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What does it do? The Bike Tyre

By Annette 5 years agoNo Comments

All that sits between you and a very bumpy ride is some rubber and air. John Boyd Dunlop is given credit for inventing the first wheel to have rubber tyres and an inner tube. John lived in Ireland and the year was 1887. Today we have better bikes, better tyres, better tools but do we have a better ride? Your ride can only be as good as you are. Do you know how to get the most out of your tyres so you can enjoy your ride?


Bike Tyre - Bike PartsA goRide SERIES ON HOW PARTS OF YOUR BIKE WORK – The Bike Tyre

What are the basic jobs of your bike tyre? To provide comfort, give you grip onto the ground and stop punctures. How does it do this?

Pressure. For your wheel to give you a smooth ride and prevent damage, especially to your rims, your bike tyres need to be pumped to the correct pressure (PSI). This pressure will vary depending on the type of tyres, the surface you are riding on and how heavy you are. The max PSI on a mountain bike (MTB) tyre is a limit, not a target or recommendation. When checking the pressure on your mountain bike, a good rule is that you should be able to make a small indent with your thumb. Too tight = less tyre in contact with the ground = less traction. Different pressures will give you different levels of traction. For now lets make sure your tyre is pumped up to a firm pressure – close to your maximum PSI.

Traction. Traction is dependant on the tyre tread (bumpy pattern that touches the ground). Treads range between slick (smooth) and knobbly. Slick provides little traction but a fast roll and is more suited for road riding. Knobbly provides good traction but a slower roll and is more suited for mountain bike riding. There are all sorts of options and combinations of tread in between the two. Have a look at the type of tread on your tyres. Give some thought to what is the best tread to use for your bike and the type of riding that you do, slick, knobbly or somewhere in-between?

Bike tyre - Bike partsProtection. The tyre also protects the tube that lies underneath. Any defect in the rubber or fabric casing can expose the tube and cause you to puncture. Have a look at the state of the rubber on your tyre. Can you see any wearing or splits?

Getting to know your bike tyre can give you a better ride in terms of comfort and better control in terms of traction. It will also reduce the likelihood of getting a flat tyre something we would all like to avoid because once you leave the house its a big world of sharp stones, gravel, glass, nails, gorse…




Thanks for reading. Used together our stories and resources support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related goRide Resources:

How to Buy a Bike Tube

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