Everything You Should Know About Cycle Tyres
Cycling is the simplest way to recreate the joys of childhood. The only downside to biking as an adult is that your big tyre bicycle requires a lot more care and maintenance than the one you rode as a kid. Whether you’re a grown-up with a new exciting passion or one who is reconnecting with your childhood by hitting the mountains or the trails - your adventures can be made safer and far more fun with just the right kind of gear. You’re already off to a great start with this handy guide to bicycle tyres. By the end of this article, you’re going to be well-versed in all the essential technicalities needed to buy bicycle tyres online or at a biking store.
One look at a bicycle tyre size chart and you’ll see that the fattest tyres, that come attached to mountain bikes, give you a smoother ride and the best grip over terrains. Hybrid tyres and city riding tyres go thinner as they do not need to accommodate for terrain challenges. Thinner tyres are designed for better speed and low rolling resistance so you ride tirelessly through the city bustle.
Tyres are measure across two aspects, the height or diameter of the tyre as well as it’s width. Hartex currently serves cyclists with three kinds of tyres-
- For city commutes- the Urban Ride- which is 26” H x 1.75” W
- For mountain biking- the Xtra Bold- which is 26” H x 3” W
- For both city rides and off-road excursions- the Xtra Action- which is 27/5” H x 2.10” W
Tread Patterns and Grip-
When riding over a surface, the tire is able to propel the bicycle forward on account of the grip it maintains over the ground surface. When riding over smooth surfaces, the smoother the tyre, the faster it is able to move over a surface like a paved roads without too much energy being spent. When riding over other terrains with granular or loose surfaces, your bicycle tyres will need to cut through the soil to obtain good grip to propel the bicycle forward. So city bikes have the smoothest tyres usually, where as mountain bikes have tyres with a different tread pattern that is able to dig into and grip surfaces better.
Rolling resistance is the amount of energy lost when a tyre is moving over a surface. The portion of the tyre touching the surface bends and unbends as it contacts the surface and rolls off it, which means that, if the tyre and its casing is thinner, less energy is lost from surface contact. However, tyres that are thick in width as well as tyres with a higher air pressure have also been proven to make riding easier. When the pressure in the tyre is high, the tyre bends less as it contacts and leaves the surface, using less energy to move forward.
The recommended bicycle tyre pressure will usually be mentioned on the sidewalls of your tyres. When a tyre is pumped up in pressure, it definitely makes riding more effortless, but it also damages your tyre from strain over time. Using an air pump with a built-in gauge helps ensure that you pump your tyres to the right pressure range always. Puncture-resistant, tubeless bicycle tyres should also be pumped within the recommended range for air pressure so your tyres last you longer. Low pressure in tyres with inner tubes would mean you risk the tube being pinched between the wheel rim and the tyre casing. That will result in a pinch flat as you roll over uneven surfaces. If you cannot find the right tyre pressure, visit the tyre manufacturer’s website and it should be listed there. If not look up popular forums too.
Your bicycle tyres are your investment towards a safer, happier adventure beyond boundaries. Make sure you list down all the possibilities you want to explore as a biker. Depending on the purpose of your bicycle, your choice of tyre will vary. While you’ve now learned the very basics about bicycle tyres, keep a look out for more information on tyres. In time you’ll know everything there is to know- like what different materials these tyres are made from any why? How you can take the best care of your tyres, and what you should do to maintain or fix your bike when you face an issue. Knowing about your tyres makes you understand how and why you experience your rides the way you do. It’s not just about having a particular type of bike and riding it. It’s also about understanding what parts of the bike make it able to perform in a particular way and tyres are one such component that bring true beauty to every ride. It’s why most cyclists won’t recommend riding on cheap bicycle tyres, as they do not deliver the same riding experience.
When you ride on a Hartex tyre, you ride an experience, not just ride a bike.