Electric mountain bikes come with high-quality tyres. However, just as you would replace your old or worn-out running shoes, you need to do the same with your electric mountain bike tyres. And just as you need to make choices with the new running shoes; you need to choose the best tyres for your eMTB.
For instance, choosing the right eMTB tyres will prolong your bike's life, improve your biking speed, contribute to biking safety, and improve overall biking performance.
This article has everything you need to know about choosing electric mountain bike tyres. Read on to find out.
Factors to consider while choosing the right eMTB tyres
Here are some of the essential things you should consider while buying the right tyres for your electric mountain bike:
Since no eMTB tyre excels at everything, you must focus more on your biking style's most vital tyre attributes.
For instance, climbing efficiency is more vital for uphill biking than extra tyre durability or traction. Therefore, you would want eMTB tyres that are lightweight and roll fast. They should be smaller and have more densely spaced lugs.
For downhill biking, you would want tenacious eMTB tyres for gravity-enhanced fun. Besides, you need tyres that can claw around turns and handle stick landings.
All-round eMTB tyres make sense for trail biking. You would want a moderate level of speed, durability, and traction.
However, it is vital to note that all-mountain riding focuses on descents. So, you generally need to choose tyres that can withstand moderate impacts (should have more oversized side lugs). The right-mounting biking tyres should also grip well when you turn at a top speed.
The design of tread patterns
The design of the lugs or treads on eMTB tyres varies widely. Understanding how this tyre features impact biking performance will enable you to choose the right type of tyre for your electric mountain bike. For instance:
- Closely spaced and small lugs provide a modest grip with more speed (low rolling resistance)
- Widely spaced and big lugs bite into muddy, soft surfaces. The wide channels help in releasing the muck.
- Transition lugs. They are located between the side and centre lugs. They provide a smooth transition from centre to side lugs by increasing grip as the rider leans into a turn.
- Side lugs. They offer extra grip in corners.
- Ramped lugs. They are located in the centre and provide lower resistance, enabling you to ride faster.
Weight of the eMTB tyres
A set of eMTB tyres will add about 2kg to your bike. So, you should not underestimate their weight.
Although e-bike tyres have a damping effect (they react to bumps quicker than the bike's fork can), they form part of your eMTB "unsprung mass. So, they have a significant effect on your suspension.
However, heavy eMTB tyres can positively affect the bike's handling. For instance, when everything gets rough, your heavy tyres will assist you in holding your line over roots or through a rock garden since lateral impacts do not upset heavy tyres easily.
You also need to note that there is a fine line between too-light and too-heavy tyres. So, it is recommended to have some more weight on your eMTB tyres to save spare tubes and rims.
Width of the eMTB tyres
Tyres come in different widths—either thin or fat tyres. Although thin tyres use less rubber, are easy to handle, and are more efficient, they are only suited for smooth roads.
Therefore, the best eMTB tyres should be fat. For instance, fat tyres have more puncture protection functions at a relatively lower pressure, allowing you to ride comfortably on different terrains.
However, the thickness of your eMTB tyres can cause extra weight for your bike and has some effect on the biking speed. which will ultimately increase the rolling resistance.
Our electric mountain bikes can go as fast as 15 miles per hour. Therefore, because of how fast eMTBs can go, you would want to choose high-quality tyres designed to take abuse to the bike's high speeds.
This factor, combined with the weight of your eMTB, can put more pressure on your wheels.
The tyre's casing
The casing is the backbone of the eMTB tyres. For instance, it gives your tyre its structure and shape. It also significantly affects cornering stability, weight, and puncture protection.
However, you should not choose the tyre's casing based on its weight but on your riding style, trail condition, and weight.
The sturdier the eMTB tyre casing, the lower you can have your bike's tyre pressure without worrying about the tyre folding in the corners or getting a pinch flat on roots or rocks.
For instance, you would want to choose a sturdier eMTB tyre casing, which protects your new tyre from being destroyed on your first ride.
Most electric mountain bike tyres come in a variety of rubber compounds. However, we recommend softer compounds as they absorb more energy from bumps.
For instance, they grip better on rocks and roots. They also have a more 'planted' biking feel. Their downsides are that they have more rolling resistance and wear faster.
When should you change eMTB tyres?
Here are the signs that would indicate it is time to look for new tyres for your electric mountain bike:
- The tyre tread edges are conspicuously worn down, and you are getting a lot of flats
- The bike's wear indicators are disappearing. However, not all eMTB tyres have wear indicators.
- Your eMTB's tyre tread appears uneven or rounded
- You notice hashtags (a thread pattern) on the sidewall of your eMTB tyre
- The siping (tiny slits in bike tyres that assist their grip on a wet surface) starts disappearing
- You notice a distortion in your bike tyre. A damaged casing usually causes this under the tyre's outer wall.
- The rubber starts to flake or crack off the sidewalls or knobs.
eMTB tyre buying tips
Here are the tips that will enable you to choose the right tyres for your electric mountain bike.
- Begin with a single set of eMTB tyres.
While eMTB riders have tyres for different situations, you must begin with one set of new tyres.
For instance, you need to focus on your riding style and the type of terrain you want to tackle.
- Talk with a bike specialist in your area.
The experts know the type of terrain in your area and can make appropriate recommendations for eMTB tyres that meet your biking needs.
- Know whether you want to mix and match your eMTB tyre.
Although this depends on personal preference, some eMTB riders prefer a tyre with less rolling resistance in the back and one with more traction in the front. So, you should experiment with it one way now and try it with the other approach next time.
Should tyres be eMTB-specific?
Most traditional mountain bike tyres can also work on electric mountain bikes. However, many companies have designed eMTB-specific tyre formulas.
Both options can work for your eMTB, and the choice of tyres depends on personal preference.
However, you must note that the tyres you choose should have sturdy sidewalls. That is because eMTBs are heavier and exert more force on their tyres.
Choosing the right eMTB tyres for the riding condition you typically encounter, and your type of riding can be a real headache. However, this article has highlighted everything you need to know about choosing the right eMTB tyres.
If you still have difficulties selecting the right tyres for your electric mountain bike, contact Eskute Help Center for recommendations and assistance.