What are the different types of tyres on a bike?

Posted on 1st May 2024 | Anastassiya Siner

Choosing the correct type of tyre depends on the type of bike & wheels you have installed, plus the terrain you’ll be riding. 

Three common tyre types are: 

Clinchers, your ordinary road tyre that needs an inner tube. 

Tubeless Tyres need sealant and can seal punctures up to 6mm, anything that doesn’t seal can be plugged and that should get you home. 

Tubular Tyres have a latex tube inside, they will resist pinch flats due to their build, but are at the mercy of the roads when it comes to thorns and the like. 

All three have many different sizes, tread patterns and performance qualities to keep every rider happy. Advantages and disadvantages arise for all three but attention, care and know-how will improve your ride.

It’s important to note that some wheels are specific to the type of tyre that needs to be used.

Clincher wheels are the most regular with inner tubes easily replaced on the side of the road once you know how and can only be used with clincher tyres and not advised to have a tubeless set up.

Tubeless wheels however can have either a tubeless set up with sealant or have tubes installed whichever you prefer. With a tube-less setup you will have improved comfort and much better traction. Tubeless are typically higher in maintenance and a costlier set up, but worth it in the long run.

Tubular wheels are designed so that the tyre is glued or taped to the rim for improved performance as the wheel, tyre & tube are all as one, but are more time consuming when replacing. 

If you’re riding the road, then a smooth tread pattern with less rolling resistance is of great benefit, most common now are 25mm wide tyres run at high pressure. If you want a comfier ride then go for wider tyres and less pressure if your frame allows it. MTB & gravel bikes have much more clearance for wider tyres, and if being used on their intended terrain aggressive tread patterns are needed to enhance grip capabilities. The higher quality the tyre the better the performance and puncture protection you will get. Always handy to carry a spare tube, a mini pump or Co2 cartridge airshot.

By Jordan Colledge, Head Mechanic Vélo Presto

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