All you need to know about updating your road bike tyres
They say that it’s the simple things in life that give us the most joy. That is certainly true when it comes to bikes, and it doesn’t get much better than researching, choosing, buying and then enjoying a new set of tyres.
For those with a road bike, there is a huge amount of road tyres to choose from. Obviously there are some very serious road bikers out there, for whom speed really is the only important factor, but for most people, their tyres need to offer them, as well as speed, comfort and reliability. A good set of upgraded tyres will be lower in weight, have a faster rolling resistance, less chance of a puncture, and a better grip.
When Should I be upgrading my Road Bike Tyres?
There may be times when you will need to replace your road bike tyres – for example if they get damaged beyond repair or if the treads are gone. However, if it is not an emergency, it is worth thinking carefully about when you are going to replace them.
- After a period of improvement – Maybe you have been training especially hard or lost some weight. The better you get, the more that your new shiny tyres will make a difference. You can use the idea of getting new tyres as a motivation tool as well to get you over that final hurdle.
- In the summer – Roads are a lot cleaner and less damaging to your tyres in the summer. It’s not worth shredding up your nice new tyres on a dingy and dirty winter road, so try to wait until at least the spring to get your tantalisingly tasty tyres. Think about getting a heavier duty tyre for the winter, with a higher degree of puncture protection.
- If you are upgrading your wheels – There’s little point in upgrading your old, tired wheels, and then putting old tired rubber tyres onto your new dazzling ones. If your pocket allows you, get the whole lot together, it will look better and you will notice a bigger difference.
One of the main factors to consider when you are choosing new tyres is their width. Most tyres come in 23mm, 25mm or 28mm widths. Traditionally, 23mm tyres have been used by racers, 25mm for training and 28mm for more difficult roads. However, due to the development in technology, riders have more flexibility and, for example, these days many racers like to use 25mm tyres.
In general, the thinner the tyre, the faster you go, but there is a compromise on comfort. Wider tyres generally offer more comfort as well as a better grip and less risk of a puncture.
When it comes to tyres, you really do get what you pay for. Whilst the idea of a cheaper tyre may seem a good one, in reality, you are more likely to be stopping on the edge of the road repairing a puncture, having trouble getting the steel band off the wheel, or generally struggling with the extra weight.
It really is worth spending a bit more initially to get a decent set of tyres, which will last longer, give you better grip, more puncture protection and be easier to change if you need to.
Modern technology has also allowed manufacturers a little more freedom on the visual of a tyre. Different colours and styles can now be bought without compromising on the quality to get your bike looking as well as feeling great.
When you are looking to buy new tyres for your road bike, the most important thing is to think about what you are going to be doing with it. Then think about what factors are important to you and buy your tyres accordingly. This way you can start a beautiful and long lasting relationship with your new tyres.