What tires to put on the bike

How to choose a bicycle tire?

How to choose a bicycle tire and not be mistaken with the size?

There is one way for all types of bikes. We write off the size from the sides of the old tires and, according to the written down, buy new ones. Diameter and width of bicycle tires:

  • 12 inch. for children’s bicycles, bicycle strollers, strollers for the smallest children. Their widths are from 1.75 “to 2.25” or 47mm. 57mm.
  • 14, 16, 18 inches. for children’s bicycles. Width from 1.75 “to 2.25” or 47mm. 57mm.
  • 20 inches. for teens and folding bicycles. Width from 1.75 “to 2.25” or 47mm. 57mm.
  • 24 inches. for teenage bicycles. The most popular sizes are from 1.90 “to 2.40” in width, in millimeters from 49mm to 62mm. Road models can be from 1.35 “to 1.75” in millimeters from 35mm to 47mm.
  • 26, 27.5, 29 inches. MTB, cross, niner, fat bikes, city and road bike models. Mountain tires, cross-country tires, niners. width from 1.90 “to 2.60” in mm from 49mm to 65mm. Road city. 1.35 “to 1.75” in mm 35mm to 47mm. Fatbikes have tires ranging from 3.00 to 4.70 inches, in millimeters from 76mm to 119mm.
  • 28 inches. road and city models. Width ranges from 1.35 “to 1.75” in millimeters from 35 mm to 47 mm.
  • 27-inch, 700C. road models. The width can be from 18 to 25 millimeters.
tires, bike

We have listed the most popular and common width sizes. If we did not mention the size of your tires, do not judge strictly.

Choose winter bike tires narrower or wider?

Bicycle tires are narrower, suitable for very snowy weather or when the thaw begins, then they behave better when riding in porridge. Otherwise, better tires with wider tread. The tire is wider. better contact with the road, more confident maneuvers and the whole ride.

Many points have already been considered by us, now it remains to decide on which large ones, intended for different purposes, you need to put the corresponding bicycle tires.

How to find tires for your road bike?

Road racers have thin, sleek tires. Width is only 18 millimeters to 25 millimeters. The tread is like a spider web, shallow. If the road surface is perfect, then slicks are welcome.

How to choose tires for a mountain bike?

Designed so that mountain bikes are designed for difficult sections of the path on dirt roads, mountain slopes, rough terrain. If you are using the bike in even about this direction, then you need tires with deep tread, which have good grip properties. If the bike is mountain, and you only have to ride on hard, good roads, then a pronounced tread will not be effective. Comfortable, with the best speed qualities, will be bicycle tires with a smooth road tread.

How to choose a bicycle tire?

Bicycle tires are a very important part to pay close attention to. A lot depends on this. First of all. your life.

There are several types of people who use a bicycle in their life. Everyone has their own requirements for the bike. We will try to tell you how to choose a bicycle tire for someone who just wants to change to a bicycle or simply cannot make a choice. So. the requirements of different people for bicycle tires:

  • People who use a bicycle as a public transport always keep the bike in good condition, because no one wants to roll it home. If trips are mainly in the urban cycle, then on asphalt roads, the best option would be to choose a bicycle tire with a road (smoother) tread. Semi-slickers are perfect for such conditions. When choosing tires for everyday use, a budget bike will not work, but the middle class is what you need. The advantages and disadvantages of such tires:
  • The indisputable plus is the quality. These tires are made of high quality compound (synthetic rubber, stabilizers, plasticizers). All components are matched to specific types of bicycles and specific areas of operation.
  • Steel cord is both an advantage and a disadvantage. In the specifications, the number of cords is indicated as TPI. The average level of bicycle tires has 20. 30 threads. Advantage. it gives strength and tire and withstands loads. Less steel cord. it can rust or be killed by impact. The tire in this place may remain intact, or it may blow out a bump.
  • Weight. Of course, the weight of the tire will be greater than that of premium counterparts, but not so much as not to use them. And the weight of the products is of enormous importance only for athletes. Bicycle tires with anti-puncture layer can weigh more than one kilogram.
  • Professionals or people who cannot imagine their life without a bicycle do not stop riding even in winter. There is nothing to surprise them, such cyclists have tried and understood everything for a long time. But those planning this lifestyle need to choose both winter bicycle tires and summer bicycle tires. If the bike is part of your life, then you need the best bike tires. High-quality tires are not a cheap pleasure, but their service life is on average 20-25 thousand kilometers. It depends on the pressure in the tires, the place of use, your weight. Manufacturers Schwalbe, Mitas Rubena, Michelin are the undisputed leaders in the production of bicycle tires. All the best is concentrated in the highest quality bicycle tires:
  • Highest quality compound. The detail is maximally sharpened for your needs. If you need rolling tires or for soil or dirt. the manufacturers have provided everything.
  • Strength in bicycle tires can be up to 60 steel cord and up to 200 Kevlar. The advantage of Kevlar options in lightness and elasticity.
  • The greatest motor resource.
  • Their only drawback is cost. Products of this class are not inferior to car tires.
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How to choose tires for your city bike?

Urban bike tires differ from mountain ones in that they are narrower. A shallow or completely bald protector (slick) is what you need for a city.


The choice of bicycle tires should be, if not in a straight line, then largely depending on what type of riding you practice.

If you are just driving around town or cycling in the woods, not striving for record speeds and achieving athletic performance, then the reliability and durability of the tire, its puncture resistance and traction, providing confidence in turns, and such indicators such as lightness and rolling may well be paid much less attention. Choose reliable tires of a good (key word, we’ll come back to this) entry-level. they will cost less and will successfully fulfill their purpose.

If you use a bike for training, then the above qualities. reliability, durability, puncture protection, grip. are also important, but rolling can be added to them, since you are, in one way or another, an athlete and indicators are important to you. Weight, probably, is not decisive in this case, because if you are going to set records, then personal ones. Choose a mid-range training tire (you can navigate the price) with all the properties mentioned.

Well, if you participate in competitions, then weight becomes important to you. Racing tires are top-tier (and cost-effective) and have improved rolling, grip and lightweight performance. However, you have to pay for all this, and not only in monetary terms. To lighten a racing tire, you have to sacrifice its reliability (for example, they usually do not have puncture protection), and durability is sacrificed for traction (such tires wear out relatively quickly).

To lighten the weight and improve rolling, professional athletes use tubular tires, but these are professionals, they do not need advice, so I will omit this type of tire, especially since they are not very practical for everyday use and require special wheels.


With this, everything is quite simple and directly depends on what type of cyclist you imagine. If you drive frequently, a lot and / or on bad roads, the endurance and durability of the tire is of great importance. this is what you need to pay attention to. If you use a bike occasionally and according to your mood, then, perhaps, it makes no sense to spend money on good tires, but something unassuming will be enough.

tires, bike


The type of road you intend to drive should influence the following two characteristics when choosing a tire: tread and width.

The better the road surface. the less the need for a tread. For good asphalt, tires without a tread at all, so-called slick tires, are excellent. On a flat hard road, a toothy tire will only make noise, slow you down, concealing the efforts applied to the pedals, it is worse to hold and at the same time wear out quickly. Therefore, it is rather unwise to drive, for example, on asphalt on tires with a deep tread profile and pronounced rubber spikes. In general, the tread profile should grow in accordance with the deterioration of the track. the worse the surface, the deeper the profile it should have, up to liquid mud, which requires serious teeth, in order to provide acceptable tire grip and, accordingly, the stability and traction of the bike.

The width of the tire affects ride comfort. the larger it is, the better it will hide vibrations and shocks from the road. Therefore, the worse the track coverage, the more justified the choice of wide tires. However, since the wider, the larger its contact patch with the road and, accordingly, the greater the friction, the wider tire has less roll and is not so fast.

As with almost any bike spec, for a tire here, based on exactly where you will ride, it is important to find a reasonable compromise between tread depth (the ratio between grip and rolling) and width (the ratio between comfort and again rolling).


Naturally, the first thing you need to pay attention to is the size of the tires so that they can easily fit your wheels. There are two parameters. The main thing when choosing a tire is the diameter of the wheel: it is unchanged and is usually measured in inches (26”, 29” or some other, for a road bike it is 700 mm). The second parameter is the width of the tire: it can change and you can choose depending on the purpose and personal preferences (more on this below), the main thing is that the tires fit in the width of the fork and rear stays of the bicycle.

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Determining the diameter and width of a bicycle tire is usually simple. the vast majority of manufacturers write these parameters on the sidewall of the tire.


Since it is practically impossible to measure rolling characteristics, wear resistance and grip with a coating in specific figures, the brand that you give preference to when choosing.

With all the seeming wealth of choice and abundance of brands on the market, finding good bicycle tires is not easy. I would advise opting for specialized tire manufacturers dedicated to the design and manufacture of bicycle tires. Such manufacturers have their own research laboratories and unique technologies for the rubber compound and tire protection, the production line worked out for decades, experience and, of course, value their name, trying to maintain the brand, in contrast, for example, from brands engaged in the production of everything and everything (from bicycle socks to bike computers and the bicycles themselves), or cheap no-names from Asia, the bargain price of which corresponds to the quality.

Without mentioning brands, it can be noted that good rubber is not included in the factory complete set of bicycles, since the manufacturer seeks to reduce the cost of its offer. Draw your own conclusions.

Why do you need tires?

It is very important to decide what you need tires for? That is, you need to have a clear idea of ​​where, how and how intensively you will cycle (use these tires) and, depending on this, make a choice.

Answer the following questions for yourself:

How To Fit Any Difficult-To-Fit Bike Tyre

The answers to these simple questions will help you determine the purpose of your tires and significantly narrow your search.


It would be a big mistake to regard tires as an insignificant part of the bike and to treat their selection and current condition with disdain. After all, it is the tires that are the only part that directly comes into contact with the road surface, and the ease of rolling of your bike and how well it holds the road directly depends on whether they are selected correctly, what quality they are and what their wear is. That is, tires largely determine both riding pleasure (if you are an amateur) and sporting performance (if you participate in competitions).

Currently, the market is overflowing with offers of bicycle tires of various purposes, quality and price. This, of course, expands the possibilities of choice, but significantly complicates (especially for beginners) the choice itself. How not to get lost in parameters, features and brands? How to choose exactly what you need? How to find the optimal balance of price and quality?

Advice on how to make the right choice is given by our expert Master of Sports of International Class, Champion of Europe in cycling OLEG ZHUKOV.

Tire sizes

How do you know the size of the tire you need? It’s very simple: all data about the tire is written on its side. The size is indicated in two versions: in millimeters and in inches. Sometimes both standards are indicated.

In the ISO standard, the first number indicates its width, the second is the diameter of the tire. For example: 38-622, where 38 is the width and 622 is the diameter of the seat in millimeters. Or the second option: 26×1.75. In this case, 26 is the tire diameter in inches and 1.75 is the width in inches. In addition, there is such a marking in inches: 26×1 ¾ x1 3/8. where 26 is the diameter, 1 ¾ is the width, 1 3/8 is the height from the rim.

The rim is very important, it determines the interchangeability of tires and it is what you should look at first of all. Many tires can fit in the width, but not in the seat.

Be sure to consider this point when replacing tires. You cannot fit a 26 “tire (559 mm rim) on a 28” rim (622 mm rim) wheel. But for a landing diameter of 622 mm, tires of 28 and 29 inches are suitable, because they are the same in inner diameter. The height of the tire is different, so a different outer diameter is obtained.

In addition to the standard in millimeters and inches, there is also a European (French) standard, which is indicated as multiples of 50 (400, 450, 650, 700, etc.). The French standard assumed the designation of the outer diameter, with a letter indicating the width of the tire. For example: 700 A. landing diameter 622 mm, narrow.

You can learn more about custom sizes in the article Custom sizes of tires.

Winter tires

Separately, we will highlight the tires intended for driving in winter. The rest of the tires can be ridden in any season except winter. An important point is the severity of winter in your area. If you rarely see snow and ice, you can ride any rubber all year round. If ice and snow are frequent visitors to you and you do not end the cycling season with the onset of winter, we highly recommend taking a closer look at tires designed for winter use.

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As you understand, in order to stay on a slippery road, radical measures are needed. metal spikes fixed in the tire tread.

We will present some good solutions from which you can choose the best for yourself.

Types of bicycle tires

  • MTV (freeride / downhill). rubber with a high, aggressive tread. Tire width 2-3 inches. Designed for good road control in rough terrain. On a flat road, a very bad roll-off, we do not recommend using it on asphalt. Example: Schwalbe BLACK JACK.
  • ВМХ. tires for stunt bicycles, characterized by a smooth, hard tread that is resistant to frequent mechanical stress. Tires more adapted to impacts cannot be found. Usually small in diameter (16-22 inches) and quite wide (2-2.5 inches). Usually only used for stunt bikes, too stiff to ride. Example: Schwalbe DIRTY HARRY.
  • Urban. have a low tread, which allows you to feel comfortable on smooth asphalt roads, without potholes. They are 1.5-2.5 inches wide and 14 to 29 inches in diameter. Example: Schwalbe DELTA CRUISER.
  • Road tires are synonymous with speed. Specially designed for driving on smooth surfaces at high speeds. They have a slick protector (shallow grooves or absolutely smooth protector). Width from 0.7 to 1 inch. Diameter 26-29 inches. This is the only type of tire used in high-speed highway racing. Example: Schwalbe KOJAK.
  • Tourist. tires designed for driving both on a flat surface of asphalt roads and for driving on dirt roads. They are considered the most versatile. They have an even surface of the middle strip and side lugs. The speed on them is higher than on MTB tires, but lower than on road bike slick tires. Width 1.25-2.5 inches. Diameter 26-29 inches. Example: Schwalbe HURRICANE.

You can better understand the types of tread by reading the article Tire protector.

Rubber with aggressive tread, for icy and very snowy roads.

  • Schwalbe Ice Spiker. The most well-proven. Schwalbe Ice Spiker. Rubber without unnecessary bells and whistles, strong and reliable. Like all Schwalbe tires, they have a high weave density. There are also tires with the Pro index. they are lighter and softer, but their cost is higher.

Nokian Extreme 294. Behind her, breathing down the back, is the Nokian Extreme 294, until the Schwalbe Ice Spiker is the most popular tire. After its release, it became less popular.

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Nokian WXC300. A similar tire from the same manufacturer, Nokian WXC300. lighter, but has a worse roll-off than the same Ice Spiker.

Klondike XT. Rubber made by Kenda, Klondike XT. has a lower cost, but the quality is also lame. They are heavier, they have a bad roll. As for testing winter tires. an acceptable option.

Types of tire tread

For cyclists, it is easier and more understandable to divide into such tread categories: slicks, semi-slick, mud and winter. Let’s consider in more detail.

  • Slick. The tread of such a tire is a completely or almost smooth surface.
  • Half-slickers. Similar to their slick counterparts, but with extra lugs on the sides of the center track.
  • Mud protector. High lugs of aggressive tread literally bite into soft soils, mud, snow and sand.
  • Winter protector. Designed specifically for driving on snowy and icy tracks, ice.

You can learn more about the protectors in our article Tire protectors.

Which tires to choose for a bike? What types of tires are there?

You will get answers to these and many other questions in this article. About 20 years ago, everyone rode on only one type of tires. which were installed at the factory. They could be replaced with the same ones sold on the market. Currently, the choice is very, very large. Tires are distinguished not only by size, but also by purpose and even by season.

At first glance, choosing a tire for a bicycle is not an easy task. Many models, tread patterns, sizes, purposes. There is no one-size-fits-all tire for all occasions. Yes, you can use any, but at the expense of comfort, effort and, most importantly, safety.

Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to decide on the purpose of the tire: for what conditions do you choose it and what requirements it must fulfill. Whether you are hiking, urban, or high-speed highway riders. Do downhill, BMX or dirt disciplines. Let’s figure it out in more detail.

Tires. Types of tires. Tire sizes.

Tire diameters

  • 10-12 ″. designed for children’s bicycles, balance bikes and baby carriages (10 “are installed on the front, steerable wheels, 12” on the rear);
  • fourteen”. used on strollers and bicycles;
  • 16-20 ″. MTV, BMX, children’s bicycles;
  • 24-29 ″. teenage, MTV, urban, tourist;
  • 27.5 ″. mountain bikes for cross-country;
  • 28 ″ (French marking 700C). road and hybrid bikes;
  • 29 ″. tourist, MTV bicycles.