Bike tires

tires Fixes, Reviews & Guides

Embedded thumbnail for Install Stan's NoTubes Tubeless Conversion Kit on a Non-Tubeless Wheel

Install Stan's NoTubes Tubeless Conversion Kit on a Non-Tubeless Wheel

Here you're going to see how to install a Stan's tubeless kit into a non-Stan's mountain wheel. The tools you're going to need: a drill with 3/8 inch bit, the proper kit (refer to...

Company: Kenda
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for How To Patch A Bike Tube

How To Patch A Bike Tube

We've shown you how to replace the tube in your bicycle tire, but there also comes a time when you might want to just patch up the hole. Generally bike tubes aren't the most expensive pieces on...

Part tires tubes
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for What Are the Different Types of Bike Tires

What Are the Different Types of Bike Tires

Today we're gonna talk to you about different types of tires and different bikes that they go on. There's different types of riding that you're going to be doing. There's BMX racing that uses a...

Part tires
Type: Blog entry
Embedded thumbnail for How to Repair a Flat Bike Tire

How to Repair a Flat Bike Tire

How to replace a bike tube, no hassles. In this vid we are dealing with a presta valve, but it also works with schroeder valves.

You will need some tire levers which you can pick up for a...

Part tires presta
Company: Continental
Type: Repair Tutorial
Embedded thumbnail for How to Replace your Bike Tube and Removing a Tire

How to Replace your Bike Tube and Removing a Tire

An unexpected flat tire can be really deflating. When all you want to do is get back on two wheels, don't sweat it. Here's the step-by-step to turn that frown upside down:

Removing the Bike...
Part tires tubes
Type: Repair Tutorial

"I'd definitely pose nude again. No qualms. I actually just had my breasts done again. Just updated, like new tires" - Jessica Hahn

Bike tire cityscape

Tires are certainly contenders for the most critical components to the performance of a bicycle. They provide suspension and traction that are critical to propelling and controlling the ride. Besides air drag (which tires greatly affect aerodynamics), ground resistance is the biggest factor that robs power from the rider.

Tires are manufactured in a plethora of tread styles, sizes, and rubber composites that are built for any purpose. Different methods to attach a tire to the rim exist, some using wired beads that clinch inside the rim, and others involve adhesives. The diameter of the tire must match the diameter of the rim, but the width of the tire varies within the limits set by the rim.

A tire consists of a few  micro layers of rubber composites between the inner tube and the riding surface. They fit inside the rim using a bead, or a bulky trim to remain held inside the rim when the inner tube is pressurized. The tread is the tire bottom, built to contact the riding surface. The underlying layer and the sidewall are sometimes referred to as the casing.

Physics 101: Inflation affects many key factors of a tire. When slightly under inflated, the tire is saggy and soft. It grips the riding surface well, and acts as a nice fluffy cushion. If slightly overinflated, the tire makes less contact with the ground. This means less resistance (and therefore traction), but the rider can go faster with greater efficiency. Ambient air temperature, and changes in altitude at different locations have a huge barometric effects on the tire pressure. Hot tire = more inflated, cold tire = more deflated. React accordingly.  

 

Brand-spanking new tires are sweet. Everybody loves that new tire smell, and the curiosity of those funny looking "sprues" makes everyone feel like a kid again.

New bike tire

Many low-end rubber composite mountain and road tires can be purchased for less than $20. Fresh tread is fresh tread. That being said, according to my research, cheap tires don't win championships. 

For the rider of any cycle looking to up their game, there are many options. Tire material composition and tread pattern are factors that affect the pricing, as both affect time and difficulty of manufacturing. 

Most tires fall under $250/tire on Amazon.com for both mountain and road bikes. The market is huge with any tread pattern and size imaginable.These tires are specially designed by world-class, competitive tire companies. 

New road tire

Even nicer tires are about $750, and if you just hit the jackpot, some new tires can be well over $1,500. Knock yourself out!

 

Whether you have a blowout or are just over trusting your life in those bald, kinda round things, replacing a tire is easy business. It requires almost no special tools, and can be done in about 15 minutes.

  1. Remove the wheel

Front wheel removal

  1. Deflate the tire by pressing the valve stem

pressing valve stem

  1. Pry the tire bead off one side with several tire levers. The tire should be loose and now come easily off the rim.

tire levers

  1. Analyze both the tire and the tube to determine the cause of the flat. It could have been a puncture, or perhaps something pinched the tube that flattened it. Either way, now would be a good time to replace the tube if you plan on doing so.
  2. On the wall will be a small arrow that signifies the direction of rotation of the tire. With that in mind, slide one side back onto the rim in the correct direction.

rotation arrow

  1. Place the valve stem through the assigned hole in the rim. Put a little air in the new, flat inner tube, and install it in the tire entirely. Double check that no piece of the tube will be pinched.

valve stem installation

tube installation

  1. Starting with your hands, roll the outside bead to the inside of the rim. When you get 80% around the tire, it will become too difficult, and it will be necessary to use tire levers to heave the rest of the tire bead inside the rim 100%.

Heaving the tire over

  1. Double check that the tube isn't sticking out anywhere, and it is now safe to inflate it to the specifications set on the sidewall of the tire.
  2. Re-install the wheel wearing its snazzy new tire.

reinstalling the front tire

From the beginning of cycling, tires have been sized using many different measurements. This is due to so tire companies throughout the world creating their own systems. Some systems used similar scales, but for different dimensions, further adding to the confusion! Luckily our good friends the ISO (International Standardization Organization) are here to save the day. 

Once upon a time a situation arose where companies were trying to outcompete one another producing faster and lighter tires. Width measurements were falsely advertised, eventually leading to poor performing tires. This arrogance has subsided to the honest and accountable tire measurements in the modern age.

The width of a tire can also be confusing. A tire could be marked at 26 x 1.75 and another could be 26 x 1 3/4. These width measurements have different origins and are not interchangeable. If your tire's width is written a fraction, assume it will require a tire with the exact fraction to match. Likewise with the decimal measurement.

The diameter determines what rim the tire will fit on in inches (26", 27" etc) or in millimeters (650, 700c etc). Some riders preferred a thinner, "middleweight tire" to fit on the same rim. These tires could be marked at 26", but in reality might only be 25 5/8".

Bead seat diameter labeled

The ISO has persisted that the two important measurements are:

  • Width - the distance between the beads across the tire tread, also known as the inner rim width. There can be differences in tire width, and still function as a viable replacement. Keep in mind however that too wide of a tire will wear the sidewalls faster, and a tire on the narrower side will expose the rim to debris damaging it while riding. As a general advisory, keep the width within a range of 1.45/2.0 times the inner rim width.
  • Bead Seat Diameter (BSD) - Distance from one side of the bead to the other (180o around the tire). This is the most critical measurement of all. If the Bead Seat Diameter matches, the tire will fit. If this number doesn't match, the tire won't fit. 
                            Common Fractional and Decimal Tire Sizes
Size ISO Applications
29 inch 622mm General 700c wide tires
28 x 1 1/2" 635mm English, Dutch, Chinese, and Indian rod-brake roadsters
28 x 1 1/4" 622mm Northern European designation for 700c tires
27 x anything 630mm Older road bikes
26 x 1 (650c) 571mm Triathlon, time trial, and small road bikes
26 x 1 3/8" 597mm Schwinn lightweights
28 x decimal 622mm Some German tire companies use this for 700c tires
26 x 1.00 through 2.3 559mm Most mountain bikes and cruisers
26 x 1.25 599mm Old US lightweights
26 x 1.375 599mm Old US lightweights
20 x 1.5 through 2.0 x 2.125 406mm Most BMX, folding bikes, trailers, recumbents

 

The French sizing system uses letters to designate relative widths. A is narrow, D is wide.

                                    Common French Tire Sizes
Size ISO Applications
700 A 642mm Obsolete
700 B 635mm Rod-brake roadsters
700 C 622mm Road bikes, hybrids, "29 inch" mountain bikes
650 A 590mm French equivalent of the 26 x 1 3/8 for Italian high performance bikes
650 B 584mm Utility bikes, tandems, loaded touring bikes, and some older Schwinn and Raleigh mountain bikes.
650 C 571mm Triathlon, time trial, and high performance road bikes