Bicycle tires differ in size. Particular attention should be paid to the width of the tire, and also to its proper pressure. A well-chosen tire of appropriate bicycle tire sizes guarantees more comfortable and safer cycling.
Bicycle tire pressure
A bicycle tire that does not maintain the correct pressure level can wear faster and make it harder to get around on the bike. The simplest method of determining the pressure range dedicated to a given bicycle tire is the information on its sidewall. The range to which it is recommended to inflate is expressed in bars and PSI, i.e. Pounds per square inch. To check the current tire pressure, it is worth using a special pump with a pressure gauge, called a pressure gauge. Depending on the current condition, you must top up the missing amount. In turn, cyclists who do not have a pump with a pressure gauge can check the tire pressure at a gas station.
It is also important to choose to what level within the range designated by the manufacturer to top up the bicycle tire pressure. This choice translates into the specifics of driving. At the recommended tire pressure from:
- Upper limit – harder tires absorb less uneven surfaces and sometimes bounce, but on asphalt the rolling resistance decreases, which makes driving faster
- Lower limit – greater comfort is felt due to increased grip; bumps and curbs are easier to drive over, but rolling resistance increases
One bar equals 14.5 PSI, while 1 PSI is 0.069 bar. Too much or less than the recommended number of bars (PSI) may result in faster tire wear for the bicycle. It is worth checking your tire pressure regularly to avoid unnecessary damage – every two weeks on average or before a long trip.
Bicycle tire sizes
If a tire needs to be replaced, it is important to know its size, especially the width. To do this, check the current size of the tire and its inner rims. There are three tire marking systems on the market:
- ETRTO system – it shows in detail the width and inside diameter of the tire. The system is very unambiguous and marked in millimeters
- Inch system – shows the tire width and approximate outer diameter in inches. Mostly found on mountain bikes
- Metric system – called French. It shows the approximate outer diameter of the tire and its width expressed in millimeters. In addition, depending on the inside diameter, the given letters appear in the notation to facilitate proper fitting to the rim.
Regardless of the size and designation of the tire, there is still a high risk of puncturing the inner tube. Therefore, in addition to choosing the right width or diameter, you should also consider buying a puncture tape that will protect the inner tube and minimize the risk of puncture.
Bicycle tires 26
26 marked bicycle tires are found mainly on mountain bikes, trekking bikes, BMX bikes and triathlon bikes. This is a fairly common wheel size, which is also often used in city bikes. Typical mountain bikes have a diameter of about 559 mm, and Dutch even up to 590 mm.
26 or 28 bicycle tires are typical bicycle tire sizes suitable for most adult bikes. In turn, 16, 20 or 24 inch tires are intended strictly for children.
Bicycle tires 28
28-inch wheels dominate on cross and road bikes. The aforementioned tire designation can also be found in two-wheelers designed for urban and tourist riding. The diameter is usually 622 mm, in Dutch – 635 mm.
Bicycle tires 29
29 inch bicycle tires are designed for MTB mountain bikes. In general, their inside diameter is the same as 28-inch (622 mm) tires, although they differ in height.
In summary, individual bicycle tire sizes vary in width and diameter. Before replacing the tire, you must also verify the marking system (ETRTO, inch, metric) to avoid making a mistake in your purchase. What’s more, to enjoy the comfort of driving and not wear out the tires too quickly, you need to regularly check the level of their pressure and inflate according to the range indicated by the manufacturer.