It is the essential element that connects you directly to the road. Its choice has a direct impact on the grip, comfort and speed of your bike.
The size of the tires is always written on it. Here are some tips to get you there.
You obviously have to adapt your tires to your practice. We favor comfort on city bikes, so we turn to wider general-purpose tires that withstand the hazards of bitumen and punctures. For racing or fixie bikes, thinner, lighter performance-oriented tires will be chosen.
Two parameters before choosing a tire:
The wheel size which is 650 or 700 for an adult bike
The width (in millimeters or mm) of the tire and its compatibility with your fork/frame. There are several widths for the same type of tire. For a racing bike, we are between 23 and 28 mm, for a city bike between 28 and 38 mm.
Indications can often be written according to the English metric system in inches. The wheel size is usually 26 or 28 and the width between 1 and 2”.
So you can have two configurations. A French (700x28) or English (28x1.80) inscription.
(A final letter can be attached to it, it indicates the inside diameter of the tire.)
Rigid bead/flexible bead
The tires can be sold in flexible or rigid bead. To differentiate them it's very simple, flexible bead tires are foldable and generally sold folded on themselves.
Rigid bead tire : They are generally heavier and more robust. They are mounted on city bikes; mountain bikes or Fixies (for skiders). The bead gives a rigid character and keeps the tire in the rim. They are usually less expensive.
Folding tire : These are aimed at road cyclists who want to save weight. They are easily transportable and despite their higher cost offer extremely less restrictive mounting than rigid bead tires.
The brands offer so-called “anti-puncture” tyres. They are lined with a reinforcement strip which is highly resistant to punctures. Schwalbe offers all its tires in the “Plus” range which offers this type of reinforcement.
For pedelecs , tires have been designed to support the weight of the motor and the batteries.