The busy and monotonous life of the 21st-century man has made him more adventure loving and peace craving. People’s favorite vacation spots have suddenly changed from beaches and island resorts to mountain tops and deep forests. Mountain biking has always been the most exciting and adventurous sport ever. But there are some things which are to be kept in mind while mountain biking and the most important matter among it are the tires. The best and most suitable tire always give the best experience and choosing the correct tire is very important.
Types of tires
- Tube type tire: The one where a tube present inside the tire which is inflated. A puncture in the tube causes a sudden drop in pressure leading to imbalance while riding the bike.
- Tubeless tire: The one where the tube is directly attached to the rim which makes it difficult for the air to quickly escape into the surroundings.
- The bias ply tire: One where multiple plies which overlap each other in a criss-cross manner creating a thicker surface. This causes overheating and the riding comfort is low due to less flexibility.
- The radial tire: Here the plies are arranged at different angles to each other. This type has increased flexibility and is, therefore, more comfortable to ride.
- Foldable bike tires: They have aramid wire tread instead of wire beads to hold the tire to the rim, which makes them light and flexible.
Compounds and treads of tires
- Soft compound tire: They offer great grip due to the very soft compounds in them. They, however, lack any treads making them unsuitable while going downhills or on slippery roads.
- Hard compound tire: They are hard and tough tires and are suitable for all types of tracks apart from race tracks. They have a high number of treads and have a great load-bearing capacity.
- Dual compound tires: They are a combination of soft and hard compound and have tired of the main width made of hard compounds while the ones near the rims are of soft compounds.
Treads are the most important parts of tires for they provide the grip. They hold the bike to the ground and provide support during rainy seasons and in slippery tracks.
- Big, widely spaced lugs(raised knobs) bite into soft, muddy ground. Small, closely spaced lugs offer modest grip with low rolling resistance (more speed).
- Ramped lugs (slanting rearward): Typically in the centre, they lower rolling resistance to help one go faster.
- Side lugs: Typically bigger and provide extra grip in corners.
- Transition lugs: Located between the centre and side lugs, these increase grip as you lean into a turn; the result is a smoother transition from centre lugs to side lugs.
- Sipes: These slits within the lugs help them have a better grip on hard, slick surfaces.
You ride on a wide range of terrains while mountain biking and one must always ensure that his tire is the right one for the track he is on. The most important aspects when tires are concerned are the tire diameter and the tire width. Tire are available in 3 diameters – 26 inches, 27.5 inches and 29 inches. Tyre width and diameter plays an important role in determining the pressure which decides the level of comfort.
The front tire is responsible for changing directions while the rear wheel concentrates mainly on gaining and reducing speeds. The front wheel must, therefore, have a good grip so as to provide better grip during tight turns etc.
Ideal tire for you:
Wider tires would be the best option for beginners as they offer the best grip and balance. Moreover wider tires offer better safety and less agility. However, smaller tires are the best option in case one is looking for more adventure outdoors.
Flatter terrain or areas with short downhill sections often find smaller and narrower tires friendly. This also helps in better acceleration as only a small portion of the tire is in contact with the ground. However, each rider is different and it is always better to find the best and suitable tire for one by experimenting with different tire sizes and pressures.
But always observe safety before everything else while mountain riding, for a small fault may cause great sorrow!
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Jessica is a traveler by heart. She loves to pen down her thoughts related to her travel experiences and her knowledge about motorcycle tires, and other motorcycle adventure products to keep one safe and enjoy the ride. She loves to meet new people during her trips.