Bicycle Tire Buying Guide

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Are you a loner road runner? Or an off-road rider who gallops in the mountains? Or a “little rookie” who occasionally participates in cycling? Faced with different riding styles, you need to learn to choose different types of bicycles. Likewise, picking the right tires is one of the must-have skills you need. In addition to knowing what size tires you need for your vehicle, there are also many types of tires.

No matter what type of rider you are, it is very necessary to avoid excessive tire wear. A flat tire will increase the probability of a tire blowout during riding. Check the tire wear in time and replace the severely worn tire in time. It will effectively enhance your riding experience.

Tire Specifications – Diameter and Width

How to know your tire size? Very simple, look at the sidewall of the tire.

Mountain bikes: You will see a 27.5×2.0 lettering on the tire of a mountain bike, which indicates the tire width (2.0 inches) and wheel diameter (27.5). Generally speaking, the tire width of ordinary mountain bikes is between 1.9 and 2.25. The tire width of BMX and ATV is between 2.25~2.4, and of course wider, DH bikes are equipped with tires as wide as 2.5 inches

Road bikes: On road bike tires, you see numbers that are different from mountain bike tires, such as 700×23. The first number (700) represents the wheel diameter of the wheel, which is measured in millimeters. The second number (23) represents the actual tire width, again in millimeters.

Exceptions include 650S-spec tires (for quicker front wheel changes or for smaller riders), and 27-inch tires, which are mostly used on older cars.You may often see the words 700c written on road tires. What does the letter c at the end mean? In the past, in the French standard, they identified different rim diameters by the letters a, b, and c. Any 700 size tire these days is basically the same as a 700c tire of the past, you may have also seen 650b, which is the same size as a 27.5″ mountain bike tire today, and a 650c, which has a slightly smaller inner diameter than a 650b tire, and you can find it in some Find tires of this size on a road bikeMost road bikes today use 700c tires ranging in width from 18 to 23mm. Those who ride touring bikes usually opt for 25-28mm width tires for improved stability and comfort.Generally, any 700 tire today is basically the same size as an old 700c tire. You can see 650bs, which are the same 27.5″ mountain bike tires today, and 650cs, which have a slightly smaller bore than 650b tires and can be found on several road bikes.

Cyclocross: It has a similar texture to the mountain off-road tire, but will be designed in a 700 size to ensure that the tire can adapt to the shape of the frame.

29ers: Compared with off-road roads, 29-inch mountain bike tires have wider tire widths and more pattern changes, but overall they look no different from ordinary mountain bike tires. The design concept of the 29-inch tire is to reduce rolling resistance on technical road sections and sandy roads. Due to the increased contact surface with the road surface, it is more conducive to control the vehicle during cornering and climbing when using a 29-inch mountain bike.

BMX: The tire diameter is usually 20 inches

The diameter of the tire is determined by your car model (the diameter of the rim), and it is a very simple “black and white” problem that most people will not understand. In contrast, another parameter of tire specifications – tire width, has more knowledge. Under the premise that other conditions remain unchanged, just the difference in tire width can greatly change the riding experience. We will not expand on this topic for the time being.

Smooth tires: Generally designed for road bikes, city/commuter bikes, touring bikes and some mountain bikes. The smooth tread has almost no pattern, which results in less rolling resistance. The smooth surface is designed to be used on slippery surfaces, such as oil parks, on clean and flat surfaces, which will make your ride faster and easier. Some smooth tires have grooves on the sides to improve grip when cornering, especially if you’re riding over water-soaked surfaces.

Semi-smooth tires: Compared with the full-smooth tire, the design of this tire is to add rubber blocks on the side. The smooth tread in the center of the tire can reduce the rolling resistance of the tire and facilitate acceleration, and the tooth blocks on the side are further improved. cornering grip. Such tires are generally used on light off-road surfaces.

Shallow tooth tires: The shallower tooth tire pattern takes into account both low rolling resistance and grip. This pattern design can adapt to a variety of riding scenarios and is one of the most suitable tires for beginners.

Gear tires: According to different off-road roads, there are also different choices of gear tires. Smaller tooth blocks can reduce rolling resistance and are suitable for relatively flat light off-road roads. The larger-tooth tires provide better grip when there are lots of tree roots coiling around and over rocks, and the wider-tooth tires are better for rain combat, which can better help you get rid of mud stuck on the tires. A tire covered in mud can easily lead to a side-slip crash. Choosing wider tires can help you control the car better off-road.

Tread selection for front and rear tires

Different combinations of front and rear tires can bring you more different riding experiences. For mountain bikes, the front tires are primarily used to provide better grip in corners to improve handling, while the rear tires tend to provide the best power transfer. After purchasing the tire, please install the tire correctly according to the rolling direction of the wheel. The rolling direction is usually marked on the sidewall of the tire.

Compared to mountain bikes, road tires are usually sold in pairs, so there is almost no front and rear tires, and because the riding scene of road bikes is not as varied as mountain bikes, you can hardly see road tires. There are too many changes in the tread pattern.

Choice of valve

As we all know, there are generally two types of air nozzles for bicycle inner tubes, namely the beautiful mouth and the French mouth.

The faucet is characterized by being slender and has a valve that can be tightened. The faucet inner tube usually appears on high-end bicycles, especially road bikes. If your rim is a beautiful mouth size, do not try to install a French mouth tube. Due to the different size of the opening, using a French mouth tube will cause excessive movement at the valve, which will cause the rubber at the valve to crack, but you If you really want to use a Falip inner tube on a rim with a beautiful mouth, you can try to use an adapter to fix the inner tube.

Tubeless tires have become more and more popular in recent years, and even appeared on the World Tour some time ago. In the past, tubeless tires were mostly used for mountain bikes. The combination of tubeless tires and vacuum wheels can further reduce the weight of the vehicle, and due to the filling of tire repair fluid, small damage can basically be ignored during riding.

shortcoming? It is probably more troublesome to install, and if you want to use a tubeless tire system, you need to buy a matching tubeless tire-supporting wheelset. Of course, you can also buy some manufacturers’ modified parts.

Rivet tire

Such tires usually have rivets made of carbide on the tread to improve grip on snow and ice.

Puncture-resistant tires

The problem of a flat tire will always accompany you throughout your riding career, and tire manufacturers have come up with corresponding solutions. Add a layer of puncture-resistant material (usually Kevlar braid) to the tire to prevent the tire from being punctured by sharp objects, and some manufacturers will thicken the tire, but this often results in a very heavy tire.

Compound rubber tire

Typically, bicycle tires use one type of rubber. Soft rubber tires can provide a more comfortable riding experience, but they are not wear-resistant and are expensive. Hard rubber tires are very durable, but because they are too stiff, they can give the rider a less comfortable riding experience. Some high-end players will use a tire made of compound rubber, which is made of rubber of different hardness to improve riding comfort while taking into account the grip.The tpi value of a bicycle tire refers to the number of linings per inch of tire length, that is, the density of the lining. The higher the TPI value, the lighter the tire weight, the higher the elasticity and comfort, and the smaller the sliding resistance. Common bicycle tires range from 30tpi to 120tpi. The most intuitive difference between them is weight and thickness. 30tpi tires are very thick, 60tpi tires are lighter and thinner than 30tpi tires, and 120tpi tires are much thinner and lighter than 30tpi tires. The price will also increase a lot while being thin and light. A high TPI number means lower rolling resistance. Most of the rolling resistance of a tire is caused by the deformation of the rubber. Because the high TPI number jacket has less rubber, it converts more of the rider’s energy into forward momentum.

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