Why Are Bike Tyres So Confusing? | Types & Details Explained!

Why Are Bike Tyres So Confusing? | Types & Details Explained!

Bike tyres, they’re perhaps the most important part of your bike, but not all of us know much about them! What’s the difference between tubular, clinchers and tubeless? What do hookless and 700c mean? Alex breaks down everything you need to know about bicycle tyres, from their origins to types, sizes, casings and compounds.

00:00 Intro
00:39 Origin of the Tyre
01:09 Role of Tyres
02:18 Road Bike Tyres
02:56 Types of Tyre
04:00 Tyre Width
05:07 Tyre Pressure
06:25 Tyre Size
07:47 Tyre Casing
08:37 Tyre Compound
09:48 Hookless Tyres
10:10 Summary

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  1. David Kaplan on April 8, 2023 at 7:45 am

    I hate that tubeless shoot the sealant all over the place when riding even without a puncture

  2. Crnkspinnr on April 8, 2023 at 7:45 am

    Great video, a deep dive for sure, but I think we hit a shallow bottom. What about 27.5 and 29in wheels? And the notorious 650 wheels from the 90’s Tri bikes. I have to add my tried and true tubular/clincher from Tufo. At this time I run more tubular wheels than clincher.

  3. Krzysztof Sabadasz on April 8, 2023 at 7:46 am

    LEGO is biggest tyre manufacturer.

  4. Vince Kay on April 8, 2023 at 7:53 am

    I think Lego make the most tyres, but I think that you wanted Dunlop 🤔

  5. richardknights on April 8, 2023 at 7:54 am

    Hi what would you say is the best tyre tube combo for a average rider on a set of hunt clincher wheels?

  6. rob lillicrap on April 8, 2023 at 7:54 am

    Tech team doing really good work on these deep dives!

  7. Rein on April 8, 2023 at 7:56 am

    The animations in this video are superb! They make everything so much clearer

  8. Facundo Villarroel on April 8, 2023 at 7:56 am

    It lego actually the company that makes the most tyres in the world

  9. John the Connor on April 8, 2023 at 7:57 am

    lego make the most

  10. Fabio Kasai on April 8, 2023 at 7:59 am

    Clarifying, I prefer tires with more rubber, getting a puncture in the middle of the road is not good.

  11. Len Wittrock on April 8, 2023 at 8:00 am

    Excellent video!!

  12. Shelly Palumbo on April 8, 2023 at 8:04 am


  13. Bike Mirror on April 8, 2023 at 8:04 am

    Tubeless is only hard to maintain when you don’t know how. It was hard for me at first but it was because I was using giant gavia ac1 tires which is so hard to seat. After going to gp5000s, everything was easy. You just need to check the sealant level every 6 months.

  14. Holy water gum on April 8, 2023 at 8:05 am

    Solid tire test please 🙏

  15. Dominik Graf on April 8, 2023 at 8:05 am

    A friend of mine doesn’t believe that an inner tube can effect the rolling resistance. He claims that with the tyre on the outside the inner tube, like a latex one or so, can not reduce the rolling resistance. And to be honest I struggle to explain it to him. Can you help out? #askgcn

  16. ikabod on April 8, 2023 at 8:06 am

    Whoever invented that hookless rim is bit mad i think..that’s a burp waiting to happen..now why would anyone want that..yikes

  17. Simone Chiaretta on April 8, 2023 at 8:07 am

    I know there are loads of videos out there but my issue with any tyre is that it is so damn hard to slip the final 5cm of bead onto the wheel without using some tool to help me. Probably lesser problem un tubeless where you could use a tyre lever without risking pinching your inner tube.
    Also unhooking the tyre is always an issue. A video just specifically for these 2 issues, especially for roadsides maintenance would be helpful. Cheers!

  18. Richard Price on April 8, 2023 at 8:10 am

    Lego produce the most tyres annually 🙂

  19. Taste it on April 8, 2023 at 8:11 am

    There is nothing confusing, just people not interested

  20. William Fry on April 8, 2023 at 8:12 am

    Alex wearing a Hoodie must be freezing 🥶

  21. Stephan Bouderlique on April 8, 2023 at 8:15 am

    Very good Information. I use 25 mm tires on my bike. Using dunlop tires I found very versatile to my needs, that is on trainer in winter and summer racing. I’m not a pro and only want satisfactory performance the the money I put out. Cheers

  22. GCN Tech on April 8, 2023 at 8:21 am

    Do you prefer clinchers, tubulars or tubeless? 👇

  23. DDM on April 8, 2023 at 8:21 am

    that was so informative! learned a lot. would love more of this type of informative/educational videos

  24. Yass B on April 8, 2023 at 8:22 am

    Waiiiit a minute… Who wrote the script for this

  25. Dan Bateman on April 8, 2023 at 8:22 am


  26. Maxime Huard on April 8, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Great video as always. The motion design job on this one is A+++++

  27. sventice on April 8, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Nice video: clear, unfussy, informative. Pretty much sums up why Alex is one of my favorite presenters on GCN.

    I vastly prefer clinchers with tubes. I tried tubeless and didn’t like them. It’s partly that I like slightly higher pressures, partly that tubeless performance isn’t actually noticeably better (they’re really not even that much more puncture-proof), and partly that they’re unreasonably difficult to get onto wheels, but mostly it’s the sealant; that stuff is sticky and disgusting.

  28. Paul Willis on April 8, 2023 at 8:27 am

    Best tech video ever. Gripping.

  29. Ryan W on April 8, 2023 at 8:27 am

    Haven’t tried tubeless yet for road. Don’t like the idea of spraying sealant all over me/my nice bike, and though I’m sure it’s better now, too many stories over the years about it not being as helpful for narrower, high-pressure tires. Made the switch over a year ago on my commuter/gravel bike and I love it. Less flats to/from work and more comfortable on the crappy roads I have to ride on. That bike has fenders pretty much year round as well so no worry about sealant spray when there is a puncture 🙂

  30. Artur on April 8, 2023 at 8:27 am

    It’s Lego!

  31. APGill17 on April 8, 2023 at 8:28 am

    Hi Alex, great video and well presented👍. However, I must take issue with your assertion that the pneumatic tyre was invented by John Boyd Dunlop in 1887/8 as it was originally patented by a Scot, Robert William Thomson from Stonehaven, in 1846. Dunlop did commercialise the pneumatic tyre though and it became the global brand we have today.

  32. miýwêýihtâkosiw Mahihkan on April 8, 2023 at 8:28 am

    If it fits and grips the ground, I uses it. Shrader valve and a tube on a mountian bike rim.. I go with the max tire pressure written on the tire wall, pending on the terrain being on or off road.. max rating for pavement.. lower for off road and icy situations.
    Don’t care for tubeless since carrying an extra tube can be easier than a patch kit in colder weather. Ever try patching a tire in -25°C or colder? That rubber cement don’t stay liquid in the cold.

  33. bradley bleck on April 8, 2023 at 8:28 am

    Wandering Dublin on a visit several years ago I stumbled across a garage with a plaque stating it was the place of Dunlop’s workshop where he created the pneumatic tire. Was quite excited.

  34. CAIrondad on April 8, 2023 at 8:28 am

    Dunlop??? 😊

  35. Steve Mawer on April 8, 2023 at 8:28 am

    One thing you failed to mention is to fit the tyre/tire with the label centred nicely where the valve is. Or is that just me? 🙂

  36. Radhakrishna Srk on April 8, 2023 at 8:29 am

    #askgcn how useful are tyre liners? Do they actually prevent punctures? On the downside do they increase the rolling resistance?

  37. Zeemon on April 8, 2023 at 8:30 am

    Calling the tyres / rims 622mm (or whichever other size it happens to be) is objectively the best way to do it. It always corresponds to the actual measurement and is the easiest way to see what is compatible.

    But it can’t be that hard to get people to use the proven superior system of measurements. People will quickly adapt the most logical and easy to understand system any second now.

  38. seattlegrrlie on April 8, 2023 at 8:31 am

    Excellent video

  39. Simone Chiaretta on April 8, 2023 at 8:33 am

    Actually is Lego the biggest tyre manufacturer in the world 😂

  40. charlietuba on April 8, 2023 at 8:34 am

    Why do Brits misspell tires?

  41. bighammer on April 8, 2023 at 8:34 am

    Whoa we went alllllll the way back to when it started

  42. Mark Moreno on April 8, 2023 at 8:35 am

    Amazingly, and as mentioned by other commenters, Lego makes more (tiny) tyres than any other company.

  43. James Booth on April 8, 2023 at 8:37 am

    How does fewer TPI provide better puncture protection? I would think more would provide more protection. More threads, more of a barrier?

  44. Ernie Gemeinhart on April 8, 2023 at 8:37 am

    LEGO produces the most tires per year.

  45. SolarizeYourLife on April 8, 2023 at 8:39 am

    I don’t think any mountain bike should have rims less than 30 mm id…

  46. EM69 on April 8, 2023 at 8:40 am

    They aren’t.

  47. James Beam on April 8, 2023 at 8:40 am

    Best tire (tyre?) video I’ve ever seen, informative and really well produced and presented. Personally I’ve stayed with clinchers rather than deal with sealant. Flats are few and far between and it takes only 10 minutes give or take to fix a flat anyway. If I bought a new bike I would give tubeless a chance to see if they offer a nicer ride at lower pressures.

  48. Gene Whalen on April 8, 2023 at 8:42 am

    Is there a maximum ratio between internal rim width and maximum tire width?

  49. Triathlon Steve on April 8, 2023 at 8:43 am

    Great Vid Dave, good to see you do some science without oly 😁

    Best tyre info I have seen in a while 🚴 😁

  50. Craig K on April 8, 2023 at 8:43 am

    Lego makes tires?