In every vehicle, tires play an integral role. The same applies to an electric scooter. Each scooter rider requires a comfortable and safe journey.
And that brings us to the comparison of pneumatic vs. solid tires. Between the two, which one should you choose for your electric scooter?
The decision isn’t straightforward to make. When you don’t know the good and bad sides of each type of tire, deciding becomes even more difficult.
Let have a brief overview of both types of tires before concluding.
Pneumatic Electric Scooter Tires
Pneumatic tires are also known as air-filled tires. You can inflate and deflate the tires via the provided valve.
As you increase the air pressure level, the tire gets less flexible. And when it’s very rigid, it rolls faster, and climbing hills become easier.
However stiff tire means less friction and thus more braking distance. Therefore, it’s wise not to inflate the tire to its maximum pressure level.
Depending on the structural design, there are two types of pneumatic tires:
Pneumatic Tire with Tube
The air-filled tires with tubes have a hard rubber housing and soft inner tube. When you pump air through the valve, it inflates the inner tube. You can describe the setup as having a tire within a tire.
A puncture on the outer tire has no significant effect. But a flat inner tube cripples your journey. Depending on the intensity of the problem, you may mend or replace the entire inner tube.
Flats occur with pneumatic tires with tubes often. Although it seems an old design, many electric tires still feature air-filled inner tube tires.
Pneumatic Tubeless Tires
The pneumatic tire with no tube wraps around the rim and has a protruding valve stem. In other words, the tire seals itself around the rim.
For that reason, tubeless tires are solid, more resistant to puncture and register superior performance. So, they attract a high price tag.
You can, therefore, mostly find pneumatic tubeless tires on high-end e-scooters. However, repairing a puncture on the tubeless tire is highly demanding and requires expertise.
What We Like About Pneumatic Tires
Better Shock Absorption
The air in the tire offers some shock absorption ability. So as you ride over the uneven road, the air-filled tire offers a suspension effect. That results in a bumpy free ride.
When compared to cars, electric scooters have smaller wheels. And on wet grounds, the tires get more slippery.
That’s where pneumatic tires prove helpful. Your weight temporarily deforms the tire slightly. And that puts a broad surface of the tire on the ground. Further, the tire develops a better grip on the ground.
And better traction makes braking easier. Furthermore, controlling the e-scooter is less troubling then. But when you inflate the tire to the maximum, you’ll experience less or no traction effect.
Improved Performance On Off Roads
Air-filled tires register better performance on off roads. That’s because the tire reduces the chances of the scooter skidding.
Adaptable to Various Terrains
If you have a means of inflating and deflating your pneumatic tires quickly, then you can enjoy its adaptability to different terrains.
When you inflate it almost maximum, it offers boosted control and the ability to climb hills. The speed performance also increases.
And on uneven grounds, you can deflate it slightly. That way you get to enjoy a high cushioning effect and traction. Steering becomes simple too.
What We Didn’t Like About Pneumatic Tires
Prone to Going Flat
Pneumatic tires (especially those with tubes) are more prone to punctures. Replacing or fixing the flat tire is time-consuming and unpleasant.
However, you can lighten the task by opting for a split rim for your scooter. Accessing the tube is then less stressful.
From time to time, you’ll have to check for the air pressure level on the scooter tires. That calls for the use of an air pressure gauge.
The solid tires for electric scooters don’t require pumping air into them. Often the solid tires feature rubber or silicone materials. And accordingly, they don’t develop puncture and flat tire problems.
Solid tires fall under three categories:
As the name implies, the tire has no air space. And so, you won’t worry about the tire getting flat. It’s usually one of the widespread and cheapest options.
Besides, it’s also the most rigid tire. For that reason, it gives unstable rides and wears out quickly. Also, the solid tires have a poor grip on the ground.
The honeycomb scooter tires feature a new technology that makes them look promising. In design, the tires form a honeycomb-like structure (air pockets).
The blend of rubber and air pockets produces a better cushioning effect. Therefore, compared to the fully-solid tires, they are more comfortable.
Instead of being completely solid, they have a unique cushy foam material. The foam fills the tire and thus makes it soft.
By so doing, it aims at bringing boosted comfort to your ride. However though it injects some comfort, it calls for high maintenance. Over time you will have to buy new foam filling material and inject it into the tire.
So What Electric Scooter Tire Should You Choose?
When you consider all factors, most experts recommend air-filled tires. It’s easy to customize the pneumatic tires (with a tube or no tube) to your road condition and need. Besides, air-filled tires give a comfortable ride, better traction, speed, and ease of climbing hills.
Depending on your weight and road topography, you can customize the tire pressure to give you the best riding experience. You can’t do the same with solid tires. However, their major downside is the flat tire problem.
That’s why if your road condition features numerous potholes and sharp objects that encourage punctures, then go for solid or tubeless pneumatic tires. The choice of the tire depends on the existing road condition.
Still, other riders prefer mixing solid tires with a pneumatic tire on one e-scooter. Only try that blend if it suits your engine. Otherwise, don’t force it.