Bicycle Tyres Buying Guide

Buying a new set of wheels  for your bike  doesn't have to be complicated.  In fact, with just a little research, picking up the perfect pair for you should be easy.  Just consider all the tyre varieties and the type of biking  you do the most so you can get the best performance out of your new buy.  Here's a little help to make the process virtually painless.

The Size

Tyre size encompasses both dimension and width.

  • Dimension:  Tyres for standard adult bikes--from mountain bikes to hybrid bikes and road bikes--come in standard sizes.  The average is about 66-67 centimetres.  Racing bikes are bit different, however, and they are usually sized as either 650C or 700C with 50 centimetre wheels.  For all tyres, the size should be stamped somewhere on the side.
  • Width:  The width is the second number in the tyre's measurement.  Most tyres are in the range of 66 cm x 3.5 cm, but the specific size will depend again, on the type of riding you'll want to do.  Road bikes willy usually have a larger width, while hybrids are smaller, for instance.  Skinny hybrid tyres need higher air pressure and may be more vulnerable to damage, while larger tyres are studier.

Tread Type

Depending on the riding surface you most frequent--smooth pavement, mountainous terrain, muddy trails, etc.

  • Smooth tread tyres  are the best for smoother surfaces, since they intentionally have less contact with the road. Too much tread hold on the ground can slow you down and make you work harder.
  • Knobby tread tyres work well on mountain bikes or mud, but they require a bit more pedal power since there's more contact with the ground.

Durability and Weight

  • The newer tyres on the market can endure rough roads with sharp rocks, nails and glass, as they're reinforced with Kevlar that's puncture resistant. Consider how often and how tough you're going to be on your tyres to see if this is an investment worthy of making.
  • Unless you're using your bike for intense competition, the weight of the tyre really does little to affect performance. If you are competing, however, lighter is always better.

Types of Tyres

Road Tyres 

Hybrid Tyres 

Mountain Bike Tyres 

Cyclo Cross Tyres 

Major Manufacturers

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