Shop Operations Update for February 2021:

February Update

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Dispatches from The Daily Rider

Xiaomi Scooter Tire Repair and Replacement

When we first started getting calls about Xiaomi scooter tire repairs, we didn’t initially accept them. A micro-mobility company had asked us to consider doing minor maintenance for them. Our research showed that the scooter had not been designed with repair in mind.

Finally, a good customer of ours asked for a favor to fix their M365 with a rear flat tire. We finally replaced the tire after a frustrating hour with more sweat shed that we’d like to admit.

If you’re attempting to fix a flat on your Xiaomi scooter’s tire we have a few tips to share. Or, if you have don’t want to waste time, skip to the end and book an appointment with us.

Replace Xiaomi Scooter Tire with Solid Tires

A solid rubber Xiaomi Scooter Tire

 

Most Xiaomi scooter tires we see in the shop are not properly inflated. This leads to premature wear and can cause flats. The valve stem is recessed into the wheel and prevents most pumps from even locking on. We suggest replacing the stock tires with solid rubber ones. The ones we suggest have holes in the sidewall that create a suspension effect. These holes also aid installation. They will need to be purchased at an online retailer as no bike shops that we are aware of have a wholesale source for them. This is true for the tubes as well. Before coming to get a flat replaced on the scooter, purchase a tube for it.

Xiaomi Scooter Tire Repair Procedures

Removal of the rear tire of the Xiaomi scooter is fairly simple. Two 3mm Allen bolts hold a cosmetic plastic cover in place. These are hidden under an adhesive reflector. Peel off the reflective sticker to reveal the bolts. Remove the bolts and cosmetic cover. Under the cover is a 15mm nut that can be removed with a crescent or socket wrench. Once loosened, pull the wheel back and out of the way of the brake caliper.

Tire removal is fairly simple compared to installation. On some tires, plastic bicycle tire levers are sufficient. Because Xiaomi likely uses multiple suppliers for its parts, we have seen radically different tolerances in how tight the tires fit to the wheel. At times, it is necessary to use metal tire levers to get the first part of the bead off the wheel. We use the Park Tool  TL-5 levers to accomplish this.

If replacing a tube only, leave one side of the bead of the tire on the wheel. This will reduce frustration. Pull the old tube out and patch or replace with a new one. Insert the new tube’s valve into the valve hole and inflate slightly to hold the tube’s shape. Place the tube inside of the tire and deflate slightly to ease replacing the bead you had removed. This can usually be accomplished with the metal tire levers. If the bead is too tight and is not going over the last bit of the rim, ensure that the bead already on the wheel is placed in the lowest point of the rim in the center to allow for more working space. Alcohol spray can also be used as a lubricant to make the bead slide onto the rim more easily. Ensure you haven’t introduced any pinch flats by filling the tube with air and listening for leaks. Replace the wheel taking care to make sure the disc is centered in the caliper.

Front Wheel Repair Procedures

The front wheel is another story completely.

To install solid rubber tires we use a combination of silicone based cleaner or detailer, and large Allen wrenches. We use Pedro’s Bike Lust in the shop, but the same basic formula can be found in Armor-All detailing spray and similar products. Wear latex or Nitrile gloves to keep a grip as silicone gets slick on hands and is hard to completely clean off. Spray the inside face of the solid rubber tire with your silicon spray.

Take two P-Handled 8mm Allen wrenches  and insert them into the side holes of the tire about 5-6 holes apart or a little more than 1/4 way around the tire. Place a section between the wrenches of the inner face of the tire into the well of the wheel rim. This is best done on on a soft surface like a mat or carpet with the brake disc side down to prevent injury. Work the tire into the rim using your hands to stabilize it in place. Move one of the P-Handled wrenches to a hole a few slots further away and pull up on the handle to slide the inner face of the tire onto the rim. Repeat this motion around the entire tire. It may try to slip off from where it was already inserted. We have found that using the wrench from the other face of the tire to more fully seat the tier into the rim can create a tighter seal and makes the rest of installation easier. After the full tire is installed, use the wrenches to center the tire on the rim, snapping it into place. It should be obvious when correctly installed.

Front tire installation is complicated by the fact that the wheel can’t be moved more than 8 inches from the Xiaomi’s fork, but is similar in operation. The front wheel will likely take more time.

Book An Appointment

If you’ve attempted to change a Xiaomi scooter tire and still can’t make it work, give us a call and we’ll book it in for an appointment. Our mechanics sometimes will only do one of these each a day as it requires significant hand strength and effort, so prepare to leave it with us a few days.

 

Thinking of Purchasing a RadPower Bike? Read This First.

We think electric bikes are great. They encourage users to ride further, and replace car trips with bike trips. But not all electric bikes are equal. Here’s what we have seen from RadPower.

Our experiences with the brands we sell have given us a sense of what to expect when assembling, riding, and servicing them. Over the past two years, Rad Power Bikes and their RadWagon started showing up in the shop. Recently we have also seen the RadCity and RadRunner. At first glance, the RadWagon looks like almost identical to a Yuba Mundo. The orange paint even mimicks a very popular Yuba color. 

Taking a closer look, these are very different bikes. 

An electric bike is heavier and faster than a conventional or “acoustic” bike. This means that several parts on an e-bike will experience higher wear and need to be more robust. The drivetrain needs to be able to handle torque from the motor and higher mileage. Brakes need to be stronger to slow a bike from higher speeds while carrying heavy loads. Wheels have to hold up under higher weight. Hub motors place additional strain on the structure of a wheel. 

Electric bikes take people farther than they would usually ride. Having a mechanical failure miles from home is inconvenient and may require a visit to a shop or a trailside repair. Having an electrical failure while riding is often the end of your ride for the day. 

We have seen motor failures, electrical failures, and wheel failures in the past two years of assembling and repairing RadPower Bikes. Granted, we’re not seeing the numbers of bikes that haven’t experienced these issues, but we believe that all of their models could be prone to them. 

The most typical problem encountered by RadPower owners is spoke breakage in the rear wheel. Because the motor is in the rear wheel, it is exposed to more stress than a typical wheel. Typically, new RadPower bikes come out of the package with low spoke tension, which leads to broken spokes unless this is addressed by a professional mechanic. Even then, bikes which we have assembled break spokes in the rear wheel. One customer who was taking two children to school had a total of six broken spokes in their wheel. We suggested a new wheel build, at a cost of around $300. For a bike that cost $1,499, this represents a significant repair in the first year. 

We do work on RadPower bikes. However, due to design choices and build quality we find that they require more time and effort to repair effectively. The hub motor is in the way of the brake caliper, which means that a simple adjustment to move a pad inward to compensate for wear requires removal of the wheel or the caliper. This additional time means additional labor costs for the customer.

Recently we commented on a thread on Twitter regarding RadPower receiving some venture capital. In the thread someone commented that their bike was doing well for a year and a half of daily use. The next day they updated with a comment that their frame had broken at the seat collar. We believe that 18 months of use is unacceptable for any bike, much less for an electric one. 

Bosch E-Bike Service

The Daily Rider is a certified Bosch E-Bike Service provider. Our service staff are able to diagnose, repair, and replace all parts of a Bosch equipped bicycle. We regularly attend Bosch service seminars to keep us updated on the newest technologies and maintenance procedures. 

We have found that the Bosch system provides reliable assistance for thousands of maintenance-free miles. However, the Bosch system isn’t immune to environmental factors or wear issues. As a certified Bosch E-Bike Service provider, we also are able to offer software updates and set regular maintenance intervals on your e-bike. 

Bosch releases new software updates for their system quarterly. Bosch suggests that owners of these bikes refresh firmware yearly. We advise doing a yearly e-bike maintenance tune as part of regular maintenance. This way, we can clear any error codes, provide details about your riding performance, and suggest tips for getting the most out of your Bosch e-bike. 

Getting an error code on your Bosch e-bike? Give us a call or email to schedule your repair so that we can make a proper diagnosis. Or, drop by the shop any time we’re open. Most problems we have seen are the result of a faulty cable connection, or as a result of wear over time.

If your e-bike is in warranty, we are also an authorized service center to make replacements on a warranty basis. Labor charges for most warranty repairs will apply. We are able to obtain most parts within 48 hours of diagnosis.

Regular maintenance of your Bosch e-bike will extend its service life and may open up new features as updated software is released. 

Bosch eBike service logo
The Daily Rider is equipped to service your Bosch bike.
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