How to Choose Racing Bicycle Tyres

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How to Choose Racing Bicycle Tyres

Whether riders are looking to upgrade their bicycle tyres or just replace their worn tyres, the tyres they choose have an impact on performance. Tyres specifically for racing bikes feature smooth treads, lightweight constructions, and narrow widths, and shoppers have many options when it comes to choosing new racing tyres for their bikes. Weight, width, and threads per inch all make a difference.


Choose the Tyre Width

Many people consider racing bicycles and road bicycles to be the same, but they have different weights and constructions. Some tyres help increase performance, but standard road bike tyres are great for beginners. The widths of tyres range from 20mm to 35mm. Narrower tyres roll with less resistance due to less road contact. However, they do not provide much cushion for riding. Wider tyres are a little slower due to drag, but they absorb impact better and are better for long-distance rides. Cruising tyres are usually 25mm to 28mm. Tyres for hard-core racing are usually between 20mm to 24mm and hold pressures up to 160psi to make them harder for less rolling resistance.


Tyre Threads per Inch

Another consideration is the tyre TPI, or threads per inch. The casting for tyres consists of nylon cloth and other materials. Castings with more threads per inch have flexible sidewalls and are lighter. Tyres with a TPI over 100 are puncture resistant, lightweight, hold higher air pressures, and are best for races. Anything with less than 100 TPI is more durable due to thicker sidewalls but cannot hold high air pressures and is heavier. TPI typically ranges from 20 to 320 for bicycle tyres.


Speciality Tyres

In addition to standard racing cycle tyres, some speciality tyres are available to make life a little easier or fun. Foldable tyres have fibre beads rather than wire ones, and the flexible materials allow owners to fold up their tyres and transport them when needed. The drawback is wire tyres are easier to mount and less expensive. Tubeless tyres are particularly popular for racing bikes because riders can use a lower psi for extra traction on certain terrain as well as more cushioning. They also do not have to worry about maintaining tubes or lengthy repair processes. However, riders also have to purchase speciality rims that are compatible with tubeless tyres or purchase conversion kits. To make the ride more fun, tyres are also available in yellow, white, and green.

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