Feeling overwhelmed by the wide range of bike tires available? We’re here to help you get a grip. See below for more information on replacing your rubber.
The tires on your bike are essential to keep you rolling. Upgrading or replacing them can increase the performance, comfort, safety and/or reliability of your bike.
Regardless of whether you’re looking to replace or upgrade your bike tires, it’s important to consider the style of riding you are planning on doing and the tire size you require. We’ve put together a simple guide below to help get you started
Tires have variations in width and tread patterns that allow for different riding styles and disciplines. This is especially true for mountain bikes and BMX, where many variations exist.
If most of your riding time is spent on the tarmac, slick tires are generally the way to go. The minimal tread on slicks will allow the bike to roll effortlessly, whilst providing consistent traction to the smoother surface. Slicks are most commonly available to suit road, triathlon and, track bike applications.
Better suited for riders who spend less time on the road and more time on the dirt. A knobby pattern will help with grip in rough unpredictable terrain and will give you better control of the bike. Knobby tires are mostly available to suit mountain bike, BMX and cyclocross applications
Here, the tire features a smoother center surface for speed on smooth terrain, with small traction knobs when riding on gravel or other loose surfaces. These tires are best suited to urban, touring, or hybrid-type bikes.
Once you have determined the style of tire, it’s important to ensure that you are buying the right size for your wheel. The easiest way to do this is to read the sidewall of your current tires which should have dimensions printed on them.
The two sizes to know are the diameter and the width. Most tires will be in inches, however, road bike tires are commonly in millimeters. An example of this for a mountain bike may be 29 x 2.1", referring to a 29in diameter and a 2.1in width. For a road bike, such an example may be 700x25c, meaning 700mm diameter and 25mm width.
Chasing more tire information? The BikeExchange Blog team has you sorted with a comprehensive guide to road bike tires. If it’s DIY information you’re after check out our helpful guides on how to change a flat and how to pump up a bike tire.