Bicycle Tires and Tubes

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Bicycle Tires and Tubes
Bicycle Tires and Tubes
Bicycle Tires and Tubes
Bicycle Tires and Tubes
Clincher Tubes
Tubular Tubes
Tubeless Tires
Tires With Tubes
Bicycle Tires and Tubes
Bicycle Tires and Tubes
Bicycle Tires and Tubes
Bicycle Tires and Tubes
Hybrid Bike Tires
Mountain Bike Tires
Road Bike Tires
Cyclo-Cross Bike Tires
Selected Bicycle Tires and Tubes

Selecting the best bicycle tires and tubes for the specific bicycle riding is surely the next step after you have the right bicycle wheels, as they will further enhance your cycling experience.

Unlike bicycle frames, tires are not a static part of your bicycle. If you are changing your cycling style, you should also change your tires to meet your needs. For example, if you find yourself using your mountain bike more for city commuting then rugged trails, you may want to consider switching out those knobby tires for smoother tires. Making sure you have the best bicycle tires and tubes on your bike ensures three things:

  • Lowest possible amount of rolling resistance
  • Highest amount of traction
  • Highest level of cycling pleasure

Tip: If stability is your primary concern, clincher tires are the way to go.

Bicycle Tires and Tubes

Clincher tires are widely known to be heavier than tubular tires because they require the use of an inner tube and rim liner. However, with that added weight comes extra stability.

A more stable ride is also a safer ride, so if you anticipate uneven terrain on your cycling trips or lack confidence when cycling, get yourself some clincher tires.


Bicycle Tires and Tubes Sizing Chart

If you are replacing tires currently on your bike, you should look on the side of your old tires to determine what size of tire you require. Otherwise, you should bring your bike in to the shop with you to make sure you are purchasing the best bicycle tires and tubes. Here is a tire sizing chart for typical styles of bicycles:

Type of Tire Size (diameter/width)
Commuter 26" X 1.5cm
Beach Cruiser 26" X 2.125cm
Cross Country Mountain Bike 26" X 2.25cm
Downhill Mountain Bike 26" X 2.3cm
Road Bike 700mm X 23mm

Here's more information about bicycle tire sizing.

Clincher or Tubular?

Bicycle Tires and Tubes

Most tires on most bikes will fall into the category of clincher tires. Clincher tires attach to the wheel by means of folding the steel or Kevlar bead (wire) of the tire inside the rim of the wheel. Bicycle inner tubes, essentially an inflatable rubber balloons, fits inside of this attached tire.

The tubular tire is another world. Tubular tires do not have beads in them. Essentially the inner tube is sewn right into the tire, and then tire is then glued onto the rim.


Some pros and cons of this style of tire are:

Benefits The Darker Side
More comfortable Expensive
Wider range of possible tire pressures Next to impossible to change flats on the road
Less chance of pinch flats Improperly glued tubular tires can roll off, causing crashes
Less rolling resistance Carrying an extra tubular is bulky

Tubular tires save a little bit of weight on a bike, but for all the hassle and expense, I would recommend you just stick with regular clincher tires!

Tires With Tubes or Tubeless Tires?

Bicycle Tires and Tubes

There is an on-going debate in the cycling community which type of bicycle tires are best - tires with tubes or tubeless tires. I have to say that there is no clear resolution to this dilemma.

Each of these types has its own advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day the question which tire to use is a matter of personal preference. This article is focus mainly of tires with tubes. For more information about tubeless tires and about this debate you are invited to visit the page about tubeless bicycle tires.


Bicycle Tires and Tubes for Commuter Bikes and Hybrids

Bicycle Tires and Tubes

The best bicycle tires for commuter bikes are manufactured with durability in mind, over lightness. These tires may have extra thick rubber on the tread portion of the tire, or they may also have a Kevlar lining to resist punctures. Commuter tires may also come with reflective sidewalls to aid the visibility of the cyclist at night.

You can consider having puncture proof bicycle tires for your commuter bikes. Read here more about puncture proof bicycle tires.

As well, commuter tires have a less knobby tread then mountain bikes. This is because a smoother tire will have less rolling resistance and will therefore be faster. It is also assumed that you won't need knobby tires to climb up boulder-encrusted mountains within city limits!


Tires for Mountain Bikes

Bicycle Tires and Tubes

Because of the demands of off road terrain, the best mountain bikes tires to look for are rugged and highly puncture-resistant. Getting a flat in the city is inconvenient; getting a flat in the middle of nowhere can be life-threatening!

Still, I would not recommend having puncture proof bicycle tires for this kind of riding style, as they are too heavy. Read here more about puncture proof bicycle tires.

Aside from the durability of these tires, they also possess rubber knobs for added traction. Tires for tame single track will obviously have fewer knobs than those found on a tenacious all-mountain tire.


Bicycle Tires and Tubes for Road Bikes and Cross Bikes

Bicycle Tires and Tubes

Road racing bicycles and cyclo-cross bikes use the same size of wheel, and thus the same size of tire. However, tires for cross bikes will have more tread to deal with the roughness of cyclo-cross courses.

Road bike cyclists tend to lean towards lightness when purchasing tires in order to complement the overall lightness of the bike. Depending on your priorities, road tires can be purchased for as little as $15/tire, with durability being the priority. For weight-conscious riders, much lighter racing tires can be purchased for around $60-70/tire.


Bicycle Tires and Tubes for Cyclo-Cross

Bicycle Tires and Tubes

The sport of cyclo-cross racing has gained in popularity, and along with this popularity the need for sturdy wheels has also increased.

Tubular tires are popular in cyclo-cross, as these tires can be run as lower pressures without as much risk of suffering pinch flats. Nonetheless, a clincher with an aggressive tread will be more than adequate.


Where to Buy Bicycle Tires and Tubes?

If you are interested in buying bicycle tires and tubes you can buy them in one of these trusted online stores:

Bicycle Tires and Tubes on Amazon

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