How to Choose the Right Cover

Tires are one of the most essential parts of our bicycle, they are responsible to keep us glued to the ground, amortiguarnos of small imperfections firm, providing comfort and ride quality.

Tires are the only contact points of the bike to the ground, for that very reason, to put it in some way, are your feet while you’re on the bike, so it is necessary to choose a tire that perfectly suits your needs , urban, mountain biking, road, mixed cargo-bike …

Then we explain each step in detail and their equivalents.


There are three ways to measure the covers.

-system ETRTO

-system English (inches)

-system French

In the picture we can see that we have the following from Sciencedict:

35-584 (650x35B – 26×11 / 2)

-The Indication 35-584 refers to the ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Tecnical Organisation).

-The 650x35B indication refers to the French system of measurement.

-The Indication 26×11 / 2 refers to the measurement system in inches.

We are going to focus on the ETRTO system because it is much simpler.


In the system they used mm ETRTO always and only measures two parameters of tires, inner diameter and tire width also known as ball.

First, the width can vary from 20 to 60 is expressed, usually is a two-digit number (AA).On special occasions the width can be greater or less. After the diameter of the rim or inner diameter of the tire which usually is a three-digit number (DDD) is expressed, such as 559 or 622 would be standard expression as follows:


An example would be: 37-622 37 As the width of the tire and the inner diameter 622 of the tire (in this case 622mm)

Advantages of ETRTO

  • measurement in millimeters, therefore the measurement is very accurate.
  • simple measurement system, only two very different measures.
  • Measuring the inner diameter of the cover is the same as the diameter of the rim.

What tire should I choose?

For good advice it is necessary to know that use is going to give the bike, and what is the environment where you usually move.

Tires for classic bikes are designed primarily for an urban environment (asphalt) tires, but they are tough enough to roll on paved roads, dirt roads … provided they are not mountain-bike paths.

Strictly urban use

This environment is probably the most favorable to prevent punctures due to travel on a paved firm also assures us a ride and few potholes. For this use a balloon of between 23 and 25 mm (ETRTO) is recommended as the narrower the ball we offer less friction and cost us less pedaling.

Sporadic use of land


For this use a balloon of between 28 and 32mm (ETRTO) is recommended, because considering that our main environment will be ground paved need the minimum ball to offer the least possible friction, but enough not we click on as we get into unpaved terrain.

Mixed use or load

If we are going to be this type of user, it will give us just get us on a dirt road, to go for the best paved city, so we will need a wheel with a ball between 32 and 40 mm (ETRTO) with little friction as possible. This type of tire bikes that go loaded account is also recommended to equip or even a little chair as a child.

Rim width

This measurement is the distance between the two walls of the rim. Keep in mind that tire width not greater than the width of wheel we have chosen, that is, if we have a rim 30mm wide can not mount a tire 28mm need to mount a tire 30mm or greater ( always speaking in ETRTO measures system)

Wheel arch

The wheel arch is the distance between the rear pods or the width of the fork. The width of the cover or ball, can not be greater than the distance between the rear pods from both sides, but because the tire would be trapped and could not rotate wheel. Conclusion, the tire can not be wider than the wheel arch, for example if I have a bicycle with a wheel arch 31mm you could not mount a cover 31mm or more, because the wheel braking stay. You would have to mount a cover at most 30 mm ball.

Keep in mind that the wheel arch decreases as fenders are mounted.


The tire tread may also vary depending on the environment and user needs.

Slick or tire without drawing: strictly urban use and before rainiest cities, offers very good dry grip and low friction.

Semi-slick tire with mild or drawing: urban or semi-urban use to rainiest cities, dusty or sporadic use of unpaved roads. It provides a good grip on paved ground (wet or dry), and a decent grip on unpaved terrain.

Tire drawing: This type of tire is the most versatile, it adapts to all the conditions of your environment, and provide a good grip on all the right conditions for a classic bike.