Recommended Tire Sizes for Mountain Bikes

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Depending on your biking situation, your mountain bike may require one of a few different tire sizes. Learn about recommended tire sizes for mountain bikes with help from a two-time state track champion in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Bicycle Maintenance
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Video Transcript

This is Tony Zaldua from Budget Bicycles in Los Angeles, California, and today I'm here to explain how to choose the best tire width for mountain bike tires. Okay, so your basic mountain bike tire is around 26 X 2.2, or even 2.1, so right here we have 2.1, meaning 2.1 inches, and then this one right here is a 2.2. You can't see it really well because it's only like a tenth of an inch. So, and then you have tires that are a little bit narrower, like 1.95, and you have tires that even wider, like 2.3 or 2.5, 2 and a half inches. So, if you were just your typical just weekend warrior, you know, you could stick with your popular choices, like 26 X 2.1, which is this or 2.2, and which you'll do fine. And pay attention to the tread pattern of the tires, because some of them are rear specific, and some of them are front specific and the way to pick that out is if you look really close here the fronts tend to have forward facing tread patterns, and the rear tends to have more of a parallel pattern. So, you have rear specific tires and you have front specific tires on mountain bikes, and you don't really want to mix them up because you'll lose traction, and so to choose the rears, this is your typical rear mountain bike tire here. They have a parallel pattern and then this one is also a rear and then you have that parallel pattern. Here's your typical front mountain bike tire, and if you look really close, there's these forward facing chevrons or arrows, and that's a dead giveaway for a front mountain bike tire, and so none of them are facing, like, the rear, like this is here. So, you can distinguish the two. So, there's your front, and there's your back, and so it gives you traction. The rear gives you traction when you're riding up a hill. It will dig into, because most of your weight is in the rear tire in the back of your bike, and it will dig in, and then as you're descending a mountain or trail, these front forward facing arrows will dig into your steering, your front tire is your steering just like in your car. So, when you turn these, dig into the dirt and it gives you steering and control and that's what you want so try not to mix up the rear and the front and you'll be fine and you'll have more enjoyment out of your mountain bike ride. Hi, this is Tony Zaldua from Budget Bicycles in Los Angeles, and I just explained to you how to choose the correct mountain bike size tire and the correct tread pattern.


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