Wheelsets and Tyres
Many manufacturers are now able to produce high quality wheel packages for less than the cost of specifying and building a custom pair of wheels. Despite being mass produced factory wheels these are, in our experience, more than adequate to train and race on - even pro riders use them. The standard size of bike wheels is 700c. This is slightly different to the old UK standard of 27". It is the universal measurement and therefore the only size that we stock. We offer wheels from all of the major wheel manufacturers, as well as having experienced wheel builders on site should you desire a custom build.
Some smaller bikes and specialised Triathlon bikes take slightly smaller 26" wheels. There are 650c wheels, although these are not produced by all manufacturers. We will indicate on our wheel list which wheels are available in this smaller size.
Being the interface between the bike and the road, tyres are an important area to concentrate on. As you would expect, there are many tyres designed to suit all conditions, from all round general use to silk track tyres. Generally speaking, for all round use we recommend a medium tread tyre in 23mm width, however, that all depends on the type of riding you intend to do. We stock Michelin, Continental and Vittoria, each having a similar range of tyres for all cycling situations. The table shows the type of riding each tyre is intended for. As a rough guide, lighter tyres can be prone to wear and punctures so should be avoided for commuting. Alternatively, heavy tyres should be avoided on the velodrome or well surfaced roads as the likelihood of punctures is decreased.
Our tyre listings will outline the intended use for each tyre to help in your selection.
Clinchers / High Pressure Tyres
The most common tyre system is the high-pressure system. These are for use on a clincher rim only, named as such because the tyre stays on the rim by clinching it under pressure from the inner tube. Most people will be familiar with this system as it is common on most bikes. Repairs are simple and relatively easy to perform, even when on the road away from the workshop.
Tubulars / Sew Ups / Singles
Tubular tyres are a one piece tyre / inner tube system, glued onto a specific tubular rim. Nowadays these are seen as the option for racing only given the inconvenience and costs associated with replacements and repairs. We would recommend tubulars to experienced cyclists, given that spending time gluing tyres somewhat takes the shine off the fun that cycling can offer.
The majority of modern bikes come with 700c size wheels. The chances are, if you have brought your bike in the past 5 years, it will have been sold with 700c tyres. More specialist cycles, such as triathlon bikes, tourers, child and women's bicycles may have different wheels. These are likely to be either smaller wheels 650c (aprox 26") or 27". The reasons for two different sized wheels are not worth going into right now, all you need to know is that the size will be stamped or written onto the sidewall of the tyre.