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What I Don't Understand About Bike Tires Testing...


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Bicycle tire test - is it even possible?

I've been testing some XC tires since last year. The more I write about them, the less i like the word "test" in own my article. Why so? Because testing the tires, that other people are supposed to buy and ride on is extremely difficult and in some aspects even impossible. If you don't find my conclusion very intriguing, let me explain something about the "testing"...


Popular testing jargon I don't understand.

"Right after putting these tires on our bike they turned out to have much lower rolling resistance..."

I am no ignorant to the fact, that some tires roll better, than other, but as long as we don't compare Schwalbe Furious Fred to Fat Albert, the differences within the group of tires for the same type of riding won't be that huge. Yes, you may sometimes feel it, but it takes time and depends on many other factors, like rider weight, air pressure and the roads.

"Thanks to its unique compound and a new carcass, the tire is much more puncture resistant, which is confirmed on our test..."

Does not getting a flat tire during the test really confirm its toughness? How many tires of different manufactures we should blow off in order to come up with such an conclusion...

"Top 5 Enduro tires"

Is it even fair to write about Top 5 tires, since these were the only 5 tires somebody got paid for featuring on his / her article or magazine? I understand that most of the reviews and test we read online and in bike magazines are sponsored, which is OK, but the Top 5 title suggests, that somebody compared all the tires in the world and chose the best 5.

"We've put the tire X on the front wheel and the X tire on the rear wheel and the X seems to have better rolling resistance..."

I've found such a statement on some tires comparison and I wondered, what happened to the wheels of that testing bike, so that it became obvious, that the front one rolls better.


Will I ever write my tires test?

Yes, I will, but I realized how subjective that is. It was kind of irritating for me, that I was not able to notice the differences between the tires, just as I read it on some articles. It can also be a matter of an experience and riding technique, but mine isn't so bad (at least I think so) ;)

Now I can finally write my tires comparison and let me know, whether you have sometimes similar feelings when reading bike magazines...

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  • 2 months later...

Surely nearly all the tyre stuff is subjective? Or more likely where is the free stuff coming from?

I submit that most normal bikers won't pay more for a bike tyre than they would for a car tyre.

Very few "real" tests that says tyre A wore better than tyre B or type, depth of rubber etc.

Interested though if people fit different rubber/treads for different races you attend and asking other racers what does or doesn't work.

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