A high-quality bike depends on a well-designed frame and mechanical features to deliver the performance the rider expects. However, even the best bike is limited by the quality of the tires. It's not just a matter of choosing a tire made from high-quality materials. Different tire syles can affect the rider's experience. Despite the importance of selecting the right tire, there is no universal consensus on what cyclists should use. Here is some advice from My Buggy on things to considers when deciding if you should use tubeless, tubular or clincher tires.
Cyclists have several choices when it comes to tire style, though this may not be immediately obvious to someone who isn't paying close attention. Clincher tires, tubular tires, and tubeless tires look the same at a glance, but they each have distinct advantages and disadvantages that cyclists need to consider.
The most commonly used type of tires for everyday purposes are clincher tires. They're called clincher tires because the tire hooks and clinches to the rim of the wheel. Inside the casing, there is an inner tube that is filled with air. If the tire goes flat, the cyclist can either repair the inner tube or replace it. Clincher tires are the default for most new bikes, and that ubiquity makes clincher easier to find and cheaper to replace.
A tubular tire is an offshoot of traditional clincher tires. However, in this case, the inner tube is removed, and the tire is affixed to the rim by gluing the casing to a special tubular rim. The result is a combination of a one-piece tire and the tube. However, tubular tires are harder to repair and replace because of the process needed to mount the tubular rim properly. Racers often use tubular tires since they are usually lighter than a clincher tire of equal wheel size. When riding on a tubular tire, it can feel easier to accelerate and climb up hills. A tubular setup also allows more flexibility when adjusting the pressure to meet the needs of the rider.
While the other tire designs incorporated tubes, in one form or another, a tubeless tire uses only a rim and a tire. Tubeless tires are the newest on the cyclist scene, but in the past two decades, they have grown in popularity among certain kinds of cyclists, like mountain bikers. A tubeless setup is entirely airtight, which eliminates the need for the tube or even a tubular rim. You can also put tire sealant in a tubeless tire to instantly seal any small punctures as they occur.
There are multiple advantages of using tubeless tires for your cycle. Because of their design, tubeless tires rarely get a flat, and they allow for even more pressure control than a tubular configuration. The wider pressure ranges make it possible to give a bike more traction on surfaces where it's needed. And since a tubeless tire can be fixed quickly with a low-cost can of sealant, it's an excellent choice for racers who can't afford to lose time to a flat tire repair.
The right bicycle tire for you depends on your needs for the bike and how you plan to handle maintenance. Clincher, tubular, and tubeless tires all serve a purpose. A cyclist will need to weigh the pros and cons for their circumstances to determine which tire style is right for them.
Once you’re done shopping for tires, be sure to check out the My Buggy store to find the cyclist gear that’s right for you. We have a wide selection of cyclist apparel that includes t-shirts, hoodies, hats and more.