Technical Tire Info

Technical tire info

26″ and 700c wheel

We want to provide some technical tire info since we use a full size bike tire which is unusual in the trailer industry.

Full Size Wheels for a Better Ride

CycleTote bicycle trailers offers two standard sizes of wheels, the 26 inch mountain bike wheel, and the 700c road bike wheel.  Usually, customers purchase a wheel and tire that is the same size as the the ones on their bike.  That way, they only carry one type of tube. Custom trailers that use a 20 inch wheel can be purchased by calling us.

26″ or  700c wheels provide better rolling resistance, acceleration, and shock absorption than tiny trailer wheels.  This gives you a better ride, especially when carrying extra weight.

What is Resistance?

Rolling Resistance: Rolling resistance is the energy lost when the tire is rolling, typically caused by the constant flexing of the tire where it touches the road.Rolling resistances is a controllable factor whose effect you can limit when riding a bike.  Four factors affect the ease of pedaling a bike.

Air Resistance: Air resistance rises squared, not linear, with increased speed. At a straight-line

CycleTote full size wheels

Trailer wheels stored on ceiling

speed of 20 mph, on a flat surface, air resistance is the main force slowing you down.

Gravity: When riding uphill, the main  force to overcome is gravity.  The rider exerts more energy  to accelerate or climb.

Friction Resistance: This is found in the chain and all of the other moving parts of a bike. In a well-serviced bicycle, these represent a very minor part of the total resistance.

What Factors Affect Rolling Resistance?

Tire pressure: Higher tire pressure means the tire deforms less causing less rolling resistance.

Tire diameter: Small diameter tires have a higher rolling resistance at the same pressure. The contact area for wide and narrow tires at the same pressure is the same but the shape of the narrow tire, long and skinny, allows for more flexing of the sidewall. Still, narrow tires deflect more and deform more.

Tire Construction: The less material used, the less material there is to deform. Additionally, the more flexible the material is, the less energy lost through deformation.

Tire Treads: Generally, smooth treads roll better than coarse treads. Tall lugs and wide gaps of mountain bike tires create more resistance.  Because of this, we offer a fairly smooth version of the 26 inch tire.

Why Do Professionals Ride Narrow Tires if Wide Tires Roll Better?

  • Wide tires roll better at the same inflation pressure but narrow tires can be inflated to higher pressures than wide tires. However, this usually results in a less comfortable ride.
  • Narrow tires have an advantage over wide at higher speeds as they provide less air resistance.
  • Above all else, a bicycle with narrow tires is much easier to accelerate. The rotating mass of the wheels is lower and the bicycle is much more agile.