Not all bike tyres are created equal. Just as there are specific bikes for specific uses, there are also tyres adapted to each type of biking. These are the three major classes of tyres:
Every kind of tyre comes with pros and cons. Take some time to read through our guide to better understand how to choose the right tyres for your biking style.
Road tyres are the best choice for fast, long-distance biking. They combine low rolling resistance (thanks to a smooth tread pattern) with aerodynamics to allow higher speeds and less fatigue when you’re competing. They also offer adequate comfort, essential when you’re doing long-distance riding.
Commuter tyres need to be grippy and comfortable, and they must work well on a variety of road surfaces. Typically wider than a road tyre, they do a better job of absorbing irregularities in the road. They provide more relaxed, stable cruising. Some commuter tyres are designed to allow some gentle off-roading.
These are the tyres you need for true off-road biking. They offer maximum grip and a good amount of impact-absorption. They’re also more durable and puncture-proof than other types of bike tyres. Noisy on the road, they’re best suited to dirt tracks and rocky trails.
Take some time to think your tyre selection because they can significantly affect your performance and enjoyment of your bike. Consider the following factors:
For road tyres, diameters generally range from 650C (571 mm) to 700C (622 mm). The width you choose will depend on whether you want minimum rolling resistance and fast, smooth riding (narrow), or added comfort and extra grip (wider).
For commuter tyres, the most common size is 26”, though some cyclists choose to use a 700C diameter, like with road tyres. Commuter bike owners enjoy a wide variety of mountain bike tyres on the market. Some of the less aggressive of both types are suitable for commuter use.
For mountain tyres, there are three popular tyres sizes:
When purchasing mountain bike tyres, it’s important to get the correct width. Wider tyres give the best stability, grip, and traction in most trail conditions. A narrower tyre will create less friction, allowing you to go faster, and will also tend to bog down less in mud.
After you’ve thought about all of the major tyre criteria, there are other things to consider:
What tyre pressure you will run?
Will you go tubeless or non-tubeless?
What tread pattern will work best for your needs?