We’re not trying to be insulting right now, but your electric bike (eBike) tires are looking a little fat, and that’s a good thing. eBikes have many similarities and differences when compared to traditional bikes but one of the most obvious differences is the tires.
Conventional bike tires measure approximately one half to two inches wide and are inflated from 20 to 40 PSI for mountain bike tires and up to 130 PSI for street bikes. eBike fat tires measure much larger at around three to five inches and are only inflated to around 10 to 20 PSI.
Why the fat and underinflated tires? eBikes are designed to go further and on more surfaces than conventional bikes, so they need the right tire to absorb impact and hold grip. eBike fat tires are designed to crush light to moderate hiking and biking trails and can keep their traction in wet or slick environments.
There’s no doubt that eBike tires are large and in charge but what happens if you get a flat or puncture in your eBike tire? eBike tires are wider, thicker, have different types of tubes, and are inflated to much lower PSI. Even if you’ve changed dozens of conventional bike tires, your eBike tires might be different.
Review our step-by-step guide for how to mend a puncture on an electric bike so you’re ready to patch and go if you blow a tire. We’ll review how to temporarily mend a puncture on the trail and how to make a more permanent fix back home.
Guide to Fixing a Puncture on an Electric Bike Tire
On the Trail
Fixing a puncture on an eBike starts before you hit the trail. If you plan on riding far from home or for hours at a time, it’s best to bring supplies and tools in case things go wrong. Long distance eBike riders should always carry:
Tube patch tape – Make sure it’s suited to your tube
Air pump – There are compact, lightweight air pumps designed for on-trail use
Bike tools – multi-tool that can help unscrewing nuts and bolts and a prying tool to help separate the tire from tube.
Backup tube – Installing a new tube on the trail is difficult but doable if you know what you’re doing.
Steps to Mending Puncture on eBike Tire
Check the Guide: Hopefully you still have your eBike’s instruction manual or an online version. It could include tips of mending a puncture.
Step 1 – Remove the battery from the eBike.
Step 2 – Flip bike over for easier working.
Step 3 – Loosen axle nuts, they normally don’t need to be removed.
Step 4 – Inspect the tire’s rim. Starting at the furthest point from the valve, fold the tire up and carefully check the rim for items like thorns or other damage.
Step 5 – Check the inner tube for damage, foreign material, or punctures. You can partially inflate the tube then spray water to help you find bubbles indicating a leak.
Step 6 – Patch the found damage with proper tape.
Step 7 – Seat the inner tube back in the tire.
Step 8 – Partially inflate the tube to check for leaks.
Step 9 – Once no leaks are confirmed, check that the inner tube is properly seated.
Step 10 – Slowly inflate and continue to monitor for leaks.
Step 11 – Only pump the tire up to minimum PSI until you can make a permanent fix.
Step 12 – Reset the tire onto the axle.
Step 13 – Ride cautiously until you’re able to make a permanent fix.
Back at Home
Bringing a quick patch kit is always recommended for longer eBike rides, but most don’t always carry an emergency kit with them. If you have to wait until you get home, use the following steps:
Follow Steps 1 through 5 from above.
Step 6 – Instead of patching the inner tube, remove it.
Step 7 – Replace the tube with a new one. It’s helpful to partially inflate the tube before to make it easier to seat in the tire.
Step 8 – Reinflate the tire slowly making sure the tube is in the right spot.
Step 9 – Carefully reassemble your eBike.
Take your eBike out for a cautious test ride to make sure everything is up to snuff.
Don’t Fix it Yourself if You Don’t Want To
No one said you had to fix the tire or puncture yourself. If you’re unsure of your ability or would rather not get your hands dirty, take your eBike into the local bike shop. An eBike technician can expertly diagnose the problem and can often make the repair on the spot for a small fee.
Riding Through the Flats
Fixing an eBike fat tire puncture is like a conventional bike and involves finding the damage, patching it, and being careful until you’re able to replace the tube. If you’re uncomfortable fixing a flat or don’t know what you’re doing, let an eBike tech fix it for you. eBike tires are fatter and stronger, but they can still go flat – be prepared with a fix-it kit and these instructions.