What are cycle commuting tyres?
The daily commute can be hard on your bike in general, and especially your tyres. Urban roads are more likely to be peppered with sharp debris like broken glass which means there's a higher chance you could suffer a puncture.
If you're commuting all year round, you'll also inevitably encounter all sorts of weather, including rain and ice, which can make the roads slick and increase the risk of a tumble.
Commuter tyres are specifically designed to cope with the demands of the daily commute. They often have a higher volume than standard road cycling tyres to help them roll effortlessly over uneven road surfaces, as well as increased puncture protection.
Whilst they are often slightly heavier, they usually still have a slick, or semi-slick tread pattern to help you zip through the urban jungle at a reasonable pace.
Commuting tyre dimensions
Most commuting and hybrid city bikes have 700c wheels. This is the same size as standard road bike wheels, because it rolls fast and handles well.
Mountain bikes are also a popular choice for commuters so you will also find commuting tyres in 26 and 27.5-inch. If you ride a mountain bike with 29-inch wheels, tyres sold as 700c will be perfect.
Commuter tyres are generally sold in larger widths than standard road bike tyres to provide added comfort and grip, as well as reduce the risk of punctures.
If your wheels are 700c, look for a tyre width of between 28 and 35c. If your tyres are 26 or 27.5-inch, look for widths between 1.5 and 2.0 inches.
What is the recommended pressure for commuter tyres?
This depends on the tyres you choose. Most manufacturers print a tyre pressure range on the side of the tyre and it's important that you don't exceed the maximum.
Suggested tyre pressure for city bike tyres (35mm) - for a ≤70Kg rider:
Inner tube tyre: 50PSI (3.4Bar) Front / 55PSI (3.8Bar) Rear
Tubeless tyre: 38PSI (2.6Bar) Front / 40PSI (2.75Bar) Rear
Adjust for weight:
Add 1PSI for every 5Kg over 70Kg
A lower pressure allows the tyre to conform to and make contact with the surface that it is rolling over, which means more grip but also more rolling resistance and therefore less speed. A higher pressure might feel faster on smooth roads, but will bounce off uneven surfaces which wastes power and can affect handling.
You'll need to find the right balance depending on the manufacturer's recommended pressure range and the conditions you'll be riding in, taking into account your own weight.
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