Bicycles come in various shapes and sizes. This is because designers create different bikes for general uses or specific contexts. Some people just want to casually cycle on the streets of their neighborhoods, while others like to travel great distances or pedal over rugged terrain. It takes more than just a nice bike frame to adapt to these uses effectively, though. A bicycle also needs to have suitable tires. Find out how to choose the right bike tires for your needs by thinking about these main factors.
Know What Size You Need
As you begin the process of searching for tires, you need to know what size will fit on your bike. You can check this by looking at the tires you currently have on the bike. Along the side, there should be two numbers separated by an “X.” The first number is a measurement of the tire’s diameter, while the second indicates the tire’s width.
For sizing purposes, it is the first number that you must be strict with. If your new tires don’t match this measurement, they may either not fit or fall off your bicycle’s wheels. The standard units of measurement that manufacturers use for tires are inches and millimeters. Inches will usually appear in the upper twenties and exist on thicker mountain bike tires. Millimeters are commonly around the 650 and 700 range, and you’ll find them on thinner road bike tires.
Compare Tire Widths
With the diameter determined, you can then consider tires widths. Thinner tires are more lightweight and provide a smooth ride with little ground resistance. When you’re going for speed, these are ideal. However, they also lack traction, so you’ll be limited to riding on even, paved surfaces.
On the other hand, thicker tires have more aggressive treads that allow them to work in many settings while helping you maintain stability. Their potential is great enough that some manufacturers have created electric bikes with fat tires that can take you straight through snow without a problem. Since they have more room for air, thicker tires can feel more cushioned when you go over bumps, as well. The downside to them is that they make it harder to ride at a fast pace since they grip the ground so well and add extra weight to your bike. Note that electric bikes can make up for this weakness by providing motor assistance.
Look at Tire Treads
The particular tread patterns on tires can change based on what product you acquire. Road bike tires are mostly smooth, though they may have light grooving to direct water away and prevent slips. At the other end of the spectrum, mountain bike tires have different tread patterns that make them appropriate for focused uses. For example, you may get tires made for downhill riding or dealing with roots and stones. Some people even choose to have different patterns on their front and back wheels. You can also find tires that have middle-of-the-road patterns with smooth centers and lugs on their outer edges. Deliberate about where you’ll go with your bike to choose the right tires for your needs.