Old 10-01-18, 05:56 PM
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seamuis
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Originally Posted by barnabaas View Post
OK - Since we're all still here, when looking at some tires, some say 'folding' while others don't. Can anyone explain that simply? Or is there one that's preferred over the other for everyday riding?

Google tells me things but sometimes it complicates it even more for me. heh.
folding tires have a Kevlar bead that allows the tire lay flat and to literally fold up. This has the added benefit of saving weight, but it pretty much always costs more. A non folding tire usually has a steel bead, and as you might guess, it doesnít fold. Basically itís more like a motorcycle or car tire, in that it comes in the shape of a tire, as youíd expect it to be.

Steel bead tires are almost always cheaper, BUT you can get hit with more cost in shipping because of the oversized boxes they need to be shipped in. If youíre buying them online of course. They are of course slightly heavier as well, but in every other aspect they will perform the same. If you want to save a negligible amount of weight, and spend a bit extra, thereís no reason not to buy folding tires. Most high end racing tires that arenít tubulars, are folding. Most cheaper tires or commuting/city tires are steel bead.

as for the commonly held belief that folding tires are typically easier to mount? I think itís complete nonsense. I donít think there is any evidence to back that up, and it usually comes down the the actual sizing of the tire, and the particular rim. Some manufacturers (Challenge brand tires are notorious for this) make their tires slightly smaller than the size itís supposed to be. say, slightly smaller than 622mm for a 700c, as an example. This is to help it seat better and hold better to the rim lip. Pretty important for high pressure clincher racing tires. Most tires, I think youíll find are about equal in any difficult or lack there of, wether theyíre folding or not and mostly depends on the brand of tire, not specifically itís bead. For what itís worth, in my personal experience, a steel bead tire usually makes it a bit easier to put a tube in, but depending on your tire and rim combo, it may not be the case.

In short, you wonít get any real benefit from a folding tire as a commuter, but thereís nothing wrong with it or a steel bead type. Folding tires have the most benefit to bicycle tourers, because they can carry a spare tire or two on the bike very easily.

Last edited by seamuis; 10-01-18 at 06:01 PM.
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