Your tyres play a pivotal role in the overall performance of your bike and as such you should do your homework before deciding which tyres are right for you.
Here’s a run-down on what you need to know when purchasing new rubber for your bike:
The most common road bike tyre diameter is 700c which will be suitable for most adult sized road bike rims, however there are a range of width options available which provide varying levels of speed vs. comfort.
As a general rule of thumb, skinny tyres (around 23mm wide) will provide the lowest rolling resistance however as they won’t be as comfortable to ride as a wider tyre (around 25mm-30mm wide).
Road bike tyres are available in a range of tread patterns - if you want to go fast then a slick tyre with no tread pattern is the way to go, but if you’re going to ride in varying conditions then a tyre with some form of tread pattern will provide slightly better grip.
As mountain bike wheels come in a range of different sizes (26”,27.5” & 29”) you’ll want to ensure that you look for the right sized tyres for your rims.
Like road bikes, mountain bike tyres come in a range of widths which cater to different riding scenarios. If you’re into downhill mountain biking then you’ll most likely want a wider tyre (2.2” +) to provide maximum grip over varying terrains, whereas if cross country is more your style, then a slimmer tyre will provide lower rolling resistance over flatter ground.
There are a huge range of tread patterns available in mtb bike tyres, each with it’s own pros and cons. Tyres with large tread knobs provide a large amount of grip in wet and muddy conditions, however offer higher rolling resistance when it comes to hard, dry surfaces, which will ultimately slow you down.