Everything you need to know: What makes a good or bad tyre?

If you have ever wondered what really makes the difference between a great tyre and a terrible one, this is for you

Clock18:00, Sunday 7th January 2024

Tyres are one of the most important parts on a bike. They can influence so much of how a bike performs and feels out on the road. As more and more time and money is invested into technological research for cycling, the more we are understanding just how big a role tyres play in the performance equation. In order to find out what separates a good tyre from a poor one Alex Paton caught up with Pirelli’s head of global marketing Samuele Bressan.

Tyres are the only contact patch that sits between you the rider and the surface of the road. Finding a tyre that works for your style of riding and the conditions that you ride in can transform your bike. Not only can they roll faster but they can also be far more comfortable, and they can give you the confidence to corner as if you are on rails.

We have done some deep dives into tyre technology, tyre size and tyre type over the past few months here at GCN with the science highlighting just how important finding the right tyre is. Interestingly there is no one-size-fits-all approach to tyres as depending on where you ride and what you want most from a tyre will largely alter what makes it good or bad.

In the interview, Alex sets out to ask the big questions around tyre technology right now, including why cheap inner tubes can ruin the performance of a premium tyre, why tyres seem to be continuing to get wider and also what the next big thing is for bicycle tyres.

In recent years tyre technology has come a long way, firstly with the advent of tubeless tyre systems and more recently with hookless rim profiles. If you are left wondering what all of this means for you out on a ride, this interview should shine some light on the topic.

With tyres contributing so much to the experience of a ride it does look to be the one area where investing in the best you can get might give you a worthwhile return. If you are a performance-orientated cyclist or just want to be more confident in your gear, then this one is for you.

For more interviews like this make sure to check out our interviews and tech features section of the website. We have recently chatted to titanium expert Tom Sturdy and Silca CEO Josh Poertner to get their take on the latest industry trends.


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