My wife and I recently purchased two electric bikes. She has a Trek Verve+ 2 and I have a Specialized Turbo Vado 3.0. The best tires for commuter ebikes are not all the same shape and size. For example, one of our ebikes has 700c tires, while the other uses 650b tires.
Both the Verve and Vado are considered commuter bikes. The best commuter bike tires will not work on your mountain bike, nor your road bike, but they will also work for many hybrid bikes. In other words, these are the best tires for commuter ebikes, as well as hybrid bikes.
Best Commuter Electric Bike Tires
- Schwalbe Marathon Supreme (Check Price on Amazon) – The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme is the best in class for both rolling resistance and flat prevention. The sidewalls are strong, and the tread is great. Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires come with a 3 year warranty. For pavement and occasional light gravel, no other tire is better.
- Donnelly EMP (Check Price on Amazon) – The Donnelly EMP is your perfect tire when riding a lot of mixed use trails. It’s technically a gravel bike tire, but it is tubeless compatible and works great on our Trek Verve+ electric bike. We have over 1,000 miles on gravel trails without a single flat. The traction on loose gravel is great without sacrificing much rolling resistance.
- Michelin Protek (Check Price on Amazon) – Safety is top priority at Michelin. That’s why their commuter bike tires come with a reflective band on the sidewall. For commuters riding at night, the Michelin Protek is the tire of choice. The Protek tires are also great on mixed surfaces, including up to marble sized gravel. The sacrifice you make riding Michelin Protek tires is longevity. The supple rubber provides a smooth ride, but keep an eye on your tread life.
- Continental Contact Plus (Check Price on Amazon) – For commuters afraid of flats, Continental Contact Plus tires will put your fears at ease. Contact Plus tires have a puncture belt built into the lining that makes it nearly impossible for thorns, nails, or other objects to cause a flat. The sidewalls are reinforced too. That prevents pinch flats from potholes and curbs.
- Panaracer RiBMo (Check Price on Amazon) – The RiBMo is very similar to the top ranked Schwalbe Marathon. It lacks the size variety offered by Schwalbe, and the sidewalls don’t offer the same level of pinch flat protection. That being said, the rolling resistance is low, and they have excellent puncture protection. The RiBMo tires also
Do Commuter eBikes Need Special Tires?
No, you do not need eBike rated tires. There are tires designed specifically for electric bikes, but traditional tires also work. Most electric bikes are still not traveling as fast as a high performance road bike. The same logic applies to weight. Electric bikes may be heavier, but a 130 lbs rider on a heavy electric bike still weighs less than a 200 lbs on a light road bike.
Weight, speed and power are all variable. Meaning, they are different for everyone that rides a bike, whether electric assisted or not. A commuter bike tire is a commuter bike tire, and you should be wary of any brand trying to scare you into buying an ‘eBike Rated’ tire.
You do need tires compatible with your wheels though. For example, you cannot safely ride a 700x32c tire on a mountain bike made for 29×2.5 inch tires. A 700c tire will fit on a 29 inch rim, but the width will not be compatible. It’s best to stick to a size similar, if not the same, as what came on your bike.
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