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Tyre Guide

What size bike tyre do I need?

Whether you are replacing a worn out tyre or want a performance upgrade, it is essential that you choose a tyre that is compatible with your bicycle as well as your riding style.

To find out which size tyre you will need have a look at the sizing information on your existing tyre. You can find this information on the side wall of the tyres, either in coloured print or embossed in the rubber itself. Both rim diameter and tyre width are shown in the size info.

road bike tyres

700 x 23c 

A standard 700c road bike rim with a 23mm tyre width.

mountain bike tyres

27.5 x 2.3

A 27.5” mountain bike rim with a 2.3” tyre width

You will notice that road bike tyres tend to me measured in metric units while mountain bike tyres use imperial units.


ETRTO Sizing 

Sometimes the sizing info is listed in two different ways; the traditional sizing method shown above and ETRTO sizing which lists the tyre width first and the rim diameter second. The rim diameter size is measured differently with ETRTO, for example:

23-622

A standard 700c road bike rim with a 23mm tyre width, which is the same size as 700 x 23c. 

We recommend that you use the traditional sizing method wherever possible as most tyres that we stock use this system.

tyres for road cycling

What tyre pressure do I need?

Different tyres will require different tyre pressures. Generally speaking, low volume tyres (road race) require higher pressures that high volume (mountain bike) tyres. Minimum and maximum tyre pressures are also written on the side walls of the tyres.

Within this range higher pressures will roll faster while lower pressures offer more grip and a little more comfort. Lower pressures can lead to a greater risk of punctures however. It is important that you do not exceed the maximum tyre pressure.

Most mountain bike riders tend to run lower pressures (often below the recommended limit) as the additional grip makes a big difference to handling on rough technical tracks, especially in the wet, and offsets the risk of punctures.

pumping up your tyres

What are the different types of bike tyres

While road, mountain and hybrid tyres have their own specific differences there are some features that are common to all tyres.

  • Clincher tyres - most bike tyres have a bead which hooks onto the rim to keep the tyre in place. Traditionally this bead is made from wire which is tough but heavy. Premium tyres use a folding Kevlar bead which is equally as strong as wire but is much lighter weight. 
  • Tubeless tyres - while regular clincher tyres require an inner tube to keep them inflated tubeless or tubeless ready tyres form an airtight seal with a compatible rim so you don’t need an inner tube. These are most commonly found on mountain bikes as they can be run at lower pressures without risking punctures.
  • Tubular tyres - These are specialist road bike tyres that have the tube built into the tyre and are then glued onto a compatible rim.