As I start this post I’m in the middle of my continuing e-bike/cycling obsession. Funny, a couple nights ago I actually dreamt about the bike shop I worked at in Memphis in the late 90s. Been having little flashbacks of that time period during my waking hours too. Was such a great time in my life, daily emersion in bicycles and bike culture.
Anyhooooooo, back to the point of this post! As I’m riding and outfitting the Lectric with accessories I’ve also begun thinking a bit about tires. I should be fine with these for awhile though I suspect that if I continue riding as much as I have I’ll need new ones within a year. Alternatively, I could put some new ones on now and keep these as back-ups. The stock tires aren’t bad but they’re not the best on pavement as they don’t have a consistent center bead which is provides less rolling resistance. On our 1 mile rock road they’re perfect. But the 6.5 miles to town is paved so there are other options that would likely be at list a little better. That said, I’m finding there 20x4” tire options seem limited and thought I’d write a post that I can add onto in the future to track those options as a reference.
So, the primary considerations are knobby or slick? Secondary are wire bead or folding bead? Wire beaded tires hold their form on their own and tend to be thicker and heavier. Folding bead tires are lighter, foldable and finer threaded (higher TPI, threads per inch) for a smoother ride as well as more expensive. I’m not sure I have a preference other than I’m looking for the most durable, puncture resistant and with a thread that does well on pavement but won’t be dangerous or unstable on our gravel road.
All in all it seems like the selection for this sized tire is very small. And many of the places that do offer the tires listed below show them as being out of stock. My thinking for the moment is to continue riding the stock tires for the next few months. If I continue (as I expect I will) with lots of pavement mileage I’ll switch over to the Kenda Kraze unless something better comes along.
Here’s what I’ve got thus far.
Knobby Kenda Krusade - $35 at Rad Power Wire bead, 30 TPI casing Has Kenda K-Shield, puncture resistant layer. Has a better center bead than stock though still gapped. Reviews of this tire on Amazon are not great though, quick tread wear mentioned by several.
Mongoose Fat Tire - $36 at Amazon Wire bead. The center tread is slightly better than the stock tires as pictured but customers report a different tread, hard to say if this would be an improvement. Some reviews report poor tread life. I’ll avoid this one but wanted to list it.
Vee Tire Mission Command - $55 at Amazon Folding bead, 120 TPI
Slick Kenda Kraze - $35 at Rad Power Wire bead, 30 TPI casing Requires 4.25 tube, $15. Has Kenda K-Shield, puncture resistant layer.
Vee Tire Speedster Junior Fat Tire - $60 at Amazon More tread than the Kenda Kraze but still smooth. Folding bead.
Low rider Tire Duro 20x4.25 - $64 at Amazon Like the Kenda Kraze will also need 20x4.25 tubes. Tubes are in the $15 to 20 range. Wire bead.
Sunlite Tire - $35 20x4.25, needs 20x4.25 tube too.