Get an Idea of What to Look for When Buying Bike Tyres

Your bike’s tyres are one of the most important parts of your ride as they affect your safety, performance, and comfort. No matter how great your road bike is, it will only perform optimally if the wheels are fitted with a pair of decent pneumatics. Road tyres for bikes are specifically designed for on-road riding on smooth surfaces, rather than the heavily rutted trails that mountain bike tyres are designed for. Due to the fact that road ones are not suitable for broken and uneven surfaces, they’re made for lower rolling resistance and performance, and they oftentimes feature smooth tread patterns and a narrow profile. However, road tyres still vary within their category – there are models with different tread patterns, widths, materials, and designs.
When looking for road tyres for bikes, you’ll come across tyres in three widths: 28mm, 25mm, and 23mm. In the past, the most common road tyre width was 18mm, but over time many road bikers realized that wider models provide better grip, comfort, and lower rolling resistance. That being said, the standard width nowadays is 25mm. Of course, your choice will depend on the width of the wheels your bike has. With that said, consider your frame size and your wheel rim width. The tyre needs to be wider than the rim, so measure your rim first and get a tyre that’s slightly bigger. 25mm tyres are the standard because they have the best compromise between performance, weight, and comfort.
Then, you have to consider the type of tyre you want – you need to pick between a tubular or a clincher one. This basically indicates how the tyres are fitted to the rims. The clincher type also includes tubeless tyres. Clincher tyres are the ones found on most road bikes. They have a horse-shoe shaped profile that clinchers to the rim. The beat is held onto the hooked profile of the rim by the pressure of the air that’s inside the tyre. The tyre bead is made either of wire or Kevlar strands. Those that feature wire beads are called rigid clincher tyres, while those that feature Kevlar strands are called folding clincher tyres. Folding tyres are easier to transport, they’re lighter and better performing. However, they cost more money to manufacture which is why they’re more expensive.162
Tubeless models are becoming increasingly more popular lately, because they’re specifically designed to fit the rim tightly, and they’re 100% air-tight. They can be inflated without needing an inner tube, which makes them save on weight, and you can run them at a lower pressure for improved grip without risking punctures. On the other hand, tubular tyres are the preferred choice of professional racers who need high-end performance. They are mounted on rims that are specifically made for the tubular tyre where they’re either taped or glued to the rim. The inner tube is sewn inside the casing of the tyre, forming a tightly sealed unit.