If you’re a fan of Bicycle Quarterly, like I am, you know the drill on good tires: generous width, lightweight and supple casings. Oh, yes: supple.
Now, think of tires that come up short. Thick tread. Stiff sidewalls. An extra layer of material that adds weight while, admittedly, doing a fine job of fighting flats.
That’s what I put on the Bianchi Pista today. Reasons? 1) They were free and 2) See number one.
I’m not going to share the manufacturer’s name–though it’s similar to that of an English monarch from the 19th century–because makers make a variety of tires, and riders ride, some, quite happily, that same variety.
But you know what? These tires were ok. They were a little wider than the tires I replaced, which is a good thing, and they didn’t go flat, which is a great thing, especially in colder weather.
But the main reason they were ok was I mounted them on a fixed-gear bike with a 64-inch gear. (Imagine a tricycle with a 64-inch front wheel; a road bike will have a top gear over 100 inches, and you can coast going downhill.)
Better tires wouldn’t have helped me go any faster. The tires were no slower than the bicycle.
Or the rider. Let’s not forget the rider. Not quite as supple as he used to be, either.