Bike Tires. They’re super important, but not everyone thinks about them regularly.
Just like cars, bike tires matter during certain times of the year and specific conditions. You don’t want to run super chunky tires if you’re riding road, and you don’t want slicks if you’re riding rocky terrain. So, what tires are the best for your riding?
Tire width makes a bit of a difference depending on your discipline. Wider tires give you more comfort and grip and they resist pinch flats. Wider tires are usually preferred by downhillers. The cons of using wider tires are they have a higher rolling resistance and are heavier. This is why you never see road riders on wide tires.
Road riders typically opt for 25mm, while commuters choose 32-42mm, gravel riders like the 36-48mm range and mountain bikers vary from 2” – 3” depending on their specific discipline.
Depending on where you ride, the certain tread can give you more or less traction, smoother, or faster rides. Roadies go with slicks. These tires are much faster for them and improve traction when cornering on pavement. Commuters like the semi-slicks. It gives them less resistance, but still allows them some traction if they have to go off the pavement. Mountain bikers have three main disciplines: Cross-Country, Trail or All-Mountain, and Downhill.
Cross-Country riders can get away with smaller, more tightly packed tread because their trails are usually hard-packed with little rocks and roots in their way.
Trail riders need their tires to roll (because they have to pedal uphill) but need some decent traction for when things get rowdy. You’ll often see this group with a different font and rear tire with the aggressive tire in the front, and a lower resistance tire in the rear.
Downhill riders need to optimize traction! They need grippy tires that can handle muddy sections and chunks of trails with rocks and roots. You’ll see their tires will tall lugs and more spacing in between them to help them shed the excess debris they encounter.
You can also make your tires run tubeless or get some puncture-resistant tires. Tubeless tires allow you to run your bike with lower tire pressure (psi) and helps keep your flats to a minimum. If you do get a flat on the trail, you’ll need to replace your set up with a tube. That process can get a little messy. Puncture-resistant tires are great for commuters. They are made from heavier material, so you can ride through whatever your commute throws your way. The reason everyone doesn’t run puncture-resistant is that they are heavier and more expensive. It just doesn’t make sense for most other forms of riding.
If you’re wondering what tires are the best for your riding, ask us! We’d be happy to help you find the perfect tire for your bike, and install them too! Remember, we’re here to make every ride the best ride.