Choose the right tire for your electric bike
A good electric bicycle tire can also help you avoid flat tires, which is even more important because changing a flat tire on a hub motor wheel can be a real pain in the behind. Match your terrain When choosing the right tire for your electric bicycle, the first thing you’ll want to consider is the type of terrain you’ll be riding on, specifically if it’s on-road or off-road. Most people ride their ebikes on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. This type of riding requires a smoother tread meant for those hard, flat surfaces. Commuter style tires are best for this type of riding. Commuter tires have flat, smooth tread patterns with just enough all-weather tread to allow for safe riding in wet conditions. As opposed to commuter tires, super skinny road tires can often be entirely slick and aren’t great for wet conditions due to their higher potential for slipping. Instead, look for a nice commuter tire with a balance between slick tread and grooves for water dispersion. On the other hand, anyone who does the majority of their riding off-road on surfaces like dirt, sand and grass will want a knobby tire
with an aggressive tread for grabbing the earth and achieving maximum traction in less forgiving environments. BMX tires generally have a light tread pattern which can be good for packed dirt. However, if you do serious trail riding you’ll want something closer to a downhill tire for extreme grip. Size matters The next consideration is tire size. Your tires are measured in two ways. A standard 26 x 1.95 tire is approximately 26″ in diameter and has a width of approximately 1.95″. Generally speaking, a wider tire will give you more cushion and act like additional suspension for your bike. A 26 x 2.5 tire will feel a lot nicer than the 26 x 1.95 tire when you hit bumps or pot holes. The downside to wider tires is that they can reduce your speed and range. That’s why road tires are so narrow. The narrower the tire and smaller the contact patch, the faster and more efficient the tire will be. Even with wide tires though you can still increase your range by keeping your tire pressure higher. This reduces the contact patch and increases your efficiency. If your pressure is too high though it can actually have a detrimental effect on your ride, causing bumps to feel more jarring. On my personal ebikes I usually like to go with as wide a tire as possible, usually up to about 2.5 inches, and keep the pressure pretty high. Any wider than 2.5 inches and you are officially in the balloon tire realm. “Fat bikes” often use balloon tires which give better traction and ride, but cut down on efficiency. Everything is a trade-off!