What tyres are right for me?

A basic question but something that can be hugely important. Tyres are the only thing separating us from the tarmac so they have some important responsibility but now with hundreds of options to choose from, what do you go for to suit your needs? Felix English Coaching spoke to the rubber experts at Continental Tyres UK to answer some frequently asked questions and offer some advice on tyre choice in different scenarios.




Clincher, tubular or tubeless?

Previously, tubulars have always been deemed the only option for racing but in more recent years more and more clincher tyres have been spotted in the World Tour. Now with the extra addition of tubeless tyres bridging the gap, what’s the best option for you? Are tubulars still the best choice? We spoke to with Cambrian Tyres/Continental to get the low down on the latest tyre research.


Benefits of clincher tyres

  • No glueing necessary
  • Easy puncture repair – changeable inner tubes
  • More tyre options
  • Usually cheaper

Benefits of tubular tyres

  • Can be lighter than clincher or tubeless options
  • Won’t roll off the rim if punctures
  • No pinch punctures at softer pressures
  • Highly recommended for track

Benefits of tubeless tyres

  • Self sealing puncture repair
  • Can be lighter than clincher
  • No pinch punctures at softer pressures



Wider rim = wider tyre?

Narrow rims are quickly becoming a thing of the past on carbon wheels but do you need to update your tyre selection to follow the trend?


Benefits of matching rim and tyre width

  • More aerodynamic
  • More secure – if the tyre is too narrow for the rim, under pressure it can blow off!



Tyre selection for different occasions

Different cycling disciplines/events require different tyre choices for optimum and reliable performance. What should you be looking for in a tyre and what are best options to ensure your rubber doesn’t let you down?


Road training

When it comes to road training you’re not necessarily looking for speed or lowest rolling resistance. Ideally, you want something; reliable, has high puncture resistance but also offers that essential grip for those grim soggy days.

Options

  • Top choice clincher – Continental Grand Prix 4 Season
  • Cheaper alternative clincher – Continental Grand Sport Extra
  • Top choice tubeless – Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL


Road racing

Road racing isn’t too dissimilar to road training in a lot of areas. It’s still essential that your tyres are reliable and puncture resistant but you’re also looking for something that is a bit lighter and offers lower rolling resistance.

Options

  • Top choice clincher – Continental Grand Prix 5000
  • Top choice tubular – Continental Competition
  • Top choice tubeless – Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL


Time trialling

Time trialling is all about finding that elusive ‘free speed’. Low rolling resistance is key here but reliability is also a big factor – no one wants to be stuck at the side of the road, especially with no neutral service car following behind!

Options

  • Top choice clincher – Continental Gran Prix TT
  • Top choice tubular – Continental Podium TT
  • Top choice tubeless – Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL (wider option available for wider rims)


Track racing (indoor)

Track racing doesn’t requite the same qualities as many of the tyre options available on the road. When pot holes and glass aren’t an obstacle, puncture resistance isn’t a huge concern. However, low rolling resistance and grip really come into play whilst on the boards.

Options

  • Top choice clincher – Continental Grand Prix TT
  • Top choice tubeless – Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL
  • Top choice tubular – Continental Sonderklasse
  • Cheaper alternative tubular – Continental Sprinter



Thanks to Continental Tyres UK for speaking with us.
If you’d like to purchase any of the tyres recommendations above, all are available at their site http://www.conti-tyres.co.uk




Was this post useful? Would you like to know more? Let us know your thoughts at felixenglishcoaching@gmail.com

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