Road Bicycle Tyre Guide

Road Tyres Explained

Road tyres are designed to be ridden one type of environment, on the road. Whether you are racing, competing in a sportive or just out for a leisure ride. Maxxis’ range of road tyres offer something for everyone.

But how do you know what tyre is best for you? Below is a simple breakdown of what you should look when buying your new tyres, to help you make the best decision…


The bead of the tyre is ultimately what ensures your tyre does not come off the rim whilst riding. The bead will clinch into the rim, ensuring the tyre stays on your rim. It does this by sitting in the recess of your rim that the wheel manufacture will have already produced.

At Maxxis we make three tyres of beads for all our clincher tyres. These are

  • Wired – A wired bead means that the tyre will be fixed in its size and shape.
  • Foldable – A folding bead allows the tyre to fold, thus meaning it can be packaged up smaller than a wired tyre. A folding bead will also be lighter than a wired tyre in overall weight.
  • Carbon Fibre – Maxxis offer some of its tyres with a carbon fibre bead. This offers a very strong and secure fitting to your rim. It is general found on our tubeless ready options


TPI or Threads Per Inch is another way of referring to the carcass of the tyre. The carcass is ultimately what gives the tyre its strength, shape and to a small degree the weight of the tyre. And here is why…

The carcass is what the rubber of the tyre sticks to. With a lower TPI rating, the weave is more open, and thus allows more rubber to stick to the carcass. And so the opposite is true of our highest ONE70 TPI. It has a weave that is very tightly woven, and so less rubber is caught in the carcass. Meaning you get a light weight, high performance tyre that conforms to the road better.


The compound or rubber of your Maxxis tyres differs depending on the type of use the tyre is intend for. For example, if your using your bike for leisure or training, then you want a harder wearing compound. But if your racing, you will want performance that is available straight away and be committed to changing your tyre more often, due to the softer nature of the rubber.

Our different compounds consist of…

  • Single – The same single compound is used throughout the whole manufacturing process to produce a tyre that stays consistent no matter what of condition you ride in.
  • Dual compound – Maxxis produces your tyre with two different types of rubber compound. Meaning that the center tread will made using one type of compound, and the shoulders (edges) of your tyre will have a different compound. This gives you a tyre that rolls fast when going in a straight line, and when you lean to turn around corners, the shoulder offers grip and stability.
  • 3C or Triple compound – This is Maxxis’ highest level of compound technology, and is reversed for our performance tyres. The tyre now has the three different types of compounds between the center tread and the outer most part of the shoulder. This gives the tyre even grip compared to our dual compound models, and means we can further increase the rolling resistance of the tyre.


Picking the right size tyre is mostly determined by what clearance you have on your bike frame, as well as a little pier pressure from your mates of course! Maxxis offers a choice of road tyre varying in size from 700x20c to 700x28c. Typically, the width of the tyre is true to the measurement written on the side of the tyre. But changing fashions with the width of rim diameter, will have an effect on just how wide or narrow your tyre conforms to.

Tyre Pressure

All of our tyres have a recommended minimum and maximum tyre pressure embossed on the side. These recommended minimums and maximum are there for your safety, and we strongly advise that you do not go under or over these pressure. Finding your right tyre pressure can take a little bit of time to get right, but we recommend starting off somewhere near the maximum and letting out 5-10 psi until you feel comfortable.

It is also worth remembering to check your tyre pressures before every ride. As air will escape over time, just like helium balloons do over time.

Types of tyre

Maxxis produces three different types of road tyres, which although look the same once on the rim. Attach in completely different ways. These three options are known as clincher tyres, tubular tyres (Tub’s) and tubeless tyres.

How do you know the difference?

  • Clincher tyres – They have a bead that allows the tyre to clinch to the rim of your wheel. These types of tyres require either an inner tube or tubeless sealant to keep the air pressure contained within the tyre.
  • Tubular tyres – Tubular tyres are more commonly used by professional road riders and race teams. They basically combine both the tyre and the inner tube together, which are sewn or sealed together. They therefore have no bead, and therefore need to be stuck to the rim by either using glue or tape.
  • Tubeless tyres – Tubeless technology has come on leaps and bounds in the past few years, and as such, is no longer exclusively for mountain bike tyres. Road tubeless tyres, just like mountain bike tyres, are made up of a clincher tyre that has an additional butyl liner moulded into the tyre. And therefore uses a sealant product to retain the air once a foreign object punctures a hole in the tyre, instead of relying on an inner tube. Is can help save weight, and provides a similar ride quality to tubular tyres.

The main reason you would ride a tubular tyre is that it feels more natural, with reduced friction when compared to a tubed clincher tyre. Although this gap is narrowing thanks to tubeless clinchers.

Tread Pattern

Tread patterns for road bikes do not really differ massively when compared to our other platforms. A road tyre is general either a slick or grooved tread pattern. A slick tyre is one which is completely smooth, and is generally classed as a dry weather tyre. Grooved tyres will have spies that help water dispersion in damp and wet conditions.