Choosing the right tire for your scooter and your lifestyle.
Tires are the foundation of your mobility scooter – they’re the connection between you and the ground. There are two types of tires you’ll typically find on a scooter: pneumatic (air-filled) and solid (airless). Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll discuss in this guide.
If you’re shopping for a scooter, here’s everything you need to know about their tires before you buy.
Solid Tires for Mobility Scooters
Solid scooter tires are typically filled with rubber or polyurethane foam. This makes them immune to flats while also adding more weight. Many people prefer using solid tires because they will not pop or lose air, causing them to need refilling.
However, solid tires can wear down faster than their air-filled counterparts. While they won’t lose air, they’re made with hard plastics and other materials that are less durable than pneumatic tires. More surface friction against the ground erodes the tire over time as you ride, especially on rougher surfaces.
This means you may need to replace solid tires more often, and that’s an expense you’ll have to be prepared for. Replacing a solid tire is often more difficult than a pneumatic tire because of its weight and how it’s attached. And it won’t necessarily outlast a pneumatic tire.
Be aware of this before selecting solid rubber tires for mobility scooters. Check out the selection of Pure Electric Scooter solid tires to determine if these will work for your scooter. Some people prefer air-filled tires, which is what we’ll discuss next.
Air-Filled Tires for Mobility Scooters
Pneumatic tires are the most common type of tire you’ll find on scooters and other vehicles, like cars and bicycles. These tires are made of a hardened rubber shell and usually have a softer rubber inner tube on the inside. This inner tube is filled with air to an exact pressure using a valve stem sticking out of the tire.
Because they’re inflated, these tires provide a much smoother ride than filled tires. The air and rubber compress easily while riding to conform to what’s happening on the ground. And they get better traction, too, making it much easier to steer, brake, and accelerate.
Their design makes them much more comfortable to ride on, but there are also disadvantages to pneumatic tires. Being filled with air, they are susceptible to popping, flats, and deflating beyond the recommended pressure affects overall performance.
This means they’ll require more tire maintenance, and that’s what we’ll discuss in a moment. But first, let’s break down the main differences between pneumatic and solid scooter tires.
Electric Scooter Pneumatic vs. Solid Tires
Your electric scooter is a powered personal mobility device, which puts it halfway between a wheelchair and a golf cart. There are several considerations when determining which to choose, including the combined weight of you and the scooter, where you plan to use it most, and how adept you are at maintaining and replacing it.
As mentioned above, pneumatic tires are filled with air and provide a bit of a cushion. They supplement the scooter’s suspension and may be the main component of the suspension system in some models. However, their biggest drawback is susceptibility to pops, flats, and other forms of deflation that reduce their usability.
That’s why some people prefer solid tires, which are immune to the problems caused by air-filled tires. The tradeoff is that they provide a much stiffer ride and can be more difficult to replace. They also wear down faster, which is why air-filled tires are considered the best option for most scenarios.
Whichever tires you choose, be sure they’re compatible with your scooter. Otherwise, you risk damaging the unit, rendering it inoperable, and even getting injured.
Maintenance Tips for Scooter Tires
It’s a good idea to always check your tires before using your unit, just like you would while driving a car. Tires can crack, lose traction, and more. If anything is wrong, you’ll notice it through regular inspections, and it’s always best to:
a) fix the problem immediately, and
b) learn these lessons before starting an important trip.
It is easier to remove the tire on some scooter models than others. The best way to test is to try removing a tire when you don't need to. By practicing ahead of time, you'll have the confidence to do it if and when you actually need to.
If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, a one-year or two-year maintenance plan will give you peace of mind. Our plans guarantee a certified professional will come to your home to replace the tires and provide any other maintenance needed - often under 5 days time.
Lastly, be sure to check your manufacturer’s website and warranty to determine if new wheels are covered. Replacements may be available for free. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out at any time.