Which brands make the best bicycle tires

Bicycle tire test - we provide a perspective

When it comes to bicycle tires, there are many questions. Different size specifications, incomprehensible designations on the bike jacket, various profiles, different tire widths, "flat tires", spikes and much more often cause uncertainty. So that you know in the future what the terms on the bicycle tires are all about, which coat you need for your bike, which profile and which width is recommended for your riding style, we try to shed some light on the darkness.

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What do the numbers on the bike coat mean?

To buy a new bike coat, the size information must be observed. In Europe three different designation systems are used, so you have to look carefully which system is used to designate the tire.

Size specification ETRTO

The DIN standard ETRTO tire designation relates to the tire width and inner diameter of the tire (nominal rim diameter) and can look like this, for example: 37 - 622. The first value of the nominal dimension relates to the jacket width when inflated. The second nominal dimension is the inner diameter of the bicycle tire. Both values ​​are given in millimeters (mm). If you have already configured a bike computer, you may know the diameter tables of some manufacturers.

Size specification inches (variant 1 and variant 2)

In the case of the jacket size specified in inches, the first digit on the bicycle jacket refers to the diameter of the bicycle tire. The second value is the width of the bicycle tire. A distinction is made between two variants:

Here's an example:Inch variant 1: 28 x 1.40 - outer diameter approx. 28 inches, width approx. 1.4 inches

In the case of the second inch variant, in addition to the outer diameter of the tire and the width of the jacket, there is also a third measured variable, namely the height of the tire. The tire height is referred to as the second dimension. In addition, some of the numbers are declared as fractions.

Here's an example:Inch variant 2: 28 x 28 × 15/8 × 13/8 - outer diameter 28 inches, 15/8 inch tire height, 13/8 tire width.

French specification for bicycle tires

The French specification in millimeters, FRA for short, indicates the outer diameter, width and height of the tire and looks like this, for example: 700 x 35C. 700 corresponds to the tire outside diameter; 35 is the tire width. The FRA also provides 3 letters that refer to the tire height:

Attention: When buying a new bicycle coat, always choose a coat with the size information that you are already riding on your bike. The different systems of measurement are not compatible with each other. For example, if you have a bicycle tire with a tire width of 1.5 (according to inch variant 1), you cannot use a tire with a width of 11/2 according to inch variant 2.

It all comes down to the processing of the jacket

In addition to the tire size, bicycle tires also differ in terms of material, quality and profile. In addition, tire width and profile or even spikes significantly influence the driving experience.

Clincher tires: The standard tires

Most cyclists ride on clincher tires that have metal wires in the tread for better durability. In the case of wire tires, a distinction is made between folding tires (easily bendable threads) and balloon tires. Balloon tires absorb vibrations particularly well and can be driven with less pressure.

Tubular tires: tires for professionals

In professional sports tubular tires are predominantly used in which the jacket is sewn around the tube. However, the tire repair is very complex and the tires are expensive to buy. On the other hand, tubular tires offer attractive advantages in terms of sport, as they have low rolling resistance and low weight.

“Flat tires”: No more flat tires

A puncture protection is incorporated into the jacket of these bicycle tires. Depending on the model, broken glass or thumbtacks can penetrate up to 3 mm or 5 mm into the jacket without the bicycle tire getting flat. The manufacturers of such flat-less bicycle tires use particularly high-quality and resilient materials that are less susceptible to the effects of the weather, form less wear and tear and show significantly less wear. What material are bicycle tires made of?

The jacket consists of a rubber compound that varies depending on the manufacturer and the demands placed on the bike jacket. Depending on requirements, the material mix should be particularly durable, have little abrasion, run with low rolling resistance or ensure high traction on demanding routes. With these tires, the correct tire pressure is crucial for proper function.

Various bicycle tires at a glance

Data as of May 23, 2021 1:20 p.m. -

Why are there different tire profiles for bicycle tires?

Depending on the routes you are riding and the speed at which you are riding your bike, the tire profile has an impact on riding performance. Very narrow tire profiles offer little rolling resistance and make fast driving easier. Very fine road bike profile has good grip, even when there is sand on the road. Wide road tires with a pronounced profile grip particularly well and spikes on the tire make cycling safe in winter even on slippery surfaces.

It should come as no surprise that a MTB with thick tires gets through the terrain much better than a road tire on a trekking bike. With e-bikes you have to take a closer look; if you ride an S-Pedelec, the tire should be approved for up to 50 km / h or faster. Anyone who needs to patch their tires should always check the coat for foreign objects first. More on this in the article on bicycle repair kits.

Since there are numerous properties of bicycle tires depending on the material, workmanship and profile, when buying a tire you should always read the product description carefully to determine which uses the tire type is intended for. The Schwalbe Marathon did very well in our bicycle tire test, and the Schwalbe Marathon Plus was also convincing.

The normal structure of a bicycle wheel

In most everyday bicycles, the bicycle tire consists of a bicycle jacket and a tube. Both together form the bicycle tire. The tube rests on the rim tape and is filled with a bicycle pump via a valve. We enclosed everything in a coat, this is the part popularly called a bicycle tire. The hose presses against the inside of the bicycle jacket and builds up pressure. How much pressure can be applied to each coat is written on the side of the coat.

Tubeless bicycle tires

In the sports sector it happens that tubeless tires are used. The hose is missing here and the air is pumped directly into the jacket via the valve. However, this is only possible if the jacket and the bicycle rim are connected to one another in an airtight manner. For this you use sealing milk, this closes the small holes and pores. This type of bicycle tire runs more smoothly, but is not so easy to mend if there is a hole in the jacket.

Rim lifters make work easier when changing the jacket

So-called tire levers are used so that the bicycle jacket can be pulled from the rim and put back on without damage. This allows a plastic tool to be pushed between the shell and the rim in order to lift the shell off the latter. The rim and the jacket are not damaged as much as possible.

When do you need a new bicycle tire

  • If the profile of the bicycle tire is worn, it must be renewed. Depending on the mileage, this can be the case within a year but also after 5 or more years. If the tire becomes slippery and no longer fulfills its intended purpose, it should be replaced.
  • The bicycle tire should also be replaced when the coat is brittle. If the tire is not inflated correctly, the sides and walls of the casing can become brittle. This effect can also occur due to normal material fatigue.
  • The next case in which a new coat is needed is when there is too much damage in the coat. If you drive over a piece of broken glass and cut out these parts of the jacket, the jacket should also be replaced here.
  • If you just want to try out a different, new bike coat. This happens quite often in the area of ​​recreational sports.
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