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Opinion: Whats the best tire width for electric bike?

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    #31
    I really like my 2" Schwalbe Marathon Deluxe ebike tires; but they are about $65 a pop and Schwalbe tubes suck.
    I've taken to running heavy duty Slime tubes and seem to have buried my frequent blown inner tube problem caused from hitting hard bumps at 30+ mph.
    I've got 1,300 miles on current set and need to replace rear now; but front looks at least half there still.

    I'm going to try some 2.25" Kenda small block eights on my new ebike I'm building.
    I bet they will be quite a bit louder running commute; but when I ran Schwalbe ice spiker pros without the spikes last winter on current setup the noise wasn't crazy while the grip was great.

    Through 6 or 7 thousand miles of ebiking I've learned that bicycle tubes pretty much aren't built for impact at these high speeds and Kevlar or some other puncture guard is well worth the added weight.
    So my advice is get 'thorn resistant' or slime tubes in the heavy guage rubber, and whatever tire you run keep it properly inflated.
    Also learn to pick your butt up off the seat when approaching a hard bump to ease the shock to the tire/tube combo.
    There are tires rated for fast ebikes; but the ratings top out at 50 kmh; so for most of us it's a crap shoot at high speed.

    Comment


      #32
      I like my new Schwalbe Super Moto-X 27.5x2.8 and Surly Extraterrestrial 29x2.5 tires. Because of the narrow rims on the Super Moto's and wide rims on the Extraterrestrials, they both have about the same "balloon" affect. The Super Moto's with snake skin side walls are softer, but the Extraterrestrials have a better all around tread for cement and dirt.

      I think the 2.25"-2.5" is the sweet spot for street/commute and maybe up to 2.8" for off-road; especially if you are riding a hard tail. YMMV
      MOVING BACK TO PEDAL...
      2020 Banshee Paradox V3 Drop Bar 1x11
      2018 Soma Wolverine 3spd IGH Belt Drive
      2018 Surly ECR 1x7
      1991 Schwinn Crosspoint 7spd (BBS02B)

      Comment


        #33
        Did some 40 miles today, mostly aphalt and very little hilly grassy offroad. My hybrid Kenda tires (see my post earlier) did very well. Quiet and smooth on the pavement, noticeably better traction on the grass than my friend's 1.5" wide street tires. Fine for dirt/gravel trails too with dual suspension, but for those I would not mind slightly wider, especially on a rigid bike.

        I really like the idea of an almost slick 1" or so wide center strip flanked by medium sized knobs that only make contact on soft surfaces or leaning in turns. Only drawback, deeply leaned turns on pavement I think have less traction than with street only tires. But normal turns, ehich are like 99% of my turns are fine as the knobs don't engage much.

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          #34
          My tires are 5.05" wide so I encounter more sharp debris.

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            #35
            for my 27.5 mtb bbshd setup I'm using onza 2.3 tires tubed and with sealant works best its been 2 years now and it works perfectly, i had some small punctures "staple pin- like" but the sealant works like a charm

            Comment


              #36
              ykick's post #29 pretty much is exactly what I would have written.

              I do just over 30 miles per day, 5-6 days per week. I have an electric fat bike with 80mm rims and a frame that can take up to 4.9" tires. I started out with 4.9" Chaoyang Big Daddies and, new to the fat-electric-bike-on-pavement thing, quickly moved to Vee V8's in 26x4.0, which I set aside looking for something better, then to Eclypse Edge-Fats (also sold by Duro now) that were horrible on pavement and wore out in 2 months.

              Next I moved to Origin8 Supercells - the 30tpi version. Those Supercells are Chaoyang Sandstorms with the Origin8 label on them. Since I put them on in late May they have about 2000 miles on them and the rear tire still has tons of tread left. Wear rate on that tough 30 tpi casing is incredible. But a 3/8" puncture/cut has me trying to save it with Shoegoo and Park tire patches. We'll see. These tires are fantastic for reduced rolling resistance, with the biggest sign of that being if I am approaching a red light I can lay off the throttle half a block away and coast down right up to the light. Downside is its a fairly slick tread and not something I want to find limits on in the wet.

              I moved the Big Daddies to a lower-speed electric cargo bike I built up and they work so well I have decided for this winter, I am going back to them on my commuter. Sure rolling resistance is reduced. But I have AWD and just over 4kw peak power. This ain't no road bike and its REALLY nice to be able to air down to 10 lbs and float along with minimal tire deflection. Arisun sells the Big Daddy 4.9 tire relabeled under their own brand in a 30 tpi and I just bought two at JensonUSA.

              The fact that 4.9 tires make the bike look like a fat bike... and 4.0 tires make it look like a pretend-motorcycle... well I'd be lying if I didn't say that was at least a small factor in my decision. The fat freaking tires have a fun factor to them.

              On my Stumpjumper, which has a mini Cyclone on it, I built up new wheels with Alexrims DM24 hoops. I put on the widest tire I can fit in the frame, which is a CST Cyclops 26x2.4 running at 60 psi (Schwalbe Crazy Bob 26x2.35 for the winter). Fantastic stability compared to the narrower stock Specialized/Sun/Ringle rims holding 2.125 tires. Its the wider rim to grab the tire over uneven terrain that makes the difference

              Comment


              • calfee20
                calfee20 commented
                Editing a comment
                This is a great post. I am interested in the Super Cells and now with the information on who makes them I can see they come in two different compounds. I will have to look into this. I was thinking of trying the 120 TPIs.

              • MoneyPit
                MoneyPit commented
                Editing a comment
                @calfee20: I have not ridden them myself but I have heard from two separate riders that their 120tpi Supercells self-steered until they pumped up the air to about 30 psi which is well above their rated 20. I trust both riders' opinions to know what self-steer is. However I experienced ZERO self-steer even down below 15 psi. I am using Kenda 4.5-4.9 Presta tubes BTW. My best guess is the more sturdy 30tpi casing has something to do with it. We all ride the same frame.

                The Shoegoo worked a treat in repairing the cut. Needed about 3 applications for it to fill in the slit/hole.

              #37
              Originally posted by Rider View Post
              I like my new Schwalbe Super Moto-X 27.5x2.8 and Surly Extraterrestrial 29x2.5 tires. Because of the narrow rims on the Super Moto's and wide rims on the Extraterrestrials, they both have about the same "balloon" affect. The Super Moto's with snake skin side walls are softer, but the Extraterrestrials have a better all around tread for cement and dirt.

              I think the 2.25"-2.5" is the sweet spot for street/commute and maybe up to 2.8" for off-road; especially if you are riding a hard tail. YMMV
              UPDATE: After 2 years with no flats using 27.5 X 2.25 Schwalbe Smart Sam Plus with Green Guard (heavier) tires, I have had 2 flats with the Schwalbe Super Moto-X 27.5 X 2.8 tires WITHOUT Green Guard in a short time. I do run tubes. Love the "feel" of the wide soft Super Moto-X 27.5+ tire, but not sure it is the best choice for ripping around on the street in the debris area next to the curb with regard to flats.

              Note that the Schwalbe Super Moto-X 27.5 X 2.4 IS a Green Guard E-Rated tire and might be much better suited to street use.
              MOVING BACK TO PEDAL...
              2020 Banshee Paradox V3 Drop Bar 1x11
              2018 Soma Wolverine 3spd IGH Belt Drive
              2018 Surly ECR 1x7
              1991 Schwinn Crosspoint 7spd (BBS02B)

              Comment


                #38
                Well I have to throw my opinion in here....

                The answer is "It Depends".

                I ride off road 95% of the time and if I am going for a leisurely ride, a 4.0" tire works best...tried wider and narrower but the wider tire actually has difficulty turning left and right because it is so wide and rolling it onto the side takes extra effort. So for a leisure ride off road I like the Maxxis FBR 26x4.00 on the rear the best.

                If I am going to ride fast and try to race with my buddies, I like a 3.0" tire. Lighter so it accelerates a little quicker and a little more nimble left and right so it handles quicker, better, and more accurately than a wider tire. My preference is the Maxxis 27.5x3.00 High Roller on the rear.

                Front tires...well I have tried all kinds of combinations and I stick with a 2.8" tire in the front for everything off road. My suspension forks aren't wide enough for anything wider. I did try a 4.0 and a 4.8 with a rigid fork but IMO the bike handled terribley slow and inaccurately with a lot of self steer if I went very low on the pressure. My preference is a 27.5 or 26 x2.8 Maxxis DHR...yes DHR not DHF. DHF works well but a DHR has a little more open tread pattern and works a little bit better for where I ride. I'd like to try a 27.5x3.00 High Roller on the front but don't have a suspension fork that it will fit in....yet.

                Although I don't ride on the pavement much, if I did I would start with the Schwalbe Super Moto 27.5x2.8. From all my research it appears to be the best thing available for the pavement with its ECE-R75 certification and 155 Kg per tire load rating. Not a lot of tires have the ECE-R75 rating for 50 kph and few tires even have a load rating much less as high as the Schwalbe Super Moto.

                Early on there was a post about a Vee Chicane coming apart...I checked into those and they are not ebike rated. My bet is the tire overheated and the carcass separated from the tread. Anybody remember the Firestone 500 fiasco about 30 years ago??? Common failure with car tires if you run them under inflated. Moral of this story is on the pavement, keep your tires inflated and the closer you run them to the max inflation pressure on the sidewall, the longer they will last from both a wear and overheating perspective....because the tire doesn't flex as much.

                Comment


                  #39
                  I've got 4" on one bike and 4.7" on another. Unlike the last posters experience, for me the wider tires actually steer very quickly - much more so than the narrower ones... but I'm confident it has to do with the bike and not the tire size...regardless, the bike with 4.7" steering forces are extremely light, especially compared to the other bike that drives like a tank...

                  Comment


                    #40
                    Huge fan of 4”

                    Comment


                      #41
                      Originally posted by AZguy View Post
                      I've got 4" on one bike and 4.7" on another. Unlike the last posters experience, for me the wider tires actually steer very quickly - much more so than the narrower ones... but I'm confident it has to do with the bike and not the tire size...regardless, the bike with 4.7" steering forces are extremely light, especially compared to the other bike that drives like a tank...
                      AZguy...what pressure do you run in your 4.7?

                      And are you talking about off road or on pavement?

                      My problem is I was running between 8 and 10 psi to give good cushion off road and at that pressure the big tires wanted to take control 4.0 and 4.7...if I pumped them up to where I didn't get any self steer like 15 psi or higher, they turned left and right great but got a little bouncy off road. On the road is an entirely different story...the higher pressures handled better, turned better, and rolled better. I haven't ridden enough on the road to recommend a specific pressure but when I am riding on pavement around the house to test something I changed, I pump my 4.7 up to 15 psi and it does pretty good.

                      I agree with you...the bike has a lot to do with it. The steering head angle....steeper makes the bike turn easier but is a little less stable. The opposite...what the younger guys call "Slack" and old farts like me call "Increased rake angle"...makes the bike more difficult to turn but is more stable. My bike has a 66 degree head angle...I would consider it on the "slack" end of the spectrum. I like about 72 degrees the best but it is all personal preference.

                      Comment


                      • AZguy
                        AZguy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Funny thing sbout the heavy steering bike is that it is also less stable - go figger...

                        I don't ever do strictly hard surface riding - i.e. every ride has some dirt, some more than others. If it's going to be a mostly hard surface day I might run 12-15. For a dirtier day 10-12. If there's going to be a lot of deep washes but still some harder mix, 8-10... nothing but deep (think dry sand), as low as 5...


                        I've got decades of time on motos and learned to handle very heavy DS bikes (my last "lightweight" dirt bike was >400lb empty and the heaviest over 600lb and all could carry over 50lb of fuel and another 25+lb of water - it's AZ! - and 50+lb of gear) in deep stuff so I may be able to handle the ebikes in soft stuff with a bit higher tire pressures than many others would find comfortable. I learned to understand the bike will "want" to follow certain lines in the deep stuff so predict the line and just let the bike do it instead of trying to force it into a line that's going to end up a lot of work at best or a front wheel washout...

                      #42
                      I'm with AZguy on the tire size thing. I have found self-steer on fat tires is entirely dependent on the chosen tire, not the wide platform. Sometimes it even matters which tpi count you choose like with the Supercells. 120tpi self steers. 30tpi does not. Talk about counterintuitive.

                      In my road bike days I would sneer and spit at a 30tpi tire.

                      Since I wrote my post above, I put a rough total of 3000 miles on my Supercells. I came to the conclusion that while I appreciated their reduced rolling resistance, their near-slick surface acted as a magnet for nails and such. Got tired of pulling nails and hoping the slime sealed the deal (which it always did). Every month or so I would have to pull the tire and patch the 3 or 4 slime-sealed holes I had accumulated.

                      When I went to the Arisun Big Fatty 26x4.9 (casing measures out to about 4.3") in 30 tpi, my flatting ... disappeared. I mean stopped 100% dead. Except for the one week where I got two flats on the same tire (figures, right?) . And since then nothing again for months. Sure some of your flats are about luck but after this many months some credit has to be given to the tire casing of this tire, which I liken to a tank tread. I have three fat ebikes (building a 4th) and I have standardized on this tire now. Partly to simplify my spare parts pile and partly because it works so well. And they cost $47 each, regular price. I just bought three more. Two for the new bike and one as an eventual replacement for the rear tire that is showing signs of wear, finally.

                      Inflationwise, I pump mine up to 20 psi and then leave them be until such time as a nail deflates them, or I get itchy and decide its time to run some more air in. Usually - especially given that I have slime inside the tubes - deflation over time is minimal and I am around 17.5 lbs. 15 on my non suspended bikes is ideal for comfort and at that pressure range, no self steer on the big Arisuns.

                      Comment


                        #43
                        Originally posted by FatMarty View Post
                        I really like my 2" Schwalbe Marathon Deluxe ebike tires; but they are about $65 a pop and Schwalbe tubes suck.
                        So my advice is get 'thorn resistant' or slime tubes in the heavy guage rubber, and whatever tire you run keep it properly inflated.
                        Also learn to pick your butt up off the seat when approaching a hard bump to ease the shock to the tire/tube combo.
                        There are tires rated for fast ebikes; but the ratings top out at 50 kmh; so for most of us it's a crap shoot at high speed.
                        My commuter bike moves comfortably at 35 MPH, which has made me look to suspension and better tires. I have an anthem frame on the way and suppose that the Marathons will be the tire of choice. Question. My commute includes a couple mile long stretches on a canal tow path...flat with fine gravel and dirt. Is there enough width and shoulder on these to provide stability at speed? Or should I try something with more shoulder to it like Continental Double fighters? https://www.trailheadcycling.com/pro...i-250038-1.htm The Schwalbe speed rating means a lot to me as someone who drives an M3...

                        Comment


                          #44
                          Just a little info...the Schwalbe Super moto tire in size 27.5x2.8 has a 50 kph speed rating which is the highest available for a bicycle tire. AND it has the highest load rating of any speed rated bicycle tire that I can find. There are a few other sizes available but the 27.5x2.8 has the highest load rating. I like the relatively high volume as well...just gives a little softer/smoother ride.

                          Here is a link to the tire on the Schwalbe web site: https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...s/super-moto-x

                          Warning...not all sizes of the tire are speed rated.

                          Comment


                            #45
                            Originally posted by Bullfrog View Post
                            Just a little info...the Schwalbe Super moto tire in size 27.5x2.8 has a 50 kph speed rating which is the highest available for a bicycle tire. AND it has the highest load rating of any speed rated bicycle tire that I can find.
                            50 kph is only 31 mph. Normal cruise speed below peak for a normal ebike in a 3-Class state. Those ratings are more meaningful in the EU where they clamp down so hard on speed.

                            I've found that if you want speed-safe tires, for the smaller sizes that means staying away from non-tubeless-ready high-tpi-count tires. a 120 tpi tire meant for use with tubes typically has a skin-thin sidewall. Get that same tire in 30 tpi and now you have a tire casing that handles 35 mph for thousands of miles.

                            Otherwise... buy tubeless tires and those tires have a thick enough casing regardless of thread count that they work at ebike speeds. I just went tubeless with Vee Snowshoe XLs and as 120 tpi tires go, they have some mighty thick sidewalls.

                            For a bike that doesn't wear clown shoes, a Maxxis Minion is hard to beat for an off road tire.

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