How to choose your fixie/ single speed tyre?
For many years there has been a wide range of tyres with different characteristics, which lets the cyclist pick what he likes. In this article we will provide you with the fundamentals to understand the different features and help you get the tyre that you really require.
Let's begin by describing the structure of a bike tyre.
The tyre consists of a frame composed of braided cotton yarn or nylon yarn, which may be flexible or stiff, affecting the deformation and shock absorption capacity. Above the frame, there is a screed made up of rubber and the tyre tread that will be in contact with the road. On the sidewalls of the tyre are the rigid rods for placing the tyre on the rim.
In addition, we must also know the degree of flexibility as indicated by the TPI : corresponding to the number of yarns per inch. The higher the latter, the more flexible the tyre with a technical design.
Finally, there are different tyre widths, affecting comfort and performance. Wider tyre offers increased comfort enhanced by the contact surface of the road most importantly but in turn more friction and loss of energy.
Differentiating between tyres with different criteria:
- Efficiency: Its ability to restore the energy provided by the cyclist (thus limit the energy losses induced by friction of the tyre)
- Adhesion: The ability of the tyre to stick to the road i.e. to keep the trajectory imposed by the cyclist
- Light weight: The weight of the tyre
- Longevity: The resistance to wear due to time
- Puncture resistance: The ability of a tyre to withstand puncture, it depends on the thickness and density of the tyre
- Comfort: The ability of the tyre to absorb road irregularities depends in particular on the width of the tyre
The season of the year in which you want to use your tyres also influences, as the performance on dry and wet roads is not the same especially for traction. Nevertheless, there are tyres intended for all-weather riding.
Finally, according to the different uses of a bicycle we check the criteria:
Maximise performance → lighter tyre, higher performance and grip.
Pneumatique Continental Grand Prix 4 seasons :
110 tpi, high grip on dry road as well as on wet road. Weighs 220g. A classic, used by many riders on difficult races such as the Paris- Roubaix.
Michelin Power Competition tyre:
60 tpi, dedicated to straight riding, it has a 25% less rolling resistance for an effective adhesion in all weather conditions.
Resistant to puncture and skid → favours longevity and resistance to the puncture
Dutch Perfect tyre:
Anti-puncture with an additional layer of 5mm at the tread, to prevent punctures. It also has OPS anti-ozone protection to prevent wear and tear and cracking by ozone. After numbers of testing, they are finally known for being indestructible.
Weight : 650g
Freedom Thickslick Race Road tyre :
Twice as tough as a standard rubber tyre due to their double Kevlar protection, they offer increased puncture resistance and better resistance to skids.
Weight : 220g