Bike tires are the first points of contact your bike has with the ground. This is important because tires will dictate how your bike behaves to the inputs you administer while riding.
Want to slap the perfect berm with your rear tire? How about taking that inside line with confidence on a steep road descent? The type of bike tires you run will decide how you ride, so picking the right tire for your style is very important. Bike tires are also one of the easiest, most cost-effective, and noticeable upgrades you can do to your bike, so why not check out some new rubber today!
Nothing looks fresher than a brand new MTB tire. Consequently, nothing rides better than one too. Whether it's looping your favorite XC trail or slashing down rock gardens in the bike park, MTB tires can play a crucial role in how your mountain bike rides and performs in all conditions.
With so many variations of MTB tires, where do you even start? There's 27.5, 29, plus-sized, fat bike and not to mention a variety of tire inserts to choose from as well! First and hopefully obvious, choose the correct size. After that, take a step back and narrow down what type of riding you find yourself doing and in what conditions. Some MTB tires are designed for wet and sloppy conditions, while others are for loose, dry, and rocky trails. Tire casings can also be a headache. Tire casings range from DH-specific to XC racing. The more gravity-oriented a tire is, the more durable and burly the casing is. Thick casings help to prevent sharp rocks from cutting them open. These heavy-duty casings are also quite heavy and roll slowly, so make sure you don't mix up DH tires on your XC bike. Or do, could be fun.
Road bike tires range from performance-focused racing to all-season durability. Road tires come in at a standard 700c diameter for all modern road bikes. Some tires are great for staying inside on your trainer, while others will help you roll over the roughest roads without getting a flat.
There are three main styles of road tires; tubeless, clincher, and tubular. Tubeless road tires have increased in popularity as road wheels have evolved along with them. With tubeless tires, the name says it all, no tube required. Instead, there is the sealant that will patch up any small punctures. The lack of a tube means you can run lower tire pressures, resulting in increased grip and a smoother ride.
Clincher tires mean there is a rubber tube that inflates the inside of the tire. Though slowly being taken over by the advantages of tubeless tires, clinchers remain the easiest to set up and most popular option for many.
Finally, there are tubular tires. These tires glue to a specific type of rim designed to run them. Tubular wheels are usually much lighter, which is where the main advantage lies. Tubular tires, however, require a whole new tire for every flat and can be cumbersome to change out with removing the old glue and re-gluing a new tire.
With 650b and 700c options, gravel tires are the most versatile tires with the ability to run smoothly on the road then transition to rough dirt trails with ease. Gravel tires come in clincher and tubeless options, with the latter being more favorable in rough, off-road situations.
The best gravel tires are not hard to come by with so many competitors in the game. With options from Maxxis, Continental, Vittoria, Specialized, and many more, these tires will typically range from 35 to 45mm. Many bikes such as the OPEN U.P. will take 650b wheels and can even run mountain bike tires for maximum grip and traction on the most demanding trails.