HOW TO CHOOSE BICYCLE TIRE

Vallabh Pradeep BOTS Guides

 

You could be a daily commuter, a Dirt addict who enjoys the trails or occasional rider who just rides for fun!  Depending on the riding style you prefer, you will have to choose the right bicycle tire by taking the rim size and the bike type into consideration. This blog will help you understand the cycling tire’s better so that you can choose an appropriate shoe for your bike.

TIRE SIZE
Bicycle tires come different sizes base on its utility and design. So it is important to understand the size to make the right choice. The easiest way to check your current tire size is by looking at its tire sidewall. Let’s understand the tire size further.

MTB tire size: If you look through the side wall of the mountain bike tire you will find the paring of the numbers which looks like 27.5×2.1 which is outer diameter X width of the tire.
Mountain bike tires come in different diameter like 29,27.5&26 and different width like 2.0”,2.1” etc.  Tires with the width of 2.0” to 2.25” are advised for cross-country rides. For technical trail ride, 2.25” to 2.4” width range is recommended. Downhillers have to opt for the 2.5” width tire.

Road tire size: On the road bike side wall you will find the paring of the numbers like 700×23. The first number is the outer diameter of the tire in millimeter and the second number is the width of the tire in millimeter.
Tire with 700mm diameter are the most common tires found on the road bike but what varies is the width. Performance bike carries 18 to 23mm width tire, and the touring bikes carry 25 to 28 mm wider tire.

Hybrid tire size: On hybrid bikes, you would see paring of the numbers like 700×32, 700×38. Hybrids bike have the tire which is in the middle range when compared to MTBs and Road bike.

THREAD PATTERN
Tire tread pattern decides how the tire would grip. More tread means more grip and there would be more rolling resistance as well. You would need to find the right balance between the both.

Slick bike tires:  Are designed for the road, commuting and touring. They barely have any thread pattern. Slick tires are designed to be ridden on the smooth surface like Asphalt etc.

Semi-slick bike tires: These tires are bald in the middle and have threads on the sides to support in the corners. These tires are suitable for smooth surface and minimal off-road riding.

Overturned tire thread: These tires have inverted thread pattern for additional grip and rolling resistance. These tires are designed to be ridden on the roads with lots of potholes and rut.

Knobby tires: These tires are specifically designed to be ridden on the trails. Knobby tires come in different knob sizes, smaller knobs are faster and smooth whereas taller knobs generate more grip and rolling resistance.

OTHERS THINGS TO CONSIDER

Folding tire: are very helpful for storage and transportation. These tires use aramid-fiber bead instead of wire bead which makes them flexible.
Tubeless tires:
does not get punctured easily; they can be ridden at a lower pressure, as there is no tube to get pinched. But before switching to tubeless setup you need to ensure that your rims are tubeless ready.
Puncture Protection: Many tires now come with a puncture protection layer on the outer shell of the tire, which helps in avoiding punctures to a greater extent. They can be very helpful for the commuter in particular.

Tires are like the shoes for the bike, they have to be well taken care of. They have to be changed when they are worn out, if not they will encounter frequent flats. A worn out tire will result in poor handling which would take away the pure experience of riding.

Happy cycling.

 

Vallabh Pradeep
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING I never stopped riding my bike! It all started with me cycling to school. It then became my tool of choice to stay fit, which seeded my passion for long distance cycling. I love the simplicity of cycling as it makes you an integral part of the elements (Rain, Cold, Heat, Climbs, Descends) which in turn makes you value every pedal stroke! Working as a Bike Specialist allows me to spend my entire day with bicycles and working with other like-minded people. DISCIPLINE: Road CURRENT BIKE(S): Scott Aspect 670 & Specialized Allez DREAM BIKE: S-Works Tarmac OTHER PASSIONS: Running, Photography, Travelling