How do I fix a flat on this thing?

Smmrsvr

New Member
Region
USA
I have an Ecotric Starfish and am trying to fix a flat in the rear wheel, but I can’t even start as the bolts to pull out the wheel are not coming loose! All I managed so far was to damage the outer surface of both bolts, they seem really “bolted” to the casing.

Also, in the two videos I watch there were joints in the electric cable to unplug it before pulling out the wheel, but in my bike it is a continuing cable without a joint.

Any help is appreciated.
 
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Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I have nothing specific -- I'm not familiar with that bike at all -- do they have a website that might help? In general though, it sounds like you aren't using the right tool(s). A six-point socket (of the correct size) or a six-point box wrench will make it nearly impossible to damage the nuts or bolts. The nuts or bolts might be over torqued, but a proper wrench should be able to turn them with perhaps a bit of strength, or a cheater bar.

It's really hard to overstate the value of proper tools, i.e.: matching the tool to the job.

There almost has to be a way to unplug the cable somewhere close to the motor. Look a little more carefully.

It may be possible to fix your flat without removing the wheel, by just breaking the bead on the tire and pulling part of the tube out, patching it, and putting the tube back in and remounting the tire. Of course you need to look for and remove the cause of the flat, which may be in the tire somewhere. (Best to find that first and pull it from the outside, if possible, rather than running your fingers around inside the tire, risking a cut finger.) That will also greatly help in finding the damage to your tube.

If it's a small hole you might be able to "fix" it with nothing but Slime or a similar sealant. Just put the proper amount in the tube, reinflate, and ride a bit to spread the sealant. Slime is a wonderful prophylactic to prevent many flats in the first place.

TT
 
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Remove the cover plate on the left side under the battery. See if the connection is there. Getting a good non-adjustable wrench will help as mentioned above.
 

Smmrsvr

New Member
Region
USA
I have nothing specific -- I'm not familiar with that bike at all -- do they have a website that might help? In general though, it sounds like you aren't using the right tool(s). A six-point socket (of the correct size) or a six-point box wrench will make it nearly impossible to damage the nuts or bolts. The nuts or bolts might be over torqued, but a proper wrench should be able to turn them with perhaps a bit of strength, or a cheater bar.

It's really hard to overstate the value of proper tools, i.e.: matching the tool to the job.

There almost has to be a way to unplug the cable somewhere close to the motor. Look a little more carefully.

It may be possible to fix your flat without removing the wheel, by just breaking the bead on the tire and pulling part of the tube out, patching it, and putting the tube back in and remounting the tire. Of course you need to look for and remove the cause of the flat, which may be in the tire somewhere. (Best to find that first and pull it from the outside, if possible, rather than running your fingers around inside the tire, risking a cut finger.) That will also greatly help in finding the damage to your tube.

If it's a small hole you might be able to "fix" it with nothing but Slime or a similar sealant. Just put the proper amount in the tube, reinflate, and ride a bit to spread the sealant. Slime is a wonderful prophylactic to prevent many flats in the first place.

TT
Thanks much. I tried fixing without removing the wheel but found too many little holes, probably from broken glass on city streets. I’ll finish this weekend, pulling out the wheel with the right tool which I’ll buy, opening the controller side panel (as PedalUma and Ecotric’s costumer svc told me last night), cleaning the tire and maybe trying some Slime.
 
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
In my opinion, something like Stan's or a similar tubeless setup fluid is better than Slime. Slime is heavy and makes a big mess. Tire liners such as Mr. Tuffy or similar are a great idea too. You will need wide ones and then trim the length to avoid overlap. With liners, tubes need to be replaced about once each year. Plan ahead. Schedule. These liners will eventually dig into the tube causing failure. 90% of flats will be avoided this way. Hub drives are inherently prone to rear flats and rear spoke problems. Pinch flats going over a curb are common. The answer is to eventually move to a mid-drive setup on your next bike. Mid-drives can be attractive and fun. Here is one.
 

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Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
In my opinion, something like Stan's or a similar tubeless setup fluid is better than Slime. Slime is heavy and makes a big mess.
Of course it's possible to make a mess with Slime, and I've never used Stan's but I bet I could make a mess with it too. I've never had any trouble with Slime at all and I haven't had a flat in at least two years since I started using it. I'm not saying there's nothing better, because I just don't know. Slime has worked 100% for me without a mess. I have spilled a few drops, but it wipes right off and is water soluble.

TT
 

Scona

New Member
Region
Canada
In my opinion, something like Stan's or a similar tubeless setup fluid is better than Slime. Slime is heavy and makes a big mess. Tire liners such as Mr. Tuffy or similar are a great idea too. You will need wide ones and then trim the length to avoid overlap. With liners, tubes need to be replaced about once each year. Plan ahead. Schedule. These liners will eventually dig into the tube causing failure. 90% of flats will be avoided this way. Hub drives are inherently prone to rear flats and rear spoke problems. Pinch flats going over a curb are common. The answer is to eventually move to a mid-drive setup on your next bike. Mid-drives can be attractive and fun. Here is one.
Keeping enough air in your rear tire works just fine to prevent pinch flats. No slime
necessary.
 

Smmrsvr

New Member
Region
USA
Keeping enough air in your rear tire works just fine to prevent pinch flats. No slime
necessary.
Hmm that’s interesting. I was pumping weekly making to 60 psi (rec’d 45-65 psi) so if anything I was wondering—before seeing the multiple punctures — if I was overpumping it. But the city blocks I ride to work and back home are really nasty full of broken glass, I can’t steer clear of it.
 

Smmrsvr

New Member
Region
USA
In my opinion, something like Stan's or a similar tubeless setup fluid is better than Slime. Slime is heavy and makes a big mess. Tire liners such as Mr. Tuffy or similar are a great idea too. You will need wide ones and then trim the length to avoid overlap. With liners, tubes need to be replaced about once each year. Plan ahead. Schedule. These liners will eventually dig into the tube causing failure. 90% of flats will be avoided this way. Hub drives are inherently prone to rear flats and rear spoke problems. Pinch flats going over a curb are common. The answer is to eventually move to a mid-drive setup on your next bike. Mid-drives can be attractive and fun. Here is one.
Yeah I’m already looking into some more affordable mid-drives. This is my first electric and it offered a lot for the cost, so I figured it’d pay for its keep if it lasted half a year really. I’ve had issues with the brakes but I use them a lot and just assume they’ll need a tuneup every 3 months. The flat was more of a turn-off, as well as the cadence sensor lag, especially in some uphills. Oh, also at some point I noticed that one of the brakes doesn’t kill the motor when I use the throttle (all the time, esp. in my morning commute). There was a potentially dangerous incident once I stopped at an intersection and applied that brake at the same time that I stood up. The bike wanted to keep going and I had to fight with it up in the air in order to kill it. Got a bunch of bruises as a result. I haven’t been recommending it for people who ask.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Yeah I’m already looking into some more affordable mid-drives. This is my first electric and it offered a lot for the cost, so I figured it’d pay for its keep if it lasted half a year really. I’ve had issues with the brakes but I use them a lot and just assume they’ll need a tuneup every 3 months. The flat was more of a turn-off, as well as the cadence sensor lag, especially in some uphills. Oh, also at some point I noticed that one of the brakes doesn’t kill the motor when I use the throttle (all the time, esp. in my morning commute). There was a potentially dangerous incident once I stopped at an intersection and applied that brake at the same time that I stood up. The bike wanted to keep going and I had to fight with it up in the air in order to kill it. Got a bunch of bruises as a result. I haven’t been recommending it for people who ask.
You are on the right track. Throttle bikes require functional cutout levers. That is scary.
I recommend that you open the connector of that malfunctioning lever and photograph it. Look on eBay and Google images for a replacement. It is worth it. You cannot sell it in this current condition and it is a threat to your health and safety. It will not get better by itself.
My bikes do not need cutout levers and the throttle is regulated by pedal pressure, as with a car. Push to go. Again, pedal pressure, not cadence. Some of these bikes are coaster brake bikes. No brake levers of any kind are needed. This helps to clean up the build. Here is what one looks like. It has a front brake and a coaster brake. The second bike is electric and is a ten-speed.
 

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