The right bike tyre for every bike type and every situation
Not all bike tyres are the same! With the wide range of options available, it’s important to find out which bike tyre you need by collecting the right information before you buy.
It’s not only about tread pattern, air pressure and rolling resistance, but also about the surface you’re riding on. When choosing a bike tyre, three main aspects should be considered: surface, safety and use.
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Bike tyres: The differences, and what to keep in mind
Bike tyres are available in various sizes and designs. Which size and tread pattern to choose depends not only on the type of bicycle, but also on the surface you are riding on.
A bike tyre must offer comfort but also needs sufficient grip to ensure your safety. Besides, modern tyres have to comply with increasing quality standards to optimise mobility and avoid regular maintenance or repairs.
Tyres aren’t always the main thing on your mind when you think about cycling – you might not give them any special importance. Only when you get a flat or your bike breaks down do you realize the importance of this key component.
Different tyres are used depending on the bike type you ride. And cyclists tend to look for tyres which match their needs and requirements.
These are the different types of tyres:
- Clincher tyres
- Folding tyres
- Tubular tyres
- Tubeless tyres
Now, let’s go into more detail about each type of tyre.
The clincher tyre – or “clincher” for short – is a classic tyre type. As the name suggests, these tyres clinch to the rim of the wheel with a bead of rubber. They are made for various bikes, from everyday city bikes to children's bicycles, road bikes and even mountain bikes.
This tyre uses an inflated inner tube. The expanding tube creates solid pressure against the rim. These bike tyres are available with or without puncture protection. With an extra puncture protection layer, the tyre becomes heavier, which in turn increases rolling resistance.
The folding tyre is a special version of the clincher tyre. Instead of a wire bundle, this tyre uses Kevlar fibres (plastic fibres). The use of Kevlar makes the tyre more flexible compared to the stiff steel bead of a classic clincher. It can easily be folded up, hence the name. Because of their lightweight material, folding tyres are gaining in popularity.
A tubular tyre – also known as a tub in the UK (or a sew-up in the US) – has a different design. With this tyre, the inner tube is sewn inside the cylindrical tyre to form a torus. The torus is then glued to a special rim.
Tubular tyres were once especially popular in competitive cycling (road bikes, cyclocross and mountain bikes). It seems, though, that tubular tyre days are numbered, and folding tyres are taking over. A big advantage of the tubular tyre is that it always stays on the rim even if it punctures. However, replacement and repairs are expensive and complicated.
Tubeless tyres are the latest technology in the bike tyre world. Again, the clue is in the name –these tyres don’t use a tube. The tyres are instead attached to the rim in an airtight manner.
They offer the ultimate in puncture protection, because there’s no tube to be punctured. There’s also no friction between the tyre and the tube, which has a positive impact on rolling resistance. Although tubeless tyres are suitable for various bicycle types, they are mainly used on road bikes and mountain bikes.
Which tyre type for which bicycle type?
When looking for the right bike tyre, there are several factors to consider. It’s not always easy to choose the right tyre because they come in so many different variations and sizes.
Start with the size of the tyre, which can be found on the tyre wall. Next, make sure the tyre matches your bike type and is suitable for the road surface you’re planning to ride on. In general, the wider the tyre, the higher the comfort and the better the grip.
A good alternative for long bicycle trips
Folding tyres are the perfect choice when going on a longer bike trip. They offer great portability, so it’s easy to carry a spare one with you on your trip. The rolling resistance of folding tyres is similar to that of clincher tyres.
Tubular tyres are mostly used on road bikes and for competitive purposes. They offer increased comfort, combined with decent puncture protection and a reduced rolling resistance. In cycling, and particularly when speed and performance come into play, weight is crucial. Tubulars are lighter than clinchers because they have no rim bead, so it’s easier to accelerate.
Tubeless tyres are the hot new thing, and they are widely used by mountain bikers, gravel riders and cyclocross riders. These tyres are light, and they offer cyclists better grip and puncture protection. Off-road cyclists love them because they don’t use an inner tube. But tubeless tyres aren’t suitable for everyday use and are the most expensive type of tyre.
Choosing the right bike tyre for you
We offer a wide range of tyres so that you can find the right tyre for your bike type, and to match your needs. Whether you’re looking to repair or replace your current tyres or you just want to give your bike a well-deserved upgrade.
We also offer different types of inner tubes, because sometimes you need to replace both the tyre and the inner tube.
You’ll find all the information you need on our website, and you can also compare prices to make the right choice. Our instruction videos show you how to change a bike tyre. If you’d prefer to speak directly to a bicycle mechanic, we can also help you find a local bike shop or mechanic.