Inner tube and tyre replacement : Fixing punctures on your M365 Electric Scooter
Should you eventually wear your tyres out, or (more likely) fall victim to a puncture, you will need to remove the tyres and innertubes from your M365 electric scooter. It is a complex and fiddly procedure that many find daunting. This article aims to guide you through the process, offering tips and tricks for making it easier along the way.
Xiaomi scooter spares
Tips for changing tubes and tyres
This article is relatively long so here are a few of the main points:
- Ensure the tyres and tubes are warm (but not hot to touch) before attempting this. Warm rubber is more pliable, making the job easier. Do not directly heat the scooter or tyres as you make damage it, instead leave the scooter by a radiator for 30 minutes.
- Proper tyre levers are the key to successfully manipulating the stiff beaded tyres on and off the rims, you can pick some up from our webstore.
- Work with the scooter. Use the frame to hold the wheel in place and as a brace to reseat the tyre bead on the rear wheel.
- Employ the assistance of a friend. Two pairs of hands are better than one, especially when it comes to levering that last bit of the tyre over the lip. If you have no-one to assist, use cable ties to hold the tyre in place as you work at re-seating it on the rear wheel.
If you are still struggling, we recommend contacting your local bike shop for experienced help, many will be willing to assist for a small fee.
This job is a difficult one, but made easier by purchasing the correct tools. To perform this task we recommend getting hold of the following:
- Scalple and box-cutter/Stanley knife
- 2.5mm hex driver or allen key
- 4mm hex driver or allen key
- High-quality tyre levers
- 18mm open-ended spanner
- Lubricant such as dish soap (WD40 is also useful to have on hand)
- A large roll of tape
- Replacement inner tubes and tyres
- Track/foot pump and inflation hose extension
Avoid using the short levers designed for bicycle tyres. The stiff bead and small diameter of the scooter tyres calls for a stout tool to lever over the wheel rim, even when warm. We recommend these long, rubber handled tools, available as a pack of three on our webstore.
A quick disclaimer
Scooters Direct cannot accept any responsibility for any damages resulting in following the actions in this post. Please work on your scooter with care.
Rear wheel punctures and tyre change
The rear tyre appears more puncture prone (at least in our experience ) thankfully it is the easier of the two to work on.
Removing the rear wheel, tyre and innertube
If you have read our teardown guide, you will be familiar with this process.
1. Lay the scooter down on its left (brake disc) side on a soft surface and remove the rear valve cap. Use one of the hex drivers to deflate the rear tyre by depressing the valve in the middle of the stem, whilst squeezing the tyre to force the air out.
2. Take the scalpel and lift the plastic reflector from the plastic cap. Make sure you lift the plastic piece beneath at the same time, not just the sticker ontop. Tip : Insert the tool at the edge closest to the front of the scooter which is also furthest away from the glue and will lift with the least resistance.
3. Use the 2.5mm hex driver to remove the two bolts securing the plastic cap to the frame and take it off.
4. Using the 4mm hex driver or allen key, remove the wheel bolt, spring washer and flat washer. The photo below shows the parts removed and the tools employed so far.
5. Take a tyre lever and gently release the tyre bead from the rim. Once you have popped it off in a couple of places you should be able to completely release one side with your hands.
6. Flip the scooter over and repeat the steps on the other side. Use the scalpel to release the cover (again from the leading edge), the 2.5mm hex driver to remove the cap screws and the 4mm driver to remove the bolt. If you struggle with this axle bolt, spraying with WD40 can help.
7. Slide the wheel back and out of the horizontal dropouts, you may need to pull the mudguard tip away slightly to free the wheel but it does not need to be removed.
8. With the wheel free of the scooter, place it on a soft surface to avoid bending the brake disc. Starting from the opposite side of the valve, pull the tyre away from the wheel rim and pull the innertube out through the gap.
9. Release the valve from the rim before completely removing the innertube from the wheel. You may have to work the valve to free it from the rim as they can sometimes be tightly retained.
10. Should you want to remove the tyre for replacement, flip the wheel over and pull the rim out of the tyre from the brake disc side, you may need to use a tyre lever to get it started.
The photo below shows the tyre and tube removed from the rear wheel of the scooter. You can now carefully inspect both to determine the cause of your puncture.
Should you need any spares or tools for this job, you can buy them from our webstore with the links below.
Replacing the inner tube and refitting the tyre
If you are re-using your tyre, now is the time to inspect it for any debris or other foreign bodies that might puncture a new tube. You should also double-check the new inner tube holds air before fitting it by inflating it. Take note that the inner tubes have offset valves to match the offset holes on the scooter wheel rims.
1. Fit the innertube to the wheel rim, poke the valve stem through the hole and screw on the valve cap to hold it in place.
2. Take note of the rotational direction of the rear tyre. Both the brake disc and tyre have arrow indicators that can help you do this.
3. Press the tyre down onto a work surface to ovalise it before inserting the wheel and innertube.
4. Ensuring the innertube is sat in the inner dish of the rim, carefully rotate the wheel into the tyre. You should be able to work the wheel and innertube into the place without tools.
5. Take your time working the tyre bead over the wheel, it is very easy to pinch the innertube with the wheel rim and puncture it. The goal is to seat the disc-side of the wheel into the bead whilst the other side is still 'out' as seen in the second photo below. Once you have this in position, pull the tyre away from the bead on the disc side, working around the wheel to ensure the innertube is within the tyre and not caught on the wheel lip.
6. Clamping the tyre in both hands, push the bead over the lip by the valve stem. Grabbing the top of the tyre (that is still unseated) should hold it in this position.
7. Re-insert the wheel into the scooter frame and re-fit the wheel bolts on both sides, leaving them just finger tight.
8. Apply some lubricant such as dish-soap to the underside of the tyre bead. Wedge your tyre lever into the gap between the wheel and tyre and rotate it to brace it up against the scooter frame. Holding the lever in one hand, use the other hand to rotate the wheel clockwise. As you rotate the tyre should slip over the lever tip and onto the wheel rim.
9. Rotate the wheel round, pinching the tyre with your hands to check that the innertube is clear from the wheel lip, to avoid any potential pinch flats.
10. Pump the tyre up to your desired pressure.
11. Replacement of the caps and trims is the reversal of removal. Ensure that you tighten the wheel bolts up before replacing the caps but do not over-torque the axle or cap bolts.
Front wheel punctures and tyre change
The motor wire tethers the front wheel to the scooter making it harder to work on. You can strip the bottom plate off of the scooter, disconnect the motor wires from the ESC and pull the wheel completely clear of the frame but we find that with some care there is normally enough slack in the cable to perform tyre changes with it still connected.
Removing the front wheel, tyre and innertube
1. Use the scalpel to lift the reflector strips up from the bottom corners, again being sure to lift the entire plastic piece and not just the sticker on top.
2. Use the 2.5mm hex driver to remove the four long screws.
3. With the plastic cap removed, unscrew the four shorter screws with the 2.5mm hex driver. Below are the tools used and items removed so far.
4. Lifting the plastic fork trim, slip the open end of your 18mm spanner underneath and loosen the wheel nut. Unscrew this completely and slide it up the motor wire and out of the way.
5. Use a hex driver to deflate the tyre.
6. Flip the scooter over to work on the other side, turning the handlebars to ensure the cable is not pinched below the wheel.
7. Use the scalpel to lift the reflector trim and unscrew the two bolts below with the 2.5mm hex driver.
8. Remove the plastic cap and unscrew the four short screws holding the fender trim down with the 2.5mm hex driver.
9. Lift the trim and use the ring end of the 18mm spanner to undo and remove the wheel nut. Some WD40 can help if the nut is stiff.
10. Carefully slide the wheel out of the vertical dropouts taking note of the orientation of the keyed washer that sits on the face of the wheel. The photos below show this and the components removed to release the wheel.
11. Take a roll of tape or similar firm cylindrical object and rest the wheel on it wire-side-up to work on it without damaging the axle.
12. Using two tyre levers in a cross formation, release the tyre bead, ensuring you do not damage the motor wire in the process.
13. Release the tyre from the wheel using a tyre lever, separating the tube from it as you go.
14. With the tyre free, work on removing the inner tube. The valve can be difficult to remove from the wheel due to the tight clearances around the valve stem. Using some dish soap can aide removal, however if your tube has punctured it can be quicker to just cut it free from the valve, removing them separately.
Replacing the inner tube and refitting the tyre
If you have struggle with removing the inner tube valve stem, then you may find reinserting it even more difficult. We suggest using a rotary tool to slightly widen the hole in the plastic guide. Note that this isn't strictly necessary and may make it more difficult to attach your valve inflation adapter when the inner tube is deflated.
If you are re-using your tyre, now is the time to inspect it for any debris or other foreign bodies that might puncture a new tube. You should also double check the new inner tube holds air before fitting it.
A new tyre will appear to have squarer sidewalls than a used one as can be seen below, this is completely normal.
1. Take note that the inner tubes have offset valves to match the offset holes on the scooter wheel rims.
2. Slip the valve stem through the tight hole and seat the inner tube around the rim. Install the inflation extension hose over the valve stem to hold it in place.
3. Take note of the rotational direction of the front tyre. With the motor-wire facing upwards, the wheel and tread pattern rotate in a clockwise direction.
4. Press down on the tyre onto a hard surface to ovalise it before passing the motor-wheel through.
5. Apply lubricant to the inner lip of the tyre bead front and back.
6. Ensuring the innertube stays in the dished 'v' of the rim, work the opposing side of the bead onto the wheel lip until you are at the stage of the first photo.
7. Check the innertube is not pinched on the lip of the wheel at all before placing the wheel motor-wire side up. Inflate the inner tube a few PSI to seat it around the wheel rim and away from the lip.
8. Seat the tyre bead under the wheel lip by the valve, then use two tyre levers on opposite sides of the wheel to lever the tyre on. Be extremely careful not to catch the innertube here as it is easy to damage or split it. This step can take several attempts it may help to brace the tyre against your foot or leg to hold it in place.
10. Inflate the tyre to your chosen pressure.
11. Replacement of the wheel, caps and trims is the reversal of removal. Ensure that you tighten the wheel nuts correctly, then replace the caps but do not over-torque the wheel nuts or cap bolts.
I am failing to change my innertube or tyre
At this stage we do not offer a puncture repair or tyre changing service. Approach your local bike shop who make be able to help if you are unable to work on the scooter yourself.
How can I stop this happening again?
The M356 innertubes aren't the sturdiest so punctures are fairly common. You can defend yourself against them by installing a tyre sealant that will cure, sealing small holes that may be punctured in the tube. Learn more about tyre sealant and correct tyre inflation in this article. We will also soon be stocking puncture-proof solid-tyres.