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postheadericon All about mountain bike tires

All About Mountain Bike Tires

There are materially two sorts of tyre for bicycles, known in many mountain bike tires reviews as ‘clincher’ and ‘tubular’. We’ll get the tubular ones out of the way first because essentially you won’t come across them often. Tubular tires don’t have beads around the edge but are instead sewn together around an inner tube. You shouldn’t use a tubular tyre on just any old rim, you must use a special one and the tyre is held onto the edge using glue. Several riders suppose tubulars to have some advantage over clinchers, such as lighter weight, more comfort and better grasp but contemporary technology has seen the clincher tyre catch up.

The main drawbacks of tubular mtb tires are the fact that if you get a puncture you need to replace the whole tyre meaning you need to carry a spare. The biggest drawback though is the necessity to glue the tyre to the edge . The glue needs to dry for several hours. The above also means that if you are racing and get a puncture using tubulars then you are effectively out of the race as you will not be able to corner at speed etc until the glue is dry. That is unless you have a support crew following you with a reserve rim and tyre ready to go.

You will find clincher type of tyres on almost all rims nowadays and they will be the most familiar to you. Instead of wrapping completely around the interior of tube, the clincher is U-shaped when you cut it in half. The edges of the tire are held in place against the edge of the rim by the pressure of air inside it. This makes it much more easier to repair as you don’t need any glue to hold it in place.

The clincher mountain bike tires are made up of substantially three parts , the bead, the fabric and the rubber. The bead is often a strong steel wire which makes up the tire’s edge and holds it to the rim. Some beads use more up-to-date lightweight materials such as Kevlar which wipes out one of the advantages some riders think that the tubular has. The fabric is what gives a tire its shape and makes up the tire’s profile, get the two beads together. It is often made of nylon cord and is put down in layers with each subsequent layer being placed perpendicular to the next rather than using a firm interweaving process. Tires go with different performance capabilities some of which are defined by the tire’s TPI. This marks the number of Threads Per Inch. A higher number indicates a tire with a thinner and more flexible fabric. Thin walled tires tend to perform better by offering less rolling resistance and a less weight but they are more easily damaged .

The rubber is the part of the tire that everyone sees but it is merely a coating on top of the constructed fabric. The rubber provides no structural advantage to the tire and is just there to protect the fabric from damage . Different combinations of rubber give different performance. A soft compound will give you more grasp but it will wear out quicker. A harder compound will last longer but it will slide around more when pushed to the limit.

When you put all the above together you can see that there are many different combinations that can be achieved and so it is important to choose a tire which is suited to the job. So, if you are a road racer then you have to look for particular road racing tires that suit the rims you have chosen to ride on.

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