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Nothing can put a damper on your day quite like getting a flat tyre. As annoying as these can be, flat tyres are inevitable on an electric scooter, especially when riding over rough terrain.
This is also true if your electric scooter comes with pneumatic tyres (or air-filled tyres) and not tubeless (or airless tyres). But punctures don’t necessarily need to be the bane of your existence. All it takes is maintaining the condition of the tyres of your e scooter to prevent flats.
Proper maintenance of your scooter tyres will also ensure that they remain in mint condition for as long as they possibly can.
How common are flat tyres in electric scooters?
While it’s not unheard of for electric scooters to get to a flat tyre every once in a while, you may be wondering how often you could potentially experience a puncture.
First off, you are most likely to experience a flat tyre if your electric scooter has air-filled tyres (or tyres with an inner tube), as these types of scooter tyres can get pierced more easily. Additionally, you could experience flat tyres more often if you habitually ride over rough terrains where the conditions are less than ideal.
Conversely, you aren’t likely to experience a puncture if your scooter has tubeless (or airless) tyres simply because tyres are as solid and as impenetrable as can be. Also, experiencing punctures in an electric scooter designed specifically for off-road riding is not a high probability because it is designed for this very purpose and usually has wider, thicker tyres with more grip and resistance than ordinary tyres.
Realistically speaking, though, you could experience a flat tyre twice a year or so, potentially more, if you don’t take the necessary steps to prevent flats.
Causes of Tyre Punctures in Electric Scooters
There is a greater chance of getting a flat or punctured tyre on your electric scooter when you encounter particularly abrasive road debris or sharp objects lying about the road that can pierce the tyre easily. Such encounters will usually lead to a penetration puncture; this is where the air-filled tyre is pierced or slashed by the sharp object in question.
Potholes or Curbs
On the other hand, pinch punctures can cause a flat tyre when your electric scooter hits the jagged edge of a curb or pothole. This pinches the inner tube on the rim of the tube, which can also result in a flat tyre.
Wrong Tyre Pressure
You can also experience a flat tyre on your electric scooter if you don’t have the correct tyre pressure. What this means is that both under inflated and over-inflated tyres can get punctured.
Incorrectly Installed Tyre
Your electric scooter could also get a flat if you install the tyre incorrectly. That said, if you are unsure about how to go about replacing a punctured tyre, you could have a mechanic replace it to put your mind at ease.
How to Replace Flat Tyres on an Electric Scooter
So, you happened to get a puncture – now what?
The process of repairing or replacing the punctured inner tubes on electric scooters with pneumatic tyres is pretty simple, provided you follow the necessary steps in the correct order.
• Firstly, you will need to release the remaining air from the air valve before attempting to remove the punctured tyre from the electric scooter wheel.
• Once all the air has been removed and the existing pressure has been released from the valve core, you can then remove the flat tyre from the rim of the scooter wheel.
• After the tyre has been removed; you can replace or repair the damaged tube. A green slime sealant works like magic at repairing small punctures. However, if the tube is beyond repair, you’ll have no choice but to replace the damaged inner tube with a new one.
• Upon repairing the punctured tyre, you can then re-install the tyre back onto the rim of the electric scooter.
• Lastly, refill the repaired tube with air using a regular bicycle pump, increasing the tyre’s pressure until it’s back to normal.
However, there may be instances when replacing a tyre on your electric scooter may prove too difficult because it is hard to get to or because you may not be sure of doing it as a new rider yourself. Or, you may just feel more comfortable leaving it in the capable hands of a repair shop.
Things You Can Do to Avoid Punctures
If you want to prevent your electric scooter from getting a flat (for as long as is possible), there are things you can do to reduce the odds of getting punctures and prevent the need of replacing tyres as often, which include:
Make sure the tyre pressure is adequate
This means your electric scooter’s tyres should neither be underinflated nor over-inflated. You can check the tyre pressure by using an air pressure gauge to test the air pressure level within the inner tube. Generally, most electric scooters have a tyre pressure or PSI ranging between 40 and 60 PSI. But it’s best to read the user manual to check the ideal tyre pressure for your scooter model.
Add a tube sealant within the inner tube of the scooter tyre.
Using green slime as an inner tube sealant works as a protective barrier against punctures by sealing small punctures closed within a few minutes. Tube sealant works most effectively on small holes so that you don’t have to replace the inner tube entirely.
Choose airless (or tubeless) tyres
Choose airless (or tubeless) tyres for your electric scooter if you want to alleviate the hassle of having to repair unnecessary punctures. This comes with its own pros and cons, though. For example, while airless tyres are not prone to getting flats, they can negatively affect the ride quality of your electric scooter.
Opt for a heavy-duty inner tube
When replacing a flat tyre, you could opt for a heavy-duty inner tube instead of ordinary scooter tyres. Heavy-duty inner tubes are more resistant to puncture damage and can end up extending the lifespan of your scooter tyres considerably. Additionally, using anti-puncture tape or tyre liners to protect your scooter’s tyres can make all the difference in improving resistance to punctures.
Avoid riding in wet conditions
Avoid riding your electric scooter in wet conditions, as wet weather can increase the possibility of your scooter tyres skidding into sharp corners and surfaces, resulting in pinch punctures.
Replace your tyres instead of repairing them
Also, you should replace your tyres (instead of repairing them) if they are visibly worn out or, conversely, if you’ve had them for a very long time.
Practice your riding stance
Practice anticipatory riding techniques. What this means is riding in anticipation of a bumpy ride ahead. This has to do with practising your riding stance, which means bending your knees and leaning back as you approach a dip or bump in the road. Added to this is choosing the path of least resistance if the road ahead looks particularly rough and distinctly more uncomfortable to ride on. And also keeping a lookout for dodgy debris lying about in the street.
Perform routine checks
The best way of preventing punctures in e scooters is through proper maintenance of your e scooter. Therefore, routine checks are necessary to spot anything out of the norm before it gets out of hand. In other words, prevention is better than cure when it comes to electric scooters and their tyres!
Additional Benefits of Using a Tyre Sealant
As mentioned before, using a tyre sealant on the tyres of your electric scooter works wonders in preventing a puncture in your scooter’s tyres. But beyond this, it has various other benefits that prove why using a sealant in your tube should be a necessity rather than an afterthought; these include:
Instant repair properties
Inserting a sealant within the tube of your scooter ensures that if, or rather when, a puncture occurs, it will be closed as quickly as possible. Not only this but the air pressure within the tyre will also be maintained close to the level at which it was before the puncture occurred. With such a minimal loss in tyre pressure, your riding experience isn’t unlikely to be as affected as much.
Reduce the need to replace the punctured tyre as often.
This is especially true for more minor punctures that don’t necessarily warrant replacing the scooter tyre entirely. On the other hand, though, significant damage to a tyre from pinch punctures needs to be taken seriously. And if your tyre is damaged beyond repair, it’s better to replace it rather than repairing the puncture.
It can improve the riding experience
If your electric scooter has pneumatic tyres – your riding experience will, without a doubt, be a more pleasant one than if you were riding an electric scooter with solid tyres. A sealant, therefore, reinforces the smooth-riding experience of air-filled tyres should the unfortunate occur. Additionally, air-filled tyres are more energy-efficient and improve the rolling resistance of the tyre. Pneumatic tyres also add better traction due to the tyre’s composition and its air-filled properties. So yes, when combined with sealant, it is a match made in heaven.
It will extend the life span of your tyres
• Extends the lifespan of the tyres of your electric scooter. In addition, adding sealant to the tyres of your electric scooter will give it added structural support. Provided that your tyre is generally in good condition should a puncture occur, the sealant can give you that bit of extra use out of the tyre before you have to replace it. Or, at the very least, can buy you some time until you do.
Getting a puncture on your e scooter at some point in the foreseeable future is pretty much inevitable – we know this much.
However, with the proper measures in place, it needn’t cause as many headaches or disruptions to an otherwise perfect outdoor riding experience. The key lies in getting to know the ins and outs of how your electric scooter works that will determine the frequency and severity of how often punctures occur and the potential damage they can cause.
You’ll also become familiar with what keeps your e scooter performing optimally. Through routine maintenance and good general care, you’ll be able to spot the difference in the riding performance of your electric scooter. For punctures though, the difference will most certainly be noticeable especially when punctures are so bad that the tubes need replacing. However, for minor punctures, you may feel only a slight difference, but a difference all the same.
So why not give your electric scooter the TLC it deserves if you want to experience many more days of uninterrupted riding fun!
Nely is an adrenaline junkie and one of her life goals is to sky dive, but until that day she gets her kicks from testing fast electric scooters. Part time scooter fanatic & part time SEO analyst. Nely’s favourite scooter is the Dualtron X.