Electric Scooter Tires: A Technical Guide for Beginners
The performance of your electric scooter depends on its tires. The often overlooked detail of a scooter can turn your riding experience into a nightmare or a dream. In this guide, we will teach you all about electric scooter tires. What are they, what they do, different types-when you are done, you will become a resident expert on electric scooter tires. More importantly, your scooter will be equipped with perfect tires for you.
Let’s start by talking about what they do.
The importance of tires
Everyone understands the concept of tires, but few people understand the true importance of tires. Your tires are not only responsible for taking you from point A to point B, but also for every rock you pass in the middle, every obstacle you encounter, and your riding comfort.
If you put square tires on an electric scooter, you will begin to understand the importance of tires.
Tires provide the smoothest choice to help you glide on roads, sidewalks and trails. Tires can also help determine how many miles you can travel on a battery charge. They will determine the speed of your scooter and your ability to corner. The tires even play an important role in the speed at which you stop the scooter and the speed at which it accelerates.
Everything is on your tires-literally. From a physical point of view, improving tires can improve almost every aspect of riding an electric scooter.
The hidden benefits of the right tires
Choosing the right tire will give you the best results. Tires are designed for certain people, so they match certain lifestyles. For example, if you like to drive an electric scooter off-road or on a bumpy road, the wrong tire will make your body feel painful.
If you want to jump on your scooter, anyway, the wrong tire will get you into trouble.
The simple fact is that the right tires on an electric scooter are as important as choosing the right electric scooter in the first place. Sadly, some manufacturers do not consider the choice of tires when compiling the bill of materials, so it is up to consumers to choose the right tires. The good news for you is that tires are usually easy to change.
Honestly, changing tires can make your electric scooter feel completely different. Let us find out why and learn more about different types of tires.
First of all, you should know that you can find three different types of tires on electric scooters. You may find pneumatic tires, solid tires or honeycomb tires.
Each of these tires has its own advantages and disadvantages, and each tire is made for a specific type of rider. Let us now discuss each of these styles in more detail.
Overview: Comparison of tire types
Pneumatic-A pneumatic tire, similar to the tires you find on a bicycle or car.
Solid-solid rubber tires, more similar to skateboard wheels with treads.
Honeycomb-a semi-solid, airless rubber tire with holes drilled in it, found in some military vehicles.
Turboant X7 Pro front wheel hub motor
The Turboant X7 Pro uses 10-inch pneumatic tires to absorb road shocks.
Pneumatic tires are inflated. This may be the type of tire you are most familiar with. The same technology is also used in bicycle and car tires. If there is a valve stem somewhere, you will be able to know that the tire is inflated.
They either have a tube inside the tire or they can be tubeless. Either way, the tire will be filled with air and you are riding on an air cushion.
Inner tube tires use hard rubber on the outside to protect the inner tube. In order for this kind of pneumatic tire to burst, something must puncture the outer tube and inner tube. The good news is that if something does pierce both of these, it is easy to fix it.
Tubeless pneumatic tires have only fleshy outer tires. It is sealed with the rim, which is the style of pneumatic tires used on cars. They are heavier, more wear-resistant, and more difficult to pierce and flatten. Therefore, if flattening does occur, they are also more difficult to repair.
The selling point of pneumatic tires is their ability to drive on rough terrain and absorb shocks.
Better absorb shock
Easy to find
Tire pressure must be maintained
They lean towards apartments
Solid electric scooter tires
For convenience, Apollo Light uses 8.5-inch solid rear tires.
As you might guess from the name, solid tires are very strong. Some people also call them “airless” tires to distinguish them from the more common pneumatic tires. You may find that they consist entirely of hard rubber or a rubber shell filled with foam. Either way, it will be difficult for you to bend or deform these tires.
Since they are not filled with air or hollow, solid tires are much heavier than other options available for electric scooters. This leads to the main advantages and disadvantages of solid tires-they are unlikely to puncture, but they result in rougher and heavier rides.
When you take these off-road, there is a catch-22. You can ride without stress because they will not flatten out, but you will also experience a more uncomfortable ride. They simply cannot absorb uneven terrain like pneumatic tires, thanks to physics.
Can’t afford an apartment
Does not require much maintenance
A lot heavier
Not so much traction
Honeycomb tires on electric scooters
Hiboy Max uses honeycomb tires.
The last type of tire is honeycomb. This is a less traditional style, almost like a mixture of pneumatic tires and solid tires.
Essentially, they gave an engineer a solid tire and asked them to make the ride more cushioned. The result is a tire with a honeycomb pattern passing through the tire. Some options have more complex grids, but the overall theme is that these tires have hollowed out channels.
The airbag allows the tire to bend and deform, and the solid rubber eliminates the need for air. This tire is relatively new, so you can expect some major improvements in the coming years.
Some (more affordable) options for honeycomb tires seem to just drill holes in the length of the tire. From an engineering point of view, honeycomb is the ideal shape for this type of tire, but in fact you can use any type of through hole shape.
Honeycomb tires draw on the advantages and disadvantages of solid tires and pneumatic tires. They are harder to pierce, they add more cushioning, but they are still heavier than pneumatic tires and more expensive than either option.
More cushioning than solid tires
Unrefined design (as of today)
Inability to adjust tires
Which tire type is right for me?
If you want the best riding feeling and don’t care about certain maintenance, then pneumatic tires are perfect for you.
If you want a workhorse tire that is always available and don’t mind bumps, then choose solid tires.
If you can’t choose between the two, and you don’t mind paying a little more, choose Honeycomb.
Realistic tires with different tread patterns
Another variable in the tire selection process is the tire tread. For reference, this is the grip part of the tire. Look at the BMX bike next to the road cruiser bike and you will understand what a tread is.
In fact, the same idea applies to electric scooters, cars, and motorcycles. Tread is a universal idea that uses a little science to achieve your goals. A large number of treads means you have more grip and greater resistance to flat ground. More tread means higher ride.
Some off-road tires have different tread patterns. This will ultimately lead to better control, greater traction and a more refined riding experience.
Likewise, in thicker tires, more treads are usually found. You guessed it-thicker tires are heavier and more clumsy to ride. This means less mileage per charge and a more uncomfortable overall feeling.
What is the right tread for me?
If you are riding an electric scooter on an open road, you need to pedal as little as possible. This results in lower travel distances, more mileage per charge, and faster speeds.
For serious off-roading, you need a thick tread pattern. This gives you better grip and better handling on rough terrain.
Get the correct tire pressure
Electric scooter tires are pumped up
If you have pneumatic tires, you need to know more about tire pressure.
The unit of measurement of tire pressure is called PSI, which means pounds per square inch. More PSI in tires means they are filled with more pressurized air. But don’t get confused-a higher PSI does not mean more air or more cushioning in your tires, it just means that the air is working harder and exerting more force in the tires.
Using the correct PSI in your tires can prevent punctures and provide you with the best riding experience. Some people make mistakes that exceed the recommended PSI, but the result is harder riding and less control.
Your electric scooter manual will state the recommended PSI, or the tire itself will indicate the PSI to use.
Having the perfect PSI in your tires will bring the best traction, control, driving, mileage and speed. Sometimes tire pressure is as important as using the right tire when riding.
There is a lot of science about tire pressure and its importance.
For anyone who wants to increase the PSI of a tire, you are causing trouble. Too much tire pressure is considered “over-inflated” and it starts to look like Willy Wonka’s Violet.
An over-inflated electric scooter tire will not be able to properly connect to the road below it. The bottom of the tire will have a radius, and only the lowest part of the radius will touch the road.
For the best driving experience, you want the most contact between the tire and the road. Over-inflated tires will not give you this experience.
The problem of insufficient inflation
Under-inflated tires have the same problem. In this case, the radius will be inward, looking like the tire is sucked into itself.
Now, only the outer edge of the tire will touch the road. Remember that all the grip can be found along the center strip of the tire, so there will be no contact between the grip and the road.
If you have seen a car with camber wheels, you will know the problem of under-inflated tires. You won’t have any grip, your mileage will be affected, and the ride will feel sloppy.
What is the correct inflation
Example of correcting tire pressure for electric scooter
Examples of appropriate levels of inflation. The tires should yield a little to the ground-but not too much.
Appropriate swelling can be noticed by the naked eye. Place your scooter on a flat and level surface and look at your scooter from the front. The place where the bottom of the tire is in contact with the ground should be flat.
Obviously, this does not mean that you should have a flat tire, it just means that you should keep the tire in contact with the ground as much as possible.
If you find a convex or concave arc where the bottom of the tire is in contact with the ground, it means that your tire is not properly inflated.
How to determine the right tire pressure
If you cannot find the recommended tire pressure, you can still determine it yourself. This will be based on how you feel when riding a scooter.
Your tires should give you a minimum and maximum pressure (never exceed the maximum pressure!) Start at the minimum and ride around the block. Add another 5 PSI to the two tires, and then ride fast. After a few trips, you will know which tire pressure is right for you.
Tire size-does it matter?
Yes, there is another variable at work here-tire size. does it matter?
It definitely can. Tire size refers to the outer diameter of the tire. Most electric scooters have a diameter range of 6 to 10 inches, but there are several outliers at each end of the range. This is a fairly wide range, which is a good hint that tire size is important to the rider.
Bigger wheels allow you to ride higher, more comfortable, and faster. Smaller wheels are the opposite, but they allow you to better corners.
In this case, most people choose medium-sized tires to get the best tires from these two categories.
Larger tires usually increase the maximum load capacity of your electric scooter, while smaller tires will give you a more compact and lighter electric scooter experience.
Understanding tire wear
Just like cars, electric scooters will see tire wear during mileage.
Tires use their tread to grip the surface under them. In turn, the surface will apply friction to the tire and slowly remove the tread from the tire. Over time, the surface will work like sandpaper, and the result is that the tire has almost no remaining tread.
Tire wear is inevitable, which is why it belongs to the category of daily maintenance required for electric scooters.
If you apply the brakes very hard, often drive fast, and drive on a gripping road, your tires will wear faster.
The good news is that when the tire tread is too low, you can replace the tire.
Problems related to low treads
Use the digital tread depth tool to check low tread patterns
The low tread of electric scooters can cause many problems.
If you wear your tires too much, your tire tread will be very low. Many regions have laws about how low an electric scooter tire tread can be before it has legal consequences. In most cases, this limit is 1 mm.
Since low treads are very dangerous, you must replace them before reaching this legal limit.
Low-tread tires have poor grip, require longer braking distances, and have worse performance. This means that it is really unsafe to drive an electric scooter without enough tread.
In addition to safety and legal implications, you are also more likely to blow a tire. Since there is less protection around the air component of the tire, even a small puncture can flatten the tire.
Tips for tire maintenance
Now, let us introduce some tips on how to keep tires at their best performance. The most important thing you can do is to make sure to pay close attention to your air pressure. Maintaining the correct air pressure will optimize the life of the tire.
The next thing is to pay close attention to the appearance of the tread. You should have a general idea of the appearance of the new tire tread, so just compare it with your current situation. If you find that your tires have very thin treads, this is what we call “bald tires.”
When your tires start to be bald, it’s time to replace them.
If your tire is punctured or suddenly loses air pressure, you definitely don’t want to be dragged. Waiting too long to correct the problem may lead to a series of other problems, which is equivalent to more maintenance for you.
Finally, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. If there is an electric scooter shop nearby, they will be able to assess the damage and suggest a way forward.
Maintaining your tires will bring a smooth and reliable ride.
Now you are an expert in electric scooter tires. At this point, you should understand the importance of tires, the different types, sizes and treads of tires, know how to keep them inflated and understand how to maximize the life of the tires. This valuable information will enable you to ride with confidence.
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