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There's an area in my state that has a good number of trails for mt biking, snow biking on large (4-in tire) fat bikes. I rented one at one time and it was fun in the snow. Many trails there are trails specifically non-motorized and non-e-bike.

I would consider getting a folding fatbike as most racks and carriers generally aren't made for a 4+ inch tire, but I notice all folding fat bikes I'm seeing online are electric? And at approx. $1000 usd even for a china direct folding electric.

Why aren't there non-electric snow bikes/mtn bikes commonly sold - is it because being slower fat bike tires, and being perhaps weightier with folding hardware than a common bicycle, they figure it will need some extra boost?

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    I feel like folding fat bikes on the market today are not made for serious off-road or winter use. Instead they have the fat tyres for comfort and safety on cobblestones, tram tracks or light gravel. Because of the increased weight and rolling resistance and the target market (pleasure rides and commutes) it makes sense to equip them with an electric motor.
    – Michael
    Oct 4 at 6:06
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    I think @Michael has it, but I'd go one step further: these bike makers are starting with the idea of making an electric folder, and equip it with fat tires as an inexpensive way to provide suspension.
    – Adam Rice
    Oct 4 at 15:54
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My assumption would be that the people who buy this kind of bikes are interested in casual cycling or commuting and not in technical riding.

As you wrote, folding bikes are heavier, very large tires cause a lot of resistance. Adding a motor alleviate those issues.

A folding bike is easy to store in an apartment and to carry in a small car (or a regular car alongside luggage). The fat tires are mostly there for comfort than grip - especially at low pressure, which can be better for comfort and compensate for small wheel size. And the rugged look follows a classical trend of designing products for hard conditions, but where the practical use will be very gentle.

For the price point you give, the motor would be in the hub, which is OK if the bike is used in flat areas at leasury pace, but not on real trails. I also doubt that that a folding electric bike at 1k$ will be very efficient on a trail. But in a park for a non-sporty tour, that can work. Durability would also be an issue.

As a side note: the etablished biking brands that are selling compact electric fat-bikes market them for city use. They have racks, fenders and optionally belt-drive, and often only the handlebar is foldable (Cube Compact Hydrid, Cube Fold Hybrid, Riese&Muller Tinker for example).

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Non-electric fat tire folding bikes are made.

Here's a fat tire folding bike that's not electric -

YOUMA Folding Snow Bike 4.0 24 Inches 26 Inches Fat Tire Folding Mountain Bike BMX Folding Bike Bicycle for Men's Bicicleta

enter image description here

Here's one on Amazon enter image description here

I don't in any way recommend either of these items

As far as why they are not commonly available.
Generally profit driven companies bring products to market that they think will sell in large enough numbers to justify the cost. The deciders haven't made this item commonly available yet.

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    Never trust a bike manufacturer that thinks their bike is a guitar :D
    – Andy P
    Oct 5 at 9:13
  • @AndyP what, where?
    – NoBugs
    Oct 17 at 5:46
  • @NoBugs Read the English text on the top image
    – Andy P
    Oct 18 at 7:46
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Non-electric snow or mountain bikes are certainly sold. They will under no circumstances (1) be foldable and will usually (2) be more expensive than US$1000.

A true snow bike does need fat tires (100+mm) because otherwise you will sink too much in soft snow. They are not commonly sold because barely anyone needs or wants one. Riding in soft snow is very hard work, and you need soft snow.

On the other hand normal mountain bikes (50mm tires suitable for snow) can do fine in somewhat compressed snow or when the snow is only a few centimeters deep. If you have a trail and just a few people rode it since the last proper snow fall (and recently), then a normal mountain bike will often do fine/ok.

(1) Assuming you want something that is not just labelled "mountain" or "snow" but is actually suitable for those purposes.

(2) Depending on what exactly you mean by "mountain" or "snow". You can certainly get a bike for less than US$1000 which can get you through snowy mountaineous areas. Just not on difficult trails with soft snow.

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