(This is a sponsored article, brought to you in association with Michelin)
They’re the crucial contact point between your bike and the road, but can you honestly say when you last checked your tyres? Chances are, if you’ve been riding the same ones through winter, they could be a bit tired and worn by now.
With spring firmly here, many riders will be thinking about converting their training miles into summer smiles. So what should you be looking for in a new pair of road tyres? Well it depends on what conditions you’ll be riding in, how deep your pockets are, and whether you want to use the same type you’ve always ridden.
1. What roads will you be riding?
What road will you be riding? silky smooth or rutted and rough?: Courtesy
This is the crucial question – there’s no point running 23mm road tyres at 100 psi if you’re planning on riding cobbles, or the local council is a bit slow at pothole repairs. Your teeth will get rattled out and your bike will hate it. On the other hand, 30mm tyres inflated to 60 psi is almost certainly overkill for the smooth roads of Lanzarote.
2. How much racing are you doing?
How much racing are you going to do? you might be willing to sacrifice some durability in exchange for speed: Courtesy
There’s a major proviso to the comfort issue mentioned above: will you be racing? Because if so, you’re more likely to accept a little discomfort if it means you can go a little faster. Whereas if you’re training, you don’t want to get punished on every ride, when no one’s timing you anyway.
3. How wet will it get?
Be realistic about how much rain you’re expecting to ride through: Courtesy
Another key question is how much rain you’re expecting: UK cyclists accept it as an inevitability, while those blessed with sunnier climes get away with tyres made for tinder-dry roads. The difference mainly comes down to the rubber compound used, but manufacturers will indicate their suited use.
4. Have you tried tubulars yet?
If you’re a racer and up for trying something new, then switching from clincher tyres to tubulars could be a good bet. They’re generally acknowledged to roll faster, grip better and be nearly impossible to pinch flat. They are however, much more time consuming to install than clinchers, so best keep them for race day.
5. How long do you want them to last?
All tyre compounds are a compromise between grip, rolling resistance, durability and price – but some are better than others: Courtesy
All tyre compounds are a compromise between grip, rolling resistance, durability and price. Some tyres do a better job than others at rolling fast, gripping well and lasting thousands of kilometres. They’re likely to cost you more, but are well worth it because they do everything better and keep you safer.
Complete this Michelin survey
So now that you’ve started thinking about what to look for in a new pair of road tyres, head over to this Michelin survey and check out a more in-depth series of questions.
>Enter survey here<
You’ll get plenty more food for thought before your purchase – don’t forget to check out BikeRadar‘s road tyre reviews for our current favourites – and you’ll help Michelin develop its next series of race-winning tyres.
It’ll only take you five minutes, so go check it out.
This is a sponsored article, brought to you in association with Michelin