How to Prevent Flat Tires on Electric Bikes

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Pretty sure front flats are common, I have had my share. That being said the fronts are easier to fix than the rear especially if you have a hub on there.

BTW seems like you should be able to adjust the psi to get rid of some of the mushiness. I remember now, it was in the FAQ section of their website, (see link in my post with the pic.)under will they compress:

"The armour will compress some after it’s installed depending on the pressure of the tire. The higher the psi the more condensed the Armour will become. If you wish to keep the Armour as thick as possible then maintain a lower psi. You may also deflate your tire if you’re not going to be riding for a longer period. This allows the Armour to rebound back to its original size."
Yeah...I’ll probably install it up front too.
The psi was fine. The thicker the foam, the more protection for the tube.
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
Inflated it to 25 psi then took on a 16 miler where all went very well. I’m just wondering if I should bother installing one in the front tire as I’ve never had a front flat in my life! How many of you have had front flats?Thoughts?View attachment 86538

The only front flat that I can remember but I've had a few rear tire flats over the past year or two.

DSCF0743.JPG
 

penserv

Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary, AB
I've got over 300 km on my DIY bike now and I'm starting to get the fine tuning worked out. But this week I had my first flat tire. I got to the golf course and before I could ride home, I had to pump up the tire. I carry a little rechargeable pump, so no big deal. Put in 30 psi and took off. Coming home down a steep hill with a big tail wind, I hit 68 km/hr and actually scared myself enough to slow down. The next day the rear tire was totally flat. Now I know why people on this forum say it's better to get a flat on the front tire. It took me most of the day to get the wheel off and on. Fixing the flat was the easy part. It was just a very small pinhole leak near the valve, but not on a seam, so it must have either been a small puncture or a piece of sand or metal trapped between the Tannus armor insert and the tube. I took extra care to wipe down the tube and the insert with alcohol and make sure it was totally clean before reassembling the tire. After 50 km, it's still holding air, so I must have done it right.

The one big advantage of the Tannus inserts is that they allow you to get back to the shop when you get a minor flat. After seeing how long it took to repair in the shop, with access to all my tools, I'm not too sure I'd do quite as well on the side of the road, with my little emergency toolkit.
 

JES2020

Active Member
I've got over 300 km on my DIY bike now and I'm starting to get the fine tuning worked out. But this week I had my first flat tire. I got to the golf course and before I could ride home, I had to pump up the tire. I carry a little rechargeable pump, so no big deal. Put in 30 psi and took off. Coming home down a steep hill with a big tail wind, I hit 68 km/hr and actually scared myself enough to slow down. The next day the rear tire was totally flat. Now I know why people on this forum say it's better to get a flat on the front tire. It took me most of the day to get the wheel off and on. Fixing the flat was the easy part. It was just a very small pinhole leak near the valve, but not on a seam, so it must have either been a small puncture or a piece of sand or metal trapped between the Tannus armor insert and the tube. I took extra care to wipe down the tube and the insert with alcohol and make sure it was totally clean before reassembling the tire. After 50 km, it's still holding air, so I must have done it right.

The one big advantage of the Tannus inserts is that they allow you to get back to the shop when you get a minor flat. After seeing how long it took to repair in the shop, with access to all my tools, I'm not too sure I'd do quite as well on the side of the road, with my little emergency toolkit.
Yeah, I really like the ride flat option. I don't like the rolling resistance though, so I would probably keep the psi fairly high and just install on the rear due to the increased dificulty of changing that flat.
 

Kyle44

New Member
Region
Australia
Im my experience go with wider fat tires that are also tubeless. Will not prevent anything to 100% of course but reduces the risk a lot!
 

Ronny Trekker

New Member
Region
USA
That depends on you. For many they would rather go $25 on lunch-dinner or towards higher end tires and fix the flat in 10 minutes as it is a "fun" chore. Others, don't want to do it themselves. However it is a good skill to know when help is far away.
Get your point. It takes me like 2h to fix it, so $25 is great value for me :)
 

JES2020

Active Member
Im my experience go with wider fat tires that are also tubeless. Will not prevent anything to 100% of course but reduces the risk a lot!
Myself I don't like the rolling resistance of fat tires.
But I also don't care for the lack of traction on road tires as I often go off road, so the 2.5 " knobby at 60 PSI suits me fine.
I understand the fat tires give a cushier ride, which I do like, so I installed a good quality suspension tube and saddle, which helps a whole lot ! Especially on a rigid frame bike.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
Get your point. It takes me like 2h to fix it, so $25 is great value for me :)
Well, that's a long time to spend on a flat normally. Maybe you need more practice! But aside from the cost, how much time do you take not riding, taking your bike to the shop, and waiting for them to fix it?

TT
 

penserv

Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary, AB
Yeah, I really like the ride flat option. I don't like the rolling resistance though, so I would probably keep the psi fairly high and just install on the rear due to the increased dificulty of changing that flat.
I don't understand the preoccupation folks have with rolling resistance and if perhaps using the inserts will increase it. Isn't that why you put a motor on the bike? Sure, my E-bike has more rolling resistance with 29x2.3" tires than my road bike did with 700x25 tires, but so what. The E-bike is a lot more stable at speeds above 60 km/hr than the road bike ever was, due to the fatter tires and probably the inserts, which add to the stiffness of the tire. With the inserts, a flat tire doesn't leave you stranded on the side of the road, requiring an immediate repair.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
There is only one way to prevent flat tires on a bike and it is not very comfortable...solid non-pneumatic tires never go flat. Using pneumatic tires you can take steps to reduce but never eliminate flats.

If this is new to you, it is a good idea to practice removing both the front and rear wheel at home. Also practice removing a tire, patching a tube and putting it all back together so when it happens on the road, and it will go way faster and be far less frustrating. I can now fix most flats in 15 or 20 minutes. Flats never happen near a bike shop. If you can stop anywhere on the roadside and fix it yourself, that kind of self-reliance is priceless.

I have used Tannus Armour on my bikes for over a year now with one side wall flat that required the dollar bill trick. I recently changed out tires on one of my bikes and saw how compressed it became. I know they say to take the air out of your tires between rides so it can swell back closer to original thickness but, frankly doing that and having to refill my tires before each ride was too much of a bother. Also when you do that, the armour quickly gets compressed, increasing the interior volume and reducing the tire pressure during your ride.

I decided to us Tubolito MTB tubes which reduce the weight to less than half of butyl rubber tubes and increase puncture resistance substantially. they actually weight within a few grams of tubeless sealant used on tubeless setups. They are easy to patch and the S-tubo version are super lightweight and tiny in size so easy to carry in your tool kit. They hold their pressure for months. Finally the difference in rolling resistance and rotational weight makes for a faster bike that uses noticeably less battery power.

For me a one year experiment with Tannus Armour is over.
 

JES2020

Active Member
I don't understand the preoccupation folks have with rolling resistance and if perhaps using the inserts will increase it. Isn't that why you put a motor on the bike? Sure, my E-bike has more rolling resistance with 29x2.3" tires than my road bike did with 700x25 tires, but so what. The E-bike is a lot more stable at speeds above 60 km/hr than the road bike ever was, due to the fatter tires and probably the inserts, which add to the stiffness of the tire. With the inserts, a flat tire doesn't leave you stranded on the side of the road, requiring an immediate repair.
Well , for me it's not a " preoccupation", I only have one bike and use it for BOTH enjoyment AND exercise. I enjoy drifting downhill, no power, no pedaling and rolling resistance restricts that.
Plus, if you ever have a" power failure" have fun pedaling your heavy, high rolling resistance bike, home.
Also E bikes, like electric vehicles have what's called "range anxiety". That's why E cars ALL have extremely low rolling resistance tires.
Personally, I can get 80 miles per charge,and 31MPH, which decreases dramatically if my tire PSI is low.
So, for me, it's not about preoccupation, but efficiency, fun, and precaution.
 

JES2020

Active Member
There is only one way to prevent flat tires on a bike and it is not very comfortable...solid non-pneumatic tires never go flat. Using pneumatic tires you can take steps to reduce but never eliminate flats.

If this is new to you, it is a good idea to practice removing both the front and rear wheel at home. Also practice removing a tire, patching a tube and putting it all back together so when it happens on the road, and it will go way faster and be far less frustrating. I can now fix most flats in 15 or 20 minutes. Flats never happen near a bike shop. If you can stop anywhere on the roadside and fix it yourself, that kind of self-reliance is priceless.

I have used Tannus Armour on my bikes for over a year now with one side wall flat that required the dollar bill trick. I recently changed out tires on one of my bikes and saw how compressed it became. I know they say to take the air out of your tires between rides so it can swell back closer to original thickness but, frankly doing that and having to refill my tires before each ride was too much of a bother. Also when you do that, the armour quickly gets compressed, increasing the interior volume and reducing the tire pressure during your ride.

I decided to us Tubolito MTB tubes which reduce the weight to less than half of butyl rubber tubes and increase puncture resistance substantially. they actually weight within a few grams of tubeless sealant used on tubeless setups. They are easy to patch and the S-tubo version are super lightweight and tiny in size so easy to carry in your tool kit. They hold their pressure for months. Finally the difference in rolling resistance and rotational weight makes for a faster bike that uses noticeably less battery power.

For me a one year experiment with Tannus Armour is over.
I was wondering about the loss of effectiveness when the Amour is compressed. I have never actually felt the material, but have seen pics where nails and thorns have pierced into it.
So if you compress it, I assume you can poke a nail right through it?
Guess for now, I'll stick with my thorn buster inserts and Slime.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I am still in the middle of my Tannus experiments on several bikes. Installation ease ranges from 'easy' to 'nightmare' depending on the combination of tire size, rim width and tube. I have had no flats since installation but @Alaskan points out one of the two ways to eliminate flats. The other one is to never ride the bike. So a flat is in my future the only question is how far I can push the occurrence off.

The strategy for that has to be multi-pronged. Just before I started using Tannus, I also started using a sealant called FlatOut in their Sportsman formula. Think of it as Slime 2.0 for tubed tires. Its advertised as good for a 1/2" wide hole and the one time it came into play it sealed a hole from a horribly jagged/wide piece of metal. I queried the manufacturer about using it as a tubeless sealant and while they had no experience with it, they agreed there was no reason why it should not work. And it does so splendidly. Even more so after it sealed a catastrophic rollover of a strip - a strip! - of roofing nails. Stans or Orange Seal are great for thorns but they can't handle big holes. FlatOut pretty much can and its all I use for tubeless or tubed tires now.

Integral to those successes was the ability to put air back into the tire faster than it was coming out, as well as replacing what had been lost. I have done the Lezyne portable fat pump, which is a wonder but apparently no longer made. Also 25g co2 cartridges - of which a few are needed per individual reinflation on my Surly Big Fat Dummy's 26x4.8 tires. But the real star is the modern portable battery-powered air compressor, which lets you refill on the fly. I use a pump I connect to my ebike battery that connects to both Presta or Schraeder. Its a freaking miracle advance in tech on two wheels.

So on my tubed wheels, I use a tire with a belt if I can get one, Tannus underneath, a thorn-resistant tube under that and inside... FlatOut is the last, inner line of defense. Yeah thats heavy but I ride for utility and transportation for the most part. On the Surly, its just Vee Snowshoes, no tubes and FlatOut inside.

As for hand pumps, this one is equivalent to the Lezyne hi-volume pump linked above, which I also own, but has a better T handle
 

penserv

Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary, AB
I decided to us Tubolito MTB tubes which reduce the weight to less than half of butyl rubber tubes and increase puncture resistance substantially. they actually weight within a few grams of tubeless sealant used on tubeless setups. They are easy to patch and the S-tubo version are super lightweight and tiny in size so easy to carry in your tool kit. They hold their pressure for months. Finally the difference in rolling resistance and rotational weight makes for a faster bike that uses noticeably less battery power.
What pressure do you keep the tubolito's at? I can be convinced to change out the Tannus inserts if the tubes really are more resistant to punctures. I'd rather hear it from you than the Tubo folks.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
With 27.5 x 2.6 Johnny Watt tires by Schwalbe, on my R&M Delite Mountain I keep the tires at 34 back and 32 front. On my trek Allant with 27.5 x 2.4 Schwalbe Hurricanes at 36 back and 32 front. They are about 2 mph faster and get about 4-5 more miles per charge than when they had Tannus Armour on them. I am sure I will likely have a few more flats without the Armour, but they are really a bear to change tires with the Armour, like takes twice the time to do it and really hard to avoid pinching and ruining a tube when doing so. They definitely helped reduce flats but the price paid was too high for me. YMMV
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
I'll never buy Tannus Armour again but I am tempted to try one of their airless tires. They are out of stock now but when they are available in 700x40c I might buy one for my Schwinn Tongsheng conversion bike 19mm inner rim width wheels. So far I have had good luck with Schwalbe Marathon tires and regular tubes though. Not so much with Continental Gatorskins or Schwalbe G-one tires.

Anyone here have first hand experience with the Tannus airless tires?
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
I first read of these on this forum (had to google turbolito ). My LBS still doesn't seem to know about them . Seems expensive for a tube but really a good deal compared to taking it to a shop for days to fix flats or fighting the armor liners.
 

JES2020

Active Member
I am still in the middle of my Tannus experiments on several bikes. Installation ease ranges from 'easy' to 'nightmare' depending on the combination of tire size, rim width and tube. I have had no flats since installation but @Alaskan points out one of the two ways to eliminate flats. The other one is to never ride the bike. So a flat is in my future the only question is how far I can push the occurrence off.

The strategy for that has to be multi-pronged. Just before I started using Tannus, I also started using a sealant called FlatOut in their Sportsman formula. Think of it as Slime 2.0 for tubed tires. Its advertised as good for a 1/2" wide hole and the one time it came into play it sealed a hole from a horribly jagged/wide piece of metal. I queried the manufacturer about using it as a tubeless sealant and while they had no experience with it, they agreed there was no reason why it should not work. And it does so splendidly. Even more so after it sealed a catastrophic rollover of a strip - a strip! - of roofing nails. Stans or Orange Seal are great for thorns but they can't handle big holes. FlatOut pretty much can and its all I use for tubeless or tubed tires now.

Integral to those successes was the ability to put air back into the tire faster than it was coming out, as well as replacing what had been lost. I have done the Lezyne portable fat pump, which is a wonder but apparently no longer made. Also 25g co2 cartridges - of which a few are needed per individual reinflation on my Surly Big Fat Dummy's 26x4.8 tires. But the real star is the modern portable battery-powered air compressor, which lets you refill on the fly. I use a pump I connect to my ebike battery that connects to both Presta or Schraeder. Its a freaking miracle advance in tech on two wheels.

So on my tubed wheels, I use a tire with a belt if I can get one, Tannus underneath, a thorn-resistant tube under that and inside... FlatOut is the last, inner line of defense. Yeah thats heavy but I ride for utility and transportation for the most part. On the Surly, its just Vee Snowshoes, no tubes and FlatOut inside.

As for hand pumps, this one is equivalent to the Lezyne hi-volume pump linked above, which I also own, but has a better T handle
Do you have a link to the battery powered, ebike, portable pump?