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Tyres and inner tubes

Good quality tyres transform the experience of riding a bike. Relative to a knobbly mountain bike tyre, or a cheap tyre with overly thick sidewalls, you can expect a number of benefits from good quality tyres, including better road holding, fewer punctures and a higher speed for the same effort.

Neither Continental nor Schwalbe tyres are Dutch - they're German. However, they're very good tyres, made by companies which have a real commitment to quality.

In general, we use the ETRTO standards for describing tyre sizes. These specify the actual rim diameter in mm and are written on the sidewalls of all tyres these days. If you wish to replace one tyre with another, look for the size first. It will be something along the lines of 32-622 - indicating a 32 mm wide tyre on a 622 mm rim (also known as "700C" and 28").

In most cases you can select a wider or narrower tyre than that which you use at the moment. Look for the amount of clearance that you have. If you wish to go much narrower, note that tyres must be wider than the rims they are fitted onto. For most people riding for utility purposes, a wider tyre brings a little more comfort but a thinner tyre has no benefit at all.

To help with selecting tyres, we've split them into three categories, "fast", "durable" or "winter". Fast tyres are not always the best tyres on every bike. We'd suggest that for everyday use, something from the "durable" section is a better bet.

Fitting tyres

While it can be quite difficult to fit some very narrow tyres, especially on smaller diameter rims, it should never be necessary to use tools to fit tyres. Good quality plastic tyre levers can help to remove reluctant tyres and they can seem necessary when it's cold, but they should only be used gently. Levers not only can damage inner tubes but excessive force can also damage the bead of a tyre. If much effort is required then it is likely that the problem is use of the wrong technique.

Durable / Touring / Everyday tyres
Durable / Touring / Everyday tyres
Fast / Racing Tyres
Fast / Racing Tyres
Winter tyres
Winter tyres
Inner tubes
Inner tubes
All Tyres
All Tyres
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Schwalbe Furious Fred tyre
Schwalbe Furious Fred tyre
Schwalbe Furious Fred tyre
€45.74  
Rema Tip-Top 10 extra patches
Rema Tip-Top 10 extra patches
Rema Tip-Top extra patches
€4.17  
Rema Tip-Top extra glue
Rema Tip-Top extra glue
Rema Tip-Top extra glue
€1.69  
Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres
Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres
Schwalbe Marathon Supreme
€37.51