How to Choose the Right Electric Bicycle Wheel

Electric bike wheels are certainly one of the most fundamental components of any e-bike. They are responsible for the force you apply on the pedals, braking, road bumps as well as alterations in direction. Since wheels impact multiple aspects, the higher the quality the better the riding experience and riding safety.

If you're planning to acquire an e-bike and have scanty details regarding the wheel, read on to discover the various types and size of e-bike wheel and learn how these variations can affect the appropriate wheel for your requirements.

ebike wheels

Different Electric Bicycle Wheel

Electric bike tires can be grouped in regards to the type of landscape you ride on and your preferred riding style. Based on those aspects, we have classified it into five condition categories.

Road Tire

Road tires are usually thin averaging 23 to 25 mm wide with light overall weight. The reduced tread and limited surface area in touch with the road ensures there is minimal friction and extreme speed when riding. They work best especially when riding on an asphalt surface. Due to minimal pressure on the ground, it is pretty easier to speed up, causing the rider to feel lighter, a good number of people opt to use road bikes. On the contrary, these tires turn out to be slippery in dump environments, hence if you reside in areas that frequently endure heavy rainfall or snows often, road tires may not be practical for you.

Cyclocross Tire

These tires fall in between the mountain tires and road tires. They are somewhat wider compared to road tires, with a width of 30 to 33 mm. These tires are nearly flat with tiny patterns or small studs for an extreme influence on wet surfaces. They are ideal for those that reside and ride on muddy and gravel terrains.

Commuting Bike Tire

People who use bikes for routine travels often ride them on hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. Ridding safely even on muddy areas is always a priority to those people. Commuting bikes are mainly created for this purpose, thanks to their flat, smooth and versatile-weather tread patterns. Many commuting bikes have tires ranging from 28mm to 42mm.

Mountain Bike Tire

Dissimilar to road bikes skinny tires, mountain tires are stocked with firm, broad and fat tires. These tires boast an assertive tread that can hit the ground and achieve optimal traction in hostile environments. These makes them suitable for riders that ride mainly on off-road surfaces including dirt, grass and sand. In addition, several mountain bike tires are composed of natural rubber, which is widely believed to have a better traction on rough surfaces then their synthetic counterparts.

BXM Tire

BXM is an acronym for bicycle motocross. These bicycles are mainly used for sport racing and are assembled factoring all the possible terrains including the rough, cross-country course that features established obstacles. Just like mountain bike tires, BXM tires are somewhat wider, heavy and knobby. A considerable number of these bikes have 20" tires whereas the extensive frames could use 24" tires. Various styles of BXM riding require varied tread patterns as well as widths. Most racing BXM bikes are equipped with a narrower tire with an extreme level of PSI while freestyle BXM bikes demand an extensive BXM tire for an incredible traction with a more than standard PSI level for smooth landing.

Electric Bicycle Wheel Size

Today, bicycle wheels are available in different sizes ranging from miniature 12-inch diameter to vast 29-inch diameter. The size of the wheel has a significant impact on the performance of electric bikes considering they influence the ease of bike movement, the extent of rolling and the nature of the ride. Explore the most widely used e-bike wheels sizes along with their features below.

ebike wheels

16-Inch E-bike Wheel

This type of wheel is prevalent in folding bicycles. These wheels are mainly used in folding bicycles to ease the weight and maintain the folded size as small as possible so as to allow for ease of transportation. However, it is worth noting that the small size undermines the quality of riding. These wheels are not best suited for rough or bumpy areas as they are quickly affected by even slight debris and rocks. In addition, slight wheelbase and turning radius may lead to excessive steering. Further, smaller wheels demand massive gear ratios to enable them turn fast enough to catch up with the pace of other bikes, which renders hill climbs extremely challenging.

20-Inch E-bike Wheel

Likewise, 20-inch wheels are also largely used in folding bikes and are more widely used compared to 16-inch wheels. In addition, they are the regular for BXM tires due to their high degree of maneuverability. Nevertheless, these wheels may not be suitable for ordinary riders as they have plenty of downsides though relatively better 16-inch wheels. Furthermore, these wheels are simply affected by rocks and barriers compared to extensive regular wheel sizes.

26-Inch E-bike Wheel

With an extensive history in the world of biking, the 26-inch wheels are possibly the most prevalent and remarkable wheel size and can be used on various mountain bikes including mountain bikes, road bikes and beach cruisers. In terms of size, the 26-inch wheels seem to be wider and chunky, meaning there is plenty of air to expel as you drive over the bumps, prompting the ride to much more comfortable. These wheels are best suited for both even and uneven terrain making them ideal for both on-road and off-road travels. To provide an enhanced grip and traction for overcoming the most challenging landscape, use either 20 inch or 26 inch diameter wheels.

29-Inch E-bike Wheel

The 29-inch wheeled bikes have only been in existence for the last couple of years. They are massive in diameter with reduced rolling friction and increased ground contact. Increased ground contact results in more traction. The main advantage of 29 inch wheeled bikes is their capability to easily overcome obstacles on your path. Moreover, it requires minimal speed to maintain uniform speed on larger wheels due to their ability to keep their inertia better. On top of that, 29 inch E-bikes have an elevated standover height. This makes them ideal for taller guys and unsuitable for short riders.

Another downside of larger wheels is that they are pretty bulky and have an extensive wheelbase that makes them challenging to maneuver. In addition, they are somewhat slower and have reduced acceleration efficiency compared to smaller wheels.

How to Choose the Right Electric Bicycle Wheel

Below are the key factors to pay attention to when it comes to choosing the right electric bicycle tires.

Fat tires or thin tires?

The bike can either have fat or skinny tires depending on the type. If you intend to ride on a bumpy terrain, or paved roads, consider using fat tires. Skinny tires are best suited for smooth surfaces.

Let's summarize the upsides and downsides of fat tires and skinny tires.

Fat tires

These tires operate at lower pressure with extensive traction and puncture protection, which makes it possible to ride on a wide range of terrains. These tires are more common standard road bikes and mountain bikes that are driven on the pavements, beaches, snow, tarmac and gravel. Nonetheless, the thickness of the tires can greatly impact the speed of the bike and result in additional weight and upscale the rolling resistance. Check out this video for more information regarding the fat tires.

Thin tires

On the other hand, skinny tires use minimal rubber and are hence lighter for heavy tires. This renders them efficient and easier to use. They are ideal for even surfaces. With extreme pressure, reduced rolling resistance and reduced grip, they can quickly out do the broader ones in respect to speed and agility. The main drawbacks of thin tires is that they are vulnerable to puncture and are less sturdy than fat tires.

Size Matters

As previously mentioned, the size of tires is critical. Larger tires are usually thicker while smaller and skinny tires come in multiple sizes. If you're in possession of an e-bike, the size of tires you choose will be determined by the size of the frame you have. If you are planning to acquire an e-bike, take your time to determine your riding preferences and thereafter make a purchase.

If you are looking for a bike with a high level of maneuverability and portability, then opt for 16/20-inch wheels. Also, if you value riding comfort and speed efficiency a lot, consider acquiring an e-bike containing big wheels.

Picking the most appropriate electric tires and wheels can fire up your riding experience. Hope this piece of writing can help you find the best wheel type and sizes for your e-bike. Even as you have fun, keep in mind to observe safety.

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