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Do you know that a standard bike tire is also used on tricycles, tandem, quadricycles, trailer bikes, and unicycles?
For bikes, we have special type of tires that fits on the wheel of a bicycle or any other similar vehicle. They are also used on handcycles and wheelchairs. They offer a particular source of suspension and generate necessary lateral forces for balancing and turning. At the same time, these forces generate longitudinal forces that play an important role in braking and propulsion. Although the use of such options significantly reduces the rolling resistance, they are still the largest source of power consumptions on a level road. With varying uses, there are different types of these bike essentials.
The very first bike tire consisted of a rubber tube and was made by glueing the edges of two rubber strips. These strips were held on the wheel by lined tape that itself was nailed in its place. A modern tire is much more sophisticated than this initial patent. However, rubber is still used for holding air in place. Usually, these tires have a tube inside that can easily be replaced or repaired. This inner tube is held in place by casing generally made from layers of cloth. This outer layer is responsible for holding pressure. Here a rule of thumb is that finer the casing, better the quality of tire will be. However, many types have an additional layer under the tread to reduce punctures. Let us discuss some of them.
These are the most standard and commonly used type with u-shape in cross-section, moulded into a hoop by machine. There is bread at each end of the U-hook, and the tread is moulded into place while making the tyre. The design of these tyres serves the main advantage because it's fitting and replacing is a low skill job. Hence the inner tube can be replaced easily if the tire punctures. The combination of hook on the bead and rim on the tyre serves decent proportion against the tyre blowing off too. However, these are heavier than traditionally used tires.
A tubular tyre has casing sewn around the inner tube. These tires also have no beads to hold it in place. Instead, it is glued to the rim. This is the most common tyre construction that was sold back in the 80s. The casing in these tyres is wrapped around the inner tube and is sewn together with tape over the stitching to protect it. The biggest advantage of these tire lies in their lightweight. Also, if you get a puncture in tubular while riding, replacing the tire will be the only option. Therefore if you own tubular, always carry a spare in your backyard.
These are clincher tyres that do not have any inner tube. Instead, these tyres seals against the rim and the air are held inside by rubber layer on the inside or by a liquid sealant. The core advantage of these tires lies in the immune to certain types of punctures generally known as pinch or snakebite puncture. A tubeless tire needs matching rim, without spoke holes or with a rim tape that seals the spoke holes. Here the tire bead is shaped to seal against the rim, and the sizing is more precise than that of ordinary clinchers.
These tires are made of lightweight foam, and the holes are meant to mount pins for holding the rim. There have been many attempts over the year to market such puncture-proof tires that can fit in conventional rims. They usually involve tyres made of solid rubber or tyres with a thick layer of rubber around the hollow core. Without any pressurized air, these tires can give a hard ride. Also, they need a snug fit to stay on the rim. Foam and solid tires are not made of same rubber used in the tire tread, but they are moulded from materials like polyurethane.