As an e-bike enthusiast, riding your beloved electric bikes through the mountains is the greatest joy in life. However, If you are a frequent e-bike cyclist, flat tires are inevitable. Flat tires are one of the most frustrating things when commuting and riding every day. As one of the most critical components of an e-bike for sale, the condition of the tire must be a major factor that affects the riding experience. A flat tire can be frustrating and even a potential safety hazard.
For cyclists, the flat tires of an e-bike are more annoying than a traditional bike. Electric bikes are heavier, so changing tires can be more of a hassle. Constantly changing bike tires or hauling your e-bike to the bike shop is ado and takes up commute time or your precious moments on the road. It’s also not fun to keep spending money on inner tubes and materials for tinkering with bike tubes. A flat tire on an electric bike can be a pain, but it can be prevented. Keep reading to learn how to prevent flat tires on your electric bike.
Before we discuss preventing tire flats, let’s quickly review what factors can cause tire flats in order to avoid them.
Why do flat tires occur in E-bike?
There may be four main reasons for flat tires:
- Pinch flat (or snakebite): When the tire and tube are sandwiched between the ground and the rim.
- Puncture: When sharp or pointed objects pierce the tire tread or sidewall and inner tube.
- Technical failure: When the valve leaks, the rubber of the tire or tube becomes brittle and starts to tear or the rim is damaged.
- Tire burping: On tubeless tires only, burping occurs when the tire bead is temporarily pulled off the rim, releasing air.
Rarely, but less pleasant is a double tire flat. One is pinch flat and the other was punctured by a sharp rock. Pinch flats and punctures are by far the most common in electric bikes. With the correct preparation and prevention, such cases are easy to avoid.
Specific Factors Affecting Tires Flat and Related Preventive Measures
Diverse brands and models of electric bike tires have disparate tire pressure ranges and requirements, and tire pressure determines the comfort of your riding. The first step should always be to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Tires have a preferred air pressure range in psi. You can usually check the recommended pressure on the tire sidewall which is how much you should inflate your tires. Any tire pressure below or above the given range is detrimental to the tire. As a general rule:
Road electric bike tires should be between 100 ~ 140 psi.
Mountain electric bike tires should be between 30 ~ 50 psi.
City and recreational electric bike tires should be between 60 ~ 80 psi.
Under-inflated tires are more likely to cause “pinching”, which happens when your tire compresses to the rim all along, causing it to look like a snakebite hole. Overinflating tires will also lead to a decrease in tire puncture resistance, which may easily cause a tire blowout.
How to check tire pressure? In general, you can roughly detect by squeezing with your hand, trying to squeeze the tire between your thumb and index finger. They should be solid, but not rock-hard, and you should feel a small amount of power that it gives back. This makes it possible to quickly check if tires need to be pumped. If you think that’s not accurate enough, you can opt for a pressure gauge that will read tire pressure accurately.
For safety reasons, you should consider purchasing a sealant. When sharp objects such as stones, glass, branches, etc. accidentally puncture the tire, the sealant inside will build up to block the puncture and reduce air leakage. This option is convenient because you can use it to fix existing flat tires, as well as avoid flat tires. If you’re a Magicycle owner, you better try it.
Sealant is also conducive to tubeless tires. Remember to check if it’s for tubeless or tube when buying. What’s the flaw of sealant? Sealant alone won’t prevent large cracks or cuts, and some can be messy to install.
Tire liners protect the side of the tube from its rim and tire. A tire liner is a thin strip of plastic that fits between the tire and the inner tube. This extra layer greatly reduces the risk of puncture from glass or other sharp objects. Liners are popular and work well, but they will add 6 ounces or more of tire weight, which significantly increases the rolling resistance of high-performance tires. However, if you live in an area with lots of road debris, the liner can be well-worth. If you’re going to use tire liners, choose a soft, pliable type of rubber, cheap tire liners may work failure.
Tubeless or Tube
What you need to know is that there are two types of tires: tube and tubeless. Many people strongly recommend tubeless tires, especially on mountain e-bikes. But they all have pros and cons. Tubeless tires have good heat dissipation and flexibility and require less air pressure to inflate, providing better shock absorption on rough terrain. The sealants used in tubeless tires also prevent minor punctures from flats, but they can’t overload or pull heavy objects, and the tires have very flimsy sides because they’re mostly not heavy-duty tires. Conversely, tires with tubes can handle heavy loads with ease. The inner tube can increase the air pressure to hold the heavier weight. At this point, we opted for tires with tubes to keep the weight “beast” and your cargo, and you can still try tire sealant for prevention.
Change and Maintain Tires Regularly
Worn tires are more likely to blow out, especially if the tread wears off from a long-time ride. When the pattern on the surface of tires becomes very light or even smooth, tires are dry rot or the threads are visible, you should consider replacing them with a new tire. Tires replacement is the best way to prevent flat tires from aging rubber. If you don’t notice any signs of wear, but you know you haven’t changed your tires in a while, you should still change your tires to maximize safety.
Check tires regularly for embedded glass, rock fragments, or other sharp objects, especially after riding on trails with lots of debris. Whether it’s a small piece of glass, a nail, a rock, or other objects. While these may not cause tire blowouts immediately, they can slowly seep into the tire and eventually cause a puncture. You can use your fingernails or gadgets to remove this debris before it causes any problems.
You’d better be prepared for the inevitable flat tires. Keep tire repair kits on your electric mountain bike all the way, so you can get a quick fix if needed.
Avoid Dangerous Roads
Some wear and tear of tires are inevitable. However, you can reduce the chance of a flat tire by being more careful while riding your bike.
When you are cycling on the road, try to avoid getting too close to the curbs and the waysides which are places where broken glasses and other debris tend to accumulate. These include broken glasses, nails, thorns, and so forth. Therefore, riding close to the center of the bike lane (when it’s safe) will help prevent some punctures, rather than riding near the sides. On the other hand, if you’re on a road where the car is going faster than your electric bike, to be on the safe side, move aside whenever necessary, but get back into the lane if possible. Avoid potholes and bumps as much as possible, as these will potentially puncture your tires.
Stay Away From Heat Sources
Due to the material of the tire, too high heat will cause the rubber to dissolve, then making it brittle and less elastic. If you’re not riding for a while, keep them out of direct sunlight, especially heaters.
Ebikes can make our lives easier, healthier, and more convenient. But at the same time, we are responsible for the safety of ourselves and others. This is the reason why we should always make sure that the tires of electric bikes for adults are safe when riding or before riding.
If you’re looking for an affordable and high-quality electric bike, Magicycle will have you covered! We have a collection of electric bikes to suit not only your needs but also your budget. Contact us today and see what you can get!