Choosing the Appropriate Tyre for your Mobility Scooter
Mobility Scooters come in all shapes and sizes, customised to overcome the everyday physical challenges faced by its passenger. It therefore comes as no surprise that the size and type of tyres installed on a scooter will vary, according to its intended use. Different terrains will require the corresponding traction and wheel support to operate smoothly and effectively. The industry has strived to maintain innovation in line with the increasing popularity. As mobility scooters manoeuver into new environments, both indoor and outdoor, several wheels and tyres have been developed and customised to suit every scooter. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, which is described in greater detail below.
Solid Tyres As the name suggests, these tyres are as solid as it gets, with no inflatable tube inside the tyre. Solid tyres are traditionally made from rubber or plastic materials, but perform the same role as an inflated tyre. An instant benefit, is that one can calmly forget about the fear of a sudden puncture from driving over a sharp surface. The nature of your disability renders pumping up a flat tyre a major problem. These guys don’t deflate or puncture! The primary drawback, however, is that solid tyre dramatically increases the mass weight of your mobility scooter. This poses extra problems for transporting the vehicle between spaces, and hard slog between journeys. They also lag far behind inflated tyres, in terms of driving comfort and smoothness.
Pneumatic (Air-Filled) Tyres The lightweight and smoother option to solid material; pneumatic tires are filled with air, similar to a bicycle or car, and provide more comfort while operating your scooter. With less weight, it allows your vehicle better shock absorbency, while allowing you to navigate over uneven and bumpy terrain. Naturally, as an air-filled tyre, it does require regular inflating, and can possibly puncture and leave you stranded, might you hit glass or a sharp obstacle on your trip.
Foam Filled Tyres The hybrid of the scooter and wheelchair tyre market, these wheels are filled with polyurethane foam, and present another puncture-proof tyre option to the customer. The greatest advantage of foam filled over it’s Pneumatic counterpart is the absence of air, and not worrying about a deflated tyre, as a disabled user. The ride is not as smooth as it would be on air-filled tyres, but is compensated for by the assurance of driving flat-free on a semi-solid wheel. Perhaps, the perfect middle ground!
In the end, this decision rests on you, the scooter driver, to decide which type of tyre is best suited to your driving experience and mobility requirements. At Shoprider we have a team of experienced technicians on hand to source, install and service all your tyre needs.