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Arguably the most crucial part of an electric scooter is the wheels. Without them, you’re not going anywhere. Unfortunately, tires don’t last forever, and they sometimes go flat or suffer punctures. While not all top e-scooters are the same, most follow similar steps for replacing wheels. So, if you’re wondering how to change a wheel and electric scooter tire, we’ll walk you through the process.
There are two main types of electric scooter tires to consider when replacing: air-filled tires (pneumatic) and solid tires (non-pneumatic). In addition, you may have honeycomb tires, but they should be treated as standard solid tires, for this article. Keep in mind another important DIY tip if your scooter isn’t starting is how to change the ignition switch.
Tubed or tube tires are a type of pneumatic tire that uses an internal inner tube to hold air. An outer tire covers the inner tube. They are more cost-effective and easier to replace than tubeless tires. Also, don’t forget these tires need to be inflated, we have a guide on how to inflate electric scooter tires if you aren’t familiar with this.
Tubeless tires are pneumatic tires with no inner tube that rely on a vacuum seal around the rim to hold air. These tires are more durable than tubed tires, and tire sealant can take care of tiny punctures.
Solid tires are a type of electric scooter tire made entirely of rubber or filled with polyurethane foam. A solid tire is more challenging to replace than a pneumatic tire. That said, you won’t have to worry about it nearly as often as you would with an air-filled tire.
Each type of electric scooter wheel calls for slightly different methods to perform a replacement. Depending on the type of tire, you may need to get the outside help of a mechanic. That said, each technique uses roughly the same tools. The steps below will walk you through the process for each type of e-scooter tire. Don’t forget to also check out our steps on how to carry around an e-scooter that will make your life easier. And, while you have the tools out, it would be smart to check your brakes to see if you need to fix the brakes of the electric scooter.
Tools Needed: Tire Pry Bars (at least two), Air compressor (120 PSI minimum), Screwdriver, Safety gloves.
An E-scooter wheel is usually held in place by several screws. They are typically hidden by stickers or rubber stoppers. Once located, they usually come out pretty easily, but they are surprisingly long.
This is an essential step because it makes the old tire more pliable and easier to remove from the rim.
This is almost like giving your tire a massage. Go along the tire and press along where the tire and rim connect. This will make it a bit easier to wedge in our tire pry bars in the next step.
Tire pry bars will give you additional leverage when removing the tire from the rim. Use the first tire pry to lift a segment of the tire away from the rim. Then, use the second tire pry for extra leverage to raise more of the tire away from the rim. Once about a third of the tire is removed, you should be able to remove the rest by hand.
This step aims to heat our new tire and coat it with dish soap to make it more pliable and easier to get onto the rim of our E-scooter. You can choose one of the three options to heat your tire, but understand that using a microwave is considered a last resort.
a. Rinse in Sink Under Hot Water
b. Heat the Tire in Hot Water (Just Below Boiling)
c. Heat Tire in Microwave (Not Recommended)
The new tire will still be hot from the previous step, so make sure to wear safety gloves when first handling the new tire. This step is easy; simply twist the tire back and forth to make it as flexible as possible.
The first side of the electric scooter’s tire should go on quickly. However, the second side of the tire can be quite challenging to install, so either ask for help from a friend or use your foot to hold down the first side while pressing the tire over the rest of the rim. You can also use the tire pry bars, but be careful not to cause damage to the tire.
Once connected to the tire stem, use a quick burst of air (120 – 150 PSI) to set the tire seal. Once you verify that the tire is fixed and holds air, you can reduce the air pressure to around 50-60 PSI.
Time Required: 45 – 90 minutes
Total Steps: 9
Tools Needed: Tire pry bar, Air pump, Screwdriver, Safety gloves
Several screws hold an E-scooter wheel in place. Stickers or rubber stoppers are usually used to conceal them. They usually come out quite simply after you find them, but they’re surprisingly lengthy.
This is important to make the old tire as easy to remove as possible.
Simply massage the tire away from the rim, working your way along the edge until you’ve done the entire wheel.
When removing the tire off the rim, tire pry bars will give you more leverage. First, lift a section of the tire away from the rim with the first tire pry. Then, use the second tire pry to pull away more. Finally, you should be able to remove the remainder of the tire by hand after you’ve removed approximately a third of it.
This step aims to warm up our new tire to be more flexible and simpler to install on our E-scooter. Most experts recommend covering it with dish soap in addition to heating it.
Because the new tire will still be hot from the previous procedure, use safety gloves while handling it for the first time. This step is simple; just rotate the tire back and forth to get maximum flexibility.
Make sure your inner tube is completely deflated. This is important to ensure that the inner tube doesn’t get in the way as you try to get the outer tire onto the rim.
By sliding the valve stem in first, you avoid damaging the stem as you press the rest of the tire on by hand. This process might require some outside help or additional tools to hold the tire in place, like the tubeless tire installation.
We just need a bike pump or hand pump to inflate the inner tube fully for a tubed wheel. Check your manual or the tire’s manufacturer’s website to verify the correct PSI for your tire.
Line up your wheel and reinstall the screws you removed in step one.
There are two main types of e-scooter tires to consider when replacing: air-filled tires (pneumatic) and solid tires (non-pneumatic).
Time Required: 30 – 60 minutes
Total Steps: 7
Tools Needed: Screwdriver, Tire Prybars, Safety gloves
Some screws typically hold an E-scooter wheel in place. Stickers or rubber stoppers usually cover them. They generally come out quickly after they’ve been found, but they’re surprisingly lengthy.
While it is faster to do this task with two individuals, it is entirely possible to complete it on your own. First, lift a section of the tire away from the rim with the first tire pry. Then, use the second tire pry to pull more of the tire away from the rim. Finally, you should be able to remove the remainder of the tire by hand when you’ve removed roughly a third of it.
This step aims to warm up our new tire and rub it with dish soap to make it much more malleable and easier to set up on our E-scooter’s rim. You should heat your tire using one of the three methods listed above, but remember that using the microwave is a last resort that might compromise your new tire.
Wear safety gloves while handling the new tire since it will still be warm from the previous part. To make the tire as flexible as possible, just bend it back and forth.
You should be able to install the first side pretty quickly. Next, either enlist the assistance of a buddy or use your foot to hold down the first side while pressing the tire over the remainder of the rim. You may also pry the tire using the tire pry bars.
Line up your wheel and simply reinstall the screws from step one.
Do tires on electric scooters need adjustment? Is that something I should do if I’m not a professional?
The only maintenance the average scooter owner needs to do is check air pressure. That said, all tires wear out, and you’ll need to replace them eventually.
How Often Do Electric Scooter Tires Wear Out?
In general, electric scooter tires should be changed every 2-3000 miles.
Can I use both pneumatic and solid tires?
It is pretty standard for an e-scooter to come with a pneumatic front wheel and a solid back wheel.
STAT: About 40% of budget electric scooters (under $300) have solid tires, 47% come with air-filled tires, and 13% have a combination of solid and air-filled tires. (source)