Considering a wheel swap - what should I know?

Finding tires & tubes for my Evo is getting to be a pain in the butt, so I’m toying with the idea of swapping in some 16" wheels and getting a pair of Tannus airless tires. It looks like getting the hardware wouldn’t be too difficult, but am I biting off more than I can chew in terms of wrenching skill? I’m comfortable dealing with tires, adjusting brakes, and most take-stuff-off/put-stuff-on tasks that need a hex wrench, but I’m not a super-experienced bike mechanic.

Hi, swapping wheels is not difficult on the Strida, from what you described of your experience I think you would not have a problem. Loosening the belt on your EVO will be the only difficult part, it is easier if you have a 95 mm hook wrench but it is possible if you don’t have one. Here is the Strida PDF for changing wheels. If you are in the US or Canada I have 16 inch wheels in stock. You may also want to consider swapping the fenders too but the 18 inch fenders will work witht he 16 inch wheels. … NzOFk/view

Cheers, Bill

I think you should know that 18" wheels are the best wheels made by Ming cycle.
(The 16" plastic wheels are pretty flexible and the 16" metal spoked version has only 24 spokes - compared to 18", which have 36. Moreover that are the hubs of 18" wheels wider than that of 16" - jfyi).

Swapping wheels isn’t rocket science and done within an hour (including brake and belt tension adjustment) by trained personnel.
But anyway - here are the most important things to remind:

  • Do not derail the belt with a screwdriver!
    Instead of, get yourself a hook key and do it the right way:
    ALWAYS use hook key for the groove nut AND Allen key for the bolt if you want to adjust belt tension.

  • If you exchange also rotors and freewheel (which I’d recommend to cut the costs) from old to new wheelset please observe;

  • at the frontwheel: Never mount the brake rotor onto a STANDING wheel (lay down the wheel horizontally) and take care of the gaps between the six bolt lashes of the rotor and the hub flange - you need to centralize the rotor manually.

  • and at the rear wheel: Do not overtighten the rear wheel bolt 379!!!

  • There is a “special” (cheap and common) freewheel removal tool required.

  • It is a good moment in time to check/replace your brake pads - if necessary.

Already a while ago; but the Green Mamba is still demo model at my friend’s shop:

Back then were the Tannus available in size 305 and coloured - nowadays black only:

I’m finally doing this! The front was easy, but the rear wheel is refusing to come off of the axle. I have the belt derailed, the brake caliper detached, and bolt 379 removed. I suspect that the axle and the inner bearing ring are stuck somehow, but I’m not sure how to get them unstuck.

I guess you need also to unmount the snubber.

Try penetrating oil at the gap between inner bearing ring and axle (repeatedly), let it sit for 24 hours.
Lay the bike at the right side meanwhile, with a bit of luck the oil might reach also the inner bearing.

I got some penetrating oil, and removed the snubber, but the rear wheel still refused to budge; I prevailed upon my local Buy Nothing group for a 3-prong puller, and a neighbor who wrenches occasionally can’t to the rescue! We got the wheel off, but left a bearing behind, which came off with a bit of fiddling and prying with flathead screwdrivers. I hit my local REI, and they gladly removed the freewheel, which cleared the way for me to attach it to the new wheel and reassemble the whole thing today!

The 16s with Tannus tires feel a bit different - a little twitchier, and I can definitely sense the way the airless tires absorb more force than pneumatic ones. Luckily, I don’t usually go too far on this bike, since it’s job is my short commute and multimodal trips.

Thanks for all the help and encouragement!

Thank you very much for your report!
Nice accent these red spokes btw :smiley:

I had to notice odd things while talking with several people about airless tyres…
Most of these fellows simply said." Those tyres are crap."
But also, most of them, replied to my next question which brand/type they have tried in fact:
“I did not ride this shit.”

I mean that these tyres are not bad, just different.
It is much more a personal flavour decision than a technical, nowadays, I think.
Never more pumping and definitely no more flats in future

  • you can even ride with several needles across your tyre (awesome show effect in public!) :laughing: -
    can be a really big advantage for some riders, that has its price.

I have to downgrade the wheels to 16" too. There is so much different stuff in my city on the road that the Kojaks cannot last long time. I need a better shock absorption as well.
So I have decided to downgrade due to better assortment of 16 " tires and prices too.

I have a quesition I hope you know the answer for:
How often the spokes break down in 24-spoke 16" wheel?
I am 186 cm tall, about 90 kg weight. With clothes and backpack I propably may reach a 100kg.
I have already made a one spoke broke in my 18" rear wheel, but that was a time when I rode Strida a lot trying its possibilities.
I have a saddle set on the pre-last postion, almost on top of the frame so the weigt of mine is about 60 percent on the rear.

What I may expect how the 16" wheel will behave?
I am going to put the Schwalbe Big aplles on it and install strida rear hinge upgrade kit from Strida Canada from Bill, I have ordered it already and waiting for delivery.

Best regards

Hello Greg,

I’d consider mentioned wheel change not really a downgrade, but more as an adjustment according to requirements. :wink:

Regarding breaking spokes - it’s the same issue than on any other bikes with them - the main problem is here uneven spoke tension.
(Which is - just think logical - more problematic with 24 spokes instead of 36.)
The receipt to avoid broken spokes is also very simple - just keep spoke tension halfways even.

Expressed in more practical words does than mean;

  1. You should check spoke tension (best directly after first installation) and, if necessary,
  2. You should be able to improve spoke tension.
    I’d recommend to learn the “check spoke tension by ear” method without overdramatizing it:
    It is totally sufficient to hear a clear tone (NOT the same on each spoke) but not a dull noise!

Treated like this periodically, your wheels won’t break spokes any longer.

Regarding behaviour; first of all you ride one inch or less lower, it may feel a little bit easier to pedal. With Balloons you can expect more comfort, but usually they do not last very long.

…principially, it is no problem to create extremely durable 16" wheels by using 18" hubs and 16" BMX rims, for example.

Kind regards,


Thank you for the answer.

You’ve written that Bigaplles do not last very long. What do you mean?

18" Kojaks last about half a year in “acceptable” condition, after that the puncture tube fixing is a must once a week. All of these are the urban ridings but with different surfaces : pavements , bike paths, tram trails crossings, kerbstones , some wierd little stones on the streets etc. and of course the broken glass sometimes. Kojaks I have are cut , It happened that Kojak was damaged by the bad angle raid on a kerbstone.

Kind regards

I’ve meant the mileage, according to a good friend from the Netherlands it is not possible to ride more than about 3000 km. These Balloons are very soft and it seems they wear out relatively fast.

I will give them a chance. Rear Innova was unusable after a month and a half, Kojaks gets damage relatively quick if the road is not smooth.

Kind regards.

Yes I know that Kojak’s are a problem on bad roads…

Could you tell also how many kilometres approximately you rode with the Innova?

I have ridden about 800 km with my first Innova on rear wheel before its tire tread had worned out, not on all the tire but in one place. Maybe becouse the rear break was set up too strong and was often blocking the wheel.

I have changed the wheels to the 16". It was three weeks ago. I put the Schwalbe Big aplles on and so far I am very satisfied with that change. The wheels are ok, the tires fit with 18" fenders. Now I understand why the seller was suggesting to me the 16" wheels at first, in case I wished to put on some fatter tires.

But of course nothing what good last long - on monday my KS3 decided to brake down. XD

I’m sad to read about another defective KS3…did you already contact your local dealer for an exchange?
Unfortunately, it seems that the KS3 is not really maintenance-free, amongst other reports there is also a German collegue who claims that a renewal of the grease inside the drive may help (in some cases).
If you (or perhaps your dealer) are interested to know more about the process I’d gladly translate the article.

Yes, I did contact the dealer but it is not my local. That is second KS3, I have bought it in the Netherlands by the internet in the beginnig of last year. Procedure is as usual - made the movie and describe what is wrong.
I have spoken to , some time ago, a local, to my country, guy who is able to service KS3 as long as the gearwheels are not damaged.
I have spoken also some times ago with a guy from EFNEO to produce an adapter to EVO for their gearbox.
I have also got chat with Bill Wilby from Strida CA and he told me that KS3 production has been discontinued since the Spring of this year.
It looks like like the time of KS3 gearbox has ended.

Wow, that are bad news, feels like a slap in the face of all EVO owners.

So, principially we all were beta testers and Ming couldn’t solve the occuring issues.
Instead of re-engineering they simply abandon the drive.
Not nice. :confused:

Yes, a little slap indeed.
I like that gearbox, if it works of course. I like the way gears are changed. That is real fun for me. It is not possible to ride safely on Strida without hands on the handlebar (I have checked :smiley: ) but with that gearbox it is not a problem to ride with one hand free and still be able to change the gears just with the legs.

As far as I know the problem with KS3 is that the gearwheels like to break apart. If it is the problem caused by the alloy used why Sturmey just won’t use better alloy?

The EVO production has been discontinued, but the KS3 is still available as far as I know. I have some more on order ready to be shipped.


Hi Bill,

many thanks for clarifying!
Still odd.