Are Ebike Tires Important?
There are so many ebikes on the market now, and so many variations of configuration of every ebike on sale that the average, amateur user, like myself, understands little about the kind of ebike that would best suit themselves. Ebike tires are one of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing an ebike, and with tires alone, there seems to be an unending choice of variety around. But tire choice is an important factor. Tires, after all, are the riders only point of contact with the ground.
As well as the fashion element, there is also the practical element to take into account. A big fat-tired ebike may look cool and trendy, but will it do what it was bought for better than a cycle with slim tires? It depends on what you are using your ebike for.
A Look at Ebike Tire Sizes
Wheel size varies, and so does tire width:
- Road tires tend to be 1” wide or less.
- Normal, run of the mill, tires tend to be up to 2.4” wide.
- A plus sized tire would be around 2.4” to 3.5” wide.
- 4.5” plus wide would be considered a fat tire.
Of course, the type and size of tire fitted depends on the diameter and rim of the ebike wheel. If you already have an ebike and want to change the width of the tires you use, then you may also have to change your wheels. Changing wheels takes other aspects into consideration, the main one is can your ebike frame accommodate the new wheels and tires you propose to fit? This is why buying an ebike with the desirable tires you want from the outset is crucial. You may be stuck with them for the life of the ebike.
Ebike Tires are Crucial!
Ebike tires are crucial, not from the point of view they are essential, and every ebike needs tires, which of course is true. They are crucial in the way that the whole operation of the ebike will change in regard to whatever tire choice is chosen. For example, the wider the tire, the more contact the ebike has with the road, therefore the more resistance and friction there will be to movement. This can drain a battery quicker, and force a motor to work harder to get the ebike going, whereas a narrow road tire will have less resistance and friction, therefore enabling the ebike to go further, faster, with less of a drain on the battery.
See also: Gearing on Ebikes
And: Ebike Motor Choice
Why Do You Want an Ebike?
If you are thinking about buying an ebike to commute to work and back, and occasional leisure trips, the practical type of tire to go for would be run-of-the-mill road tires. These will get you there and back efficiently, in most weathers, and with the least strain and drain on resources like the motor and battery.
If you are commuting in rough roads, or hitting country tracks, where obstacles and potholes will be a regular issue, then a wider tire may be a better option for you. Wider tires tend to cushion more, and as the tire pressures are less, tend to offer more in the way of shock absorbance, even in an ebike without built-in suspension. Downside is that because of greater resistance due to more of the tire in contact with the surface, performance will dip. This may, or may not, be an issue depending on the distance to your destination, and whether you can recharge when you arrive there, if possible.
If you are in a climate that involves a great deal of snowfall, or your ebike trips include careering along muddy and treacherously slippery tracks, then a fat-tired ebike is your best option. You will need the maximum contact with the surface to keep better control. These tires will grip through mud and snow and enable better traction as you negotiate your path ahead. To compensate for the affect in range and performance running a fat-tired ebike will have though, you may have to think about either fitting a larger battery pack, if possible, or carrying a fully charged spare with you. This again depends on the distance you want to travel, and whether you can recharge when you arrive there.
A Good Looking Ebike is Important Too
Of course, I’ve mentioned three options above for potential ebike usage. Whether any of these correspond with your reasons for buying an ebike and the type of journey you will be undertaking, only you will know. You may, at different times of the year, be negotiating all types of terrain in all weather conditions. The ultimate choice you make in determining the type of tire you want may depend on how confident and safe you feel taking your ebike out in the worst conditions.
Looks are an important also. Whether you need big fat-tires or not, there is no disputing a big fat-tired mountain bike looks great, even if it is only used for a few leisure trips in an area with great roads and cycle paths. As long as you know negatives, as well as the positives, regarding tire choice, then buy the one with the tires you want, knowing if it is not the best choice for the conditions you will traverse, it will have been your choice and you know and accept the ramifications.
Point to remember: Type of tire can determine your grip on the road, the resistance in your ride, and affect the performance of your ebike depending on terrain and power.