DOT approved tires

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DOT approved tires

Postby autodoctor911 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:41 am

Has anyone attempted to mount Motorcycle type tires on bicycle rims that have the same Bead Seat Diameter?
For example: a 16" scooter/moped tire on a 20" BMX size wheel(both have 406mm BSD,
or, a 23" front tire from a 78 Honda trail bike on a 650b extra wide rim, like the velocity P35(both have 584mm BSD.

I am trying to find a way to have high speed tires without the extra weight of the motorcycle rims.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby MattyCiii » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:11 am

The first non-ad links here cover the topic well...
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby amberwolf » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:19 am

Do some searching on the forums and you will find several threads discussing this, some in a lot of detail. There is also a tire/wheel thread in the technical reference section with info on this.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby Chalo » Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:35 am

If you want tires that are horribly difficult to mount, or if you want tires that ride like crap, or both, then use DOT rated tires.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby dogman » Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:30 am

On a fast e bike, I can wear out a new bike tire in 2 hours. So maybe he wants to ride without doing that.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby oatnet » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:30 am

Chalo wrote:If you want tires that are horribly difficult to mount, or if you want tires that ride like crap, or both, then use DOT rated tires.


DOT tires are harder to mount, but as AW points out, because they wear much much longer you don't have to do it as often. They are also less prone to flats, don't slip on the rim for high power builds. They are built for powered duty, bike tires are not. The only downside I see is the additional weight, and in a high-power setup I'd always trade the extra weight for the benefits. In a bike that is only a few kw, yep I would stick with the Hookworms I have been using since 2007.

The gazelle DOT tires I am running are smooth as butter, can't speak to your experience. :? Maybe the ones you tried weren't mounted correctly :roll: which is why I had mine done by a professional. Since your comment above indicates that you have direct experience, what model of DOT tire did you install on an eBike, can you post a link? Pointing to the elements of your experience would be a lot more useful than a sweeping generalization about ALL tires; the former is knowledge, the latter is blather.

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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby Chalo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:51 pm

I've worked as a bicycle mechanic since 1992, with a long interval in the middle as a machinist. I have changed who knows how many thousands of tires, and a few of them have been moped and scooter type stock. I didn't take any special note of brands and models, because they were basically like the thickest, worst riding bicycle tires, times three. All I ever needed to know about them was "these suck".

I had a few motorcycles for about a dozen years, and I had to deal with the wheels and tires now and again. They worked fine for a highly engineered, suspended, grossly overpowered motor vehicle-- but on a bicycle, those expensive tires (e.g. Metzeler ME Z4) would have been every bit as awful as the grossest moped junk I ever worked on. Just like tires from an 18-wheeler or an earth mover would make your car ride like crap, motorbike tires ruin a bicycle's ride.

There is a difference between smooth rolling and low rolling resistance, and there is a difference between smooth rolling and decent compliance and bump absorption. Any DOT tires that qualify as smooth-rolling would illustrate these differences nicely.

If you'd like to know how a DOT tire feels, but without breaking tire levers and hurting yourself, get two nice cheap Innova brand tires (handily the worst riding bicycle tires I have come across), then mount two of them on the same rim, one inside the other.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby oatnet » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:45 pm

Chalo wrote:I have changed ... a few of them have been moped and scooter type stock.

So in the distant past, you installed "a few" on bicycles, a different topic entirely. Sticking with THIS topic - how many have you installed on eBikes? Specifically, ebikes with enough power and weight to need moto tires? Ebikes with accelleration and speeds that shred bicycle tires?

Chalo wrote:I didn't take any special note of brands and models... All I ever needed to know about them was "these suck".

Ah. So from a very small sample of tires of vauge and undetermined quality or appropriateness, you became prejudiced against all moto tires, and walled yourself off to any additional data points.

Chalo wrote:They worked fine for a highly engineered, suspended, grossly overpowered motor vehicle...

That is an excellent description of the typical high-powered eBike that would use DOT tires. :lol:

Chalo wrote:there is a difference between smooth rolling and decent compliance and bump absorption

That is what the suspension is for... I don't see many hardtails frames on builds powerful enough to require DOT tires.

Chalo wrote:If you'd like to know how a DOT tire feels...

Since I am running DOT tires on an ebike (pic below), I already know how they feel to me - f'ing awesome. In fact, a lot of folks running high-power setups seem to know that too, since many have chosen DOT tires they find appropriate.

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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby itchynackers » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:54 pm

I would run a DOT tire if I could find one that works well with a 26" rim. The closest I've come is the Specialized Armadillo Crossroads.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby Chalo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:12 pm

itchynackers wrote:I would run a DOT tire if I could find one that works well with a 26" rim. The closest I've come is the Specialized Armadillo Crossroads.


For a tire that's just as strong and flat resistant, but faster with much better ride quality, check out the Panaracer RiBMo 26x2.0" when you wear out your 'dillo (which will take a while).
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby Rottenbind » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:25 am

I've got one of those EV Global (Iacocca) eBikes that I've converted. The original tires on it were 26 inch and were DOT marked, manufactured by Kenda. There's no model number or any other series branding on them. My guess is that they are no longer made anymore. The DOT code on them is K38M R22139 in case this helps anyone to track them down. Supposedly the whole point of that code is for registration so that they CAN be tracked down.

Now whether these tires really did actually meet DOT requirements is another story. They are pretty rugged but I wouldn't exactly call them a moped tire neither. I would be surprised if the rims are DOT; they aren't marked as far as I can tell and they don't look any more rugged than a normal bike rim. The tires do seem rugged and last pretty well though. I'd get more if I could find them.

I'm about due for new tires myself and I'd be into getting DOT tires. I'm running at 2.5 KV, cruising at 30 mph or more so I'd feel better about having the DOT rating. I agree that there isn't much out there (if anything) in the 26 inch ballpark. Right now I'm trying to talk myself into going with 20 inch moped rims, ending up with a finished size around 24.5 inches. I'm just not sure if it would look right. I dont want my MTB to look too much like a BMX. I'll probably end up just sticking to some of those heavily armored Schwalbe Energizer tires. I'm not sure yet and I'm still looking. But if anyone knows anything about those DOT-marked Kendas, I'd be interested.

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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby Chalo » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:30 am

Tough tires are tough tires. If you want real tough tires in 26", look at Schwalbe Marathon Plus, Schwalbe Energizer (less tough), or the various Specialized Armadillo models.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby MattyCiii » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:34 am

Rottenbind wrote: Right now I'm trying to talk myself into going with 20 inch moped rims, ending up with a finished size around 24.5 inches.

They'll be heavy. My A-Line build, the bike without battery is 81lbs - most of that is the wheels. Sure the NuVinci, shock, frame, drive all add up the pounds. But the wheels - tires and rims - are probably about half the weight of the bike. So that's rotational inertia to overcome. The bike is 107lbs with battery attached. So I can lift it and carry it (a short distance). Yet riding, it feels exactly like the 550 lb Honda Shadow I used to ride. There's definitely a trade off in going to moto wheels and tires.

If I were to do it all over I'd use the 406mm (BMX bike 20") rims - the big beefy 47mm wide ones from Recumpence, or similar - and use the 16"x2.5" moped tires. They have all the toughness and durability, but with the smaller diameter have far less total weight and rotational inertia to overcome. Sort of a meet-in-the middle compromise.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby autodoctor911 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:17 pm

Ok, so I guess no one has tried the 23" bridgestone tw9 on a 650B rim. A 35mm wide rim should be OK for a 3.0 tire, right?
Does anyone know of a wider 650b rim? I can find 29er and 26er rims wider, but no 650b.

I would much prefer a tire/rim combo that is very hard to get the tire over the rim, than a tire that just flops on, and never seats very well on the bead. My current 26x4.0 On-One Floater tires(made by VeeRubber) fit so poorly on the 70mm single wall rims(jetset i think) that they have a noticable low spot where the tire bead actually rests on the rim, as the rest of the tire is loose on the rim bead. Even at very low speeds, this causes a much worse ride than an overly stiff tire, as every revolution the bike bounces up and down, creating a resonating vibration that is amplified by the undamped springiness of the large volume tire.

now, my options for DOT rubber are the 23x3.0 that is slightly narrower, but about 3/4 inch taller, or maybe a 3.0x21 tire which is 1.5 inches shorter, and requires a motorcycle specific rim, but light rims for supercross bikes are available.

any more suggestions?
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby neptronix » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:22 pm

16 x 2.75" motorcycle/scooter tires are the best things i've ever ridden on, and i've tried about 6 types of bike tires of varying price levels. They are excessive on an ebike but soak up so much vibration from the road you'll think you have rear suspension even on a hardtail :mrgreen:

If you can get a wide and tall 20" bike rim, go for it.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby MattyCiii » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:35 pm

neptronix wrote:16 x 2.75" motorcycle/scooter tires are the best things i've ever ridden on, and i've tried about 6 types of bike tires of varying price levels. They are excessive on an ebike but soak up so much vibration from the road you'll think you have rear suspension even on a hardtail :mrgreen:

If you can get a wide and tall 20" bike rim, go for it.

Thanks for that Nep, even before your post I had my mind made up that 16 x 2.5 or thereabouts are the next thing for me: Ruggedness of the DOT rated specs, but with lower rotational inertia than lage radius moto wheels...
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby neptronix » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:00 am

MattyCiii wrote:Thanks for that Nep, even before your post I had my mind made up that 16 x 2.5 or thereabouts are the next thing for me: Ruggedness of the DOT rated specs, but with lower rotational inertia than lage radius moto wheels...


Ha, thank your intuition then :mrgreen:

FYI, I felt really confident riding my magic pie race bike along at >40mph along city streets in traffic with just a rear 2.75" x 16" and a front knobby MTB tire. The rear tire did all the work of soaking up the cracked roads of Colorado Springs, CO. Dramatic difference from using 26" bike tires and wheels.

That bike had very strong acceleration ( scared the shit out of me at first ! ) and very strong braking ( rear did most of the braking via regen ).. never a problem with traction or being rocked around!

The only negative is the looks. But 2.5" can pass for BMX wheels pretty well.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby veloman » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:33 pm

Going from a road bike with 700x23 tires to 26x1.5" slicks - made my bike feel like a motorcycle with regards to running over crap pavement. I run close to 26x2.0" bike tires now, and have full confidence in them at 40mph.

I put in a thorn resistant tube in the rear, and may take it out. Picking up the wheel you can really feel the extra weight. I'm not sure how much it slows me down, but it could be considerable enough to not use. There's also a tire liner in there. I don't get flats very often, but thought it'd be nice to know I never would with that massively thick tube.

If you want DOT, then go ahead. But I'd imagine you have to be doing some really hard/fast riding to make it worth it.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby Chalo » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:26 pm

Thorn-resistant tubes are heavy, add rolling resistance, and harm ride quality-- but at least they don't cause flats like tire liners do.

I replace more than a few tubes that have been punctured by chafing at the edges and ends of the tire liner. By the time that happens, there's no point in patching the tube; it will have spots all over it that are ready to go next.

The best preventative against flats is always a puncture-resistant tire. They weigh more, cost more, and ride worse than a normal tire, but they work as intended and have fewer drawbacks than the alternatives.

For my money, the Panaracer RiBMo occupies the sweet spot for effective protection at a negligible ride quality penalty. I put one on the front motor wheel of my wife's e-bike. (And on her favorite pushbike, and on my coaster/drum braked bike with impediments to wheel changes.) The only reason I don't use them even more is that they are on the expensive side.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby sendler2112 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:18 pm

The Kenda Kwest is a great deal at $20 for a long wearing, high speed street tire.
.
http://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/ ... kwest-tire
.
They used to make a 26 x 1.95. That thing looks like a scooter tire with 3mm thick tread.
.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby geeeyejo1 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:20 pm

sendler2112 wrote:The Kenda Kwest is a great deal at $20 for a long wearing, high speed street tire.
.
http://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/ ... kwest-tire
.
They used to make a 26 x 1.95. That thing looks like a scooter tire with 3mm thick tread.
.
I run all my mountain bikes with standard tires running tubless with Stan's sealant and a DIY stem/ liner made from a cut open 24 inch tube.

I have the Kenda 26x1.95 kwests on my bike - the tread "mushrooms" out from the body of the tire and appears wider than 1.95". Love these tires - always rode well and can't wait to se how they handle a powered ride!
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby veloman » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:18 pm

I'm riding the 26x1.95 kwest right now on the rear. It was $17 on Amazon last spring. It definitely is bigger than a typical 2" tire and looks impressive. Good tread depth. Sidewalls are flexible, prob not the toughest, but ride smoother I'm sure.

the CST Cyclops 2.4" is another beefy bike tire. I have it on the front of the e-tandem with a front 9c hub and it feels totally solid with great grip and was very cheap.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby veloman » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:51 am

I picked up an eGo electric scooter the other day and saw that they use 20" bmx tires - Kenda Kikzumbut 100psi version, which are ALSO marked as 50/100 - 16 30B and DOT K38D R16.

I would guess they are rated for 30mph like a moped class. If you are looking for a bicycle tire with such low rolling resistance for a legal e-moped build, I think this may be it. They are only about $20 online too.

I think that most modern moped tires are going to have lots of rolling resistance compared to a bike tire. I bought some Skinko 2.25"x17 and they are tons of squishy rubber. Great for traction I'm sure. But probably soak up 200watts at 30mph.
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Re: DOT approved tires

Postby Chalo » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:13 am

veloman wrote:I picked up an eGo electric scooter the other day and saw that they use 20" bmx tires - Kenda Kikzumbut 100psi version


There are tons of street treaded freestyle tires rated for 85 to 130psi. Any of these is approximately equivalent to the stock tire from the eGo.

I replaced the stock rear tire on my eGo with a 20x1.9 Snafu Rimjob rated for 130psi.
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