Stromer ST1: Fixing a Flat

by Jack R. on December 22, 2014

The Stromer ST1 – Fixing a Flat When a Ride Goes Wrong
by: Mike from DIYBIKING.COM

Stromer Electric Bike ST1

So I’ve been riding the Stromer ST1 around Fairfield County, Connecticut. I’ve found it sturdy, well made, intuitive, surprisingly fast and most important: fun to ride. FUn or ride? There is only one possible answer to that! But now we have to downshit to a tone more in line with an after-school I’ve been riding the Stromer so much I got a flat tire.

But now we have to downshift to a tone more in line with an after-school special or a somber PBS news read: I’ve been riding the Stromer so much I got a flat tire.

Stromer Electric Bike ST1

Bear in mind this isn’t the bike’s fault. The 26” Big Ben tires roll very well and are quite thick but any cyclist is going to get a flat tire at some point no matter what the terrain is or what they ride.

As it happened, I got my flat tire about four miles from home. Fool that I am, I had no pump, spare tube, tools or patch kit. So I walked the bike to the closest Metro North station and caught a train back to Stamford, where I walked the bike some more to get back home. A friend of mine could have easily come to my rescue in the neighborhood I was in, but I really wanted to create a teachable moment and put the bike on a work stand so I could photograph it properly.

As I’ve said, this bike is sturdy and it is heavy – two things I didn’t appreciate when moving it around with a flat tire. Some of the sturdiness comes from the fact that no quick release levers are to be found on the back wheel, so if you carry a tool kit with you when riding the Stromer ST1, include the proper wrench.

The people who made the ST1 did make it easy to remove the rear wheel by having a couple of very simple clips that attach the wires to the hub motor – made up of different connectors to make it impossible to get anything mixed up when you put it back together.

Stromer ST1 Electric Bicycle Flat Tire

Just unplugging the wires means the wheel can come right off like that of a regular bike (meaning: shift into the smallest cog and pull the derailleur back to get the wheel off).

Much to my relief, the Big Ben tire, when flat, comes off the rim incredibly easily. Some of the bikes I own – especially road bikes – require the use of 3,821 tire levers and the kind of cursing found in the first ten minutes of Full Metal Jacket to get them off. But the ST1 tires proved to be an easy change.

As I’ve written, when you first ride the Stromer ST1 your body has a hard time coming to terms with the fact that you’re pedaling at the equivalent of about 10 miles an hour but going about 24. When you first change out the back wheel you’ll feel as though you are changing a tire on the surface of the planet Jupiter. The 500w motor in the rear hub has great power, but with great power comes great weight – so forget about holding the wheel with one hand and retightening the bolt with the other.
Stromer ST1 Electric Bicycle Flat

But I got it on (and realized that it ironically would have been easier to change if it was lying on its side or upside down on the side of a road instead of on my home work stand), and after reattaching the cables I brought the bike outside and it performed like nothing ever happened.

Stromer Electric St1 bicycle

So that’s where I need to give Stromer credit: Electric bikes are more complex than normal ones, but they did take the time to make sure the most common problem could still be solved quickly so you’ll still be riding as much as possible.

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