How to Choose the Right Electric Bicycle Wheel

How to Choose the Right Electric Bicycle Wheel

Electric bike wheels are one of the most vital components for your e-bike. The force you exert on the pedals, the brakes you apply, road bumps you ride into, and changes in the direction you make while riding are all associated with the wheels. Wheels affect several aspects of your biking. Therefore the quality of your wheels gives different feels to both your riding experience and safety.

If you intend to use an e-bike and have just a little knowledge about the wheels, read on to seek out the various types and sizes of e-bike wheels and how these differences can impact your choice of wheel.


Different Types of Electric Bicycle Wheel

Firstly, we need to consider is the place where we will frequently use our bikes. Based on the different kinds of terrains and riding style, the tires of E-bikes divide into five types.


Road Tire

The first kind is called Road Tire. This tire usually uses on even roads, such as asphalt roads and cement roads. When the electric bikes ride on these roads, they endure only a little pressure on the ground. So the tires of e-bikes are always designed in skinny size-23 to 25mm wide.

Cyclocross Tire

The second one is named Cyclocross Tire. This tire can be used in much muddy and gravel environments because it has a better grip performance. The size of Cyclocross Tire is wider than that of Road Tire, from 30 to 33mm.

Commuting Bike Tire

People who ride e-bikes for daily commuting mostly ride on common hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. In these places, the ability to ride safely in wet conditions is of utmost importance. Commuting e-bike tires are designed specifically for this type of riding. The tires are flat, smooth, and have all-weather tread patterns. Their widths are usually between 28mm and 42mm. The wider the tires, the more grip and comfort it provides for the rider due to the increased amount of air volume that can greatly reduce tire pressure.

Mountain Bike Tire

As its name suggests, this tire is specific for use on mountain riding. This tire is wide and fat for firmly grasping the ground and providing high-level traction. Some manufacturers even use natural rubber instead of synthetics to make mountain e-bikes because the rubber has better performance on grips.

BMX Tire

BMX means bicycle motocross. They are bikes made especially for racing on a rough, cross-country course that has constructed obstacles. They have similar tires to mountain e-bike tires because they are somewhat wider and chunky. The majority of BMX bikes' tires are 20 inches wide. Commonly, different styles of BMX riding require different tread patterns and widths. A BMX used for racing makes use of a narrow tire that has a high-level PSI, while BMX used as a freestyle bike requires a wider BMX tire for better grip and a higher than average PSI level for soft landings.


Electric Bicycle Wheel Size

Bicycle wheels are produced in different sizes, ranging from the tiny 12-inch diameter tires to the large 29-inch diameter tires. The performances of e-bikes are determined to a great extent by the size of the wheel size. This is because the wheels determine different aspects of the bikes. Such as the ease of movement, the degree of rolling, and the smoothness of the ride. Below is a brief description of the most common e-bike wheel sizes and their characteristics.


16-Inch E-bike Wheel

This size of electric bike wheel is typically found on folding electric bikes. These type of electric bikes are light weight and meant to fold together so they can easily be transported.

20-Inch E-bike Wheel

Just like the 16-inch wheels, 20-inch wheels are likely to be found on a folding bike. However, they are more common than the 16-inch wheels. Because of their high quality of being easily maneuvered, they are the standard wheels for BMX tires. Although, riders might still experience some downsides to using these wheels, as they are also easily affected by rocks and obstacles compared to larger standard wheel sizes

26-Inch E-bike Wheel

26-inch wheels are the most common wheel size you will find on an electric bike. From mountain bikes to road bikes and beach cruisers, a 26-inch wheel is an industry norm for electric bikes. With a long and diverse bicycle industry history, 26-inch wheels can arguably be considered the most widespread wheel size variants today.

Ideally, this also makes them more suitable for diverse terrains - whether it's a smooth and flat path or a technically challenging off-road route, these wheels are designed to withstand it all.

29-Inch E-bike Wheel

Bikes with this type of wheel were released some years ago. They have a much wider diameter and have less friction, with more ground contact. Having More contact with the ground automatically means better traction. These 29-inch wheels are tagged with the great advantage of having the ability to roll over obstacles while you are riding. Additionally, less energy is required to keep the bike going at a constant speed because they are better at storing their inertia. Furthermore, 29-inch E-bikes have a higher standover height. This means that if you're tall, this is a clear benefit. Though it can be difficult for short riders to fit in.


How to Choose the Right Electric Bicycle Wheel

So all in all, how to choose the right electric bicycle tires, here are the key factors to consider: Fat tires or thin tires?

Depending on the type, the bike has either fat tires or thin tires. If you are going to hit rough terrain, as well as paved roads, stick to fat tires. Thin tires are perfect for smooth roads.

Fat tires

Fat tires function at much lower pressure and have more traction and puncture protection. It allows the bike to operate well on different types of terrains. They are mostly used on mountain bikes and regular road bikes that are ridden on the tarmacs, pavements, gravel floors, beaches, and even snow. While this is so, it is noteworthy that the thickness of the tires has some effects on the speed of the bike, and it can cause extra weight for the bike, ultimately increasing rolling resistance.

Thin tires

On the contrary, thin tires use less rubber and are therefore lighter than fat tires. This makes it more efficient and easier to handle. They are perfect for smooth roads. With higher pressure, lower rolling resistance and lower traction, they can easily outpace the thicker ones in speed and agility. The drawback is that they have lower puncture protection and are not as sturdy as fat tires.

The size of the tires is vital. Bigger tires are likely be thicker. Smaller and thinner tires also come in different sizes. If you already own a bike, it certainly depends on the size of the frame you have. If you are an e-bike newcomer, then take some time to figure out your riding habits and buying accordingly. If you think highly of maneuverability and portability, 16 or 20-inch wheels fit you well. If riding comfort and speed efficiency are more important to you, then you should definitely choose the big wheels.

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