Every long-time electric scooter owner knows that inner tube tyres can be one hell of an experience to replace. Fortunately, this problem can be avoided when pneumatic electric scooter tyres are well-maintained.
How do I get punctures?
A pneumatic tyre is composed of an inner inflatable tube inside an outer tyre. The inner tube provides shock absorption and rebound. The outer tyre protects the inner tube and provides traction. A puncture can only happen if the inner tube is deflated. You can replace the inner tube and still use the tyre.
Different kinds of punctures:
- Penetration puncture – caused by foreign objects puncturing the inner tube, such as glass, nails, sharp stones, and debris.
- Pinch puncture – caused by impact from the road surface, such as potholes, bumps, and hard edges (corner or curb).
Nearly all electric scooter tyre flats are from pinch punctures, which are caused by poor tyre maintenance and careless riding habits.
The inner tube gets caught between the rim and the outer tyre when your electric scooter goes over a pothole, hits a curb, and whenever it takes the brunt impact of the road surface. This can lead to damages than can be as a small as pinprick hole to as critical as a centimetre gash. Penetration punctures rarely happen, because you’ll have to roll over a sharp object big enough to pierce the inner tube, and in such a way that it penetrates through the outer tyre.
How Do I Maintain my Electric Scooter Tyres?
Add a tire sealant or tire slime.
Pump the tire sealant or tire slime through the valve stem (same valve you use to inflate the tyre). The tire sealant sloshes around the inside of the outer tyre. When a hole appears, the fluid leaks into the hole and dries up, effectively plugging a leak. One bottle is enough for both front and rear tyres. Make sure not to leave your electric scooter too long though, because the tire sealant can dry up and you’ll have a bump on your tyre.
Inspect your electric scooter tyres after each ride. You can do most of these steps on your own without having to visit a shop:
Check tyre pressure
Insufficient tyre pressure prevents the inner tube from bouncing back. Make sure that you’re tyres are fully inflated. Use a standard bicycle pump with a gauge. Electric scooter tyres typically need 40 to 60 psi.
Check tyre condition.
Worn out tyres are easier to get punctured. They’re also more slippery on wet roads. It’s easy to check the external condition of the tyre – look at the condition of the thread. These are the grooves moulded into the tyre. Take a look if they’re shallow or worn out.
The inside surface of the outer tyre also needs to be checked for wear and tear. This is not easy to do, and it’s usually done in the shop as part of a tube change. If the outer tyre is already worn out, it’s wise to change your tyres already.
Check for foreign objects.
Foreign objects can get lodged into the groove of your tyre. Removing these debris prevents any pre-emptive punctures in the future.
Ride in a mindful and active way.
Using your body to respond to the ground reduces the impact on your electric scooter tyres. For instance, bending your knees slightly when going over a speed hump.
Using your electric scooter safely – such as using sensible paths, slowing down over bumps and not riding off curbs – also prevent accidents.
Keep in mind that pneumatic tyres do not substitute for suspension. Riding your electric scooter like an off-road machine is a sure way to get an accident.
These steps reduce your likelihood of getting a flat tyre. Whether you have the Xiaomi M365 – which are notorious for their hard to replace tyres – or not, due diligence can save you a lot of time and money.