only when you look at a detailed level, you notice that the finish lags behind that of a QWIC or VanMoof.
With a price of 2,199 euros, the Fatwheel Vintage Cruiser falls between the VanMoof S3 e-bike and the QWIC RD11 Speed (a speed pedelec).
It is quite conceivable that someone who falls for a VanMoof will hate a Fatwheel Vintage Cruiser and vice versa, so that they are not in each other's way.
The 36 kilo Fatwheel is in any case a less obvious alternative to the bus or tram than a VanMoof, which is more pleasant in the city thanks to the much better pedal assistance.
The comfort of the Fatwheel Vintage Cruiser makes it more comfortable over tram rails or other bumps.
Unfortunately, the battery is not removable, so you need a driveway, shed or spacious hall to charge.
Sitting position very pleasant, comfort is lacking
The other 'cruiser' is the Bigwheelcruiser battery scooter, that type of vehicle with two of those very thick, so-called tubeless tires.
Thanks to a 60V lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity of 20 Ah under the running board, you can travel between 60 and 70 kilometers.
A charging session lasts a maximum of seven hours.
The top speed of the battery scooter is 25 kilometers per hour.
Because you are lower than average, it seems as if you are going faster than you are actually on the road.
Thanks to the high handlebar, which is also 80 centimeters wide, you have a sitting position like on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
That is very comfortable, even on longer distances.
The Bigwheel Cruiser itself, despite hydraulic suspension front fork, is not.
Thanks to the hard tires, small bumps come through well and the specific size also takes a little getting used to.
In the end you get quite a bit of pleasure from the latter, once you know how the 59 kilo Bigwheel cruiser reacts.
What is also pleasant is that you can have the battery scooter finished to your own taste at an additional cost.
You can have the mudguards provided with a print and on the back there is room for a suitcase or even a complete golf bag.
The basic price is 1,945 euros;
a RDW inspection and registration are included in the price.
The version with a golf bag holder requires an additional investment of 250 euros.
The sitting position is comfortable, the ride is not. (Photo: NU.nl/Seren Aybas)
The sitting position is comfortable, the ride is not.
(Photo: NU.nl/Seren Aybas)