Why Do E-bikes Get More Flats Than Motorcycles?

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Many valid points have been made in this thread and thanks for all the input. I should also add that I did change to Marathon Plus tires with thorn resistant tubes & Tannus Armour and have had no flats since. This is a modification I chose to make out of necessity. An e-bike is a cross between a bicycle and a motorcycle. Why are they shipped with OEM tires designed for a bicycle?

The subject of flats is discussed FAR less on motorcycle forums than it is here and on other e-bike forums. That in itself should be enough to indicate a problem.
Because ebike riders are a cross between cyclist and mobility scooter user?
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
The subject of flats is discussed FAR less on motorcycle forums than it is here and on other e-bike forums. That in itself should be enough to indicate a problem.

Returning to the ADV motorbike analogy , take a look at any thread where a new motorbike comes without tubeless compatible rims. Perhaps start with the moto guzzi v85 ? We've had at least 10 years enjoying mostly tubeless and EXPENSIVE radial motorbike tyres - my guzzi stelvio had rear tyres costing over $250 oz that I could destroy in 2 very enjoyable days. My sad little swm rs650 has old school tubed rims - so I get weeks out of $100 knobbies but carry the gear to change flats
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
An e-bike is a cross between a bicycle and a motorcycle. Why are they shipped with OEM tires designed for a bicycle?
My Speed Vado 5.0 was delivered with Electrak Armadillo 2.0. Guess why such a name.
 

Brew61

Member
Region
Canada
I don't think they make bike tires as good as they used to. Yes I am old so I do remember what they were like back in the 60's and 70's. I know that every kid back then had bikes and we rode them everywhere. We rode them through the bush trails through ditches and fields, gravel roads and anywhere else you could ride. We did not get a lot of flat tires.

Most of our flats came from skidding our tires down so far the tube would pop out. We also had to deal with a lot of broken glass back then because all pop came in glass bottles and they would be broken all over the place. But we still didn't get many flats. I just think that the tire companies are like every other company out there. They build the tires as cheap as they can to make more money. just look at some tires out there now. They come all folded up, you could never fold up a tire back then. They were a lot thicker and stronger then what you get now a days.

Bruce
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
I have alot of envy for the Schwalbe Marathon crowd, with their thornproof extra layer of protection. A premium 120tpi fatbike tire has no such protection; something I guess that is so because these tires are made to run anywhere from 30 psi down to single digits in snow and sand conditions. And for that to happen in low pressure, the side wall and the tread has to be pliable and flexible to match the terrain.

100_3469.JPG

You learn pretty quick what needs to be done in fixing a roadside flat: remove handlebar bag, LCD display; rear bag(s), put rear cassette gear in highest gear (smallest sprocket); shift front chain ring to granny gear, disconnect rear rack (not pictured here) from rear thru axle. Find a shady spot, preferably grass. Put towel under saddle to prevent wear of seat cushion. Watch for ticks....

100_3472 (1).JPG

Alot of grief over that little white dot, which turned out to be a quarter inch thorn I picked up on the shoulder of the road. An asphalt shoulder. And that tiny thorn also pierced the Mr Tuffy Liner that I was using on at this time. In my thousands of miles riding first a Specialized Fatboy, then this Haibike, those little white dots have been the cause for a lot of grief on my rides.

100_3752.JPG

March, 2019 and another 1/4 inch thorn did me in, I had enough. I went tubeless! Bought the flashing tape to tape up the underside of the rim. Bought the Orange Seal Sub Zero. Special tubeless tire valves. Bought the fancy, expensive Dyna Plug plugging kit, pictured above, along with extra plugs. The tubeless gunk inside the tire is supposed to take care of the tiny thorns (which they did). For larger holes, the Dyna Plug comes into play. But I found out in summer of that year that the Dyna Plug cannot fill a gash in the tire tread. Well, I made it work, stuffing all of the extra Dyna Plugs I carried with me, along with a 10 mph max speed that somehow got me home. The tubeless experiment went on until July of 2020 when another tire gash convinced me tubeless is not right for me. Tip of the day: When your tubeless tire explodes (yes, that happened to me, too), it's best to quickly wipe up ALL of the sealant on the bike, underside of the rack, saddle, all those small areas where dirt collects; that's where the sealant goes, too. And when it dries, it's a bear to get off. Ask me how I know this, too! :rolleyes:

100_4680.JPG

Tannus Armour was ramping up when I went all-in with their tire liner system. I was skeptical, especially after looking at the small tube they include with their fat tire liner system. But, it does work...

100_4809.JPG

October 2020 had another roadside flat repair as a 1/4 inch thorn pierced the rear tire, T/A and pricked the tube ever so slightly. As the tire was going flat, I remembered the Tannus boast of riding on the flat with that liner. Maybe so with a small 700c tire but certainly not with a fatbike tire. I did not want to risk bending the rims, so I just pulled over and went about patching the tube. These fat tires look cool and all. They move easily and roll very nice. But their profile presents over 75% of tire contact patch more than what the commuter crowd shows with their contact patch. The odds are so much greater to get flattened out. But you do build up those tire patching and fixing skills.

100_5786.JPG

That flat in October 2020 was the last flat I've gotten on the Haibike Full FatSix. I estimate some 5 thousand miles later on that rear tire, we come to this, a severely worn rear flat tire that was replaced with a new Schwalbe Jumbo Jim in December, 2021. That is a personal record for me and still am floored that actually happened.The trick to this longevity? What alot of you folks have figured out: staying mindful of the debris in the shoulders in which you ride in. Riding more on the white line when it is safe to do so. Taking care when riding off road to avoid dropped small tree branches, especially thorny locust trees. Not going off trail, where alot of thorny plants reside. And a ton of luck. Especially that!
 

Brew61

Member
Region
Canada
Can't remember e-bikes in those times. Or making 10,000 km a year on a bike.
Nope didn't have e-bikes back then. But their were a few older kids who managed to fabricate chain saw motors on theirs.

As for mileage, who knows we had nothing to track it. But the ones like myself, who had paper routes, soccer, baseball practice and went fishing on weekends as well as just exploring we did put a lot of miles on.
I still say our tires back then were a lot more durable then now.

Bruce
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I have alot of envy for the Schwalbe Marathon crowd, with their thornproof extra layer of protection. A premium 120tpi fatbike tire has no such protection; something I guess that is so because these tires are made to run anywhere from 30 psi down to single digits in snow and sand conditions. And for that to happen in low pressure, the side wall and the tread has to be pliable and flexible to match the terrain.


You learn pretty quick what needs to be done in fixing a roadside flat: remove handlebar bag, LCD display; rear bag(s), put rear cassette gear in highest gear (smallest sprocket); shift front chain ring to granny gear, disconnect rear rack (not pictured here) from rear thru axle. Find a shady spot, preferably grass. Put towel under saddle to prevent wear of seat cushion. Watch for ticks....


Alot of grief over that little white dot, which turned out to be a quarter inch thorn I picked up on the shoulder of the road. An asphalt shoulder. And that tiny thorn also pierced the Mr Tuffy Liner that I was using on at this time. In my thousands of miles riding first a Specialized Fatboy, then this Haibike, those little white dots have been the cause for a lot of grief on my rides.


March, 2019 and another 1/4 inch thorn did me in, I had enough. I went tubeless! Bought the flashing tape to tape up the underside of the rim. Bought the Orange Seal Sub Zero. Special tubeless tire valves. Bought the fancy, expensive Dyna Plug plugging kit, pictured above, along with extra plugs. The tubeless gunk inside the tire is supposed to take care of the tiny thorns (which they did). For larger holes, the Dyna Plug comes into play. But I found out in summer of that year that the Dyna Plug cannot fill a gash in the tire tread. Well, I made it work, stuffing all of the extra Dyna Plugs I carried with me, along with a 10 mph max speed that somehow got me home. The tubeless experiment went on until July of 2020 when another tire gash convinced me tubeless is not right for me. Tip of the day: When your tubeless tire explodes (yes, that happened to me, too), it's best to quickly wipe up ALL of the sealant on the bike, underside of the rack, saddle, all those small areas where dirt collects; that's where the sealant goes, too. And when it dries, it's a bear to get off. Ask me how I know this, too! :rolleyes:


Tannus Armour was ramping up when I went all-in with their tire liner system. I was skeptical, especially after looking at the small tube they include with their fat tire liner system. But, it does work...


October 2020 had another roadside flat repair as a 1/4 inch thorn pierced the rear tire, T/A and pricked the tube ever so slightly. As the tire was going flat, I remembered the Tannus boast of riding on the flat with that liner. Maybe so with a small 700c tire but certainly not with a fatbike tire. I did not want to risk bending the rims, so I just pulled over and went about patching the tube. These fat tires look cool and all. They move easily and roll very nice. But their profile presents over 75% of tire contact patch more than what the commuter crowd shows with their contact patch. The odds are so much greater to get flattened out. But you do build up those tire patching and fixing skills.


That flat in October 2020 was the last flat I've gotten on the Haibike Full FatSix. I estimate some 5 thousand miles later on that rear tire, we come to this, a severely worn rear flat tire that was replaced with a new Schwalbe Jumbo Jim in December, 2021. That is a personal record for me and still am floored that actually happened.The trick to this longevity? What alot of you folks have figured out: staying mindful of the debris in the shoulders in which you ride in. Riding more on the white line when it is safe to do so. Taking care when riding off road to avoid dropped small tree branches, especially thorny locust trees. Not going off trail, where alot of thorny plants reside. And a ton of luck. Especially that!

that sounds like quite a saga !! it does not really seem like a good idea to be rolling over unpaved countryside on a soft piece of rubber with a 2" wide contact patch and 100lb+ of load. i'm kind of surprised it works at all compared to the teeny little contact patch a fast road tire has on smooth asphalt, and people still get flats doing that!
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Schwalbe is the standards for alot of ebikes
Then you got maxxis, continental that are used by extreme riders in red bull rampage.
6,000 miles in a year on continental road tires (gatorskin hardshells and GP5000), no flats. knock wood.
 

K PierreR

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
A Multi answer post here
As far as riding a bike as a kid. I remember taking long rides that seemed to take all day and I remember the routes. It was only 20 miles for the longest route. Today that same amount of seeming time gets me 100 miles.

For those of you with all that flat protection and weight in the tires, how much does that increace the watts per mile in drag and handling of the bike?

I went from 160 mm rotors to 203 mm rotors and the difference in heat dissipation is substaintial

I run a light fat tire setup and Orange Seal sealant. I carry a home made tire plug kit consisting of regular automobile tubeless tire plugs plus some of those plugs cut lengthwise to make smaller diameter plugs. You would think that when the plug wears down flat and even with the tire that it would push through very easy but that is not the case. I have put as many as three automobile size plugs together to fix one hole the size of my finger and run the tires until replacement. When the tread gets low the tires flat easier. I had one set of Jumbo Jim's that looked like a porcupine with plugs. This system has yet to leave me pushing the bike in 25,000 Km.

The last thing is: I have never dumped a hydraulic brake equiped bike upside down. I would think that the chances of needing to bleed the brakes goes way up with the practice. Am I wrong?
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
I live in goathead country. Got a flat right away on my Radmini with the Kenda fat tires.

I have 3000 miles on my Gazelle. It came with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. So far, no flats. I ride all over the place, trails, gravel, pavement but I do avoid going off roads down at the Goathead elevation. There's a shortcut that is tempting but I think it was the source of my Kenda flat. I get thorns in my shoes when I walk it so I avoid riding a bike on it.

Still waiting for a video on how to change the rear tire on a Gazelle Arroyo Elite bike.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
You don't have to put "special" tires on a motorcycle to avoid flats, why is it necessary to do so on an e-bike?
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
It's an e-bike, I don't care about weight.
You'll only get a one track answer from aforementioned.

I think that you just have to stay away from entry level tires as in recent times they are being made cheaper and cheaper. A tire with built in flat protection should make a big difference. The tires I mentioned earlier have a cargo version (that I did not find necessary) that increase the flat protection from 3mm to 5mm at the expense of weight and maybe even a little ride quality.
Everything is a compromise
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
It's an e-bike, I don't care about weight.
You would if you had to install 11 lb per a wheel (not counting the wheel weight alone) :) If such huge tyres fit your e-bike.
So what is the motorcycle power in Watts? :D
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
You would if you had to install 11 lb per a wheel (not counting the wheel weight alone) :) If such huge tyres fit your e-bike.
So what is the motorcycle power in Watts? :D
I suppose weight is a factor for some but I carry 40 plus pounds of gear on most of my rides. A few extra # for a quality built flat resistant tire is well worth the trade off IMO.

I use flat resistant tires now and have had no problems since I switched. My point is, the bike should have come from the factory equipped with this type of tire.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
My point is, the bike should have come from the factory equipped with this type of tire.
And with the pedals, I assume :)
6z: The fact you people suffer frequent tyre punctures in North America (mostly because of the junk at the road shoulders and because of thorns) does not mean the rest of the world is the same...