How To Choose Tires For a Road Bike

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Tyres, form the most basic component of a bike and one of the most important component as well, simply because of the fact that without tyres, not only bikes, but no form of road transport can exist!

To start things off, Road bike tyres range in widths from 20mm to around 30mm width, with the size being constant at 700C. The most common sizes being 23mm and 25mm. In this write-up we shall be discussing these two types of road bike tires in detail.



  • Thinner tires mean smaller contact area with the road surface. Hence rolling friction/resistance is reduced.

  • These tires are slightly more aerodynamic than their other counterparts (25c, 28c, 30c and 32c tires)


  • Smaller contact surface between the road and the tires mean that every small bump, pothole or bad patch of road can be felt by the rider in the form of road buzz

  • The chance of pinch flats (punctures caused due to riding at lower pressures or bad road conditions) also increases

Ideally suited for

  • Time trial races

  • Criteriums

  • In the velodrome



  • Slightly wider contact surface with the road (many consider it just the optimum amount of contact for regular road riding!) which provides a more plushier ride than a 23c tire

  • Chances of pinch flats (flats that happen when you ride under pressure. They look like a snake bite on the underside of the tube) reduce by a fair bit and the tire can be pumped to 15-20 psi less than what’s specified on the sidewall without increasing the chance of a pinch flat.


  • Slightly wider profile should make the tires slightly less aerodynamic than the 23c tires.

  • The wider size means that the contact patch between the road and the tire increases. Hence the rolling friction should increase by slight amounts.

Best suited for

  • Sportive events and Brevets

  • Road cycling stage races

Did you know?

In the Paris-Roubaix, riders are known to have used tyres as thick as 30mm.

That said, on smooth surfaces, these tyres seem inferior to the narrow tyres.

However, recent studies have shown that when the two are compared on an overall basis, the wider tyres gain an edge over the thinner tyres.

The explanation they had for this was as follows – Each tyre is flattened over a load. When the prototypes of the two tyres were inflated to the same level, the wider tyres deformed over their width and to a lesser extent along their length. The thinner tyres on the other hand, being slimmer, flattened to a larger extent along their length. As a result, the wider tyres were more “round” than their slimmer counterparts, thereby aiding in the rotation action, making motion easier.

Other factors to consider when buying a road bike tire
  • Weight of the tire – As a rule of thumb, saving 1 gram of weight on the wheels of your bike is equivalent to saving 2 grams on other parts of the bike. So yeah, lighter the tire, the better it is!

  • Puncture protection – A lot of tyre manufacturers have different was of making their tyres on the higher end of the spectrum more puncture resistant using different methods. This does end up adding a bit of weight on the tire, but then, if you are doing your training rides or riding on terrain where chances of getting a flat tire are high, its generally worth the compromise.

  • Colour – Sounds less important than the other things we discussed above, and it surely is. But lets be honest, a good looking pair of tires that match with your bike will not only make you want to ride more, but also make your ride look way more swankier than it already is ;)

To view our collection of tires available on our online store, click here

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