Tire Tips for Bikes
Posted In Replacement Tires on Wednesday, September 26th 2018
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Tire Tips for Bikes

Northeast Outdoors Experience Staff

Bicycles depend on their tires’ performance to encounter specific road or trail conditions. Their design is configured for specific situations that can vary significantly between the types of bicycle that is being ridden. The tire on a touring bike is vastly different than one found on a mountain or BMX bike. The profile, width, thickness and tread pattern will all produce different performance characteristics as they are driven over varying terrain.

The typical way to replace a worn out or damaged tire is to purchase the same tire in the same style and specifications. While this makes tire replacement easy, it might also represent an opportunity to suit the replacement tire more specifically to your biking needs. The more a bike is ridden by the rider, the more clear it becomes to him what tire might work better for his pursuits.

Tires that are ridden on the roads or other continuous smooth surface are vastly different than those used on say a mountain bike. While a smooth thin tire with minimal tread is fast and maneuverable on am asphalt or concrete surface, the same tire trying to negotiate through loose gravel or soft muddy soil will perform miserably. The knobby deep grooved tires of a mountain bike that is designed for traction in typical off road situations will have a tendency for the knobs to collapse into the grooves of the tire and make the bicycle very unstable and difficult to steer.

Another important consideration when it comes to tires is the width of the tire relative to the weight of the rider. The heavier the rider, generally speaking, the wider the tire needs to be to support that weight and evenly distribute the cyclist’s weight across a wider footprint to attain stability. As with all rubber tires, the more surface area that is in contact with the surface of the ground, the more traction it can provide, but the more energy it will take to move the tire against the increased amount of friction that is present.

The thickness of the rubber layers of the tire will determine its resistance to damage from road hazards. The sidewalls of the tire are especially vulnerable to damage and should be sufficiently thick to support the high pressures developed by the tube within the tire. When a tire encounters a pothole or rock or some other sudden abnormality, the tire can be subjected to a tremendous amount of concentrated impact which could potentially damage the tire, the rim or both. Having the correct inflation pressure in the tube for the tire’s rating is the best way to combat this threat and minimize the possible damage.

Bicycle tires are the most important factor in the bike’s performance. Of all of the different upgrades to consider, the tires are arguably the best spent money for the value and safety they add to the machine. Matching the correct tires to the terrain you will encounter is a decision that will make the biking experience all that it can be.

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