Mountain bike tires can be a great way to turn your mountain bike from a strictly mountain bike style, into a highly functional urban explorer. Unfortunately, traditional knobby mountain bike wheels aren’t designed for pavement use, and in addition to that they roll very slowly on the road as well, since dirt typically wears them down faster than slick tires. This makes riding on them more of a hassle than a pleasure. Luckily, there’s a way around this problem with some specialty tires that make riding on a mountain bike road worthy experience.
Guide to Choosing the Right Mountain Bike Road Tires
Mountain bike wheels are one of those integral parts of a bike that is not so easy to understand or to describe. Basically, they are a series of interlocking rings that lock together to create a very strong framework for the wheel. This framework is then attached to a frame with ties that secure the entire thing together. So basically they’re a tube with a ring on the other end, and it’s the strength of this ring that creates the rigidity necessary for a smooth ride over most surfaces.
The real purpose of mountain bike tires is to provide traction. They do this by using grooves inside the tire that direct the surface water away from the center of the wheel. They also help reduce lift, which keeps the bike stable as it rolls over the surface. However, these two features can lead to problems if the tire doesn’t have the right set of grooves. So what kinds of conditions are best suited for these specialized tires?
There are several different types of mountain biking terrain to choose from. Although it is rare, there are mountain bike paths ideal for smooth climbs over sheer cliffs, wide open meadows, deep sand dunes, steep cliffs, and technical obstacles such as rock gardens. These kinds of surfaces demand different tire characteristics, which will affect your driving style. Usually, riders prefer to avoid tires with soft compound tires and bigger knobby treads. The most appropriate tire type will depend on your physical condition and ability.
If you’re planning to ride over rough terrain, you should go with a bigger tire. The extra weight will improve your maneuverability. And bigger diameter tires are typically recommended for off-road driving, although some specialists don’t really agree. What you can do is talk to someone in your local cycling store. Most mountain bike stores have experienced staff that can help you choose the right tires based on your riding style. Most people will usually recommend a larger tire for off-road riding, and a smaller one for more mountain-biking type terrain.
Another important aspect to consider is the tread pattern of the mountain bike tire. This is especially important if you’re planning to race. Some bike companies produce special tires specifically for racing. Others, such as Shimano, sponsor professional mountain bikers like the Tour de France bicycle race. The better tread has better traction on snow, mud, and loose soil, which makes it perfect for this type of sports.
The appearance of the mountain biking tires also matters a lot. When choosing tread, make sure you get a pattern that matches your mountain biking style. If you prefer wide, smooth tires, then wider knobby tires probably won’t be ideal. Likewise, if you like deep treads, then opt for thin tires. Choosing the right pattern should make a big difference when it comes to getting the right kind of traction on every type of surface.
Choosing the right tires for your bike is often difficult. You have to consider factors such as your riding style, the terrain you’ll be covering, and even your personal preference. But no matter what, having the right tires is crucial to a safe and comfortable mountain biking experience. Just remember these tips, and you should be fine: get the right tires, and have fun!