Tires may be one the most easily overlooked parts of a scooter, but if you want a perfect ride, tires' performance is absolutely vital. We can say that tires are as essential as the battery. Today we will share everything you need to know about tires, including common use mistakes in daily life, and how to prevent flat tires, etc.
Take 8 minutes to read this article, you’ll get to know more about tires and make your scooter accompany you longer. Without further ado, let's get started.
Pros & Cons of different types of tires
- Inner Tube Pneumatic Tires
- Tubeless Pneumatic Tires
- Solid Core Tires
- Honeycomb Tires
- Puncture By Sharp Objects
- Strong Impact
- Inappropriate Air-Pressure Applied
- Improper Installation Of The Tire
- Lack Of Tire Care
- Ride with proper tire pressure
- Add Tire Sealant
- Install Tire Liner
- Clean Regularly
- Replace Old Or Worn-out Tires
Pros & Cons of different types of tires
There are currently two types of tires on the market, namely pneumatic tires, and solid tires.
Pneumatic tires are the most common tires, and you can find them in most bicycles and cars. Since the shape of pneumatic tires will be adjusted with pressure, they can make the rider feel smoother.
There are two kinds of pneumatic tires, inner tube pneumatic tires and tubeless air-filled tires.
Inner Tube Pneumatic Tires
This is the most common type of pneumatic tire, including an outer tire and an inner tube. As you can see, the outer tube with tread is thicker than the inner tube and is used to protect the inner tube from wear. It means that it is detachable, the inner tube or tire is able to be replaced easily if you accidentally get a flat tire. People need to pump the inner tube with air and keep the air pressure within a proper range when in use. Meanwhile, if the air pressure is in a suitable range, the tire would have a better grip and can maintain better riding ability on most terrains.
Easy to maintain
Better at absorbing bumpy
Maintain tire pressure frequently
Be prone to flat
Tubeless Pneumatic Tires
There is a layer of sealant between the tire and rim to keep the tire in a sealed state. Tubeless tires can withstand the heavier weight and better puncture resistance. You will find them in most cars. Correspondingly, their cost is relatively high. Besides, if you encounter a puncture and need to change a tire, you may find it very difficult due to their excellent seal. You need to take your scooter to a professional repair shop for some scooters and let them use tools to remove the tires.
Better at absorbing bumpy
Better at puncture resistant
Hard to maintain
Be prone to flat
Solid Core Tires
In contrast to pneumatic tires, solid tires do not require to inflate or maintain the tire pressure. It means that they will not encounter the risk of punctures or flat tires, and it will be more durable. Correspondingly, the tires are heavier, and the scooter needs to spend more power to move forward. And you will feel less comfortable while riding. Solid tires cannot absorb road bumps as good as pneumatic tires does, which would make the rider feel very bumpy.
Not enough traction
Heavier net weight
In response to this above situation, tire manufacturers have also invented Honeycomb Tire, which is an improved version of solid tires. There are many air-through holes in the tire's ring, like a honeycomb, which can carry heavier weight and provide better shock absorption, and the tire weight will be lighter compared to traditional solid tires. It stands to a reason that it is more expensive than other tires.
More smooth than a solid tire
Not enough traction
What are the common causes of flat tires?
What kind of tire does your scooter have? Actually, whether it’s a solid tire or a pneumatic tire, daily maintenance is required! If you want the tires to keep a good condition and accompany you to travel for a longer time, then the following common mistakes need to be avoided.
Puncture By Sharp Objects
Flat tires of the most common reason being that sharp objects such as nails are pressed into the tire, causing punctures and air leakage. When riding, we need to avoid these sharp objects, such as glass, nails, wood, rocks, and so on.
The second common reason is strong impact. If you hit a hard rock or pass by rough terrain at a very fast speed, the air in the contact surface of the tire and the rock on the road will be squeezed very quickly in a very short time and it will flow in other directions quickly. Just like you squeeze the middle of an inflated balloon with your hand's finger, which can easily make the balloon explode. Similarly, the inner tube will burst due to the instantaneous increase in air pressure inside the tire.
Inappropriate Air-Pressure Applied
We should be noted that too low or too high air pressure is not good for tires. Too low air pressure will increase the tire contact area between the tire and the ground, and then the driving resistance will go up. Besides, it will accelerate the wear of the tire surface and reduce the lifetime of the tire. On the contrary, if the air pressure inside the tire is too high, the contact area will decrease, and the tire's grip will be reduced, especially when passing through the wet ground, the risk of slipping will greatly increase. If you drive on hot ground, it is easy to cause a puncture.
Improper Installation Of The Tire
People rarely notice this problem if there is no malfunction. When installing the tire, make sure that the tire's inner edge is intact and fits closely with the rim. In addition, the direction of rotation is marked on the side of each tire. Every time you change the tire, you must pay attention to the arrow of rotation of the tire. If it is installed reversely, it will affect the riding experience and the tire's service life.
Lack Of Tire Care
80% users will not do regular scooter maintenance on tires. At most, when the tires are already very dirty, they'll wipe the tires with a wet cloth or directly washing off the dirt on them with water (it's false). But this is far from enough. The lack of regular maintenance of the tires makes it easy to ignore the cracks and not realize that the tires' weak grip, which will cause you to encounter unexpected problems such as getting a flat tire during riding.
What can you do to prevent flat tires?
The above points are the common mistakes most users make. If you want our tires to perform well without problems during your scooting journey, what should you do?
Ride With Proper Tire Pressure
For pneumatic tires, the most important thing is to keep the tire pressure in an appropriate range. For most scooters, the recommended tire pressure is between 40-60psi. Take Varla off-road electric scooter as an example; the maximum air pressure displayed on the tire sidewall is 50, then the recommended tire pressure is between 35-45. If the weather is hot, you can slightly lower the air pressure inside the tires, and vice versa if the weather is cold. But in no case can it exceed 50psi.
Add Tire Sealant
If you encounter a flat tire, you can use tire sealant to repair the tire in many cases. Tire sealant can also be used as an excellent method to prevent puncture. Applying it to the surface of the tire can significantly reduce the probability of future flat tire.
Install Tire Liner
You can also consider tire liner, which can make your tires more puncture resistant. It should be noted that this liner is placed between the inner tube and the outer tube. It is easy to install and will give you high feedback! Small investment, big return.
The tire is the only medium for the scooter to contact the ground. When traveling on the scooter, the tires will inevitably become very dirty, or some debris will be on the tread. If you cannot clean up the wheel in time, the debris attached to the tire will aggravate the tire's wear. Therefore, we suggest that it's best to clean the tires once every two weeks and use Foaming wheel & tire cleaner for a deep cleaning every month and use Black tire shine aerosol to protect the tires to keep the rubber on the tires elastic and reduce the occurrence of cracks. If you are a beginner and don't know how to clean up the scooter, please refer to our previous blog: How to clean your electric scooter.
In addition, the riding style will significantly affect the service life of tires. Generally speaking, if you’ve already ridden for 1500-2000 miles in a city, it’s time to have a tire check and maybe a tire change. If you like to ride in rough terrain, and prefer high speeds and frequent braking, then it is estimated that the tires should be replaced once at a distance of up to 1000 miles. It will be great if you can reduce the times of sudden braking and try to choose a smooth road to ride, which can reduce the risk of a flat tire and extend the tire's service time.
Replace Old Or Worn-out Tires
Generally speaking, if one of the following three signals appears on the tire, you need to replace the tire.
First, when you find that the tread on the tire becomes flat, less than 1mm, or the worn area of the tire's side becomes more extensive, it means that the tire surface has been excessively worn, and the grip will be reduced. At this time, the tire needs to be replaced.
Second, when you see any cracks on the tire's surface, the tire's anti-puncture ability will be reduced, and it is easy to puncture when riding.
Third, when you see a crack in the tire and see the inner tube through this crack, you should immediately replace it.
Regardless of whether you have experienced a puncture, it’s necessary to understand the process of replacing the inner tube in advance. In this way, if you encounter problems some day, you will not be too confused. If you want the idea of changing from city tires to off-road tires, you can also do it yourself. It's not complex to replace the inner tube. As long as you prepare the following tools and follow our guide to operate, you can make it.
- An 18 mm end wrench or adjustable torque wrench
- An assembly tool
- A pump
- A stool about 30 cm high
Even if you don't have a durable tire on your scooter now, you can also replace them as needed. Anyway, we need to focus on the daily maintenance of tires. Our ultimate goal is to prolong the service life of tires and avoid flat tires as much as possible.
Save money, save time, and scoot safely.
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