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Air vs Solid tyres for mobility scooters – choosing what’s best for each type of user

solid tyres for mobility scooters

As most will know, there are two main types of mobility scooter tyres, air (pneumatic) and solid. In this blog, we’ll be looking at the key differences between the two and how that helps to know which of the two is best for each user of mobility scooters.

What directs the choice between air or solid tyres for mobility scooters?

When it comes down to it, the choice between air or solid tyres is all down to the pattern of use and the user themselves. While a small number of mobility scooter brands only support one type of tyre, for the most part, there will be an option on what to use.

How to know what type of tyre is best for a mobility scooter user

There are lots of differences between air and solid tyres, but it’s usually quite easy to understand what the best for is for each person.

  • The quality of the ride –Air tyres provide a much smoother ride than solid tyres; this is due to the natural shock absorption that you get from air tyres. Solid tyres for mobility scooters have reduced natural shock absorption so the ride will be a little bumpier.
  • Durability –Solid tyres tend to be more durable and last longer than air tyres. This is because there are a lot fewer variables that can affect your tyres. For instance, you can’t under- or over-inflate solid tyres, and you’re not at risk of punctures with solid tyres.
  • The combined weight of the mobility scooter and user –Some mobility scooters are surprisingly heavy and, when combined with the weight of the user, this will have an impact on the longevity of your tyres. Weight tends to impact solid tyres and can damage them more than a high-quality pneumatic tyre.
  • What terrain you’re travelling on – The terrain driven on is one of the biggest factors that will help decide on whether air or solid mobility scooter tyres are best. If the user lives in town then surfaces tend to be smooth, and air tyres are fine. If the user travels across rough ground, like gravel surfaces, or where there may be glass in public areas, a solid tyre may be the better choice.
  • Price –Air tyres are cheaper than solid mobility scooter tyres. However, as some of the points above highlight, it may not always be best to opt for the cheaper option, e.g. the cost of repairing 2-3 punctures would outweigh the cost saving made on an air tyre.

Summary of what each tyre is best for

Air mobility scooter tyres are best suited to smooth, tarmacked surfaces, where there is minimal risk of tyre damage. On smooth, flat, surfaces, air tyres will offer a more comfortable ride and can provide longer ranges due to less tyre friction.

Solid tyres for mobility scooters are a must for recreational users. If a mobility scooter is often on gravel paths and in rural areas, then air tyres will carry a risk of a puncture. Also, solid tyres for mobility scooters tend to have more friction on the surface so in rural areas you will have better grip.

What can happen if you choose the wrong type of tyre?

If you happen to choose the type of tyre that’s not best suited to your needs, then you will either be decreasing the potential lifespan of your tyres or may not be maximising the overall performance of your mobility scooter.

Here’s an example to show you what kind of impact that choosing the wrong type of tyre can have.

A regular pub-goer opted for air tyres on his mobility scooter, without actually thinking of the potential risks that are in and around a pub… the main one being broken glass! As a result, the owner kept getting punctures. If the user had opted for solid tyres, in the beginning, there would have been no risk of a puncture. So do choose wisely!

If you’re struggling to decide what tyres are best for a particular type of mobility scooter or a specific pattern of use, we would be happy to talk you through the choices and find out what is best.

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If you’re looking to source good quality air and solid tyres, then make sure you look at our Strident tyre brochure.

solid tyres for mobility scooters