Are the tires that came with your bike the right tires for you? Buying tires for a bike can be more complicated than buying tires for your car. There are dozens of choices, so maybe the best thing to do is ask your favorite bike shop for recommendations based on how you ride.
However, before going shopping, here are some factors you should consider:
* Tread thickness – more the thickness, longer lasting
* Sidewall thickness – more the thickness, less likely to tear
* Weight – heavier is usually slower
* Puncture resistance – higher the resistance, less likely to flat
* Puncture resistance sidewall – higher the resistance, less pinch flats
* Rolling Resistance – measured in watts, higher the number, the harder it is to pedal
Unfortunately it’s a bit of a trade off. Tires that are less likely to flat tend to have a higher rolling resistance. There is also a trade off between comfort (riding at lower tire pressure) and lower rolling resistance (riding at higher tire pressure).
The tires on my first bike wore out fast and got frequent flats, so I switched tires and went 5 years on Continental Gatorskins without getting a single flat. I lost count on how many flats I got on the tires that came with my new bike, so I switched to Gator Hardshells and no more flats. They are the best tire out there in regards to puncture resistance and wear, but they are slow.
Just to define slow, you can lose 0.8-1.2 mph depending how fast you ride. This is based on the difference between a set of slow Gator Hardshells (20 watts/each) and a set of fast Grand Prix 5000 (10 watts/each).
Here is a link to an article that compares dozens of tires using the factors defined above. See where your current tires stack up.
I’d love to hear some recommendations on a tire that has low rolling resistance, but doesn’t go flat. The Gator Hardshells are great for training and riding solo. However on some days I just want to see how fast I can go. Actually, for me, it’s most days.😊
Quote of the week: “Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.” Fausto Coppi