Getting the facts on bmx tyres and when to change them
when it comes to new parts there is a lot of things people tend to spend money or pay attention on before they look at the Tyres and in actual fact being the tyres are your only 2 contact points on the ground and what your riding, the tyres should be almost the first and most important choice you make.
With a Slew of brands and every changing increasing sizes we decided to do a run down of the points and highlights of the main things to help you navigate and take into consideration before buying your next tyres..
Q – When should i change my tyres?
A – The 3 most suitable times to change your tires are if
1) the tyres are worn out and the tread is getting thin making it easy to get flats or the rubber has hardened causing them to get slippery
2) the Tyres you have don’t suit your riding style which means you bike will under perform when your riding so if you have a slick tyre in the dirt you grip is going to be minimal or if you have a thin ultra light tyre and are grinding street ledges your pinch flats and sidewall tears are going to be high and keep you walking you bike more that riding
3) the tyres you have are not the size you want so if you have some thin Cheese cutters on and want a wider tyre for more stability then its time to move to a bigger tyre or vice versa if you want a faster less dragging tyre then slimming it down means it will be more agile and roll quicker with less drag.
Q – What tyres are best for me??
A – The best tyre choice will usually start on what do you ride mostly so you can get the best performance out of the rubber / grip / width and pressure you like. this will reflect on what you ride and your bike and budget
Q – What Size is the best?
A - At the moment the trend is moving to larger diameter tyres 2.25 & 2.4 but Generally speaking a thicker tyre up front makes sense but you can slim down the rear as it doesn’t need the massive width as it does not have the same sort of grip loads that the front does with the steering.
if you want a super fast rolling ride for park you will find most pros run 2.1 front – 2.0 rear or a combo close to that keeps the tyres fast and responsive.
Note:- while a lot of current bikes are taking the fatter trend into account it still is common that complete bikes or slightly older frames/forks aren’t designed to take wide 2.4 tyres into account, especially when brakes are involved, so check before you buy is always a good practice.
Q – How much pressure or how hard should i run my tyres?
A - The only real answer is try some different options and see what you like, don’t just run what you mate does!. as for the performance most cheaper stock tyres are rated 50-60psi max and most people run their freestyle tyres above this so an aftermarket tyres usually has ratings up to 100 – 120 psi making them roll much faster have a higher quality thread and rubber content making them able to cope with various pressure and impacts, personally i run mine at 60 front – 70 rear as it makes hard drops not so wrist braking.
Some street riders will ride down to 40-50psi for this reason when dropping stairs and doing gaps but when the tyres get super low the drag caused from some grinds can make the tyres stick as the tyre can bulge and squash against the ledge or rail causing more drag making the grind a bit harder.
Same can be said for people who ride ramps and skatepark, they often run up to 100psi as they want every bit of pump and speed to make the bike as fast as possible or as predictable as possible when rolling high speed around a bowl or airing out of a ramp.
Dirt can be somewhere in the middle depending on how smooth the trails your riding are, if they are smooth and manicured then up the pressure if they are not so much and have some ruts here and there maybe run a bit less so its more forgiving..
Q – My Stock tyres say max 50psi cant i just put in 80psi?
A - Doing this will almost always result in blowing the tyre off the bead, it may not do it when you first put it in but if it blows when your about to drop into a 6 foot bowl, we don’t need to tell you that is a bad situation to be in..
Q – What colour tyres are the best or grippiest?
A - With the increasing rate of “pretty” coloured tyres going on every brand is offering a new “Hot” colour way, this was done back in the 90’s and then earlier back in the 80’s.. if you want the colour and thats the priority that fine but here is some tips to think about before going fluro Orange tyres..
“The Scientific Technical Answer”
The coloured tires are not as good as black tires period, Carbon black is an additive in rubber tyres from cars to bike and was something that Mr Goodyear discovered by accident which greatly improves wear, puncture & tear resistance, and coincidentally grip & traction.
Coloured treads do not contain carbon black, because the amount of carbon is substantial 25% which alters the natural colour to be completely black.
At the moment every company is marketing their new coloured tyres as a super grippy compound but thats actually a bit of marketing mumbo jumbo in the most part, what we have found is coloured tyres in a short period sometimes as little time as a month start to get “chalky” as the rubber seems to dry out often caused by UV exposure and things like heat etc which in turn makes the tyres seem “Glassy” and they get noticeably slippery, plus they tend to wear at a much faster rate than black..
If you want the best wear and grip go black, if your all about that new hot colour then by all means go coloured.
Q – Should i get light tyres or not worry?
A - This is one of the biggest mistakes people make from both directions be it light or heavy tyres for your bike. when you modify your wheels people tend to jump straight to light hubs and things like Titanium spokes to shave some weight off your wheels and bike, in actual fact the best place to shave weight off is your tyres. being the tyres are the further most point of your wheel the bigger difference in weight at the most external point “your tyres” the most noticeable difference achieved.
Dont under stand that? take your front wheel off you bike hold the axle and spin it with your tyre on and pumped up and whilst spinning at a fast rate try and turn it side to side. now take the tyre off the same wheel and do the same thing and you will find a drastic difference. you can spend $300 on Titanium spokes and drop over 2 36 hole wheels about 110 grams or you can spend $50 on one tyre and drop easily 200 grams from most stock tyres..
Running a set of light tyres makes a big difference when spinning and whipping and spinning on ramps so park and ramp riders find this a great option to go for but if your thing is grinding street ledges all day then you probably will find a more robust set of tyres will be the smarter choice, that said just cause you ride street you dont have to have a Tank tyre on so check that before you buy.
Q – What tyres are the best
A - Any Tyres we sell at Ride On is quality and reputable that we have likely fitted up to hundreds of bikes over the years, but if the pressure rating is high and you are familiar with the company then you should be ok, buy from a Bmx shop and you will be ok.. Kmart probably not so much..
Hope this helps and feel free to email us any Questions you have on your next set of tyres and we will do our best to give you the right advise the best tyres for your ride..