Tubeless, inner-tubes, solid or air pocket solid… which is best for you?
When it comes to the selection of tyres we have as e-scooters, there’s no general right or wrong answer. Everything is down to your preference and what you feel is best suited for you. In this article, we’re going to breakdown the tyre variations so we can clear up any confusion on the pros and cons of each tyre and you can get the best out of your scooter.
Air-filled (pneumatic) tires are made of agile rubber and use air to maintain the structure of the tyre. Most tyres on vehicles such as bicycles and cars are pneumatic. The valve sticks out from the side or the centre of the wheel. The three key benefits compared to solid tyres are a smoother ride, better traction and less rolling friction.
The smoother ride comes from the cushion of the tyre due to the pressure of the air in the tyre meaning they can absorb bumps in the road much better than other tyres.
Less rolling friction means that tires lose less power while rolling along the road, this allows for better mileage and higher max speeds.
Pneumatic tyres are less likely to slip also, even in rainy conditions. You will also be able to stop much easier without sliding your tyre.
Although, pneumatics aren’t perfect. They are very susceptible to flats and punctures, it’s very common. Another problem is maintaining the pressure in your tyres. It can be very tedious always having to monitor and pump up your tyres. You won’t have these problems with solid tyres, but pneumatics will perform better overall.
Tubeless tyres (as it says in the name) are a tyre with no inner tube. It uses an air tight seal to hold in the pressure to keep you rolling. Tubeless pneumatic is more durable and allows for a higher rate of performance. These tires aren’t incredibly common on scooters like they are with cars. High performance, expensive scooters are normally what kind of scooters these tyres are reserved for. Although, if you encounter any problems with the tyre or you would just like to change out your tyres, it can be a nightmare to do. It’s highly recommended that you take your scooter to a professional if you need this work done, as they have the knowledge and the machinery to get the job done properly.
Pneumatic inner-tubed tyres are one of the most common tyres used on scooters. A tough outer shell with an inner-tube that holds the valve and the outer tire in place. Normally if you have a puncture with an inner tube tyre, you’ll only need to change out your inner-tube, not the outer tyre. Inner tubed pneumatic tyres hold the same benefits as the tubeless.
Solid tyres are rubber or solid foam tyres that provide integrity, rather than allow for air pressure to hold the tyres shape. They are completely resistant to punctures and will NEVER go flat. This is the biggest, yet only benefit to solid tyres.
Solid tyres are also extremely difficult to change, some scooters require the whole wheel itself to be changed out as it can be near impossible to take certain solid tyres off – see the Ninebot ES2 – so if you’re thinking of getting a scooter with pre-installed solid tyres, keep that in mind.
Now, although it’s impossible to puncture these tyres… it doesn’t mean they are any more durable. Due to the hard plastics they can be made of, the tracks of the tyre will wear quicker and easier.
There are two different types of solid tyres:
Air Pocket Solid Tyres
Solid tyres can have a design that allows for air pockets, sometimes being in a honeycomb style. Because of these pockets, this allows less weight to be attached to the tyre, a little more cushion than the usual solid tyres while still providing better structural integrity than pneumatic tyres.
As said before, the best advantage with solid tyres is the fact that you don’t need to deal with air pressure and they will never burst. That by proxy means that the running costs will be reduced, as you don’t need to constantly buy new tyres.
Unfortunately, there are more downsides than upsides to solid tyres. Heavier than pneumatic, less comfortable ride, lesser traction. Wetter condition can pose more danger as well than they would with pneumatic, which does well in poor weather.
In conclusion, your preference is what should guide you. While on paper pneumatic seems to score more points than solid, not needing to frequently change your burst tyres can be a HUGE difference. Even though solid stacks up worse against pneumatic, they’re not bad tires. You will still have a great quality tyre to take you where you need to be, there’s just a give and take.
I hope this clears up any confusion in choosing the right tyre for you. Ourselves at EV-Tek have a large range of tyres and we’re certain you will find what you need in-store or online.