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Electric scooter tyres have a big impact on your overall riding experience. When buying an electric scooter, it’s very important to know what to expect with the kind of tyres you’re getting. Electric scooter brands offer different tyre configurations, but overall, it really depends on the price range. What type of electric scooter should you look for and why?
Types of electric scooter tyres
Electric scooter tyres come in mainly two variants – solid and pneumatic tyres. Each of these tyres has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Solid tyres are exactly that, solid. They’re either filled with rubber or polyurethane foam. Electric scooters for off-roading come with knobby tyres, which uses knobs and tread locks to dig the dirt surface and propel the scooter.
Solid tyres are common in budget scooters at $300 and below. They’re also sometimes used in combination with pneumatic tyres as a rear-wheel on high-end electric scooters.
- zero maintenance
- does not get punctured
- consistent tyre pressure
- hard to replace
- poor traction on wet roads
- heavier than pneumatic tyres
Pneumatic tyres are also called air-filled tyres and there are two kinds: Inner tube and Tubeless. The inner tube tyre has an outer shell and a separate inflatable tube inside. The tubeless tyre is filled with pressurized air and forms a seal around the rim.
Inner-tube tyres are the most common electric scooter tyres. Meanwhile, tubeless tyres are uncommon and similar to what you find in automobiles.
- absorbs shock for a smoother ride on uneven road surfaces
- better grip than solid tyres
- tubeless tyres are heavy-duty and more wear-resistant
- inner tubes need to be refilled to maintain tyre pressure
- inner tube tyres are hard to replace depending on the design of the wheel
- tubeless tyres are heavy and hard to replace because of the size
The honeycomb tyre is designed to combine the main benefits of a solid and pneumatic tyre. It has a solid rubber tyre that cannot be punctured, while its air pockets serve as a cushion. It’s an uncommon type of tyre that isn’t widely adopted in electric scooters.
- cushioning effect
- more expensive
- less resistant than a solid tyre but more resistant than a pneumatic tyre
What Type of Electric Scooter Tyres Should I Look For?
Solid tyres are common in budget scooters at $300 and below. If you are travelling on exclusively flat surfaces and want zero maintenance, solid tyres are a good fit for you. However, they’re less comfortable and have a hard time going over obstacles.
Pneumatic tyres are the best option for commuters. Inner tube tyres can be found in most electric scooters regardless of the price range. Tubeless tyres are less common and can be seen in a few premium electric scooters. Inner tube tyres require some maintenance but they make the overall riding experience better. While there had been feedback on how difficult they are to change, it actually depends on the design of the wheel.
The only available scooter to date that uses honeycomb tyres is the Unagi Model One. However, you’ll need $1600 on this electric scooter, mainly because of its exotic building materials. It has features that are on par with the Xiaomi M365, which costs about $600.
The best set of tyres to get are 9-inch (or above) pneumatic tyres and/or dual suspension. If you are looking for a local electric scooter brand in Australia, the Mearth S Pro has 10-inch armoured inflatable tyres. Mearth Tech has free shipping to anywhere in the country.
There are a few models that mix tyre configurations. The Turbowheel Swift has a pneumatic front and solid rear tyres with drum brakes, but sadly the brand does not ship outside of US and Canada.
The tyres on your electric scooter can make or break your riding experience. When choosing an electric scooter, you need to factor in the pros and cons of the tyres, including the level of maintenance it needs. The perfect commuter electric scooter provides the right balance of features to deliver an overall great riding experience.