If you're an avid bicycle rider, then chances are you own more than one type of bike. Road bikes, mountain bikes and one-speed cruisers all use different types of tires. And for each type of bike, there are hundreds of different models of tires to choose from. The kind you buy depends on the type of riding you do and the terrain you enjoy.
Road bike tires
These come in a variety of models. Most are classified as clincher tires because they use metal or Kevlar beads that seat the tires to the inside of the wheel rims. Clincher tires are the most popular and use a separate inner tube. Road bike tires are also available as sew-ups that do not use inner tubes and are glued to the inside of the rim. Sew-ups do not have tire beads, so they're lighter weight but more difficult to change if you have a flat tire.
Mountain bike tires
These are similar to road bike tires with the exception of their tread pattern. Mountain bike tires typically use knobby tire treads -- tire treads with large rubber knobs to provide better traction when riding off-road and on single-tracks in dirt, mud and snow. Mountain bike tires are heavier, more durable and able to withstand much more abuse from the road than road bike tires.
These are typically smaller and narrower than mountain bike tires. They are designed to withstand abuse caused from jumping and tricks. BMX tires are similar to mountain bike tires because they use heavy-duty lugs that offer better traction on dirt and tracks during cornering.
Hybrid and single-speed bicycle tires
These use a special type of tire that is a combination of a road bike tire and mountain bike tire. Hybrid bike tires are typically inflated to lower pressures than road bikes and use treads designed to offer good traction on dirt and other irregular surfaces without the rolling resistance of mountain bike tires.
Article Written By Allen Smith
Allen Smith is an award-winning freelance writer living in Vail, Colo. He writes about health, fitness and outdoor sports. Smith has a master's degree in exercise physiology and an exercise specialist certification with the American College of Sports Medicine at San Diego State University.