Does adding more air to electric bike tyres make them faster?
Bike tyres and treads type can determine the speed and performance of your electric bike, infact a well inflated round tyre with slick surface and high pressure will be faster on flat surfaces, than a flat tyre with big off road treads.
After that don't go to inflate your tires until they become hard as a rock and explode with a big bang, keep reading to understand how to obtain the best performance with your set of wheels!
Infact, on the other hand a flat tyre with lower air pressure and big treads will be more performing on soft terrains like sand, snow and mud. It offers more traction, control and grip, that means a safer ride with more performances.
If you ride in both kinds of terrains, on road and off road, it will be better to use an intermediate air pressure, to be fine in both situations. Not too low, neither too high.
You want to get the best result from your electric bike? Keep reading..
Does the air pressure influence battery performances?
We have another common question like: Tire pressure affects battery consumption? The answer is again Yes, as tire inflation can influence the battery's lasting performance.
As we said before, a low air pressure means that wheels will stick on the terrain with a wider and flatter surface, it causes a higher rolling resistance that will require more energy and consume more battery.
Viceversa, high pressure with a rounded tire surface will mean a faster wheel response with less battery consumptions.
Better high or low pressure?
We don't have a common general answer, but we must say that it depends on your needs, the kind of terrain, the kind of e-bike and tires (treaded or semi slick).
In fact, in certain circumstances there will be more performance with a lower pressure or a flat tire, for example in soft terrain and off roading in general, because a flat tire offers more grip and an higer traction. Viceversa, high pressure is more efficient over asphalt and in urban environments, because it offers less rolling resistance and consequently a faster speed and less battery consumption.
Furthermore, if you go off road with a slick tire, you can easily lose traction and control over the wheels, because the slick surface will be more slippery with debris and soft terrain. Well inflated tires tend to bounce while hitting obstacles, while flatter tires will absorb all small impacts giving you more comfort and control.
Semi slick and slick tires require higher pressures to work properly, on the other hand off road treds work well with lower pressures.
So as you can see that's not the best solution for anything, but it depends on your needs.
Grip and rolling resistance
A flat tire generates more friction with the ground, offers more grip and control, but requires more effort to move the vehicle. The deflated tread in fact tends to flatten on the ground, generating a greater contact surface. In this case, the rubber tends to "slow down" the speed of the bicycle.
On the contrary, an inflated tire makes the tread more rounded and smooth, with a smaller contact surface with the ground. Choosing the right tire pressure therefore also affects battery consumption.
A flatter tyre offers more comfort because it works like a kind of extra suspension, absorbing all little obstacles and vibrations. High pressure will cause higher vibrations and bouncing, especially off road.
You don't have to inflate or deflate your tires until they pop, but rather stick to the tire specifications: on the shoulder you will find the MIN and MAX pressures recommended for ideal use. You MUST always keep inside those values, never going up the MAX or down the MIN.
So finally, keep in mind that on dirt you need to use a lower pressure to have more control, while on asphalt it is better to use a high pressure for greater speed, reduce punctures and to reduce battery consumption. If you ride in both terrain use a medium pressure.
MIN MAX pressure values
On the shoulder of the tire you will find a wording that indicates the pressure values in BAR or PSI at which you have to inflate the tire: find a range with MIN and MAX values, respectively minimum and maximum pressure. You must therefore inflate without ever exceeding the maximum and you must make sure that the wheel is no longer deflated than the minimum level.
If the tire is deflated under the MIN value you can easily get a flat tire with debris or the tire itself can run out from the rim. If you inflate too much it can explode on impacts!
To inflate the tire and check pressure, you need a common ground pump with a pressure gauge, a compressor or a digital pressure gauge. With the optimal pressure you improve the performance of the bike and consequently lower the battery consumption. In addition the tire wears less and will last longer.
Which pressure have you chosen for your electric bike?