When you were young, riding a bike was simply fun. Not much consideration went into it. In fact, you couldn’t care less what kind of tires were on it because your good old parents were there to take care of it all. After all, that was part of their job description, no?
Now you’re older and you dare not go to your parents to help you fix your bike. What the heck? You should be the one helping them now. As you grow older, you’re expected to become more responsible, and who wants to be responsible, right? Yeah we know you think growing up isn’t all it was trumped up to be, but hey, grow up.
Sadly, gone are the days when you can afford to dump your bike anywhere and wake up the next day, pick it up, and ride off. Gone are the days when all you had to do was yell – Dad, these tires are bad, I need new ones! Really, growing up sucks. Now you have to choose the kind of bike you want and actually pay for it yourself. No more pointing to a lovely mountain bike
and saying “that’s the one I want.” Now you first ask, “How much is it” before wanting it.
It doesn’t all end with getting your bike. You now have to get other accessories. What! Yeah, some of those accessories you had on your lovely bike as a child were bought and paid for by your parents and you weren’t even very grateful to them. Now when you complain about your bike seat
not being very comfortable, you’re told to buy another one. If you think you need better bike light
s you’re also told to buy them because you’re now grown up.
We’d also like to add that you need good bike tires as well. Yes, you’ll actually have to buy them – or you could get in the line, sit on Santa’s laps and ask him nicely for a set of bike tires. On a more serious note, your bike tires are very important, which is why we’ll help you decide which bike tires are best for you. You don’t want to spend your money buying the wrong tires, and neither do you want Santa going all the way to the North Pole and bringing back the wrong ones (just kidding). We’ll show you features to look out for and how they’ll affect your riding. Stay with us as we journey through the world of bike tires.
One important factor that must be considered in the purchase of a bike tire is its cost. In our research, we discovered that a good bike tire can be purchased for between $15 and $150. We found that the price of a bike tire can be influenced by such factors as its size, type, brand and design among other factors.
What you choose will determine how much you pay. There are some bike tires that cost much more than the price listed above. The more features you need, the more you have to be willing to pay. Just in the same way, there are some bike tires that may cost less. We will, however, caution that you be extra careful with these cheap bike tires as they’re likely to be of very low quality. Ensure you buy something that’ll serve you well.
In deciding the best bike tire for you, there are important features to consider. Considering these features will help you choose which bike tire will suit you the most. These are some important features to consider:
- Tire Pressure
Let us now look at these further:
Construction and Design
The first thing any rider must consider before choosing a bike tire is the type of riding they intend to do with their bike. Are there different types of riding? Yes there are. There’s road riding, off-road riding, mountain trail riding, etc. Each of these different types of riding environments will require a different type of tire because they emphasize different aspects of riding. Once this has been settled, it becomes easier to choose the right bike tire.
Now that you hopefully have decided on the type of riding environment you’ll be riding in, we’ll now look at different types of tire features. These features help classify tires into different types. The first thing we’ll consider is the size of the tire.
There are two sizes to consider when choosing a tire. The first is the wheel size and the second is the tire width. Since you’re only getting a replacement tire and not a whole tire and rim, it’s very important that you get a tire that’ll fit into your bike’s rims. You need to be very careful here because you may have a few discrepancies. Road tires are usually listed in millimeters while off-road tires are usually listed in inches. Since most road tires have a wheel size of 700 millimeters, you may not have so many issues with this. You should then pay attention to the width. This will usually be listed in this format – 700/23 where 700 stands for the diameter of the wheel and 23 for the width both measured in millimeters. These will usually be available in 23, 25 and 28 millimeter widths.
For off-road tires which are measured in inches, you’ll find listings such as 26 x 1 ¾. You need to pay particular attention to this because the little fractions can cause some confusion. Go with exactly what’s indicated in your bike’s manual.
As a general guide, anyone looking for maximum speed should go for slimmer tires. This is so because, since they don’t have a large surface area that makes contact with the road, the result is very low rolling resistance. It is, however, important to note that you will be trading grip and handling for this speed. It is for this reason that mountain bike tires are very wide so they have more balance, grip and handling, among other things.
Next thing to look at is the tread pattern. It’s important to understand that all these factors work together. We earlier mentioned the width of the mountain bike giving it balance, grip and handling. Its knobby treading contributes greatly to this. For road bikes built for maximum speed, you should go for slick treads. These have little of nor treading, making them ideal for the road. Equally ideal for the road is the semi-slick tread which is smooth in the center with treading at the sides. This side treading give the tires grip for cornering.
You also have the inverted tread tires which are particularly good for riders who ride on both asphalt and off-road trails. Though you’ll lose some speed while riding on asphalt, you will have good grip and handling which will serve you well when you go on off-road trails. Lastly, you have the knobby tread tires, which are super for off-trail rides. They’re built for grip and handling. Speed is not a major issue here, but your comfort and safety is paramount while riding on off-road trails. These are the types of treads you will find on mountain bike tires.
While choosing a bike tire, be sure to check for the minimum and maximum PSI – Pressure per Square Inch. This tells you how much air pressure the tire can take. If a tire is listed as having a PSI of 40 – 65, it means it can take air pressure within this range. What exact air pressure to use will be dependent on such factors as the rider’s weight and the riding terrain. Whatever the case, the listed PSI range should be observed to avoid damaging the tire and also for your safety.
Performance and Ease of Use
Understanding the effect of the air pressure in your tire will help you use your tires more effectively. Here’s a simple rule – the higher the air pressure (measured in PSI), the higher the speed and the less the comfort. This said, within the stipulated PSI range of your tire, the lower the PSI, the more comfort and stability you can achieve at the expense of speed. If you need more speed, go for the highest PSI possible, knowing that you’re achieving more speed at the expense of comfort. It’s for this reason that road bike tires have higher PSIs while mountain bike tires have the lowest PSIs.
Some riders consider the weight of the tire itself as it can have some effect on the speed. This factor isn’t something that every rider should worry about. It’s only particularly important to professional race riders who want to achieve the highest speed possible, meaning they’ll need to shed as much weight as they can.
Depending on your intensity or regularity of riding, considering how much your bike tire can take is very important. Everyone wants his or her bike tires to last. To ensure their durability, it’s important to choose a bike that’s suitable to your exact needs, which include frequency of use and the terrain you’ll be riding on. If you ride through areas where punctures can easily take place, you may want to consider spending a bit more to get reinforced tires that are puncture resistant. This will surely be better than having to change tires every few miles!
There are many factors that affect a bike tire’s suitability for you. There are many combinations of strengths and weakness to every bike tire. Some are great for speed while others are better for rough terrains. How much speed are you willing to sacrifice for better grip and handling? These and more are questions you need to answer to be able to find the tire that’s best for you. Having read this far, you now hopefully know the features you need and can look out for them as we begin to review our selected products.
Wow! It’s been a lovely journey through the world of bike tires. We do hope you now know a lot more about what exactly you need in the best bike tire for you. It’s now time to go ahead and place your order so you can begin to enjoy the pleasure of riding to the fullest.