Xiaomi Scooter Tire Repair and Replacement
When we first started getting calls about Xiaomi scooter tire repairs, we didn’t initially accept them.
(As of August 2021, we no longer accept these scooters for any repairs.)
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.
Replace Xiaomi Scooter Tire with Solid Tires
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.