Guide: Bike Trainer Tire | Why You Need Specific Tire For Best Performance

bike trainer tire

Bike trainers are a great way to start cycling indoors and meet your fitness goals. To use a trainer, your bike will need a little tweaking and then you are good to go. The first thing that you need to change when you will be using an indoor bike trainer is the bike tire. Indoor bike trainer tires are specially designed to be used with trainers, they are quiet, comfortable and makes your exercising more effective.

Understanding how the Trainer Works

bike trainers

Indoor bicycle trainers allow you to ride your bicycle indoors when it is too hot or too cold outside. These trainers simply elevate the rear wheel of your bike and provide a resistance so that you can get the right amount of exercise. The cost of these trainers increase with the increasing support for tire sizes and also increasing options. Bike trainers support tires as big as 29 inches. There are also various types of trainers based on how they provide the resistance.

The most common indoor Bike trainers use wind, magnets, or fluids to offer resistance. In wind type trainers, when you pedal your cycle, the rear wheel powers a fan that increasingly offers higher resistance as you pedal faster. They are inexpensive, great for endurance training, but the fan can get noisy. The magnetic type trainer uses magnets to offer resistance. They are quiet and inexpensive, but they need manual adjustments. However, they can simulate the resistance of hills or easy roads and in intervals. Fluid trainers give a more realistic road-like feel. They are usually more expensive too.

There are also rollers that are used as indoor bike trainers on which you have to balance your bike. They are the choice of enthusiasts and professionals. In most of the cases, the trainers have a roller that stays in contact with your rear wheel. The resistance is offered to the roller of the trainer using air, magnets or fluids. The higher the resistance, the harder you will need to pedal.

Problems with Using Road Tires

road bike tire

image: Ritcheylogic.com

If you are cycling on smooth cemented surface using your mountain bike, you may feel as if you are cycling on a rough surface. This is because of the high tread of the tires that come with mountain bikes. Even when you are using standard road tires on an absolutely smooth surface with the tires well inflated, you can feel a slight vibration as you ride your bike. This happens because of the blocks and voids on the tread of the tire.

Road tires or mountain bike tires are built for rough surfaces where the tire will need to grip the surface to move forward. On a rough surface, such as mountain trails, or even asphalt, a tire with a rough tread will provide more grip.

However, on indoor bike trainers, the rollers are absolutely smooth. On smooth surfaces, standard tires built for the road do not get much grip. For smooth surfaces, smooth tires make a better grip. If you start using your bike on an indoor trainer straight away without swapping the tire, you will feel as if you are cycling down a cobblestone path. Also, the constant vibration will be detrimental for the moving parts of the bike and the trainer, especially on magnetic ones. It will also cause you discomfort.

When you use standard road tires on trainers, they will also generate much heat. This is because these tires are built for getting a grip on rough surfaces. On the smooth roller, they will often slip as only the blocks of the tire tread will come in contact with the roller, not the voids. Also, if the tire has a rib along the center of the tread, it will provide a smooth ride, but will fail to generate enough grip. As the tire will slip over the roller, in it will heat up as you cycle. This will slowly degrade the tire.

Tires with a low block to void ratios, like those on mountain bikes will wear faster on indoor bike trainers. The best tires for indoor bike trainer eliminates all these issues.


How indoor bike trainer tires work

best bike trainer tire

Indoor bike trainer tires are not built for rugged conditions at all. They are built only for use on the trainers. They are light, have a thin casing and a low thread. Trainer tires will have the texture of old bike tires that have completely worn down. However, the tread rubber is optimized for use on trainers or rollers and are thick just enough to make good contact with the roller in the trainer.

When the tire is smooth, it makes good contact with the rollers and as you cycle on the trainer, it will not cause any unwanted vibrations or jerking. The special rubber compound makes sure that slippage is absent. These tires do not overheat and also are a lot quieter.

When you buy separate trainer tires, your outdoor tires also stay protected so that you can hit the road once the outdoor conditions are favorable.

Choosing the right indoor bike trainer tire

When you are choosing the best tires for indoor bike trainer, the first thing that you need to keep in mind is the tire size. Indoor trainer tires have a lot of specifications, like tire diameter, ISO Width, ISO Diameter, tire bead and PSI.

The tire diameter will go along with your wheel size. You need to know the wheel size of your bike to find the right sized tire. Next, comes the tire type. There are two types, clincher and tubular. Clinchers are most commonly available and are the go-to choice when it comes to tires for both pro and amateurs. Tubular tires are used by professionals for racing and other events. They are lighter and have a lower profile. The PSI determines the air pressure that the tire can take.

The most expensive trainer tire may not always provide the best experience on your trainer. You need to make sure that all the specifications of the tire are compatible with your bike to get the best indoor bike trainer experience.

 

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