Why Do E-bikes Get More Flats Than Motorcycles?

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
Great discussion here around the subject.
My point is, the bike should have come from the factory equipped with this type of tire.
Yeah, they probably should. My three Ebike purchases all came with substandard OEM tyres: some Kendra commuter things, Giant Gravel Crosscut 2s, and Kendra Regoliths. All three had punctures within a couple of weeks.

It's got to be a penny pinching exercise from the manufacturers, right? For light recreational riders - the vast majority of users maybe? - all of these tyres would do fine. I've transferred them to non powered bikes that don't get much use and they're been fine on those.

For more enthusiastic riders - we're all in that group, right? - you'll be riding a whole lot more kilometres and you may well be swapping tyres at some point anyway. The more into a pastime you are, the more likely you're going to roll your sleeves up and start customising things. So no point a manufacturer decking bikes out with niche, top of the line tyres when the vast majority of users won't want or need the protection, perhaps? As Stefan and Cowlitz pointed out we've all got unique puncture challenges: goatheads, broken glass in my case, perhaps unexploded ww2 ordinance in Stefan's?

On my commuter I'm happy with the Marathons but they do come at the expense of ride comfort and road feel - they're very dull, heavy tyres. I can live with that trade-off because I've spent precisely zero minutes on the side of the road changing flats and missed zero meetings at work. If you value weight, ride feel or rolling resistance above the motor cutoff you may be searching for a different trade-off.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
P.
Just come to Europe and you'll understand. Why would you need armoured tyres on European e-bike paths?

I swear: During two and half years of my e-biking adventure I had -- literally -- two flats. One occurred on a "forest freeway" made of quartzite. The other happened during a forest ride -- and the sealant had repaired the puncture.

The choice of tyre is personal. Manufacturers put decent (and lightweight) stock tyres on e-bikes. The rest is the user's choice, same as the selection of pedals, saddle or handlebar grips.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
You mean to say it's not a pastime of Polish youth to walk along mixed use pathways smashing bottles? Wait till I tell the kids round here the news their hobby is sooo 2010s!
It's not 🤣
Ever heard of beer cans?
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
@Mike TowpathTraveler : I feel your pain. Similar story here but I have multiple fatties and have had fantastic luck on this one that is tubeless with FlatOut inside. My rear tire took a 6-nail series of holes from nails still in their nail strip mounting. It was dicey, and I needed 4 refills on the way home, but I rode home. Supposedly good for a 1/2" size hole and I actually believe it. All of the little ones have sealed so fast, that sometimes I can't tell where they were.

But thats not why I'm making this post: If I were you and I was concerned about flatting, I'd consider changing tires. The Jumbo Jim is one of the lightest, if not the lightest, fat tire on the market. Its also tested to be one of the fastest rolling. Thats great but that thin 120 tpi casing - which is so great for riding - is not doing you any favors vs. road damage. I've found that low-tpi casings, which are engineered specifically to be tougher for - for example - downhill bikes, also work the same magic to improve durability and puncture resistance when you scale them up to fat size.

The 30 tpi Arisun Big Fatty 4.9 (its really a 4.3) is effectively a tank tread. Since thats a re-branded Chaoyang tire (which means uneven quality control) the best high quality tire I have found is the durable Surly Edna 4.3 (thats really a 4.3). Its tread looks a lot like the Jumbo Jim and its a fast roller. At 60 tpi its still a tough casing and the ones that came on my Big Fat Dummy wore so impressively I saved them when I did new wheels, and will put them back on when my uber-fat tires wear down (which will be soon cuz they are Vee's). The Surly Edna is made by Innova.

PXL_20210529_201451364.jpg
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
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!
The wider contact patch distributes the load over a greater surface area. Arguably this imparts a bit of flat protection. Just a bit though. I know of golf courses that will allow fat bikes on their courses as wheeled golf bag pullers because the tires do not dig into the ground the way even mtb tires do. they float over top of it.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
P.
Just come to Europe and you'll understand. Why would you need armoured tyres on European e-bike paths?

I swear: During two and half years of my e-biking adventure I had -- literally -- two flats. One occurred on a "forest freeway" made of quartzite. The other happened during a forest ride -- and the sealant had repaired the puncture.

The choice of tyre is personal. Manufacturers put decent (and lightweight) stock tyres on e-bikes. The rest is the user's choice, same as the selection of pedals, saddle or handlebar grips.

National parks cover only about 1 percent of the area of Poland but they are still full of rubbish discarded by tourists and visitors.

And since this report is from September 2021, I think it's safe to say that most of the tourists are European.
glass-130.4 kg/589 kg total trash from one park
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
P.
Just come to Europe and you'll understand. Why would you need armoured tyres on European e-bike paths?
Schwalbe is a German tire company. Their primary market is the EU. Everyone I know who recommended the Marathons to me lives there. They would laugh at reading this. Maybe its because they are not recreational riders and ride in cities. Flats happen everywhere. I haven't had one in a couple of years. That doesn't mean I won't have three next week.
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 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.

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?
No noticeable difference in range or handling. This is an ebike after all. Now, if I did it on my 19 lb analog road bike, with a magnesium alloy frame and 20C tires... bigger deal. Although when I was riding that bike as a commuter in the 1980's and 1990's I still used Avocet K20's, Tuffy and thornproof tubes. A blowout on a 125 psi tire is not something to experience if you can at all possibly avoid it, and I was not a racer.

However, if you put Tannus inside of any tire, it deadens the tire's responsiveness. Mostly noticeable when you bounce it up and down by hand before you put it back on. Once its on its no big deal. But again this is an ebike not a trials bike in a precision competition.

I tried Orange Seal Endurance and it was ok. Nothing earthshaking. Bood for small stuff. Bigger stuff not so much and I had to use the expando bullets and bacon strips. I never thought of the auto plugs. Thats a good idea. But since I have gone to FlatOut as a tubeless sealant I have never needed to break out the bacon strips again. Best thing about OS was when it dried up, it didn't create boogers like Stans does. It leaves an even, elastic film on the tire thats not difficult to remove and if you like just leave it on. But it does dry out.

On the brakes: No issues on Maguras at least.
 

Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
@m@Robertson--That is one impressive, purpose-built Surly fatty there you've got. I'm especially loving the spare tires carried on the back. I like it, alot.

The H-bike Full FatSix does not offer any room on the rear triangle for a fat tire beyond the 4.0 inch width, so that knocks out alot of nice, wider tires.

Good points about the 60tpi tire casings vs the 120's. And you are 100% spot on about the Schwalbe JJ being an excellent warm weather rolling tire due to it's flexible casing. That creates a good amount of tradeoffs. I'm pretty much done with tubeless for the time being. I really believe an increased eye and situational awareness these days when pedaling around these urban small towns has helped steer me away from debris that could have ruined my ride.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
@m@Robertson--That is one impressive, purpose-built Surly fatty there you've got. I'm especially loving the spare tires carried on the back. I like it, alot.
HAH! I was actually carrying home an entire spare wheelset. I had charged my LBS with the task of mounting those tires (Arisun Big Smoothys) with Tannus underneath (you can see it on the top of the pile in back, there) and they had no more luck than I did... the Surly MYOBD rims are nightmarishly tight for tire mounting. One of the benefits of cargo biking is you can carry stuff and the BFD with the wideloader platforms I fabricated into the existing frame receptacles makes it possible to go truly big on the hauling.

There's also a Apache Fattyslick in the mix. In case, you know, its an exceptionally rough ride and I need another spare.

PXL_20210529_201401465.jpg
 

K PierreR

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
@m@Robertson Matt, I am always searching for something better but range is still hugely important to me, even with 2,500 Whr of battery. I don't get many flats but I don't normally ride in areas to would give me a good oportunity for flats. The difference is power usage between a Maxxis Minion FBR, FBF 4.8 and the Jumbo Jim 4.8's was 5 Whr/mi and the bike feels so much lighter, even with a load. I also cannot stand a tire that self steer much and I run my tires in the mid to low teens on PSI, even on pavement. Tire pressure has a lot to do with how easy they flat. I got flats easily when I ran higher pressures without any decrease in Whr/mi.
You were in an earlier thread and convinced me to check out the flat out but the amount added increases the weight substantially. More than I was willing to go to when things are working now.
I would like to do the GDMBR or the Western Wildlands Route this summer or the summer after this and will likely beef up from the JJ's but range is a concern. The longest stretch without a plug-in on the GDMBR is from Atlantic City to Rawlins WY. A distance of 135 miles. I can't run much over 15 Whr/mi and make it, the rig is to heavy to ride in sand/gravel without some power. My "I don't give a sht" power usage is normally around 22-27 Whr/mi bikepacking. I probably cannot ride over 10 mph as my rig sits now.

My choices right now seem to be lose more weight, pack much lighter and build a lighter trailer for that trip. I hear what you are saying and I believe you but I don't seem to be able to match most people's number when I am on dirt tour.
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
Way OTT but just curious (and no judgement or criticism), what's the use case for fat tyres in these warmer conditions?
 

K PierreR

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Way OTT but just curious (and no judgement or criticism), what's the use case for fat tyres in these warmer conditions?
Big fat tires ride nicely and go over just about anything like sand There is a huge penalty for rolling resistance that is overcome by the electrics on the e bike making them attractive everywhere. Your only penalty is range but batteries will compensate for that on all but the longest rides.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Way OTT but just curious (and no judgement or criticism), what's the use case for fat tyres in these warmer conditions?
In my mind, it would be frequent use in sand.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The wider contact patch distributes the load over a greater surface area. Arguably this imparts a bit of flat protection. Just a bit though. I know of golf courses that will allow fat bikes on their courses as wheeled golf bag pullers because the tires do not dig into the ground the way even mtb tires do. they float over top of it.

i can see that helping for certain kinds of hazards - the ones that aren’t quite large or sharp enough to go through with a smaller force.

but if you have a single thorn in a 5’ wide path, a tire with a 1/4” contact patch has just a one in 240 chance of rolling over it. a one inch contact patch, four times as likely. the load per square inch is certainly less, but a sharp, hard thorn or piece of glass or nail is probably a binary situation. roll over it pointing up, you get a flat.

i don’t think we have plants with thorns around here. the only flat I’ve ever gotten is from an unknown cause on a city street, probably a piece of metal or something. but i ride skinny tires, tubeless, and the roads seem pretty smooth and clean to me.
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
Yeah okay, makes sense. They're exceptionally uncommon here in Australia - I guess because we just generally swim, walk, fish or 4wd on our beaches and our sandy deserts are remote and inhospitable. My 2.5" Minions roll fine through sand and are pretty hardy but probably not the sort of things you'd want to road ride with any distance. Though colleagues do commute with Assegais, Aggressors, Ikons and the like.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
National parks cover only about 1 percent of the area of Poland but they are still full of rubbish discarded by tourists and visitors.

And since this report is from September 2021, I think it's safe to say that most of the tourists are European.
glass-130.4 kg/589 kg total trash from one park
YIKES!!! And from the Polish Ministry of Education and Science.

"Littering is, unfortunately, a common phenomenon in Poland. And ecological awareness, unfortunately, is low. According to a 2020 CBOS study, only 25 percent of the local population is concerned about the state of the natural environment."



Ministerstwo Edukacji i Nauki


 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
I think Thomas Jaszewski deserves some pictures of Poland's roads. Internet is not a source of wisdom. I attest roads of Poland are surprisingly clean.
(If you quote the present Minister of Education and Science Tom, let it be known to you Mr. Czarnek is at a mental level of a KKK guy. He won the title of the Idiot of Year 2021).