When it comes to tyre choice, it is clear that we are blessed with how
many options there are – but this is also a curse, in itself. So what is
the secret to finding the perfect match for you?
A starting point is knowing that with such a diverse range of tyres on
the market, there is always going to be one tyre that may be perfect for
one riding condition but be completely off for another. It is also
important to factor in aspects such as terrain you plan to ride, tread
design and tyre size.
Probably the most important thing is sizing. The sizing of the tyre is located on the sidewalls of your tyre. This is measured in metric and inches. The sizing consists of 3 measurements: The Width of the tyre, how tall of sidewall is and finally the inside diameter of the inside / the rim size. If your tyre is DOT rated it means that it is street legal. If this is the case, it will be stamped on the side as well. Most off-road tyres will say “not intended for highway use”.
It is also important to know the different kinds of tread design, and
what the best application is for each.
The soft tread tyres have the knobblies more spread out generally; this
is to allow you to be able to get a greater grip when you are trying to
find traction but also, is that some tyres have “self-cleaning” systems.
You should keep in mind that “soft terrain” and “soft rubber” is not the
same. Typically, soft terrain requires a much harder tyre to help dig in
and get more drive. You wouldn’t want to use a soft tyre in these conditions
as you would just rip apart your tyres.
Trials tyres have become very popular in some of the most technical riding as they have massive amounts of grip as they have knobblies that are very close to one another. For a tread design and rubber compound that meets in the middle, you can always go with a medium tyre as it will allow you to utilize the best of both.