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Tires & Tubes

Bicycle Commuting & Customizing Ur Ride

                                    Tires & Tubes

     A decimal 26x1.5 mountain bicycle wheel is a strong durable and versatile wheel size. A U.S./British 26 inch wheel rim is a 559 mm metric wheel rim and can support a wide range of  decimal 26" tire of varying width. Decimal inch Bicycle Tire sizes 26x1, 26x1.25, 26x1.3, 26x1.4, 26x1.5 and 26x1.95 and wider can be mounted on a decimal 26x1.5 bicycle wheel rim and provide excellent performance. A suggested rule of thumb is the tire width should be between 1.45/2.0 x the inner rim width. A suggested rule of thumb is that the tire has to be wider than the rim. Both suggested rules are not always true, what works, works! A 1” or wider tire can be run in the front and a 1.25” or 1.5” tire can be run in the rear. The tires must be used with the corresponding right size inner tubes. For the decimal tire sizes 26x1 and 26x1.25 a decimal 1-1.25 inner tube is used. For the decimal tire sizes 26x1.3 26x1.4 and 26x1.5 a decimal 1.5-1.95 inner tube is used. This allows a rider to use lower rolling resistance lighter tires and slicks, and give a different look and feel to the ride, greater enjoyment, faster trip times and more energy after ridding. Having a couple of different wheels set up with different type or size specialty tires allows a rider to swap wheels out fast to suit riding conditions and pursuits, and alleviate boredom, and can be a quick way to swap out a flat. Variation is cheaper and easier to successfully accomplish if two or more different front wheels are setup with a range of complimentary tires to run with a durable substantial rear tire. Installing a lighter weight tire is an option for riders who wish to avoid the fatigue associated with spinning the weight of wide knobby tires everyday. The wider the tire the higher the profile of the tire. The profile of a tire effects the actual diameter that the bike is rolling on, a high profile has ability to roll over obstacles easier and a theoretically assuming a smooth tire a larger wheel rolls slower with less vibration giving a smoother ride because of the fewer revolutions per minute (RMPs). The narrower the tire, the lower the profile of the tire, and the more aerodynamic the tire. Narrower low profiles tires weight less and are easier to pedal and coast farther and can be harder to navigate obstacles with. The width of a tire equals about the minimum width of crack that the tire can fall into, thus the lower the profile of the tire the more cracks they can fall into. A low profile tire supports the wheel rim closer to the ground thus there is less shock absorption between the wheel rim and the road surface, expect chipping of the wheel rims if not careful. With lower profile tires care and forethought must be taken while ridding so as not to approach a raised edge at high speed at anything but head on at about a 90 degree angle. As approaching a raised edge in the pavement at a 45-degree angle can cause the metal edge of the wheel rim to be directed by and slide down the edge and cause a rider to spill from impedance of the bicycle steering and being redirect, or from having the bike slide down the edge out from under the rider. As there is less side wall with a low profile tire there is less sidewall to grip and help a rider drive out of some types of steep wall ruts such as when falling off the edge of the pavement. A low profile tire concentrates the weight of the rider and bicycle in a smaller contact point or footprint where the bicycle tires touch the ground. A low profile tire tends to sink faster and deeper in loose sand and deep mud. A narrow low profile tire is more aerodynamic and cuts thru air and wind easier. A narrow tire cuts thru virgin snow on pavement very nicely as it has less displacement and less snow plowing effect. Narrow bicycle tires are notorious for becoming trapped in longitudinal storm sewer drainage grates installed parallel to the flow of traffic, which have become an area for Tort Liability Bicycle suits and injury settlements. Narrow tires require less energy to ride and can be ridden over compact unpaved land easily. A low profile tire has a larger percentage of failures, and potential accidents but may allow a rider to ride farther, faster, more often and have more energy after ridding, reducing over all fatigue and stresses on the knees. Although it is said that one can train themselves to just about anything, and this is somewhat true about pedaling heavy tires, and it might be found knee discomfort might be more of a caffeine side effect than a result of bicycle ridding

     Changing from Knobby bicycle tires to a less drag Slick bicycle tires can cause a lot of annoying flats, undo maintenance and expense, unless done correctly, this can be particularly true of a conversion on a mountain bike (MTB) or all terrain bike frame (ATB) or comfort bicycles or cruisers or any bicycle where the rider is in effect riding an undersized frame, where the frame geometry puts more of the riders weight over the rear wheel. Most high-pressure slicks currently available on the market 2006-2009 may not be usable as a rear tire and have too thin a sidewall to use with thin light weight inner tubes or regular wall inner tubes, and the inner tubes burst along the ribs at every bump and sidewalk joint making bicycle commuting comically annoying, expensive and not practical. In my experience a slick bicycle tire with a thin sidewall should only go on the front wheel, and even then expect more repairs the thinner the tire. A weak poorly made inner tube should not be used at all, as it is a waste of time and money and may possibly damage other equipment after tube failure, like tires and wheels.

     If your tires and inner tubes are new and bottom out or burst and rip open on bumps and side walk joints you air pressure maybe either too low or too high or more likely the combination of your tire side walls and inner tubes are not thick enough, or the quality and or brand of the inner tube is in question, particularly if they repeatedly burst along the ribs, or the strength of the tire is questionable particularly if ripping out at the sidewalls showing broken side wall threads during normal use. It seems that the composition of the butyl rubber in some makes of inner tubes can fall into question and are not resilient or stretchy enough and they can be prone to blowing out and ripping along the ribs of the inner tubes. I purchased a good quantity of 26x1.10 size inner tubes and 26x1-1.4 size inner tubes that where problematic inner tubes, measuring .80mm thick, that perhaps where a little shinier a little harder, and leathery, and not as stretchy, and blew out and split along the ribs and needed replacing every couple of days of commuting. The plague of equipment failure was Insanely annoying, as I seemed to run my first mountian bike with knobbys for about two years without a flat. The inner tubes would not stay on front or rear wheels and blew out in both front or rear, and made it near impossible to ride, and caused a lot of walking and road side repairs and anxiety about getting to work on time, until a changing brand of inner tubes and installing a rear tire with a thicker “normal” side wall. Now I run a .8 mm thick inner tube of a different brand (Pyramid/Kenda) successfully in a “lite” sidewall front tire and a “normal” sidewall rear tire and the ride is sure comfortable and fast.

     Air pressure is a specification to look at when choosing tires and tubes is the air pressure in psi (pounds-force/square inch) required to inflate the tube and tire for proper performance. As a rule of thumb tire pressures are to be increased for heavier loads, and heavier individuals. Bicycle tires pressure ratings are marked on the tire or inner tube sidewall. Common road tire pressures are 65 psi-110 psi, to an extreme of 135 psi. Common off road tire pressures are 35 psi thru 70 psi to 100 psi. For one reason or another I have never seemed to successfully ridden anything over 100 psi for very long.  A lower tire pressure is less likely to burst than a high-pressure tube and tire. A high pressure tire is usually thinner, lighter and has less rolling resistance than a wider lower pressure tire and less ability to absorb shocks and cushion the ride. A high pressure tire requires a high pressure air pump. When choosing your tires and tubes you need to pay attention what pressure rating the pump must be, to service the tires and tubes. Some pumps will not pump high air pressures. Bicycle tires have high pressure and low volume air pressure requirements. Pressure is any force which acts against a surface typically noted in psi (pounds-force/square inch) Tire pressure can be measured using a spring actuated tire pressure gauge, giving numerical readings in psi. Some bicycle air pumps have tire pressure gauges built into the head of the pump. Bicycle pumps have pressure ranges from 60 psi to 200 psi. A damaged air pump or one with a damaged seal is not likely to reach its pressure rating. Usually the thinner the tire the higher the air pressure and the lower the rolling resistance, and the wider the tire the lower the air pressure and the greater the drag because of the larger foot print where the tire contacts the ground. The lighter the tire, the easier it is to spin and the farther it coasts, the heavier the tire the harder it is to spin by pedaling and the faster it slows down when coasting.

     I don’t recommend ridding anywhere without an air pump and some spare inner tubes and some emergency repair tools. An air pump should not be just mounted to the frame and run in exposed elements, especially wet and grit. Grit will ruin an pump, and if the elements do not ruin it, someone will steal it from the bike. An air pump should be protected in a plastic bag and or inside a pack for performance and longevity, and carried with the rider when leaving the bike. I like to put a rubber band around the head of the pump over the lever and the valve mount hole so that if loosened up, I loose no pieces and the loose pieces can be reassembled. If commuting it can be a long walk back, if broken down. It is hard to reach your destination and back even with good equipment, if not prepared for roadside repairs. When attending to a flat I use a new inner tube and don’t bother patching used inner tubes and save time and have far less trouble this way. With patching my glue always went bad and now that a patch kit costs the same as an inner tube the wiser choice is a new undamaged inner tube, instead of more questionable work, is the glue good?, will the patch hold? Did I get all the leaks? Was the inner tube worth patching? Etc. I keep all my old leaking inner tubes and cut them up into custom length disposable rubber straps as need be for packing items in my bike bag and around the house and thus have an unlimited supply of rubber straps and black rubber bands. 


Choosing an Inner Tube / Common Inner Tube wall thicknesses

0.6 mm inner tube (ultra light)

0.7 mm inner tube

0.73 mm inner tube

0.79 mm inner (what most regular Pyramid/Kenda inner tubes measure)

0.87 mm inner tube wall thickness

0.90 mm inner tube wall thickness

0.92-0.95 mm (what regular Kenda inner tubes are suppose to be)

1.1 mm  inner tube

1.5 mm inner tube 

2.25 mm inner tube  (typically downhill inner  tubes)

2.5 mm  inner tube 

3.95 mm thread botttom thread 2.25 mm top side (Pyramid Thorn Resistant inner tube measures)

4.3mm of butyl on the tread side of the tube and 1.8mm thickness on the top side Innova Thorn Resistant Road Tube

Pyramid & Innova both make good Thorn Resistant inner tubes and regular inner tubes as do other brands, Kenda etc.

At the time of this writing Pyramid is packaging Kenda products in Pyramid boxes and are marked with both Pyramid & Kenda on the tubes.


Sizing Decimal Thorn resistant inner tubes to Tires

     For Decimal 1” and 1.125 and 1.25 tires there appear to be no thorn resistant inner tubes readily on the market or anything but regular tube wall thickness. The smallest width Thorn resistant inner tubes for Decimal for 26” wheels appear to start in Decimal sizes of 1.5”-1.95” these will fit comfortably in a 1.3” wide tire but not in a 1.25” tire.

      Thorn Resistant inner tubes deflated are heavy and take up substantially more space that a regular inner tube so it better to carrying a regular inner tube for a spare as it is liter and takes up about half the space, as Thorn Resistant inner tubes to not roll up and fold up compactly and boxed take up twice the space of a regular boxed inner tube.

     The thickness of an inner tube effects the weight of the inner tube and rotational wheel weight, weight that you are constantly spinning with you legs to move the bicycle from one place to the other. What is needed is a quality durable reliable inner tube of a Brand that allows one to ride without the inconvenience of too many failures; the same is true of bicycle tires. Problems with inner tube on occasion might be caused by problems with manufacturing processes or quality of the rubber used to make the inner tubes?  If you look at you old inner tubes when and after removing them from the wheel and tire notice that the inner tubes are wearing out from abrasion behind the tire tread areas, where perhaps ground contact and movement of tread per motes movement of inner tire wall and abrasion of the inner tube

AVOID Confusion between Decimal and Fractional Tire, Tube and Wheel Rim sizes
     Avoid mismatch and incompatibility between the 26” decimal mountain bike standard and the old 26”x 1 3/8 “ fractional cruiser/road bike standard. Decimal Inches tire sizes usually fit America hook-bead rims.  Fractional Inches tire sizes usually fit old standard wheel rims such as Schwinn S-6 rims and others with 597mm ISO bead seat diameter and European straight-bead rims and British wired-on rims. A fractional 26x1 3/8 tire is not the same diameter as a decmil 26 inch mountian bike tire. 26x1 3/8 is a fractional size notation (3/8 being the fraction). 26x1.5 is a decimal size notation (1.5 being the decimal). For a bicycle tire wheel or wheel rim size in US/British inch notation typically the first number is the rim diameter and the second number is the width 26x1.5 means 26 inches in diameter by 1.5 inches wide in a rim, wheel, or tire. In metric a decmil 26x1.5 tire is 559mmx38mm and might be notated 559x38, 559-38 or  38-559.  In metric notation the width of the tire is typically the first number seperated from the second number, the diameter by a hyphen.  A fractional 26x1 3/8 tire is 590mmx37mm or otherwise notated 37-590, with the width before the diameter (ISO-ETRTO metric) and Fits only Schwinn S-6 rims or other 597mm ISO bead seat diameter rims. A Schwinn 26 X 1 3/8 (S-6) has a 597 mm bead-seat diameter and a iso 590 mm diameter.  Although a decmil 26x1.0 26x1.125 26x1.25 and 26x1.3 26x1.4 or a 26x1.5 tire will fit on a 26x1.5 mountian bike rim a fractional 26x1 3/8 tire (iso 590 mm) will not, nor is a fractional 26x1 3/8 tube (iso 590 mm) usable on a decmil 26” (iso diameter 559) mountin bike wheel. Warning!  Fractional 26" x 1-3/8" 597  mm bead seat diameter ISO diameter 590mm is NOT the same diameter as a decimal tire size 26.  A fractional 26" x 1-3/8" is a very comfortable standard to ride on and there are 26" x 1-3/8" thorn proof inner tubes available. In the 26” wheel size nomenclature there are at least 5 different incompatible sizes ranging from 559 mm, 571 mm, 584 mm, and 590 mm to 597 mm in ISO diameter.


Choosing an Inner Tube Valve stem type


    Basically there are two easily available reasonably priced popular choices for valves for inner tubes Schrader valves or Presta valves. A Schrader valve is a durable and replaceable, screw in spring-loaded valve like on an automobile tire. It is durable and the entire valve can be screwed out and replaced. A Presta valve is a delicate usually non-replaceable manual valve that is fragile and easy to break and thus undesirable, unreliable  and troublesome. It is easy to break a presta valve beyond repair before even installing it on a bicycle from clumsy handling, surprise! it can break off in your hand.  A Presta valve takes a smaller hole in the wheel rim and a Schrader valve takes a larger hole in the wheel rim, this is a sure consideration when purchasing a set of rims or wheels as to what inner tubes they are designed for. It is possible  to drill out a bigger valve hole or fill a bigger valve hole in with a grommet. A Presta valve has an externally threaded valve stem with a thread over knurled lock ring  and can mechanically fixed to the rim with the lock ring. There are fully threaded Schrader valves with lock rings but they are usually not commonly available or available at a discount price. Schrader valved inner tubes are the more common department store style of inner tube, and easier to find pumps and pressure gauges that fit,  the same pump setup can be used to inflate suspension air shocks and Schrader valve inner tubes, and gas station compressor hoses are outfitted to fit Schrader valves, although this is not recommended, as it is a easy way to blow your tire off the wheel by bursting your inner tubes. Inner tubes come with regular length and extended length valve stems. Long valves are for aero wheel rims. A standard length valve stem is 36mm. Long valves are 48mm or 60mm.

Choosing a Slick type Tire for the Rear Wheel

      On a Decimal 26x1.5 front bicycle wheel rim it is possible to run bicycle tires and inner tubes sizes 26x1, 26x1.25, 26x1.3, 26x1.5 and perhaps greater, because of drag caused by increasing the width of the tire I stop at 26x1.5, as increased drag means decreased speed, ease of pedaling and enjoyment, and can mean longer more exhausting commuting times. For the rear tire I run a 1.5” wide tire because the weight distribution of my mountain bike frame geometry tends to load the rear wheel and I run a rear luggage carrier that is in constant use. At this time around 2009, it is difficult to find a 26" wheel size slick bicycle tire, with what use to be normal durable amount of rubber on the sidewalls. If buying slicks to put on the rear wheel of a MTB or ATB compare the thick side wall of a good thick wall knobby tire to the side wall of the slick and if the rubber is it is not relatively the same thickness it is not likely a good choice for a reliable rear wheel tire. Currently Innova Swiftors are the only tire that I know of personally, that appear to have durable normal sidewalls the 1.5” wide tire being reinforced more with thread cap side wall ribs, one to each side of the thread, which is not as pronounced if existing on at all on the 1.25” width Swiftor tire. 

     Back to reality, for wheel gear calcuations a 26" rim measures about 22.5" from outermost outside edge of rim to outside edge of rim not 26", and a 26"x1.5" (Innova Swiftor) slick tire with a worn flat crown measures about 24 3/8" (24.375" Dia) or about 24 7/16" dia or greater new.  A 26"x1.5" tyre might perhaps measure as large as 24 1/2" dia NEW with no wear. The rear drive wheel of a bicycle is considered the final drive gear of a geared bicycle and the diameter of the rear wheel and installed tire affects the upper end of the bicycle and the highest gear or fastest pedalable speed attainable by the bicycle, this too is effected by the overall weight of the rear wheel and tube and tire and resistance to pedaling and to rolling over the pavement. The wheel gear is measured as the outer most diameter of the tire mounted on the driven wheel of the bicycle. The wheel gear is the measure of the outer most diameter of the tire of the bicycle wheel connected to and driven by the chain or drive shaft.  A larger diameter wheel gear should have a faster higher potential upper end, and the larger the wheel gear the less rpms, it spins less so it provides a smoother ride with less vibration and less wear on the bearings and bearing races. The cons of a larger wheels such as a 700 or 27" wheel is that it is harder to maintian the spokes and rims and keep the wheel rims true.  



Running Slicks and Experiencing Flats & inner tube & tire side wall blow outs

     1 to 3 flats a week while commuting, Particularly the rear wheel bottoming out and getting pinched between the bicycle wheel rim and the road, can be a sign that the tire sidewalls are not thick enough, this can be affirmed if the tire side walls rip open often, and are easily damaged by just running with the inner tube slightly under inflated, a tire like this might give 9 months of service at best, but is not worth the constant fear of sidewall failure, and the inner tube bubbling out thru the sidewall, and the ride becoming bumpy, risking a blow out, and the tire and tube might even be ruined the first day, if run under inflated over a bumpy surface. If a tire side wall is too thin it is more than likely the tire is only possibly good for a front tire unless the rider is very light. A Ritchy Tom Slick tire perfoms well as a front tire and are available in 26x1 and 26x1.3. The 26x1.3 performing better for general purpose ridding as it rolls over obstructions easier, if attending to tire pressure and topping up the air just about daily.  Thin wall tires appear not to hold air in the inner tubes as well as thicker wall tires, and the inner tubes have to be pumped up more frequently for safe damage free running.  When adding a heavy load to you bike check that the air pressure in the tires is substantial enough for the load, and add some air if necessary. A problem with changing temperatures and tires and tubes is that often the pressure in the tire will change and needs pumping up, particularly right after pumping up a freshly installed inner tube, after riding a few feet either the inner tube stretches or the air settles and the inner tube needs more air before ridding further to prevent damage to the tube and tire, although it seemed hard and full to capacity with air a moment ago. An air pressure test should be attended to before every ride, by pressing opposing fingers against the tire sidewall to feel the air pressure inside, if the sidewall air pressure is anything but almost hard firm than air pressure should be added to the tire. 

     It is possible to get better performance out of a thin wall tire by installing a Thorn Proof inner tube with about a 2.5 mm inner tube wall thickness, but this is a heavy durable tube and you are going to feel the weight of spinning it with your legs, and it will not coast far or fast. Thorn proof inner tubes work well for the rear tire if the bicycle frame geometry is such that a lot of loading is transmitted to the rear wheel. Heavy thorn proof inner tubes migrate in the direction of rotation and move between the wheel rim and the tire unless fixed by some sort of vale stem fixing means to the rim, that means either an externally threaded valve stem or improvising.  A comical problem with the weight of the thorn proof inner tube is that after about one ride it moves between the rim and tire in the direction of rotation of the spinning wheel, so that with a regular Schrader valve the valve stem angles away from the direction of wheel rotation, so that after a while an air pump head can not be mounted on the valve stem to pump up the inner tube and the inner tube has to be removed and reinstalled only to migrate to a upon ridding to unserviceable position again. See picture below of angled valve stem where an air pump head can not get to the angled valve because of obstruction by a wheel spoke.



There is a DIY remedy to the problem. ” nylon cable clamps can be used as clamp on collar with a 8-32 nut and bolt as the fastener and perhaps two washers, the lighter the better, an aluminum binder screw and post can be used the post must be of the type with a thru hole female so the female end can be threaded on from the back. A aluminum binder post is a 8-32 thread and is the lighter choice. Cable clamps ” 18 pieces per pack GB Gardner Bender PPC-1525 For hanging electrical wiring available at Home Depot and perhaps other hardware and electrical supply stores, or on the Internet.



27 inch tire suggestions:  Kenda KrossCyklo tire 27 x 1 3/8  (37-630)                                                       

     A high performing tire good for most disciplines of ridding and most styles of 27 inch wheeled bicycles is the Kenda KrossCyklo tire which is a 27 x 1 3/8” (630 mm diameter ISO) 37-630 metric tire. It is a 70-PSI maximum inflation pressure mini knobby tire. Great urban, touring and trail durability and performance can be had riding the Kenda KrossCyklo tire. The mini knobby tread was sufficient to keep above a lot of the urban glass and road shoulder debris and suffer less flats from puncture and embedded glass. The tires are 37 mm or 1 3/8” (1.375”) wide a little wider than 1’or 1 1/8” or 1 so there is more shock absorption when falling into surprise potholes. The maximum tire pressure 70 psi is lower than a 100psi or 90-psi tire. I did not notice that changing to the 1 3/8”  mini knobby tread caused more drag during riding, it may not have because the rubber may have been harder less gummy and the side walls more supportive so the tire retained more of its shape and had less pressed out foot print where contacting the ground. The tires have durable “normal “ thickness side walls and the wire bead is sufficiently covered, so that repairing flats does not usually expose the wire bead and ruin the tire as can happen with some more fragile tires, when care is not taken removing the tire from the rim. The rear tire wore out first as is usually the case. Visually it was easy to tell when to get a new tire by the depth of the knobby tread which I would wear flat and then rotate the front tire to the back and put a new tire on the front, this was about every year with a huge amount of ridding. If a tire is starting to give a lot of flats it can be an indicator that the tread has worn thin, with a knobby the depth of the tread is measurable and it is easier to tell the condition of the tire by just looking at it. One new tire a year was a good investment. The only thing I did not like was the tan sidewalls, as black walls are my preference because it does not show the dirt. At the time I think they where called K-nobby or K-nobbys but that may have been the nickname used at that particular bike shop. I would still be ridding 27 wheel frames if I had a collection of safe frames. My entire 27” bicycle frames had C shaped rear dropouts and no inverted U shaped rear dropouts, and with pedaling force my rear wheels would separate from the bicycle frame in traffic. At that time I would go thru one or two 27” rear wheels a year because they would tend to be irreparably sprung untrue by pothole collisions at night riding thru the shallow edge of a puddle, with a surprise submerged pothole. Pinch flats or Snake bit flats are often caused by driving a tire into and against the far edges of pot holes where the two sides of the rim catch the walls of a smushed inner tube between the edges of the rim and the edge of the pavement and cause two parallel fang like perforations of the inner tube and sometimes even the walls of the tire. Avoid riding thru all surface water if possible. Florida Pot holes are more frequently at the edge of pavement vs in pavement as in the north and it is easier to fall off the edge of the pavement and suffer puncture or abrasion of the sidewalls on roads with little or no shoulder particularly in the dark or shadows, and that can surely flatten a tire.  It is harder for me to service a 27” rear wheel that has longer spokes than a 26” rear wheel with shorter spokes and wider rim when the rear wheel goes out of true. My 26” wheels appear to be more durable than the longer spoked  27” wheels. A 26” wheel has to spin faster than a 27” wheel to attain the same speed and thus the ride might not be as smooth. 26” wheels appear to be significantly stronger and more successfully self-serviceable and less problematic than 27” wheels. 26” wheels stay true longer, are easy to work on and true can last until the side walls are totally damaged from being too thin from rim brake frictional wear, When the rims get worn thin on the sides from brake pad wear, the rims are then easy to destroy, and hitting an obstruction such as a small rock will usually bend the sides of a worn alloy rim beyond repair and the entire wheel will have to be replaced. Note a Kenda Cross Knobby Tire 26 x 1-3/8 Wire Bead GW will not fit on a 26” mountain bike wheel and a 26x1 3/8 inner tube or Kenda Cross Knobby Tire 26 x 1-3/8 Wire Bead GW thorn proof inner tube will not fit on a 26” mountain bike wheel as 26x1 3/8 is and ISO 590mm dia and a 26” mountain bike wheel is a ISO 559 mm dia. The Kenda Cross Plus Knobby Tire  is also sold in size 700 x 38c, ISO Diameter: 622 with tan or black side wall for road bikes and there are other companies that make cyclocross tires.

Bicycle Tire Liner / Tube Protector Road Test (what goes wump, wump wump?)

     On several occasions I have tried bicycle inner Tube Protectors called Bicycle Tire Liners which are a thick rubber strip that goes inside the tire behind the thread, between the tire tread and the inner tube. When ever I tried tire liners the point at which the two terminal ends of the rim strip met end to end caused my tires to run as if they where out of balance or out of true or had a badly seated tire or inner tube or the wheel had a flat spot or the tire and inner tube a bubble, and the ride was very bumpy and uncomfortable, so I always had to remove the tire liners and dispose of them. I carry tape for emergencies for bandages for human injuries or for patching holes in tires etc, and I have used tape sometimes for tire liners with better results and a smooth ride but there are iffy problems with tape application and the tape staying in place and wasting time and tape trying to install it and it is far easier all round to just buy a good inner tube and good durable tire and that if you feel that you have to use a tire liner it is a good indication that you should look for other equipment, such as a thorn proof inner tube or preferably a better tire and inner tube. 


                                                     preride shake down

          what you ought to do before throwing you leg up over the saddle


Check for bugs around where you are going to unlock or lock your bike particularly fire ants or hazards, fire ants infest telephone poles and trees throughout the south and will not fail to let you know it.


Press your thumb into the sidewall of both tires to feel the tire pressure

if the sidewall is softish pump up the inner tubes, if you press on the tread for a test it is not as good a reading.


Visually scan both sides of the side walls of the both tires for tears, bubbles and worn areas.


Spread the fingers of your hands and pull on the spokes of both sides of both wheels to feel the spoke tension

To find loose or broken spokes, Sheared off or damaged spoke heads around the axle flanges


Visually and mechanically check the quick release wheel latches of the front and rear wheel, to see that they are latched securely and not unlatched or loose.


Visually and mechanically check


For latched or unlatched brake cables


Grip the top of the tire and Shake the wheel to check for loose wheel bearings


Grab either crank arm and wiggle to check for Loose bottom bracket (crank bearings) or crank arms


Grab either pedal and shake to check for Loose pedal bearings


Visually check for hanging things like bungi hooks, straps clothing etc that can be come drawn into the spokes and wrap up in


Occasionally check the derailleur cage and cog wheels inside for tightness and wear conditions, etc.


Suggesting A tire