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Opinion: Whats the best tire width for electric bike?

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    I have a 20x4 fatbike. I wanted the wider tires for stability but i dont really feel that stable with wide tires, but its also 20"


      I'm on 2.5 Maxxis Hookworms that I'm happy with. No flats so far, but only got a few hundred miles so far.
      I didn't like the knobbled edges of the tyres on before: felt very squirrely under fast hard surface cornering.
      I'm yet to find the limits of these so far; pitching in to roundabouts is great fun with the power to pull back out!


        Serious mistake. Ran some 1.5 inch tires thinking harder and thinner faster and better range. To easy to lock up wheels and not stop. Going back to all purpose knobby on outside and smooth in center probably going 2 inch schwalbe marathon plus. Compromise. The difference in speed and range are not worth the minimum safety factor. Just higher pressure when conditions warrant, lower pressure.
        Last edited by Gr8fun; 02-19-2017, 12:28 PM.


          I am also running Schwalbe Marathon Deluxe tires. 26x2.125 I think. There was a significant reduction in rolling resistance and nose compared to my Bontrager Connection tires of similar size. I haven't put alot of miles on them yet as I work through some ebike issues.


            My favorite size by far has been 24x3. I've started running Felt Thick Bricks (previously ran Kenda Flames) and like them much better. The rounder profile lets you lean more comfortably. At 20 PSI I am sure that I'm wasting a few watts but the ride quality is amazing. I averaged 8 Wh/mi today at an average speed between 15 and 16 mph on my cruiser. The rolling resistance was definitely improved with the swap.

            My ebikes have run:

            24x3 (Felt Thick Bricks, winner!)
            24x3 (Kenda flame, comfy but I don't like the tread lip)
            26x1.5 (road tire, bad choice)
            26x1.75 (MTB, did okay)
            26x2.125 (cruiser tires, pretty decent)
            26x2.125 (MTB tires, did okay)
            26x2.5 (MTB, love 'em)
            26x3 (Kenda Flames on the back of a trike-comfy!)
            29x2.125 (Kenda Small Block 8, not bad!)


              My current tire is the Maxxis Hookworm 26x2.5, does ok but I've had 3 flats in 875 miles. Previously rand Kenda 26x1.75 ebike tire, and although I suffered 0 flats the ride was extremely rough. Not sure what my next set will be, probably something in the 26x2.0 to 2.25 range as the Maxxis are a little more prone to flats. I have logged in roughly 1400 miles in 10 months of commuting, so I guess 3 flats are nothing to really sqwawk about.


                from 27.5 x 2.1 tire i switched to 2.3 tires and i think im not gonna go lower anymore, i'm happy with my tire setup right now Onza Ibex Front & Rear


                  Origin8 Supercell 30 TPI is available and 120 TPI
                  Reviews are great... anyone used them?
                  My choice for commuting up to now.
                  Pictures here
                  Last edited by Varoum; 08-12-2017, 12:46 PM.


                    I jave the Kenda Kross Plus Front/Rear Slick XC Tire, 26 x 1.95".

                    They are pretty good. I run them at low enough pressure to only use the "slick" center strip on pavement. For my 200lb and almost 60lb ebike that seema to be somewhere between 20 and 35psi. They do benefit from wider rims, but work on most skinny-is MTB rims too, just require more pressure, like 40psi or more for my weight.

                    I got perhaps 300 ebike mikes on them, maybe another 300 regular miles before that.

                    Good price, solid tires. I think a non-knobbed tire would of course have better cornering traction on asphalt, but these give some extra grip in mud or grass. And they have excellent dry weather traction IMO. Relatively quiet compared to knobby tires, noisier than true slicks, but not terrible.



                      I'm useing 26x2.00 tires on my electric bike if I go to a narrower tire will I go faster? ?


                        Originally posted by Nitro View Post
                        I'm useing 26x2.00 tires on my electric bike if I go to a narrower tire will I go faster? ?
                        Yes narrower tires will have less rolling resistance. But it will also have less traction.


                          Originally posted by paxtana View Post

                          Yes narrower tires will have less rolling resistance. But it will also have less traction.
                          There are widely varying thoughts on this. This is from Schwable.

                          Click image for larger version

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                            While slightly wider than the skinniest possible tires might be better (as evidenced by road bikers moving away from the hair-thin high-pressure tires to slightly wider and slightly softer tires), a 2" wide tires will be considerably slower than a 1" one on smooth roads, all else being equal. I've tried to do regular (not ebiking) 20-40 mile road trips on paved roads with folks on road bikes and me on my hard-tail mountain bike with 2" hybrid tires (bald center, knobby sides). I was trailing badly, having to work much harder than them. Installed skinnier 1" tires on the same 26" rims on the same bike, much better, less effort, much tighter and responsive steering. But still trailing and while not as tough, still had to work harder than them on the road bikes. Moved to a road bike with skinnier yet tires, comparable to the others' bikes, and was able to keep-up without working harder than them like before. By the way, ergonomically, both bikes were virtually identical in terms of reach, seat and handlebar height. And had enough gears to not be an issue. Main difference was in the tires and the MTB was 10-12 lb heavier.

                            Rolling and air resistance combined add-up quite a bit on a MTB vs. a road bike ...

                            Now, on rough off road, the concensus is that wider and somewhat lower pressure tires are generally faster than skinnier and harder-inflated tires. Mainly because they absorb small irregularities on the road better. Not sure if it is related to the rolling resistance of the tire itself as explained in the diagram in the post above. I think it is due to different reasons - the bumps get absorbed by the tire rather than disrupt the entire bike. But again, all this is to a point. Wider tires are heavier, more inertia to overcome, more air resistance, generally need wider and heavier wheels too, and it all adds-up... Super-wide tires will likely be slower than more moderately sized onesthat are still appropriate for the conditions.

                            While a 1" tire might be faster than a 1/2" one, a 2" will be slower than the 1" (on paved flat roads). The 2" will likely be faster than the 1" on gravely roads, and a 3" might outperform the 2" on really bumpy surfaces. A 4" might climb better than a 3" in extreme cases, but will suffer in the flats as it is just too wide and with lots of air resistance. All that with proper pressures to match the tire size.
                            Last edited by Kocho; 08-23-2017, 05:37 PM.


                              4” wide tires perform “better” than anything I’ve used over the past 12 years. Yeah, I’ve done Hookworms, Cyclops, Marathons, Big Apples, thin, fat, proper size rims, etc.

                              The reason I like 26”x4” or wider is that they ride better over practically ALL surfaces. Drop down to between 10-15psi fat tires soak up annoying bumps, cracks and road separations much better than tires running 45psi or more.

                              Even quality suspension isn’t much help taming those small but “constant” shots through the grips. Not my thing. Spend enough hours/miles on any bicycle platform and comfort soon becomes paramount importance.

                              Do Fatties eat more energy to roll? Sure, in most case. But hanging 1000W or more mid-drives on these things any rolling resistance concern quickly disappears, IMO.

                              Do they makes some noise on pavement? Yes, fat tires I run sing pretty good above 20 MPH but it’s nothing obnoxious. In fact, it sorta helps walkers and joggers know I’m approaching.

                              Do they throw off more water in Rain? Absolutely! Probably my biggest complaint I have about wider tires. They can and will throw off much more water than a thin road tire.

                              Fat Tires handle pavement “good enough” with numerous benefits ridden over turf and/or other loose surfaces while providing a much improved overall comfort level.

                              I always come back to that “comfort” thing. I gotta be comfortable or I’m not gonna ride as much.

                              Done correctly, eBikes are supposed to be ridden much, much more (miles) than pedal bikes….
                              Last edited by ykick; 08-23-2017, 06:10 PM.


                                Good point about comfort on wider and softer tires. I have yet to ride a fat tire bike, but on my 2" tires I'm much happier around 25-30psi than at 40-50. Quite signifficant difference in soaking-up small stuff, which my suspesion can't compeltely absorb (though it does a great job with bigger bumps that are too big for the tires). It's[ cushier and has more grip for stopping too. And with wide enough rims does not feel like the tire would bend around in corners as it does on skinny rims. I can only imagine what 15 psi on 4" would feel in terms of cushioning :)