Is Pneumatic or Solid Tire Best for Your E-Scooter? Here’re the Tips!


Last Updated on March 13, 2021

There is a big debate currently taking place among many electric scooter enthusiasts- lovers of electric scooters are increasingly asking this question: Which is the best tire for my favorite electric scooter? Is it pneumatic or solid tire? Really, which tire will give me the best and most enjoyable experience?

Well, experts seem to say that there’s really no clear cut victor here! Everything depends on the circumstances and the different scenarios involved. Despite this, here’s some good advice is: Go for pneumatic tires! This assumes that you won’t experience lots of flats. Generally, pneumatic tires provide better suspension, off-road capacities, and enhanced comfort for the e-scooter rider.

Pneumatic vs Solid Tires

electric scooter pneumatic vs solid tires

With pneumatic tires, you’ll experience less shaking or vibration while riding, have faster speeds, better traction, more control, and greater climbing abilities.  The only disadvantage is that you’ll occasionally get a flat tire (this can’t happen with solid tires). The only other advantage of solid tires (that you won’t get from pneumatic tires) is that they require less maintenance.

Anyone who’s planning to buy an electric scooter has a major decision to make; he has to choose the type of tire to use. How can you solve this? Let’s find out.

What are Solid Tires?

electric scooter solid tire

Generally, solid tires are sets of solid honeycomb tires designed with holes to enhance the ride quality. Such tires are usually made with solid materials. Most solid tires are also designed with silicone, rubber, and other materials.

The most significant selling point for solid tires is that they don’t get flats. They also need little maintenance. Overall, unlike pneumatic tires, you don’t need to worry about issues with tire pressure.

Most scooters with solid tires are usually fitted with a suspension to cushion against the shakiness and vibration that the rider experiences using them.

Types of Solid Tires

Solid tires usually come in three main types:

  • Fully solid
  • Honeycomb
  • Foam-filled

Fully solid tires

This is the most familiar type of solid tires. Essentially, a fully solid tire is usually made of rubber or silicone. Since this is the most low-tech product, it’s also the cheapest tire on the market.

Despite this, a fully solid tire is actually the hardiest. This means you will experience the least stable ride using this kind of tire compared to the rest. Due to their sturdier design, fully solid tires typically wear out faster than the others.

Advantages of Solid Tires

  • They don’t suffer from flats.
  • Are relatively cheaper.
  • Require less maintenance.

Disadvantages:

  • Less stable rides.
  • More slippery.
  • Wear off relatively faster.

Honeycomb (Air-Pocket) Tires

electric scooter honeycomb tire

Think about the honeycomb or air-pocket tires. These are the latest solution for e-scooter tires. The use of honeycomb tires is an innovative, modern approach that works excellently to reduce the shakiness of a ride with solid e-scooter tires.

Basically, honeycomb tires are more like Swiss cheese; even though they are made of silicone, they also contain air pockets within. Overall, this offers a better level of shock absorption while riding.

The main drawback of using honeycomb tires is that they’re relatively expensive. Furthermore, this is a new, evolving technology that is meant to enhance the e-scooter riding experience.

Essentially, a honeycomb tire aims to provide riders with a tire that offers considerable comfort and cannot be punctured. Honeycomb tires are designed with the same kind of rubber as that which makes solid tires. However, these tires are designed so that the air pockets are open, thus causing them to be less stiff.

Analysts expect that honeycomb tires will soon be widely used as the preferred tires for e-scooters. This is despite the fact that they were only recently introduced into the market. In fact, many military institutions have already started experimenting with this modern brand of tires.

Analysts also expect that honeycomb tires’ current design is likely to change quickly as manufacturers introduce better products into the market. If you ride the 8.5″ scooter (for example, the Xiaomi m 365 pro and other similar bikes), the honeycomb tire might be best for you.

Overall Honeycomb Tire Advantages

  • They offer a cushioning effect.
  • Are resilient.
  • Are puncture-proof.

These types of tires will give you great peace of mind. Actually, you cannot get many advantages they offer if you’re using a solid tire. They generally enhance a smoother ride and don’t have to be exchanged as often as pneumatic tires.

Disadvantages

  • Cannot be adjusted.
  • Come with increased resistance.
  • Are pricier or more expensive.

As noted, unlike the pneumatic tire, you cannot readjust the honeycomb tire as you prefer. They’re also more expensive and heavier than ordinary tires since more material is used to make them. You’ll get less resistance with this kind of tire (compared to a solid rubber tire). Despite this, the honeycomb tire is usually more resistant than the pneumatic tire.

Foam-Filled tires

This is an interesting compromise for the e-scooter tire solution. It tries to solve the limitations of solid tires (instability and shakiness). As the name suggests, foam-filled tires are usually filled with a special foam that feels cushy and almost soft when injected. This makes the ride more comfortable since the foam fills the tire. But these tires require more maintenance and must be refilled periodically. You must, therefore, be ready to spend more money on the foam chemicals.

Pneumatic Tires

electric scooter pneumatic tire

Pneumatic tires are also known as air-filled tires. They are generally made from rubber and then filled with air. Note that the amount of pressure produced after it’s filled with air determines your E-scooters overall performance. When your scooters’ tire inflates to the maximum, the tire will be more rigid and less flexible. This results in less friction when the tire hits the road. Ultimately, the scooter will move faster, and its ability to climb hills will improve.

But you must be cautious; the fact that the friction is lower means that you will take longer to stop the scooter when the breaks are applied. The tires will also be more slippery. Hence, many riders usually decide to deflate their bikes’ pressure (just a little) during winter or when it gets wet. As a rule, more pressure on the tires makes them harder, resulting in lesser shock-absorption. Ultimately, this will result in bumpier and shakier rides.

Regular Maintenance Checklist for the Pneumatic Tire

What’s the solution? Make it a regular maintenance habit to check the air pressure on your e-scooter tires. Consult the e-scooter product manual for the right air-pressure levels. Stick to the prescribed schedule as much as possible. You can do some research (using the Google search engine) to check the tire maintenance schedule. Also, check the tire itself for the recommended pressure levels. You can also use a tire pressure gauge to do the job.

There are two main types of air-filled tires; those with an inner tube and those without the inner tube. The pneumatic tire with an inner tube comes with the tube fitted within. Just like with a bike, if you have a flat tire on your scooter, you’ll have to fix the tube or replace it. Of course, you can have a flat at any time. Maintenance of a pneumatic tire is relatively easy. You only need a basic repair kit to have the job done. No special equipment is necessary. These types of tires are still regularly used with electric scooters.

Fixing a Flat on the Pneumatic Tire

With pneumatic tubeless tires, the air is usually held between the tire and wheel. Generally, the tire is usually filled to the wheel, and a vacuum forms between the two. Hence, it’s a terrible nightmare if you have a flat on a tubeless tire. You have no option but to rush to the nearest repair shop to fix the issue in such cases.

electric scooter flat preumatic tire

Most of the time, the inner tube usually breaks down more commonly. Fortunately, even though you’ll have to take greater care in maintaining the tubeless tire, the chances of having a flat are usually minimal and less frequent.

Advantages of Pneumatic Tires

Pneumatic tires come with plenty of advantages. Think of the following:

  • More comfortable rides.
  • Better shock absorption.
  • Best for off-road use.
  • Better traction.
  • Better air pressure control enables adjustable rides.

Why do most riders prefer pneumatic tires over the others? Consider these advantageous factors:

Enhanced absorption properties

Pneumatic tires offer enhanced shock absorption since the air inside produces a suspension effect. This means that when traveling uneven terrain, the rider is cushioned from excessive shock by the tires’ suspension effect. Indeed, this is one essential advantage of using air-filled tires. It also makes any occasional flats worth the trouble.

Better traction

Pneumatic tires come with all-round chains that provide better traction whenever you ride in a winter environment. When riding in a scooter, the pressure that comes from your weight is likely to deform and even flatten the tire. But the pneumatic tire has more of its surface touching the road, and this provides better traction. This is crucial for enhancing the braking system as well as the overall control of your e-scooter. Furthermore, it makes the scooter less likely to slip. Also, even if the tires are a bit deflated, you can still enjoy the enhanced effect.

Greater Efficiency & Control

If you can quickly deflate or inflate your tires as necessary, this means you’re enjoying greater control with your e-scooter. Yes, you can enjoy greater control while riding using a pneumatic tire. You can gain higher speeds by inflating your tires, the scooter’s ability to climb hilly terrain increases, and there’s greater efficiency in the machine’s power functionality. Furthermore, you can improve the machine’s battery functionality and lifespan in this manner.

Note that when you deflate your e-scooter tires, you’ll lose some of these advantages. Nevertheless, you’ll enjoy more comfortable rides and suffer less vibration. You can better control the machine, enjoy more comfortable steering, and the scooter will be less likely to slip or slide when riding over wet or icy terrain.

Best for off-road Rides

You cannot have an off-road scooter that uses solid tires. The reason is simple: Solid tires are generally slippery, with less traction. This does not work well for rides in rough terrain. No wonder- air-filled tires are used more with off-road e-scooters.

Pneumatic Tire Maintenance Checklist

Use a gauge to check the tire’s air pressure at least once per month. A diligent rider should strive to do this once per month.  Some even do it once a week!  After all, it takes as little as one minute.

Make this a regular part of the checklist (of what must be done before riding off). If you’re in a hurry, use this simple trick: Check to confirm that the scooter’s tires are not deflated before you ride off!

Can E- Scooters Use Both Solid and Pneumatic Tires?

You will discover that, generally, you have no choice but to remain with the (original) tire that the manufacturer used on your e-scooter. Fortunately, it’s possible to change the tire with specific e-scooter models. Some riders have successfully changed the tire- type on their machines according to preference. This has been done with different e-scooter models.  At the same time, you can buy e-scooters that are designed with both pneumatic and solid tires. And you can easily change the tire-types personally, without assistance.

Despite this, some caution is in order. The above are mere exceptions to the rule. Of course, you can make lots of changes to your scooter, but with most modern models, such changes are not really worthwhile. Why?

Be Cautious; Don’t Force Things!

Take precaution; after you’ve made the desired changes, you might find that the scooter’s performance is considerably affected. You may also discover that you’re less comfortable when riding and that your security is dramatically compromised.

What does it take to change your e-scooter wheels? Technically, all you need to do is make sure your scooter’s tire fits perfectly with the wheels. Be cautious; there could be other factors at play that can trigger unexpected consequences.

Why? Generally, the e-scooter is primarily designed to work only with the originally-fitted tire. The manufacturers never intended that the tires would be changed. But, as a creative rider, nothing really stops you from experimenting; if you’re curious about the advantages of a tire change, you can try out new things. However, while doing this, avoid forcing a different tire into your e-scooter.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, what type of tire will work excellently with your e-scooter? Most experts recommend the pneumatic tire as the best option. Why? You can have the pneumatic tire’s pressure customized according to the terrain, the rider’s weight, and personal preference.

Essentially, choose the best type of tire for your e-scooter by considering various factors. Consider the local terrain-where you’ll often be riding your scooter. It’s clear that in the coming years, the honeycomb tire‘s evolution is likely to revolutionize the e-scooter tire industry.  This tire-type popularity will likely soar, and thousands of bikers will have it as their first choice. This is because of the versatility it offers and its advantages over regular tires that have been in use for decades.

The final verdict?  Most e-scooter experts recommend the pneumatic tire 80% of the time you go shopping for these essential products.


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Liam Jaworski

Liam Jaworski

As lightweight electric transport develop, they are becoming more and more common around the world. We all want clean cities and safe driving. My goal is to provide you with clear, honest information about electric transport, innovations, and regulations in different countries, to make our common dream true. You can find me on Twitter or LinkedIn, or contact me directly ride@sparse.cc

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