CHOOSE THE RIGHT TYRES
Be Size Wise
In the world of road bikes, for many years 23mm was seen as the ‘best’ tyre size to ride on. However, research has proven that 25 or even 28mm can be just as effective with rolling speed, but far more forgiving on the road, due to the increase in air volume the extra width gives. There’s also a difference in opinion in the slick versus grooved tyre debate. As the contact patch of a road bike tyre is about the size of a large postage stamp, what it comes down to is pressure rather than tread pattern.
Horses For Courses
Decide what you want from your tyres – less weight, more durability or reduced costs – as giving you all three in one is impossible. When looking for a commuting tyre, buying cheap pretty much always means buying twice. If you’re getting a fair few miles in on a daily basis – and don’t want the hassle of having to fix a puncture at the side of the road when you’re already late for work – invest in a decent set of tyres. Tyres with puncture protection built in to the tread compound are a good starting point.
Length Of Service
How long a tyre should last is an impossible question to answer. Everyone rides differently, so a pair of riders who cover the same distance, riding the same road on the same tyre, will still have different experiences. One can brake later, putting additional stress on the tyre. One rider can weigh more, causing a difference in wear.
If you’ve always ridden a 23mm tyre, and swap to 25 or 28mm, the impact will vary slightly, but they will achieve the same speed. Performance won’t dramatically differ, but you may feel that you’re riding faster, because everything feels smoother. Comfort will be the most noticeable difference due to the increased volume of the tyre.
How Wrong Can You Be?
The best example is someone riding to work on a heavy knobbly tyre. They are wasting a lot of effort due to the tyre’s increased rolling resistance. Swapping to a slick tread pattern would save energy by dramatically reducing the rolling resistance. Talk to your local stockist and draw from their experience to gain a better understanding of what tyres best suit the type of riding you do. And, always check your tyre pressures. before you go riding…
Stephen Robinson, from Maxxis bike tyres, explains what you should be looking for in your rubber
Slick or grooved? 25 or 28mm? Match your rubber to your riding
Just remember to take them out