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Besides the obvious that one of these is foldable, what is the difference in these types of tires. Do they have a different purpose? I can see that someone MAY want to carry a spare tire on a ride, just like a spare tube, but are they intended for different applications?
 

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Rigid tires have a steel bead around the rim of the tire and folding tires have a Kevlar bead. The folding tire will weigh less and may be easier to put on and take off the rim. Folding tires are a a little more expensive, but worth the extra cost, IMO. You get a better ride and a greater selection with folding tires.
 

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They're not "rigid" -- they just have a bead that's made of steel wire rather than kevlar fiiber, as the other respondent noted. The only performance difference is a little more weight. Folding tires aren't necessarily easier to install -- that depends on the the fit of tire and rim, and a given kevlar-bead tire can have a tight fit on a given rim. In fact, because the stiffness of the wire bead can help the tire stay on the rim, folding tires often tend to be made a little tighter, and some of them can be hard to install. But you can't generalize.

Higher-performance (and costlier) tires tend to be folders, because people who buy those tend to want the lighter weight.

Wire-bead tires can be folded up a bit, too, if you know how, but they won't make as small a package as the kevlar ones.
 

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JCavilia said:
They're not "rigid" -- they just have a bead that's made of steel wire rather than kevlar fiiber, as the other respondent noted. The only performance difference is a little more weight. Folding tires aren't necessarily easier to install -- that depends on the the fit of tire and rim, and a given kevlar-bead tire can have a tight fit on a given rim. In fact, because the stiffness of the wire bead can help the tire stay on the rim, folding tires often tend to be made a little tighter, and some of them can be hard to install. But you can't generalize.

Higher-performance (and costlier) tires tend to be folders, because people who buy those tend to want the lighter weight.

Wire-bead tires can be folded up a bit, too, if you know how, but they won't make as small a package as the kevlar ones.


Learn from this guy! :thumbsup:
 

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On the subject of folding tires.....those things are fairly flattened out, even the bead, how do they take the shape of a wheel? Do you have to "mold" the tire by hand into the basic hoop shape, and then "crimp" the bead curvature to the wheel? Do they hold onto the wheel at first try, or do you have to keep popping the bead down into the wheel?

It just seems that there would be some "memory" to the rubber that would make it want to flatten out again. Or am I thinking too hard? Obviously I've never seen one in action.....


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Erion929 said:
On the subject of folding tires.....those things are fairly flattened out, even the bead, how do they take the shape of a wheel? Do you have to "mold" the tire by hand into the basic hoop shape, and then "crimp" the bead curvature to the wheel? Do they hold onto the wheel at first try, or do you have to keep popping the bead down into the wheel?

It just seems that there would be some "memory" to the rubber that would make it want to flatten out again. Or am I thinking too hard? Obviously I've never seen one in action.....


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My OEM tires were wire bead, and the replacement I bought this year was a folding-type. I fumbled with it a bit, trying to get it to take shape. Once I put the partially-inflated tube inside and started working the tire onto the rim, everything worked out quite easily.
 

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Not trying to be elitist.....but....wire bead tires really don't have any reason to be on a bicycle. They are simply inexpensive, heavy, and more cost effective to manufacture.

The average novice recreational rider will be able to tell the difference between a set of wire beaded and folding (kevlar/aramid) tires on their wheels.

cheers
 

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All my training is done on cheap wire bead tires. All my racing is done on sew ups. I do have a wheelset with lightweight folding tires, but I only use them for long rides with friends.

Wire bead tires ride the same as folding tires (because they are made the same way), and I'm not fast enough to notice an extra 200 grams (total), even when going uphill.

I try not to impress people with my tires. There are other ways of doing that.
 

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...double post, VVVVV
 

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Erion929 said:
Or am I thinking too hard? Obviously I've never seen one in action..
You are thinking too hard :)

The hard part is to get one side of the tire over the edge of the rim: it is soft and does not want to hold a shape until it is there. Then it gets very easy
 

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I commute on Conti UltraGatorskin wire beads. They're heavy but cheap, durable, and I've never flatted on them.

Make your life easier and get a Kool-Stop Tire Jack. It makes mounting wire beads a breeze.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
All my training is done on cheap wire bead tires.
Wire bead tires ride the same as folding tires (because they are made the same way), and I'm not fast enough to notice an extra 200 grams (total), even when going uphill.

I try not to impress people with my tires. There are other ways of doing that.
Sucks to be you!
 
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