Written by Colin Lewis Cycles shop owner Simon Aske
Why should I buy expensive tyres?
Any "off the peg" bicycle up to £500 generally will come with a run-of-the-mill tyre that is functional in the fact that it is black and made of rubber.
Manufactures of bikes tend to cut corners on tyres to keep the price at a certain budget. However when these do wear out it gives you the opportunity to upgrade.
Without a doubt putting a top of the range tyre on you bicycle will transform the ride, speed and your enjoyment.
Think of F1 and how the drivers complain that their tyres do or do not work! This is your only contact with terra firma so it is of the upmost importance that the tyre is proper.
If you are looking for more comfort, then using a slightly wider tyre and less pressure will help achieve this. There is increasing evidence to suggest that this is also quicker although aerodynamics will come into play at higher speeds.
What we are looking for is a combination of speed, comfort, grip and puncture proof tyres.
Well, top of the range tyres are faster and because of their suppleness, grip and handle better, and not forgetting are more comfortable. As regards to puncture proof, I see no evidence to suggest that lightweight tyres are less puncture proof: just that they don't last as long. To enhance puncture proofing I would advise the use latex tubes which are lighter and more comfortable but most importantly more puncture proof due to the material (Think Condom). The downside is you will have to pump them up every ride and are more expensive. O did I mention they are faster as well.
One of my customers recently fitted them to his track bike and at the same heart rate, was going 5% faster. I believe that is too much to be giving away!
To conclude my favourite tyres are Vittoria CX or Continental GP 4000S with Michelin Latex tubes.
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