When I first got my Xiaomi M365 Pro, I didn’t exactly know what the tire pressure should be. There were some conflicting suggestions online, and the manual only had a few sentences about it.
As I later found out, tire pressure is not exactly a “set-it-and-forget-it” matter, and there are some details you should pay attention to. You should modify it for your needs, and keep an eye on it. These are some simple guidelines I learned after a few years of maintenance for setting the correct electric scooter tire pressure.
Electric scooter tire pressure
The recommended tire pressure for most electric scooters is between 40 and 50 PSI. For more traction, subtract about 3-5 PSIs, and for higher speeds, add about 3-5 PSIs. Lighter riders should also lower the tire pressure by about 3-5 PSIs, while heavier ones should increase it by the same amount. Reduce the tire pressure by 2-3 PSI in hot weather (32°C / 90°F or hotter).
That’s the simplest possible answer, but in some cases, it may not be precise enough. Go through this quick guide to learn exactly what tire pressure to use for your specific scooter model and your own unique circumstances.
How to find the exact tire pressure for my electric scooter?
Your weight, the type of terrain you ride on, the tire size, the weather, and the desired balance between speed and traction, are all factors that will determine how much you should inflate your tires.
Generally, there are two very simple ways to find out exactly how much tire pressure you should use:
- check your user manual that came with your scooter
- check the tires themselves, the recommended pressure is usually written on the side of the tire
Sometimes the manual and the tire itself may suggest different values. If this is the case, you should give priority to the manual. Even though the tire manufacturers know their tires well, chances are that scooter manufacturers have tested those tires on that one specific scooter model, so the recommendations will be more thorough and tested for real-world usage. Plus, the value indicated on the tire is usually the maximum allowed tire pressure, not the ideal tire pressure for your situation.
Recommended tire pressures for popular electric scooters
These are some of the tire pressures that the most popular brands and manufacturers suggest for their models.
|Electric scooter model||Recommended tire pressure (PSI)||PSI for riders under 70 kg / 155 lbs||PSI for riders over 90 kg / 200 lbs|
|Swagtron Swagger 5||25-28||25||30|
|Swagtron Swagger 5 Elite||25-28||25||30|
|Inokim Light 2||35||30||40|
|Inokim Light 2 Limited||35||30||40|
|Inokim Quick 3 Hero||45||40||50|
|Inokim Quick 3 Super +||45||40||50|
|Qiewa Q1 Hummer||45||40||50|
|Inokim Mini 2||43-50||43||50|
|Inokim OX 13Ah||43-50||43||50|
|Inokim OX 21Ah||43-50||43||50|
|Swagtron Swagger 7||45-50||45||50|
|Xiaomi M365 Pro||45-50||35-40||50|
|GoTrax XR Ultra||50||45||55|
|GoTrax GXL Commuter||50-75||50||75|
However, the suggested tire pressures are just the starting point. You should keep the following few points in mind.
Rider weight and tire pressure
The lighter a rider is, the less pressure the tires should have, and the heavier a rider is, the more tire pressure is needed.
Riders weighing between 155-200 lbs / 70-90 kg should use the recommended tire pressure.
Riders weighing less than 155 lbs / 70 kg should reduce the tire pressure by 3-5 PSI or more.
Riders weighing more than 200 lbs / 90 kg should increase the tire pressure by 3-5 PSI or more.
Chances are, your perfect tire pressure will be somewhere close to these suggestions. But you will likely have to experiment, try a few different pressures, and see which one gives you the riding experience you want.
Weather and tire pressure
Excessive heat causes the tire pressure to increase on its own. This can happen after a lot of riding, or in hot weather.
Riding in hotter weather is better with reduced tire pressure. If the temperature outside is 32°C / 90°F or hotter, reduce your tire pressure by 2-3 PSI.
Riding in colder temperatures, on the other hand, does not affect tire pressure all that much. In theory, you may want to increase the tire pressure by a few PSIs, but I’d weigh that against the fact that you’ll probably be riding in the winter, which means riding on ice, snow, wet surfaces, etc. That requires lower pressure for better traction, and it’s more important for your safety.
Plus, you probably don’t want to inflate or deflate your tires every day depending on what the weather is like.
As general advice, if you live somewhere with hot summers, you can decrease the tire pressure by 2-3 PSI at the beginning of the summer, and bring it back at the end of the summer. See the electric scooter summer guide and the best electric scooters for the summer if you want to find out more.
Performance and tire pressure
Higher tire pressure will provide you with:
- higher speed
- fewer flats
- better steering
- less shaking
- better suspension and a smoother riding experience
- better range and performance overall (in most cases)
On the other hand, lower tire pressure will give you:
- better traction
- possibly better climbing abilities because of the improved traction
- better performance on wet, slippery, or muddy terrain
That means go with normal or slightly increased tire pressure for most situations.
If you live somewhere with a lot of hills, or in a wet environment, you can consider decreasing the tire pressure by a few PSIs.
Xiaomi M365 tire pressure
However, after several stress tests conducted in the Xiaomi labs, more precise tire pressures are suggested depending on the rider’s weight:
- 110-155 lbs / 50-70 kg: 35-40 PSI for the front wheel, 40-50 PSI for the rear wheel
- 155-200 lbs / 70-90 kg: 40-45 PSI for the front wheel, 45-55 PSI for the rear wheel
- 200-220 lbs / 90-100 kg: 45-50 PSI for the front wheel, 50-60 PSI for the rear wheel
- more than 220 lbs / 100 kg: 50-55 PSI for the front wheel, 60-65 PSI for the rear wheel, and driving more carefully as the risk of flats is increased
How to check the tire pressure on my electric scooter?
There are two ways to check your tire pressure:
- using a tire pressure gauge
- lightly kicking the tire
Of course, the second method is not exactly measuring the pressure, but it’s easy an old-school way to check if your tires are ok. It does not require any tool, and it’s instant. That’s why I simply give my tires a very light kick before every ride, to make sure they are not flat.
To check the exact tire pressure, you will need a tire pressure gauge.
Keep in mind that the pressure checking procedure itself can deflate your tires a bit and reduce the tire pressure by a few PSI.
The tires on cars typically use less pressure (30-35 PSI), and the gauges for them are usually optimized to measure those kinds of pressures best. You may be able to get away with using the same tire pressure gauge you would use for your car.
For the best results and precision, I recommend Chrome 10-100 PSI Pencil Tire Gauge on Amazon. It’s super cheap, yet it shows pressures between 10 and 100 PSI, so it’s guaranteed to work with any scooter tire and it will show you the tire pressure with great precision.
Sometimes a tire pump for your scooter will arrive in the box and it should work well with your scooter. If your original pump is lost or damaged, you can use a bike pump to inflate your tires. The Bell AIR Glide 550 is an excellent choice, and it also has a tire pressure gauge so you won’t have to buy one separately. You can find it on Amazon here.
How often should you check tire pressure?
Do a quick kick-check before every ride, and try to measure the exact tire pressure at least once a week as part of your regular cleaning and maintenance routine.
What happens if the tire pressure is too low?
If your tire pressure is too low, you will see several symptoms:
- you steer and turn with more difficulty
- your rims may show some bents or damage
- your rides are too shaky and your scooter vibrates a lot
If you notice some of these things, check your tire pressure. You may need to inflate your tires a bit more.
What happens if the tire pressure is too high?
While sufficiently inflated tires prevent flats, you can actually get a flat if your tire is too inflated as well. The pressure inside the tire makes it react to shock in a more volatile way, and the tire can just explode, especially with a heavier rider on the scooter.
Also, you will probably notice less control over your scooter, as your traction will start to suffer.
Different tire pressures in the front and rear tires
Some scooter owners, and even some brands, recommend less tire pressure in the front tire, and more in the rear. As you can see in the Xiaomi example above, the recommended front tire pressure is lower than the one of the rear.
Others recommend the opposite.
This usually depends on where the hub motor is located in single-motor scooters.
Different tire pressure levels between the tires can provide some optimizations. For example, if the motor is in the front wheel, as it usually is, the front tire will tend to have increased tire pressure after a long ride because of the extra heat generated from the motor.
How to prevent flat tires on an electric scooter?
Generally, when a tire has more pressure, it doesn’t compress as much during an impact, and it’s less likely to suffer a flat. So higher tire pressure is one of the best ways to prevent flats.
These are all the general tips to prevent flat tires:
- make sure your tires are inflated
- don’t ride in wet weather, it’s easier for debris to stick on your tires
- ride with your entire body, slow down and bend your knees when hitting a bump
- maintain and clean your scooter often, you may prevent a cause for a flat before it happens, like discovering a small piece of glass stuck on your tire
- fill tires with Green Slime or some other sealant, you can find this extremely cool and useful product on Amazon
Check the flat tire guide to learn about all the tips in detail, how to prevent flats entirely, and how to fix them if needed.
When should I replace a tire?
Unless a flat happens to your scooter, you can expect to use your tires for many years. In fact, even in the event of a flat, you will probably have to replace only the inner tube, and the actual tire will probably be just fine.
You will know that a time has come to replace your tires when they just look worn out and old. If your tires have knobbies, they will probably start to break down, split, or fall off entirely.
PSI vs Bar
The SI System (International System of units), also known as the metric system, uses the Pascal (Pa) as the measurement for the pressure. Since one Pascal is a very small value for real-world usage, the official unit used is the Bar (Ba), which is the same as 100.000 Pascals.
However, the Imperial System uses the Pounds per Square Inch unit (PSI). Even though the Metric System is commonly used internationally and the Imperial System is mostly used only in the US and a few other countries, when it comes to pressure, it seems like the more commonly accepted unit today is the PSI.
In fact, you probably noticed I use PSI in this article exclusively. Still, many places use Bars too.
For reference, 1 Bar is 14.5 PSIs, and 1 PSI is 0.068 Bars.
You can use this pressure converter for a simple calculation.
Also, if you quickly need to convert between the two, simply type your question in Google, for example, “45 PSI to Bar”, or “3 Bar to PSI”, and you will see the conversion result immediately.