Flat tires are the scourge of electric bike riders. If you ride an e-bike and feel you are getting more than your fair share of flat tires, don’t worry, you’re not alone, and there are several ways to help reduce punctures.
Have ever wondered why your electric bike gets more flat tires than your normal bike? Here are some answers:
Extra weight. E-bikes in general are usually 2-3X’s the weight of many road bikes, which means a lot of extra stress on your tires.
On e-bikes equipped with rear hub motors and rear rack-mounted batteries, rear tires are often overloaded and thus more susceptible to flats. Heavier hub motors can make bike wheels like lead weights, which are not as good at absorbing shocks as regular wheels, making flats more likely.
Most e-bikes are made in China with cheap rims, cheap tires, and cheap inner tubes. Upgrading your wheels, or at least your tires, can often help.
When riding your e-bike at high speeds you may feel impervious to the road, and pay less attention to road debris.
Your e-bike probably sees a lot more miles than your pedal bike leading to the increased chance of a flat.
Separately, flat tires can be an extra hassle on an e-bike versus a regular bike for these reasons:
E-bikes are heavy and harder to flip upside down, balance, etc. to change a flat.
E-bikes often contain external battery packs that may need to be unloaded before changing a flat.
When the tire on a hub motor wheel goes flat, it usually requires taking the entire wheel and motor assembly off the bike to fix, which often means carrying extra tools–or being stranded out on the road.
Here are some tips for people who ride hub motor bikes to prevent against hub motor wheel tire flats:
- Always ride with a rim tape.
- Inspect tires regularly and replace them when they are worn out.
- Run thorn resistant high quality inner tubes.
- Run thorn resistant high quality tires.
- Check your tire pressure regularly. This will help avoid flats and improve your efficiency.
- Consider adding Slime to your inner tubes or installing inner tubes made by Slime.
- Consider using tire liners, they are heavy but remember weight is not an issue with an electric bike.
- If your tires are chronically flat, consider running Bell No-Mor flats, or Serenity Hutchinson inner tubes, which is a solid rubber inner tube which will never go flat.
- Carry plenty of co2 cartridges, as well as a spare tube. These handy little canisters of compressed air can save the day when the worst happens and you need to replace an inner tube out on the road quickly and efficiently.