Wondering why your electric bike seems a bit slower than usual? Perhaps it runs out of charge quicker than normal. Or cornering feels a little sluggish regardless of the speed.
It makes sense to start inspecting ebike tires. After all, they are the only components that touch the road. Tires take a ton of beating and slowly lose pressure due to osmosis. Stronger leaks can also occur due to reckless riding. Here is a deep dive into ebike tire pressure.
What Makes Correct eBike Tire Pressure Important?
Keeping within the recommended tire pressure will extend the life of your tires. It will also improve range and ebike safety.
Keep your tires at the proper tire pressure. This will allow them to maintain the correct level of grip on surfaces. You can measure tire pressure by calculating the total air pumped inside.
The unit for measuring tire pressure is usually PSI or BAR. The manufacturer of your ebike will specify the correct pressure for your electric bike tires.
Cyclists should make sure that the tire pressure is in the correct range. We recommend checking it every three weeks to ensure optimum tire pressure.
Consider replacement if your tires lose pressure to a significant degree.
What Happens if You Ride with Low Tire Pressure?
Riding on underinflated tires is a significant reason for tire failure. Not having enough pressure in your tires can also lead to many problems.
Underinflated tires are subject to more wear and tear. They also reduce the total range your ebike can cover on a single charge.
They maintain nonuniform contact with the tarmac. The tires also exhibit excessive wear on the outside and inside of the tread.
You are more likely to experience increased rolling resistance with the road. This translates into lower energy efficiency and getting tired very quickly.
Underinflated tires make handling the ebike more difficult. Your control over the electric bike in California will become difficult.
Your ability to turn corners safely and make evasive maneuvers will be affected. This can increase the likelihood of a collision or someone falling off the ebike.
What Happens if You Drive with Excessively High Tire Pressure?
The other spectrum is putting too much air in your tires. Doing so can be damaging and very costly. You will get a bouncy ride that affects handling.
The analogy of an overinflated tire is like an overfilled balloon filled to maximum capacity. Both are inflexible and incredibly stiff.
This makes the tires susceptible to damage from curbs, debris, and potholes. Plus, as the rider, you’ll feel every bump from the tarmac. This doesn’t make for a pleasant ride.
Overinflated tires will maintain a smaller contact area with the road. This can be just as risky, damaging, and expensive.
The smaller contact patch can lead to poor braking distances and loss of traction. This isn’t good if you are traveling at high speeds and want to brake.
It is also bad if you take your ebike off-roading. The lack of contact with the ground will make it excessively difficult to pedal. Not to mention the fact that your battery will drain at a faster rate.
Too much air pressure can distort the shape of the tire. This can spell an increased risk of a blowout.
So What Should be the Correct Tire Pressure?
It’s not always clear that air is escaping from your electric bike tires. However, it is common for air to escape at the rate of 2 psi/pm.
Typically, more air is lost in hot weather. You should check the tires more regularly when temperatures rise.
Consult the ebike manual for the recommended tire pressure. Your ebike manufacturer may provide a range of tire pressures for the front and rear tires.
Make sure to be aware of these guidelines at all times.
The front tire is usually kept at a lower pressure than the rear tire. This arrangement is essential when you carry heavy cargo on an electric bike in California.
The exact tire pressure depends on various factors. These include your weight, cargo, type of ebike, road surface, and your preferences.
The table below summarizes the different ranges of air pressure for tires.
|Type of Tire||Road Tires||Mountain Tires||Hybrid Tires|
|Pressure in PSI||80 to 120||25 to 40||45 to 75|
Pro tip: Inspect the tire’s sidewall to see the minimum and maximum PSI recommendations.
The following are a few factors to weigh before choosing the correct air pressure.
- Type and size of tire
- Type of surface (tarmac or off-roading)
- Weight of the rider and the cargo
The temperature has a direct influence on air pressure. Constantly accelerating and decelerating will result in friction. In turn, the friction will lead to heat buildup.
The temperature changes will affect the air pressure. The good news is that tires cool off very rapidly. However, this may not be the case when riding on a slope.
Here is a common-sense rule: adding more weight adds more pressure.
All things equal, heavier loads will need more PSI than lower loads. For perspective, someone weighing 200 lbs should have higher air pressure than someone weighing less.
Note that the relationship between weight and air pressure isn’t always linear. It would help if you experimented with what works best for you.
Note that the rear tires often carry more cargo than the front tires. So it would help if you made appropriate adjustments as necessary.
How Often Should I Tires?
Most riders wonder how often they should inflate their ebike tires. The answer depends on various factors.
Some riders pump their tires every few days. Others pump the tires once a week. Yet others do it even less frequently.
It is always a good idea to inspect the ebike tires regularly. Tire inspection is more important if you are planning a long commute.
How to Assess Electric Bike Tires
Tire care requires a thorough evaluation of your tires to identify potential problems. Here is a round-up of things to look at when assessing ebike tires.
Start by Testing Your Tires
The first step is to test your tires. Try to feel how the ebike rides and adjust the pressure accordingly.
Once you know the baseline tire pressure, you can add or remove air pressure accordingly. For example, you can remove 10psi in rainy conditions to improve traction.
Here are a few things to test:
- Ride bumpiness
- How the ride feels when going over bumps
- Grip when cornering
- The bend in the rims
- Overall comfort levels
You may adjust your tire pressure by three psi to tweak your ride.
Check Tire Pressure
Learn how to check tire pressure for safety reasons and keep them in working order. However, many riders go weeks without checking their tire pressure.
Checking the tire pressure is more important if you cycle more often. It is recommended to check tire pressure every week.
You can test tire pressure by feeling them with your hands. Pinch the sides of the wheels. The tires should feel solid to the touch.
Here are a few things you can do to test air pressure:
- Feel the tires: Press on the tires using your hands. Are the tires firm, or do they give in? It’s time to add more air if they feel soft.
- Visually inspect the tires. Do you see some flattening? If the answer is yes, they probably need more air.
- Load weight onto the ebike. If you see the tires sagging, you probably need to add air.
- Pay attention to how the ride feels. Is the ride feeling more bumpy than usual? Do you hear unusual noises when steering? Do you have difficulty steering? These signs are consistent with low tire pressure.
In any case, we recommend using a tire pressure gauge for more accurate data. Doing so will help you make informed decisions and stay safe.
There are three choices when it comes to measuring ebike tire pressure:
- Stick-type Pressure Gauges – Come with a rod that moves in and out to indicate air pressure.
- Dial Pressure Gauges – Provide numbers on a dial
- Digital Pressure Gauges – They display numbers on a digital screen
Types of eBike Pumps
There are two types of ebike pumps:
- Floor Pump
- Frame Fit Pumps
- Hand Pump
Floor pumps are very efficient and easy to use. They are often used with fat tire ebikes that require a lot of air.
Floor pumps can be cumbersome so you should not carry them on trips. They are the number one tool of choice among professionals.
They boast incredible air filling power. High-end models can go up to 220 psi. They can be used in heavier applications where smaller pumps cannot.
Most floor pumps also come with built-in gauges to make pressure readings easier. Floor pumps are by far the safest and fastest option.
Frame Fit Pumps
These pumps are ideal for riders who like to err on the side of caution. They are small enough to fit into the ebike without mounting hardware.
They have a large capacity and can go up to 160 psi. This allows them to fill high-pressure tires on road bikes with ease.
You can find frame fit pumps in various sizes. You can buy one based on the total frame size. Just make sure the product is compatible with your ebike before buying it.
Hand pumps offer a quick, temporary fix. They are a minimalist, lightweight, and budget-friendly option for riders.
The only problem is that they are complicated to use. It may take longer to fill up the tire. The good news is that you can carry them around with you.
Carrying hand pumps with you is strongly recommended if you’re planning long trips.
Read Electric Bike Front Wheel vs Rear Wheel
How Do I Take Care of my Electric Bike Tires
Looking after your tire will go a long way in boosting their longevity. Here are a few tips to follow:
Clean Dirty Tires
Getting dirty is part of the job description. It doesn’t mean you should leave your tires dirty. If your tire has accumulated layers upon layers of dirt – you’re probably not cleaning it.
Don’t worry, though; you won’t have to get your hands dirty. You can use water spray to clear out the dirt and debris.
You can protect your hands with latex gloves and go after persistent dirt particles. Once this is done, you can clean the rim of the ebike wheel.
Use Tires Based on the Right Terrain
Tires are designed for certain types of terrain. For example, road bikes cannot be used on off-roading trails.
Road tires will burst open the moment they touch the rock. Offroad trails have so many obstacles that road tires are bound to burst open.
You need a proper tire based on the texture of the surface. This may require buying multiple types of tires.
In any case, having multiple types of tires on hand will make your journey smoother.
Don’t Overload the eBike
Between the battery and the motor itself, an ebike is already very heavy. The last thing you want is overloading it with heavy cargo.
Overloading your ebike will increase the risk of a tire blowout. The risk is higher if you drive on incompatible terrain.
If the tires don’t give in, the ride will definitely feel uncomfortable.
Read Fat Tire Electric Bike vs Regular Tire
When is it Time to Replace eBike Tires?
The tire manufacturer should provide details about the lifespan of their product and duration. Once the tire has reached its lifespan, it should be replaced promptly.
New tires will have small bridges between the treads. However, a smooth surface indicates that the tire has been worn.
Your ebike manufacturer might provide free tire rotation. Even If they don’t, tire replacements are generally inexpensive.
In any case, don’t wait until your tires have blown out to replace them. And never install mismatched tires as they negatively impact your ride.
Mismatched tires will also increase the wear and tear on your ebike.
So there you have it, a low down on ebike tire pressures. We recommend buying tire pressure gauges and pumps. And Always stay within the manufacturer’s recommended range of air pressures.
Do you have any tips or information on ebike tires you want to share? Let us know about your options and we might update this space with new information!
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.