Bicycle tires: The opposite of supple is ok, too.


Chrome on a cloudy day.

Chrome on a cloudy day.

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.

About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
This entry was posted in Equipment, Other bicycles, Report from the road and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bicycle tires: The opposite of supple is ok, too.

  1. Hi, I came across your blog and searched for Peoria to find its the largest city of Illinois, USA. Then I went in to find temperature data, as way surprise to see mean temperatures in negative scale of celsius in winters..and as I read about Illinois river along the city, I wondered, what happens to the river during winters, does it freeze into ice, and if not so, then why?

    • Thanks for writing. Actually, Peoria’s closer to seventh-largest in Illinois, behind Chicago, some of its neighboring towns, and Springfield, the capital. The river will indeed freeze in the winter, though the navigation channel is kept open for barge traffic. The channel is also dredged to keep at least that part of the waterway navigable. The rest began filling up with silt due to agricultural runoff (chemicals and erosion) in the 1950s. I once capsized a rowing shell well out from shore. My recovery consisted of standing in mud that covered my calves and walking back to land trailing the boat and oars.

      • Hahaha..that is nice info. I am sure, I couldnt have found it anywhere else on wiki… and thanks for confirming that river does freezes, I didnt knew it could hurt that..sorry to hear 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s