The past decade has brought the world many new inventions, each more exciting than the last. In these series of inventions, one of the latest is that of electric bikes.
What are electric bikes?
Electric bikes are essentially a variation of normal bikes but with a motorized design. They run on an electric motor that aims to assist propulsion and generally fall under two main categories, those that assist pedal power and those that add a convenient throttle, integrating easier functionality into the riding process.
How are electric bikes different from regular bikes?
If you are new to the idea of an electric bike, you may be entertaining the misconception that electric bikes are like scooters. In truth, they are very much like regular bikes, except that they come with the inclusion of an electrical driving system which includes a motor, a battery and occasionally a display screen.
Do electric bikes require punctures?
The answer is yes. Since they too comprise of rubber tyres, electric bikes can easily come in need of a puncture just as regular bikes do. They are, however, a lot trickier to mend and you might need to try a few times to get the right gist of the process. But fret not, for we are here to help.
How do you mend a puncture on an electric bike?
There are various factors that come into play when you are trying to mend a punctured tyre. The type of requirements can depend on the valves your bike will need and the overall size of the tyre among other factors.
When your tube is flat, you must remove the tyre surrounding it. Start by flipping your bike over so that it rests on the seat and the handlebars. Lay down a mat or a soft blanket underneath the bike so it does not get scratched.
We would suggest that you first take out the battery as that would make the bike lighter and easier to work with. This would also prevent the battery from turning on accidentally when you’re dismantling your bike.
Then it’s time to get your hands on a wrench to loosen the bolts that hold the axles of the hub motor in place. These bolts come in various sizes, so you will need to determine how to adjust the wrench to the optimum size.
Make sure that you disconnect any connectors close to the hub motor, so that you can easily separate the wheel from the bike. In addition, cut all cable ties attaching the motor wire with the frame to avoid stressing the wire while it is still attached.
Once you have loosened all the bolts, the wheel will automatically drop out. At this point, you must make sure that you lay out the wheel so that its rotor is the right side up without bending it.
Next, hold the tyre levers and with the right side facing upwards, lift the wheel. This will cause the lower rip to fall down and you will be able to get pull the tyre out of its bead along with the valve stem within the rim. Once done, repeat the same process on the other tyre.
Once this step is complete, you will have two options. You could either change the entire tube or insert a new tube, or you could locate the leak in the tube and patch it. This will depend on the degree to which the tube has been damaged.
Insert a new tube
When inserting a new tube, you will need to look for the right width and circumference. You would easily be able to find a tube in any bike shop close to you. You will additionally need an air pump to inflate the new tube so that it fits easily into the tyre mold.
Next, check thoroughly and remove any thorns or sharp pins still stuck within the tyre that could puncture your new tube again. Now put the wheel back into the tyre and massage it at the bottom so it fits properly.
Grab your new tube and make sure that the hole of the valve is straight up, so that dropping the tube in will be easier. Now place the tube within and around the wheel and align the hole of the tube with the valve.
Continue massaging the tyre to align it with the wheel. And finally, inflate the tyre once this step is complete. Watch out for the right amount of air pressure, which will depend on your own weight as a rider. The heavier you are, the more air pressure will be required.
Once the tyre has been pumped fully, place the valve cover back on and bounce it to test if it is rigid. Now bolt both nuts on the sides of the tyre with a wrench after holding them in place while the tyre is being lined back up with the caliper. (How To Fix A Flat Tire On An Ebike, 2016)
Patching a tube leak
Now this second type of mending requires that your tube undergoes only a slight rupture that is not enough to render it unfixable. To patch a leak, you would require a patch kit. Patching comes with the advantage of not having to deal with the hustle of taking the wheel off the bike.
If you are able to locate the leak, patching will be easier. If not, you will need to pump the tire all the way to max and start spinning it slowly while you listen for the leak. If it is still hard to locate, you will need to take out the tube, after taking off the tyre.
For this purpose, you will also need to take off the wheel in the same way that has been stated in the tube replacement method at the start of this article. Once the wheel is off, you will need to use the valve to fully deflate the tyre. Next, take the tyre bead off the rim with the help of a tire lever.
Slide multiple tyre levers around the rim and pull the valve out of the opening located in the rim. Now remove the tube and thoroughly check it for the rupture. If the leak is too small to be heard or felt with your hands, submerge the tube in a tub of water and look for air bubbles emerging from the leak.
Once located, stick a small square of self-adhesive patch depending on the size of the hole on a roughed up surface of the tube at the location of the leak. This roughening will enable the patch to stick more stubbornly on the tube.
If you only have ordinary patches that are not self-adhesive, apply rubber cement at the back of it and allow it to dry a little before sticking it to the tube. Once done, follow the same process as before and inflate the tube so you can insert it back into the tyre. (HOW TO FIX A FLAT TIRE)
If you own a bike, you must invest in a good floor pump. This will come with both types of valve attachments suitable to the valve of your bike. Alternately, you could also invest in a smaller pump that can be hand carried or attached within the seat wedge.
Now a third option here is to go with a CO2 cartridge pump. This pump will allow you to full the tubes a lot more quickly and easily.
How to avoid a puncture
Before commencing your bike journey, ensure that you have checked the condition of both your tyres as well as their air pressure using a reliable gauge. Identify when it’s time to replace a tyre i.e., the moment its tread seems worn off or there appear to be cracks in the sidewalks.
Whether you’re in need of patching a small leak or replacing the tube as a whole, the process of mending a puncture is quite tricky and can go wrong at various steps of the process. It is therefore essential that you do hour research, because you don’t want to make a mistake when attaching the wheel and pay for it later in the midst of a ride.
We would recommend that in addition to reading this article, you also watch
YouTube video of the entire process to become familiar with the various steps. Once you’ve successfully mended a puncture, you’ll be back on the road in no time. So be careful, be smart, and happy riding!
As much as I remember, I started cycling when I was 5 years old. So I got to know that the passion for riding it runs through my blood but buying the right bicycling equipment and trustworthy information is another story. Always betrayed by sellers and even by friends so I decided to revolutionize it. When choosing bicycling products, I evaluate user’s experiences, different forum discussions, and other social media debates. I do in-depth research on every topic I publish to share with you the most valuable and trustworthy information. Read more about the way I choose the best cycling products and my transformation journey from riding it as a hobby to becoming my passion.