What makes one tire better than another?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by ToddTaylor, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. ToddTaylor

    ToddTaylor New Member

    Jun 18, 2003
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    I'm in the need for some new rubber, and there is a HUGE difference in the price ranges. I'm looking for 700x23c semi-slick to slick clincher road tires for training rides. Obviously, some tires weigh more than others which I'm sure is a concern, but what else is there to look for?

    I noticed that most sites list the "tpi", which I'm guessing is "threads per inch." I'm also guessing that more threads-per-inch are better for some reason?

    I've found quite a few tires that are on sale for less than $10 each which would make my wallet happy... much happier than spending as much on a bike tire as I would on a car tire! About the only thing I've noticed about them is their tpi is pretty low... around 60 tpi. Their weight is only a few grams more than tires costing 4x as much.

    Since these are training tires, I guess puncture resistance is my biggest concern. I just replaced a flat yesterday, and that's why I'm in the market for new tires today :)

    Do you ride with the same size front tire as your rear tire? I noticed that Continental started making a set of tires that include one tire for the front of the bike and one for the rear. The rear tire is a tad wider and apparently has more rubber on it because the rear wears faster than the front.

  2. MidBunchLurker

    MidBunchLurker New Member

    May 2, 2003
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    The things you need to consider in a tyre are (you can decide which is most important to you):

    - puncture resistance: higher threadcounts are better, also kevlar strips in the tyre help too
    - lifespan: different rubbers wear at different rates, usually high-carbon rubbers have the longest lifespan.
    - grip: softer rubber performs best here, i.e. shorter lifespan.
    - rolling resistance: higher threadcounts are better, harder rubbers are better, and a 23C width is generally best.
    - comfort: generally the wider the better, but also depends on the construction of the tyre.
    - weight: only really a consideration for a race tyre

    You'll find that to maximise more than two or three of the above causes the price of the tyre goes up 'cos they're using more advanced rubber compounds and contruction methods (and expensive R&D).

    The tyre most people choose for a training tyre is one with long lifespan (obviously!), decent comfort (you'll spend most of your saddle-time on these babies) and ok puncture resistance (not as critical as for a racing tyre).

    Of course if you can get lots of cheap tyres then lifespan is less important :)

  3. xavier

    xavier New Member

    Feb 4, 2003
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    NOTHING. To say one brand is better then another is stupid. It is like saying Fords are better than Chevys.

    Every manufacturer has their racing tires (lighter ad higer TPI count) and thei lower priced tires (heavier and lower TPI count).

    Sounds like you want a nice high mileage tire. In that case stay away from the expensive tires than tend to wear out much faster due to the lighter weight (less rubber).

    I made up a list of great tires

    Hutchinson Excel $18.95
    IRC RedStorm Classic $15.95
    Maxxis Detonator $23.95
    Panaracer Stradius Sport $18.95
    Tioga ProLine 1000 $19.95

    I am sure there are a few more. But these are great priced tires that will last mile after mile.