Q. I have a mountain bike, but I don't ride it on serious off-road trails. Can I swap the tires to something that's more suitable for streets and bike paths?
We frequently help people with this issue in our stores. The answer is yes, by all means, on almost any bike, you can choose tires that are best for the type of terrain that you ride.
Mountain bikes usually come with tires that have an aggressive "knobby" tread that's great for rough singletrack trails, where you need a tire that will provide the best grip on rocks, roots, loose dirt, and mud.
By switching to tires with a smoother tread, you'll enjoy a more quiet ride on pavement and smooth trails, plus you'll be able to keep up your momentum with less effort.
This is also the first step we usually recommend if you have an old mountain bike that you'd like to convert to use for commuting or touring.
There are several options available depending on your needs and your budget; here are a few of our most popular.
Related article: Tech Talk: Know Your Tire Size
Kenda Comfort Tire
rental bikes in Peninsula. It's 1.95 inches wide, just a little narrower than most mountain bike tires. The tread is great for unpaved bike paths like the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, with enough grip to handle with ease even if the you come across a little loose dirt or gravel. 65psi maximum.
Kenda Kross Plus Tire
Serfas Drifter Tire
Geax Street Runner Tire
Continental Gatorskin Tire
Q. Will I need new rims?
A. No, all of the tires above will work with your existing mountain bike rims. Even if you're switching to a narrower tire than your originals, rims are designed to be compatible with tires in a range of widths. The exception might be if you've got super-wide rims like you might find on heavy-duty wheels designed for aggressive downhill or freeride mountain biking.
Q. Will I need new inner tubes?
A. Maybe. Inner tubes are designed to work with a range of tire widths, e.g. 1.9-2.125 inches. So, if you're switching from a 2.1-inch mountain bike tire to a 1.95-inch smooth tire, you won't need a different size tube. However, if you've going to a much narrower tire, you'll need narrower tubes to match.
Even if your tire choice doesn't require different size tubes, if you're going to the trouble of having your tires replaced, we usually recommend replacing your inner tubes as well. If you've had the original tires and tubes on the bike for quite some time, it's probably a good idea to replace them with fresh tubes just to avoid getting stuck with a flat tire because of an old worn-out tube.
Q. Can you change the tires for me?
A. Yes; our labor rate for tire changes is $8.00 each.
All prices listed above are current as of the publication date of this article and are subject to change.
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