How to Prevent Flat Tires on Electric Bikes

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove
Lol They would have been scratching like mofu’s! Never mind looking for a fight. The Scottish Thistle is the one that leaves a rash that drives you crazy even if you just brush past it! Standing on one would be enough to bring an army to it’s knees very easily. They are evil! They make a very nice cup of tea... I hear! The ones on the hedges, you could literally stab someone with them. Where do you live?
In the states .. Selinsgrove Pennsylvania... I have only visited Scotland a few times over the years but my ancestors came here from there and we have a few members from there. Check the maps and pictures thread for RabH. There are others too. Where do you ride?
 

shiruba

Member
btw I had like 3 flats in 2 years, so I decided just to go tubeless. Now I have had two punctures. The first one I only noticed because sealant started shooting out of my tire for about 30 seconds until it sealed. The second one ended up requiring a bacon strip, or else the tire would slowly lose pressire over a period of a few hours.

People say "Changing a tire is no big deal". In theory that's true, but if it's dark and cold, or raining, or there is no good place to stop, or you're already late, etc. - it's better just to not have that issue to begin with. going tubeless does seem to require you to add air to your tires more often, though.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
btw I had like 3 flats in 2 years, so I decided just to go tubeless. Now I have had two punctures. The first one I only noticed because sealant started shooting out of my tire for about 30 seconds until it sealed. The second one ended up requiring a bacon strip, or else the tire would slowly lose pressire over a period of a few hours.

People say "Changing a tire is no big deal". In theory that's true, but if it's dark and cold, or raining, or there is no good place to stop, or you're already late, etc. - it's better just to not have that issue to begin with. going tubeless does seem to require you to add air to your tires more often, though.
I use tubes with Slime and don't have to check pressure but maybe every 3 months. I had a flat, more of a blow out I never figured out, 2 years ago. This for both the wife and I. Please refresh my memory, as I seem to have forgotten any reason why I might want to go tubeless?
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I use tubes with Slime and don't have to check pressure but maybe every 3 months. I had a flat, more of a blow out I never figured out, 2 years ago. This for both the wife and I. Please refresh my memory, as I seem to have forgotten any reason why I might want to go tubeless?
There are reasons for tubeless tires that may make sense if you race or you're some kind of professional rider, I suppose. Tubeless tires can be lighter, and they can be easier to fix if you have a flat. Not necessarily easier though. On a 12 lb carbon frame $16,000 racer, you want to save the weight. On an electric bike, weight is rarely an issue, especially the tiny amount of weight the difference between tubed and tubeless would make. But I guess Tour de France type riders go tubeless so a lot of people think they should too.

As for getting flats, the big reason I've heard that tubeless tires have an alleged advantage is that they don't get flats because they use sealant. Well, guess what?! You can put sealant in tubed tires, and the tubeless advantage is gone. I really don't understand why so many tubeless advocates don't seem to get this. If you've paid attention you know I've asked this numerous times on the forum and never gotten a satisfactory answer.

Don't take this as any kind of scientific evidence, but I've had one flat in two and half years of riding my Rover, and that was before I added Slime to my tubes about two years ago.

TT
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
Just my $0.02.

The whole reason for tubeless tires was to let MTB riders run with low tire pressures (sometimes very low) without the risk of snakebite.

Everything else is just a very slight bonus.

In my experience there is little to no difference between running tubeless and running with tubes, especially if you are using good-quality tires with some kind of puncture protection and tubes with sealant in them. I'd go a little further and say that there is only a tiny difference between running tubes with sealant and those without, provided you run with those good-quality tires with puncture protection and replace those tires regularly and don't run them until there is no tread.

For my riding, I've noticed that the frequency of flats goes up dramatically after about 2000 miles of riding. So to be safe I replace the tires every 1500 miles. For some of you who don't ride chip seal and rough gravel roads that might well be excessive, but it has worked for me. I've also gone away from tubes with sealant, because I've found that (so far) replacing the tires frequently (this easily translates to 3-4 tire replacements a year) makes a far bigger difference than Slime (tm) tubes.

There are some substantial downsides to running with sealant, either in a tubeless setup or in tubes. So for me at least doing so isn't worth the trouble.

No matter how fancy the gear, you will get flats. So you need to be prepared and equipped to deal with them in the field. Given that most 10-year-olds can fix a flat bicycle tire, I don't consider it that tough for us grownups to do exactly the same.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
most 10-year-olds can fix a flat bicycle tire, I don't consider it that tough for us grownups to do exactly the same.
I was fixing flats before I was 10, so they don't intimidate me at all. I'm not special in that way, but never the less, there are a lot of fully-grown adults who are new to bikes, and ebikes in particular, whose idea of fixing a flat is to call a guy, or take their whole bike to him, or her. Not sure what that has to do with tubes vs tubeless, other than I hate that some of them will spend a lot of money converting their bikes to tubeless tires just because they think it might save them from the horrors of a flat tire.

TT
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
I was fixing flats before I was 10, so they don't intimidate me at all. I'm not special in that way, but never the less, there are a lot of fully-grown adults who are new to bikes, and ebikes in particular, whose idea of fixing a flat is to call a guy, or take their whole bike to him, or her. Not sure what that has to do with tubes vs tubeless, other than I hate that some of them will spend a lot of money converting their bikes to tubeless tires just because they think it might save them from the horrors of a flat tire.

TT
Another vote for tubes and slime. Weight is not a factor for my heavy over-powered ebike. Getting the back wheel off to patch a tube is a big factor I do not want to deal with any more than I absolutely have to. Especially given I run a special axle for hauling a trailer.
 

JES2020

Active Member
btw I had like 3 flats in 2 years, so I decided just to go tubeless. Now I have had two punctures. The first one I only noticed because sealant started shooting out of my tire for about 30 seconds until it sealed. The second one ended up requiring a bacon strip, or else the tire would slowly lose pressire over a period of a few hours.

People say "Changing a tire is no big deal". In theory that's true, but if it's dark and cold, or raining, or there is no good place to stop, or you're already late, etc. - it's better just to not have that issue to begin with. going tubeless does seem to require you to add air to your tires more often, though.
Yes , it's a known issue that tubeless tire slowly leak air.
Hey if it's a nice day and I'm in no rush ,I'll pull wheel and patch it,(Icarry all the tools needed) but like you say, if time or comfort is a factor I'll throw in this:
Screen Shot 2021-01-31 at 11.01.58 AM.png

and then use a co2 filler. Have not needed to do it yet, but I bet I can get it done in less the 3 min!


Screen Shot 2021-01-31 at 11.01.58 AM.png
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Nevada City, CA & Paradise Valley, AZ
I was fixing flats before I was 10, so they don't intimidate me at all. I'm not special in that way, but never the less, there are a lot of fully-grown adults who are new to bikes, and ebikes in particular, whose idea of fixing a flat is to call a guy, or take their whole bike to him, or her. Not sure what that has to do with tubes vs tubeless, other than I hate that some of them will spend a lot of money converting their bikes to tubeless tires just because they think it might save them from the horrors of a flat tire.

TT
...and flats still happen with tubeless setups. My sons run tubeless on their MTBs, but still carry flat kits that include spare tubes, a tire boot and a CO2 inflator 'cause stuff happens on the trail and it's a long walk back. They tell me it takes longer to install the new tube since all the punctures that the sealant plugged need to be checked for thorns, glass, etc to keep from puncturing the new tube!
 

bones774

Active Member
Another vote for tubes and slime. Weight is not a factor for my heavy over-powered ebike. Getting the back wheel off to patch a tube is a big factor I do not want to deal with any more than I absolutely have to. Especially given I run a special axle for hauling a trailer.
I'm still hunting for my first e-bike but have many years of regular bike experience. I used to be able to locate the tube puncture while wheel was still on bike and break bead, pull that section of tube out of tire, repair it, push it back in, pump up and ride off all in 15 minutes. Those were high pressure, 90 psi road tires. Is there anything on an ebike wheel to prevent doing that?
 

reed scott

Well-Known Member
The question of how much slime in a given tire arrises. My experience with 27.5 x 3 inch tires indicates the suggested amount on the bottle for a motorcycle tire is about right. 8 ounces did not seem to do the trick but then I only gave it one chance. Perhaps if I had been patient enough to air the tire up more than once and ridden it around to spread the fluid ... 8 oz would have worked. But I am not a patient man and 12 oz did the trick. 🤔
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
I'm still hunting for my first e-bike but have many years of regular bike experience. I used to be able to locate the tube puncture while wheel was still on bike and break bead, pull that section of tube out of tire, repair it, push it back in, pump up and ride off all in 15 minutes. Those were high pressure, 90 psi road tires. Is there anything on an ebike wheel to prevent doing that?
No.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I'm still hunting for my first e-bike but have many years of regular bike experience. I used to be able to locate the tube puncture while wheel was still on bike and break bead, pull that section of tube out of tire, repair it, push it back in, pump up and ride off all in 15 minutes. Those were high pressure, 90 psi road tires. Is there anything on an ebike wheel to prevent doing that?
No. Nothing to prevent that. I've done it on the rear tire on my Rover.

TT
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
Another vote for tubes and slime. Weight is not a factor for my heavy over-powered ebike. Getting the back wheel off to patch a tube is a big factor I do not want to deal with any more than I absolutely have to. Especially given I run a special axle for hauling a trailer.
As mentioned, you don't always have to take the wheel off to patch a tube. But even if you do, with an ebike and extra trailer paraphernalia, it's just maybe an extra wrench and a couple more minutes than with an analog bike tire..

TT
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
The question of how much slime in a given tire arrises. My experience with 27.5 x 3 inch tires indicates the suggested amount on the bottle for a motorcycle tire is about right. 8 ounces did not seem to do the trick but then I only gave it one chance. Perhaps if I had been patient enough to air the tire up more than once and ridden it around to spread the fluid ... 8 oz would have worked. But I am not a patient man and 12 oz did the trick. 🤔

Good point... interesting to note that 8oz is recommended for a dirt bike vs 9.9oz for a 27.5 x 3" offroad tire.

Here is the Slime calculator for future reference... hope this helps EBR members. Slime Calculator | Slime

1612116725360.png
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Worth mentioning every now and then. There are 2 kinds of Slime.
Slime for tubeless tires and Slime for tires with tubes. Pay attention when you buy!

TT
Another good point... there are actually 3 types of Slime now available. ;)
I use Red sealant on eBike tubes, Blue on eMTB tubeless, and Yellow on automotive.

Frequently Asked Questions | Slime

Slime offers specific tire sealant formulas to meet different needs. Please refer to this tire sealant comparison chart for a quick overview of which tire sealant you should use.
  • Emergency Tire Sealant (yellow label) is designed for use on-highway vehicles experiencing a flat tire emergency. It seals punctures up to ¼” instantly so you can quickly and safely get your vehicle back on the road and off to a tire repair station. Slime’s Emergency Tire Sealant is not a long-term solution. You should remove the formula within 3 days or 100 miles.
  • Prevent and Repair Tire Sealant (blue label) formula is for use on non-highway tubeless tires and can be pre-installed to prevent flat tires for 2 years on trailers, ATVs, mowers, tractors, wheelbarrows and much more!
  • Prevent and Repair Sealant for Tubes (red label) formula is designed to be used on tires with inner tubes (bicycles, scooters, strollers, etc.). Pre-install into your tubes to prevent flat tires for 2 years!

1612121090054.png
 
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rickGA

New Member
I was fixing flats before I was 10, so they don't intimidate me at all. I'm not special in that way, but never the less, there are a lot of fully-grown adults who are new to bikes, and ebikes in particular, whose idea of fixing a flat is to call a guy, or take their whole bike to him, or her. Not sure what that has to do with tubes vs tubeless, other than I hate that some of them will spend a lot of money converting their bikes to tubeless tires just because they think it might save them from the horrors of a flat tire.

TT
Yeah, I did too. But that was 55 years ago for me. And it was a huffy 'stingray' knock off that weighed about 25lbs, or less. No gears. I could flip that baby upside down in a second. Not going to do that with my 72lb fat tire ebike. Arthritis alone makes getting a bead broken a royal pain in the butt.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I did too. But that was 55 years ago for me. And it was a huffy 'stingray' knock off that weighed about 25lbs, or less. No gears. I could flip that baby upside down in a second. Not going to do that with my 72lb fat tire ebike. Arthritis alone makes getting a bead broken a royal pain in the butt.
Excellent point. I'll try to be more sensitive to that point of view when I talk about how easy it is to fix a flat. My mind always goes to the people who are totally intimidated by wrenches when I think of people who don't want to fix a flat. But of course there are other good and valid reasons, as you state.

I'm 71 and still doing well enough to manage this stuff, even with a ~70 lb bike. But yeah, 70 lbs is definitely a lot more than the bikes of my youth weighed!

TT