Ebike Tires Best Practices-Keep Your Wheels in Tip-Top Shape
November 6, 2020
Electric bikes have become an increasingly popular option for all kinds of people. Whether you're looking for a commuter ebike or something to ride leisurely, there’s an electric bike option for every type of rider. However, because of their mechanical nature, some may wonder how they can keep their electric bike in the best shape possible throughout the year.
Luckily, maintaining your bike is a lot easier than you might think, and it all starts with your tires. Keeping your ebike tires in tip-top condition will not only keep you from being stuck on the side of the road, but it can also help prevent an accident and prevent you from paying for expensive repairs in the future.
To learn more about how to keep your ebike tires in the best shape possible and provide you with fun rides all year round, continue reading below.
6 Ways to Keep Your EBikes Tires in Shape
While some bikers tend to stick to smooth, well-paved roads, others may prefer rough terrain. When it comes to caring for your ebike tire, it doesn't matter what kind of ride you prefer, make sure that your tires are good for any type of ride. However, regardless of the surface you prefer to ride your electric bike on, your tire can wear down over time just as they do on a vehicle.
While making sure your tires are properly inflated is one of the best ways to keep them in good condition, there are several other things that you can do to help. Let’s take a look at a few more ways you can maintain your tire.
1. Check Tire Pressure
As previously mentioned, making sure your ebike tire has adequate tire pressure is one of the most critical things you can do to keep your tire in the best condition possible. Proper tire pressure helps your bike to ride easily, smoothly and prevent a flat tire.
Too many electric bike riders go weeks without injecting more air into their tires. Although it seems obvious at first, not regularly putting air in your tires can cause serious harm. If you are a frequent cyclist, it is important to have the habit of pumping air into your tire every time you ride, or at least every week.
First of all, when the air is low, it could feel like the wheel is continually stuck to the ground, which is an inconvenience in itself. Additionally, riding on a tire with low tire pressure will damage the rims and make you have to buy new wheels much earlier than would otherwise have been necessary.
While the exact tire pressure will be different depending on your tire preference, most road tires require between 80 to 130 psi, while the tires on mountain bikes require approximately 25 to 35 psi and hybrid tires require 40 to 70 psi. Additionally, check the sidewall of the tire to see the manufacturer’s minimum and maximum psi recommendations to use as a guide.
One way to easily check whether your tire is inflated properly is to pinch the sides of the wheel. When doing so, your tire should feel solid to the touch. If you want to be on the safe side, you can also consider buying a pump with a gauge display that can tell you the exact amount of air in the tires.
2. Inspect Tires Regularly
A tire always leaks over time. While properly mounted tubeless tires and tires that use specific types of tubes leak much less than others, air leaks out of every tire, from as little as a few psi units a week to dramatic drops that result in a flat tire overnight. Additionally, the amount of air that is leaked increases with tire pressure and in response to external factors such as lower temperatures and climate.
One thing you can do to ensure each tire is always in prime condition is by checking the tire pressure before every ride. The main thing is to create a habit of daily check-ups and top-offs that work for you and stick to the habit. If you don't, your tire pressure is likely to be incorrect most of the time you ride.
3. adjust PSI for Your Style of Riding
Tire pressure is not something you can do once and forget about it forever. A high tire pressure means a low rolling resistance, which means that hard tires bend less on a smooth road and produce a much smaller contact patch. However, there is no trail that is completely smooth, which means you will need to experiment a bit to find the right psi not only for your bike but your style of riding, as well.
An over-inflated tire can have several impacts on a rider, such as loss of pace, change in traction, contact patch, grip, and riding comfort. Using an Aventon Ebike for example, on new pavement, each tire may have great traction and grip at 70 psi, but on a rough road, they might provide you with a faster rider at 60 psi. In wet weather, you may want to deflate each tire 10 psi less than normal for better traction and grip.
Additionally, if you're a mountain bike rider who prefers to ride on a trail, it’s also important to remember that while your bike rides smoothly and has better traction and grip on the road at 40 psi, the traction and grip could feel better during mountain rides with 30 psi.
One thing you must also be careful to prevent is to use your bike for a ride on which it is not intended. Your tire pressure should match the type of riding you plan on doing that day, as well as the type of bike. If you have a road bike, road ebikes are designed to be lighter and more aerodynamic for an easier grip on flat surfaces, which means the style of tire is not appropriate for use in rugged terrain.
Riding bikes too frequently on rough surfaces will cause damage to your wheels and rims and dent them if they go off a curb with low pressure. Another helpful tip for improving the life of each ebike tire is to get into the habit of physically inspecting them on a daily basis. One thing you should be checking for is to see whether or not the wheels run smoothly without sticking.
4. Don’t Over-inflate Your Ebike Tires
When it comes to tire pressure, as briefly mentioned, more isn't necessarily better. The general rule of thumb when inflating your tires is, almost always, never over-inflate. The maximum tire pressure displayed on the sidewall of your ebike tires is usually too high for the average rider and does not consider many of the variables that affect your tire pressure, such as rider size and style of terrain.
If you've recently switched to larger ebike tires or fat tires or you are about to embark on a ride on a rough road, you will want to be sure to lower your tire pressure. Although rolling resistance gets higher with lower tire pressure, rolling resistance increases only marginally, and the greatest variations in rolling resistance are not the tire pressure itself but the actual tire you're using.
5. Experiment with Different Tire Pressures
As you can tell, tire pressure is a pretty significant factor regarding maintaining each ebike tire. As mentioned, the tire pressure you choose will depend on different factors, such as your ebike tire and riding style. Figuring out the right tire pressure for your riding style could require some patience.
Experiment with the right tire pressure for you and your ebike by slightly deflating the front and rear tires. Then, go ride and take note of how you feel, as well as how your ebike feels. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to adjust the tire pressure accordingly.
As soon as the front wheel begins to feel the least bit squishy, add some more air. Discovering the ideal tire pressure gives you a relaxed ride and a feeling of confidence, regardless of the trail.
Additionally, always remember that the perfect tire pressure can change depending on the circumstances, the terrain, the weather as well as when you decide to change tire sizes or brands. However, once you discover the tire pressure that works best for you, write down the number to reference back to in the future.
6. Clean Tires Regularly
Another great thing that ebike riders can do to prolong tire use is to keep them clean. Whether you're a hard or casual rider, you're putting your bike through a lot of work. Like any other type of machinery that is responsible for a heavy workload, it needs to be cleaned every once in a while.
The regular cleaning of each tire will help you keep them in tip-top condition for miles and miles to come. All you need is a rag and a bucket of warm water. With the damp rag, remove all the dirt particles that have been sticking to the wheel. Then, go ahead and clean the rim of the wheel, as this will help you easily search for any rusty spots that might need to be lubricated. If mud is severely stuck in the spokes, you can also use a wire brush to help remove the dirt. When cleaning each ebike tire, be careful not to use devices such as hoses, as they can apply too much pressure, which can potentially harm the wheel bearings. Not to mention, the damage it can do to the electrical components of the ebike if you pressure wash.
Additional Tips to Maintain Your Ebike Tires
When riding, keep an eye out for other elements that can contribute to tire damage. Things like annoying thorns, broken glass, and scrap metal are all things that can damage a tire.
The consistency of your brakes plays a significant role in maintaining each tire. If possible, try not to skid on your tires when coming to an unexpected stop. By continuously stopping quickly, you will wear out your ebike tires much quicker than you should.
Lastly, if you are using a floor pump to inflate your tire, you could consider using a backup gauge to determine the psi. Some floor pump gauges measure the pressure at the gauge, which means they measure the pressure of the air inside the pump rather than the tire, and the accuracy of the gauge could be different.
How to Properly Store Ebike Tires
Another critical factor to remember when properly caring for your tire is to ensure they are stored properly. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to prevent each tire from degrading when in storage.
Main Causes of Tire Degradation
Whenever any tire is idle, and its components are not being used, the rubber slowly begins to oxidize and breaks down. As a result, it becomes rigid, brittle, and cracks. Additionally, several other things can contribute to tire degradation.
- Ultraviolet radiation exposure, whether directly or indirectly, can damage the tire of an ebike.
- Extreme temperature changes can also cause the rubber to expand when it's cold. Continuous expansion and contraction caused by excessively high or low temperature can be harmful to the structure of a tire.
- Ozone exposure is another element that breaks down rubber prematurely. It can come from a range of sources, including electrical discharge and UV radiation.
Prepare Your Ebike Tire for Storage
To get your ebike ready for storage, start by cleaning your tires to rid them of any grass, dirt, or gravel that is trapped. As previously mentioned, a great way to do this is by using a rag and a bucket of warm water. Additionally, while cleaning the tires, be sure also to inspect them for any excess wear, cracking, or other signs of harm.
Once you are done cleaning your tires, make sure that the tires are fully dry. Once your ebike tires are completely dry, you can then get them ready for storage. The most common method used to store ebike tires is to wrap each tire in an airtight plastic bag, such as a lawn or leaf bag, and closing it tightly with a strong, durable tape.
Determine the Best Storage Location
Next, once the tires are ready for storage, you now have to figure out where you will store them. Most experts and manufacturers suggest the same optimal storage conditions for any tire.
- No sunlight
- Low humidity
- Somewhere that is not prone to extreme heat or cold temperatures
Garages and attics are often possible but will largely depend on the climate where you live, as these areas can be subject to potentially problematic temperatures for your ebike tires. Additionally, if there are any windows or vents in these places, you might inadvertently expose them to UV rays as well.
Another common alternative is storing tires in the basement of your home, if possible. If you choose this option, make sure you keep your tires away from any ozone-emitting devices such as motors, generators, furnaces, switches, pumps, and hot pipes.
Here are a few more additional ways to consider storing your ebike when it’s not being used.
- Stacking - This involves placing bike tires flat on their side and separating them with pieces of cardboard.
- Hanging - This method involves ebike tires being hung by the rim and slightly inflated to help to reduce the amount of tension and preserve their shape while being stored.
- Re-Folding - Most experts claim that re-folding your tires at the end of the riding season is another method to consider using. To do this, simply remove the rubber from the wheel, fold the rubber, and tie a rubber band or zip tie around them. Now, all you need to do is figure out somewhere to store the rubber rather than the entire wheel itself.
One of the downsides to this method, however, is that some experts say that folding the rubber as such might lead to structural breakdown of the rubber, which will, in turn, cause the rubber to degrade even more over time. Because of this, this option might not be suitable if you are planning to store your ebike tires for extended periods of time.
Add Protectant to All Tires
Lastly, before storing your ebike tires for the long haul, they will first need some additional protectant to keep them safe while in storage. This is where you might want to consider purchasing some tire protectant to spray on your tires prior to placing them in storage. Protectants are especially great if you are planning to store your ebike tires for a considerable amount of time and might not be storing them in an ideal location.
However, before purchasing a protectant, it’s critical to make sure you understand what you are purchasing. Most experts and manufacturers suggest using protectants that do not use any hard chemicals.
Additional Storage Practices to Consider for Your Ebike
While your ebike is in storage, experts and manufacturers recommend that you briefly give your tires a spin once a week if you have the availability. Spinning your tires every other week is fine, too. The most important thing to remember is that by doing this, you are preventing components from being stuck or rusted in place and keeping things moving as they normally would be.
Additionally, while you are spinning your ebike tires, check to see if they are spinning straight. If you uncover anything odd, it might be time to get your bike professionally inspected and serviced. This can be done as little as once a year, but every now and then, it's worth spending the fees to ensure you get the absolute most out of your ebike.
Discover the Best ebikes with Aventon
Paying attention to the wear and tear of your tires is a must for all ebike riders. Following the above instructions would go a long way to helping you mitigate unnecessary harm to your wheels.
At Aventon, we believe that you should never underestimate the consistency of your tires when it comes to protection and efficiency. The reliability of your ebike is important to us here at Aventon, and we want to help you find the right one for you. If you need help choosing the right ebike for you this year, contact Aventon today to learn more about our amazing selection.