How pro racers select the best road bike tire to buy for racing and training?
Whether you are racing or training on your road bicycle, the biggest bang for the buck to improve both your race pace and training sessions is to run new, quality road bicycle tire rubber.
The opposite holds true, old road bike tire rubber / cheap tires or just tires that simply deliver poor performance can hinder your road cycling performance, cause you to crash, prematurely flat and even lose your race.
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Road Bike Tire Design
Each road bike tire manufacturer offers a wide variety of road bike tire slicks and intermediates.
Obviously racing tires with softer compounds offer better grip but the trade off is they will wear much faster. Thus each road biker must identify where each tire is to be primarily used, i.e. racing, training or touring, then the road and weather conditions in his or her local area will also play an important part of the decision making process.
For example if you do a lot of wet weather riding, a full slicks might not be the best choice. Also a softer compound might be better for reliable traction.
Next a balance can be created between grip, endurance and price. Note some tires handle different as well on different rims, so the roadie should not be afraid to test out tires with his or her setup and riding style.
Remember to adjust your road bike tire pressure properly. Your suspension setting will also affect your tires’ performance, and it might need minor tweaking.
Best Road Bike Rubber / Material Tire Type
For many year road bike tire manufactures have been developing proprietary road bike tire compounds to win race like the Tour De France.
A great amount of this technology has trickled down so all roadies can now benefit. Road bike tire rubber can range from hard compounds to soft compounds including tires that feautre dual compound tire technology.
Dual compound orad bike tires are generally designed so the cornering edges of the tire are a softer, stickier compound, while the more heavily used center rubber is generally harder to ensure the tire rolls faster and can withstand higher mileage.
The rubber’s compound density is represented by a numbering system that denotes how hard or soft the road bike tire’s compound is. Higher numbers, translate to a harder road tire rubber. For example, 60 is a harder, more dense rubber, than a softer rubber compound like 42.
Softer rubber isn’t always better if it is mismatched to the terrain, weather, etc. The opposite applies to harder road bike tire rubber as well.
Road Bike Tube & Tubeless Tires
The technology has finally trickled down and tubeless road bike tires are here. Of course your rim has to be tubeless compatible and the tire you purchase also has to be designed to run on a tubeless wheelset.
Tubeless tires simply handle better on a all vehicles they are run on, and road bicycles are no exception. While the technology is newer currently, there are less tire choices and the wheels themselves are more expensive to buy.
These prices will come down and road bike tire manufacturers will slowly introduce more inventory.
In our opinion at BikeOptions.com, this is a wonderful new technology that should be quickly adopted by every road bike rider who not only wants better handling performance, but fewer flats as well. Finally I will shay the magic words, a good tubeless set up is lighter as well.
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