Why Do E-bikes Get More Flats Than Motorcycles?

Robspace1

Active Member
Region
USA
The quality of most stock ebike tires is bad. The first thing to do is throw them out, (or donate to someone) get a pair of puncture resistant lined tires, for about $100.00 a set, carry co2 and Slime, (which you may never need) and forget the flats. Been flat free for 2 years on Schwalbe Big Ben Plus and still have lots of tread left. Good luck.
 

Robspace1

Active Member
Region
USA
I don't know what ebike you got but. My schwalbe is made in Vietnam. Continental are made in Germany. Teravail in Japan. Maxxis Taiwan or Korea. Michelin. These are the brands I will replace my tyres with. When it's due.

Sizes are available for my ebikes.

No flats on my Johnny Watts so far.
I have the Ecotric Seagull. I changed it from mtb to cruiser with a bigger seat, seatpost suspension, raised, swept back handlebars, and new Schwalbe tires after the stupid stock tires kept going flat. I ride 30-40 miles out and don't need flats. These have been fantastic. The next set will be the Schwalbe Pickups.
 

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Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Selinsgrove Pennsylvania
No plants with thorns grow in Europe either.
I still can't figure out why they haven't changed the name to Utopia yet.
No mosquitos . No screens on windows. That still amazes me. I suppose that is because all the forests were logged and swamps drained a century or more ago.
But lots of other pests, some with four or six legs, some only two.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
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).
How do you distinguish?
...as so far as I can tell this can all be said for more than half the population.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
No mosquitos .
I beg to differ :) Mosquitos can be really pesky in Poland, especially in August. It really depends on how hard the winter before has been.
Yes, people do get flats in Poland. It is when a person is using lightweight & supple gravel tyres off-road. (Riding pavement in our country is basically worry free).

1644726241384.png

Field repair on a Polish winter gravel/off-road group ride. The tyre here is Maxxis Rambler. The repair here was very quick, especially as three men helped one another to pull the tyre back onto the rim (Saturday Feb 12th, 2022).
 

Robspace1

Active Member
Region
USA
I beg to differ :) Mosquitos can be really pesky in Poland, especially in August. It really depends on how hard the winter before has been.
Yes, people do get flats in Poland. It is when a person is using lightweight & supple gravel tyres off-road. (Riding pavement in our country is basically worry free).

View attachment 114193
Field repair on a Polish winter gravel/off-road group ride. The tyre here is Maxxis Rambler. The repair here was very quick, especially as three men helped one another to pull the tyre back onto the rim (Saturday Feb 12th, 2022).
While it's nice to see people work together, I would prefer not to not slow myself or the group down. Better to use flat resistant, lined tires and carry Slime for backup. Fixing flats takes time and can be done at home, not on the road, imo. I don't know, maybe it's a bonding thing for some people. Lol
 

m@Robertson

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.
Yeah, I think you are sort of in an edge case based on what you are saying here and what I have seen you post of your gear in the past. If you are out in remote country and range between power stations is critical, you are going to have to make compromises such that 'bulletproof' is not your primary concern. Thars just a reality for your kind of adventure riding. But for around town travel where I have a big battery and I even have an onboard charger in case of some unforeseen glitch ... its a non issue.

Agree totally on the pressure vs. puncture issue. Its just like a balloon. Blow it all the way up and then touch it with a pin. Or just one puff of air. You can stab that little balloon pretty hard, then. This is why I use oversized tubes. A 4.0 tube in 2.8 tires for instance. I want that tube distended as little as possible. Best I have found for fat tires is the Vee 5.05 tubes which are also reasonably thick in one of their versions.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
While it's nice to see people work together, I would prefer not to not slow myself or the group down. Better to use flat resistant, lined tires and carry Slime for backup. Fixing flats takes time and can be done at home, not on the road, imo. I don't know, maybe it's a bonding thing for some people. Lol
You seem to forget gravel cycling is a special thing, and that all these people ride unpowered. You need your gravel cycling gear to be as lightweight as possible, and given the lack of any suspension, a gravel bike is expected to run on lightweight & supple tyres.

There is yet another thing: The world of gravel cycling is known for its camaraderie. Only racing gravel cyclists leave their competitors behind. Given the fact ultramarathons are common in the discipline, gravel cyclists are prepared to make field repairs themselves.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
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.
Believe it or not, when running a 4.5" tire at 12 psi... maybe not. In sand I am down to 5 psi so for sure not then but thats a different world. I ride fat tires and 2" tires now but if I were to count lifetime miles I have waaaaay more on 700 x 20-23c, I don't think I see any difference with respect to frequency of flatting. I for sure prefer to run over a glass whisky bottleneck on a fat tire. Thats fixable to limp home. Hit that on a 23c tire pumped to 110 psi and its an explosion and tire and tube are irreparable... although back in the day I did bring along a spare tire and tube. You can roll up a 23c tire into a pretty small ball and fit it and that tube, along with levers and patch kit, under your seat. I used a full sized frame pump under the top tube, even after mini pumps came out. The alloy Zefal ones as they could be used as a club in a dog attack. The Silcas break after the first hit or two. :D
 

Robspace1

Active Member
Region
USA
The few ounces of extra tire weight will make no difference in the speed or performance of these bikes. The extra breakdown time can be avoided, and unless this extra work is strickly for male bonding, it makes no sense. Even an 8 oz. bottle of Slime will keep most bikes rolling rather than go through a complete tire change. It can be dangerous, on busy roads, and super hard to do on an ebike rear tire. But this forum is for Ebikes not roadies anyway.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
The few ounces of extra tire weight will make no difference in the speed or performance of these bikes. The extra breakdown time can be avoided, and unless this extra work is strickly for male bonding, it makes no sense. Even an 8 oz. bottle of Slime will keep most bikes rolling rather than go through a complete tire change. It can be dangerous, on busy roads, and super hard to do on an ebike rear tire. But this forum is for Ebikes not roadies anyway.
The rolling mass of wheels is vital. You do not ride with traditional gravel cyclists on group rides, do you.
 

Robspace1

Active Member
Region
USA
Yeah if you are serious about lowering your bike's weight by a meaningful amount, the best way to do that is to lay off the cheeseburgers.
Lol, funny stuff and really true. Our own bodies make a big difference in the performance, especially on those nasty long hills. I'm working on weight loss for that reason myself.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Lol, funny stuff and really true. Our own bodies make a big difference in the performance, especially on those nasty long hills. I'm working on weight loss for that reason myself.
The rolling mass of wheels is vital...

the thing is ... both of these statements are true. i don't think anyone here really cares about the few seconds or minutes saved on a ride by lighter tires. for most people, time is finite so going faster does enable longer rides and seeing more sights, and going fast is, of course, fun. that end can be achieved most measurably by losing weight, or by a motor and battery, or both... but since i'm doing this for fun, the "feel" of the activity is paramount to me. if it makes it more fun or satisfying, it's worth it. for me, that reduced rotating mass @Stefan Mikes refers to, along with a lightweight (for an ebike!) bike that soaks up the little bumps and vibrations of the road is just really fun. riding my 1.5kw two wheel drive electric scooter is fun too, but not in the same league, and not for 6 hours in a day :D

for riding on northern california's generally very good pavement, i've tried a couple things and find tubeless 32mm "slicks" at 45psi with a fairly light overall load by eBike standards provides a really nice ride, and infrequent (actually never, yet) flats. obviously the same would not be a good choice off road, in the snow, or the sand...
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Believe it or not, when running a 4.5" tire at 12 psi... maybe not. In sand I am down to 5 psi so for sure not then but thats a different world. I ride fat tires and 2" tires now but if I were to count lifetime miles I have waaaaay more on 700 x 20-23c, I don't think I see any difference with respect to frequency of flatting. I for sure prefer to run over a glass whisky bottleneck on a fat tire. Thats fixable to limp home. Hit that on a 23c tire pumped to 110 psi and its an explosion and tire and tube are irreparable... although back in the day I did bring along a spare tire and tube. You can roll up a 23c tire into a pretty small ball and fit it and that tube, along with levers and patch kit, under your seat. I used a full sized frame pump under the top tube, even after mini pumps came out. The alloy Zefal ones as they could be used as a club in a dog attack. The Silcas break after the first hit or two. :D

lol, you're not the first person i've heard rate the effectiveness of their repair kit as dog deterrent!!

i've actually never ridden on a bike with skinny tires at 100+ psi, i feel like i'd be afraid of the tires exploding the first time i hopped a curb! one thing i notice about my "utility" bike (which has 2" tubed tires) is that i'm not terribly mindful of what i'm riding over, which probably accounts for the flat i've gotten on it's rear wheel.

on my road eBike, i pay more attention to where i'm going and what i'm rolling over, because it's part of the fun to push the limits on the pavement, and would certainly never ride over a whisky bottleneck!
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
the thing is ... both of these statements are true. i don't think anyone here really cares about the few seconds or minutes saved on a ride by lighter tires. for most people, time is finite so going faster does enable longer rides and seeing more sights, and going fast is, of course, fun. that end can be achieved most measurably by losing weight, or by a motor and battery, or both... but since i'm doing this for fun, the "feel" of the activity is paramount to me. if it makes it more fun or satisfying, it's worth it. for me, that reduced rotating mass @Stefan Mikes refers to, along with a lightweight (for an ebike!) bike that soaks up the little bumps and vibrations of the road is just really fun. riding my 1.5kw two wheel drive electric scooter is fun too, but not in the same league, and not for 6 hours in a day :D
1644821216936.png

I don't think this competing gravel cyclist would use anything else than "kosher" tyres. She, and other members of the racing group completed a 100 km distance with average speed of 27.6 km/h (17.15 mph). "Kosher" also means riding clipped in, and the riding conditions were like those:

1644821929251.png


It would be silly if the bike/e-bike companies provided their products with armoured stock tyres, as tyres are consumables, and they are a personal choice of the rider. The brand equips a new bike with tyres appropriate for the purpose, and these tyres are not the most expensive ones, unless the bike in question belongs to the top-end category. It is the matter of a personal choice of the user to select proper tyres for the experience and needs.
 

Robspace1

Active Member
Region
USA
View attachment 114274
I don't think this competing gravel cyclist would use anything else than "kosher" tyres. She, and other members of the racing group completed a 100 km distance with average speed of 27.6 km/h (17.15 mph). "Kosher" also means riding clipped in, and the riding conditions were like those:

View attachment 114276


It would be silly if the bike/e-bike companies provided their products with armoured stock tyres, as tyres are consumables, and they are a personal choice of the rider. The brand equips a new bike with tyres appropriate for the purpose, and these tyres are not the most expensive ones, unless the bike in question belongs to the top-end category. It is the matter of a personal choice of the user to select proper tyres for the experience and needs.
It would make perfect sense for any Ebike company to sell bikes with the toughest tires available. Because flats on ebikes can be such a major job to repair on the road, especially the rear. This a bad place for companies to save money, by putting cheap, junk tires on a heavy, motorized vehicle. Maybe on a non motorized bike it's fine as most people can do their own roadside repair. Not the case with Ebikes. Once you get a few flats on the ebike rear tire and are miles away from any help, (and Slime fails), you begin to appreciate the slightly heavier puncture resistant alternatives. Been there done that! Getting Schwalbe tires has been the best $100.00 I ever spent. 2 years so far, no flats! It a no brainer.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
Some Pictures of Poland's Roads
Especially for @tomjasz

1644868263084.png

The Wilków Road, Kampinos National Park.

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A casual road, The Land of Łódź

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A "forest bike freeway", Bolimów Landscape Park.

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A casual road. Cracked asphalt, yes. Where is the road-side litter?

1644868607105.png

Don't you have an impression Polish roads are surprisingly clean?

1644868692109.png

Ya, that looks hard. Why should anyone catch a flat here? Help me understand. No thorns, no litter.

1644868793675.png

Road litter in Poland? Nah. :D


Tyres are like shoes. You can walk in slippers, sandals, trainers, or heavy boots. The tyre choice is personal for a rider. Bike manufacturers provide adequate stock tyres. Anything else is the rider's choice. Probably the most durable tyres are the solid ones (no air cavity whatsoever). I would not ride the latter.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
lol, you're not the first person i've heard rate the effectiveness of their repair kit as dog deterrent!!

i've actually never ridden on a bike with skinny tires at 100+ psi, i feel like i'd be afraid of the tires exploding the first time i hopped a curb! one thing i notice about my "utility" bike (which has 2" tubed tires) is that i'm not terribly mindful of what i'm riding over, which probably accounts for the flat i've gotten on it's rear wheel.

on my road eBike, i pay more attention to where i'm going and what i'm rolling over, because it's part of the fun to push the limits on the pavement, and would certainly never ride over a whisky bottleneck!
hah! curbs? Oh hell no! Although if I think back on it the technique was to go slooooow and lean back, take the front wheel down, then lean over the bars and pull up the rear with torque from the pedals. I also weighed about 135 lbs at the time. 6'0". 34 inseam so all legs.

That whiskey bottleneck is the ultimate nightmare, although the 6 roofing nails were a close second. I didn't need to patch the nail strip thanks to modern tire goo and an ebike-battery-powered compressor.