20x4 Tires

I’ve got 240 miles on my Lectric XP in the first 3 weeks and expect to be riding 70 to 90 miles a week. Most of that pavement but about 10% gravel. The stock tires are okay but I’m thinking of replacing them with something better on pavement. So, I’ve been searching and there’s not much out there at this size. Looks like the best option for a smoother ride would be the Kenda Kraze which is a 20x4.25 and needs different tubes. Another option is the Vee Speedster which is pricier but uses the 20x4 tube.

Anyone use these slick type tires on rock/gravel road? There are a couple knobby options with a fairly solid center tread but I expect they’d just wear down pretty quickly. It seems the best option there is the Vee Mission Command.

I’ve started a blog post for as a reference for myself and thought I’d share: http://beardystarstuff.net/2020/01/12/20x4-fat-tires/ .
 

BillH

Active Member
I'm using the Vee Mission Command on my Quietkat Bandit. They roll much better than the stock Kendas and quieter also. Not enough mileage on them to give wearage report. Seemed like the best all rounder.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
Packed gravel, the kind we see on rails-to-trails, I feel you can do that on a road bike unless its wet/loose and then the surface will swallow skinny tires. Anything past 2.3" seems to be OK for us. I have the Vee Speedsters 26 x 3.5 on my 26" fat bike. They roll great, but you're not taking them on dirt.

For my Ecotric 20" fat tire bike, similar to your Lectric XP, I put on 20X3" street tires with smaller tubes, looking for a smaller profile and easier rolling. I even tried 2.3" tires on the 3" rims, but I used 1.5" tubes and they popped off.
 

OrTrek

Member
I just got another front wheel assembly for my Radmini and put on the Kenda Kraze 20x4.25. The mini is used 50% on forest road/basic single track, 40% beach/sand and 10% pavement. It basically rides around in the back of my Jeep - I like this bike for what I use it for. The Kraze are basically "slicks" in the middle which is what I want in sand and they would be fine on pavement. In gravel nope IMO. That's when I change back to the knobbies.

They (Kraze) are wider than the 4" Kenda knobbies but have a lower profile.
 

Cal000

New Member
I just got another front wheel assembly for my Radmini and put on the Kenda Kraze 20x4.25. The mini is used 50% on forest road/basic single track, 40% beach/sand and 10% pavement. It basically rides around in the back of my Jeep - I like this bike for what I use it for. The Kraze are basically "slicks" in the middle which is what I want in sand and they would be fine on pavement. In gravel nope IMO. That's when I change back to the knobbies.

They (Kraze) are wider than the 4" Kenda knobbies but have a lower profile.
I am considering the craze tire. What is the height difference from the nobbies? Looking at the picture they look like they have a really low profile
 

OrTrek

Member
Cal000, yes they (the Kraze) do have a lower profile (not really a low profile but lower than the 4"ers), about an inch less (depending on air volume). But wider by a 1/4".

And yes BTfl, the Rad Runner tires should fit. Note that the new 2020 Mini's are now using the same 3.3" wide tires as the Rad Runner as opposed to the 4"/4.25"ers on the previous years. This 3.3" tire also still uses the 4" tube. It seems to be the same rim that was used on the previous Mini's, but you may want to confirm this with Rad. Now are the Rad rims the same as the XP's - ?.
 

OrTrek

Member
You know Cal000, in some ways I actually prefer the lower profile of Kraze for street/bikeway riding. IMO, the larger knobbies seem a little overboard for use on bikeways. The Kraze much less so - more of a "regular" bike look. I assume less "chatty" road noise as well.

For me I want/need the larger 4", at least on the back, for how I use the Mini. On streets and bikeways I use my little Haibike Radius Tour - which I REALLY like.

Hmmm, wonder how the 3.3" would look/perform :rolleyes:?
 
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Cal000

New Member
Has anyone used the sunlite xl's. Those are another option I'm looking at but the tread looks really shallow and wear is a concern
 

NBand

New Member
Has anyone used the sunlite xl's. Those are another option I'm looking at but the tread looks really shallow and wear is a concern
I’m bringing this thread back to life... I have the Ariel D-class, I would imagine fits the same tires ya’ll are talking about and I’m trying the Sunlite XLs today. I’ll let ya know how it goes. My concern at this point is if the tubes will work as this tire appears to be much lower profile.
 

NBand

New Member
I’m bringing this thread back to life... I have the Ariel D-class, I would imagine fits the same tires ya’ll are talking about and I’m trying the Sunlite XLs today. I’ll let ya know how it goes. My concern at this point is if the tubes will work as this tire appears to be much lower profile.
TLDR: if you’re going to use the Sunlite XL tire I suggest doing the tubes linked at the bottom of the post but they look nice!

Update: I got the new tires on, I had ordered two brands(mongoose & sunlite) tubes to compare and have at least one good back up and would suggest getting the sunlite tubes to go with the sunlite xl tires. I’m from the motorcycle world with tubeless tires so I’m not sure tolerances here but I put the sunlite in the rear and the oem in the front. The oem was marked “20x3.5-4” but looked entirely too large. The sunlite tube looked to fit perfect. I will order another sunlite in case this doesn’t last! What’s most odd to me is the mongoose tube is marked 20x4 and the sunlite 20x4.25 and the mongoose is substantially larger. The oem(Kenda) tube that’s marked 3.5-4 and is larger than the sunlite 4.25 also 🤷🏻‍♂️. Anyone that is smarter than me on this topic I’d love to understand this better. I really wish there were more standardized options for this wheel size but it seems there is a great level of variability. As far as the tire tread/life I think it’s going to wear nicely and be pretty puncture resistant. My bike came with Kenda Krusade sport tires and the knobs are thick rubber the rest is like inner tube thin. The sunlite xl tires are more of a scooter tire with the majority of the tread being 1/8”+ thick rubber. I did lose a little top speed in the process as the overall diameter is lowered by somewhere around 1”. Doesn’t sound like a lot but on a total diameter of 24” that’s over 4% difference and changes the gearing. To be fair my battery was pretty low and I took it for a very quick rip. I would anticipate losing about 1.5-2 mph at the end.

Below is a link to the tube I suggest with the sunlite xl tire:
Sunlite Standard Schrader Valve Tubes, 20 x 4-1/4" (Stingray) / 32mm Valve, Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003L9AC0U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_SCdvEbQRWPXXC
 

antboy

Active Member
I did lose a little top speed in the process as the overall diameter is lowered by somewhere around 1”. Doesn’t sound like a lot but on a total diameter of 24” that’s over 4% difference and changes the gearing. To be fair my battery was pretty low and I took it for a very quick rip. I would anticipate losing about 1.5-2 mph at the end.
Have you tried testing your actual speed (or distance) vs. what the display says? If your bike allows changing the wheel diameter, that might give you an accurate reflection of speed.

When I got my 20" x 4" Spark Mini, it was under-reporting the trip mileage by about 10%, compared to other recording methods (Strava, GPS, even manually mapping routes in Google after the fact). After a lot of "testing" (riding and recording the info) it seems that the 20" diameter, at least on my bike, was aimed at smaller (non-fat) tires.

In my case, I went from an almost 10% difference to about ~1% difference. :)

 

Cal000

New Member
How is the difference in the profile of the wheel is there as big a difference as you thought there would be