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Tire Tips

Here are a few tire tips and safety recommendations we've gathered from our riding experience. If you have a good tip to share, please email it to us and we'll add it to the list.

Safety

  • Proper mounting of tires and tubes is a critical safety item. If you have not changed your bike tires and tubes before, or do not feel fully comfortable doing so, you should ask a bike mechanic for assistance.
  • On your first ride with brand new tires, take it easy around corners to avoid wipe-outs. New tires (Michelin in particular) often have some mold-release compound still on them from the manufacturing process making them slicker than they will be once broken in.
  • Clincher tires (all of what we sell besides tubulars) require hooked rims. The term 'hooked' refers to the ridge on the inside of the rim the holds the Kevlar bead of the tire in place. Most contemporary rims are 'hooked'. If you have doubts, refer to your rim's specifications.
  • When you return from a ride, wipe down your tires with a rag and inspect them for embedded glass and debris. Objects embedded in the tire will gradually penetrate the casing causing flats on future rides. Let some air out of your tires and pump them back to full pressure before your next ride. Have a good floor pump around to maintain proper tire pressure.

Tips

  • Lightly dust your tubes with baby powder before installing them to help them seat more easily.
  • It is not safe to rotate tires by swapping the front and rear. We suggest discarding a used rear tire, moving the used front to the rear, then put a new tire on the front. The front wheel is responsible for most of your traction when cornering while the rear supports most of your body weight and facilitates the power transfer caused by pedaling. Rear tires wear faster, front tires need traction.
  • Tires with black treads will generally last longer than any other color due to their carbon content.
  • If a road hazard damages your tire while on a ride, a folded dollar bill or energy bar wrapper can be inserted between the tube and the tire as a makeshift tire boot.
  • If you're having difficulty mounting a new tire, try using a little hand dish detergent on the tire bead to make it a little more slippery and easier to slide over the rim. If that doesn't do it, get the tire on as far as you can and let it sit. Come back in 20 minutes when the bead has had a chance to stretch and your hand and arm muscles have had a rest.

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