How to get your mountain bike tyres ready for the big race

Getting race ready doesn’t start and end with you alone. 

You can train for months and feel physically, mentally and emotionally equipped for the race. But if your bicycle is not conditioned, you’re bound to struggle, and scramble for repairs and maintenance halfway into the ride. So, while you should consider all the bicycle parts for the success of your ride on race day, you should prioritise your mountain bike’s tyres. 

Why? Because control and speed on the trail lay in the tyres. You have to be sure that they are in good shape to successfully transport you from departure point to destination.

You can never be 100 percent certain that you’ll arrive at your finishing line without encountering any tyre issues. Anything can happen on the trail; crashes happen, and some obstacles can cause more damage than others. But, you need to do your part in making sure that everything is in tip-top shape ahead of the race. Your goal here is to establish stability, reliability, and comfortability. Because the stakes are high, you have to be confident in the state of your wheels. So, if you read more below, you’ll find useful and practical things you can do to ensure that your bike tyres are ready for the big race. 

Start with a tyre inspection 

To learn about the condition of your mountain bike tyres, you have to do an inspection first. You have to suspend the bike on a bike stand to get a better look at the tyres. Thoroughly check for cuts and signs of damage; you don’t want to miss even seemingly small cuts. Should you notice even a small tear, seal it using a tyre sealant as they can be detrimental to your tyre pressure during the remainder of your ride. 

Measure tyre pressure 

Tyre pressure is an important aspect of getting the most out of your ride. Use the pressure gauge to determine if the pressure is correct on both of your tyres. There are a few things to consider when measuring pressure, and these are your weight as a rider, tyre volume, rim width and the trail you’ll be cycling on.

Check spoke tension 

Spokes are responsible for making the wheel move with efficiency as it spins forward. The spokes will maintain a level of stiffness for this movement to be more secure. When you do the tension check, make sure that they feel stiff and strong. Should they feel loose, you’ll need to make them tight. If you’re unsure of how to do this, rather get a professional to do the checks and tightening. 

Check gears and chains

Check if your chain is intact and not skipping any gears when you pedal. The goal is to make sure that the chain is shifting smoothly as you move the bike forward or backwards. The common cause of chain skipping or slipping is loose cables. It’s not that difficult to fix this issue, but if you don’t have enough experience, rather have a professional do the job. They might suggest that you buy a new chain if the problem is beyond repairs. But if there’s no slipping issue, check to see if the chains look well oiled and clean. Do a touch up using your cleaning kit.

Do a test ride

After you’ve checked everything and decided that all is good and ready to go, do one last check through a test ride. This will give you a final opportunity to notice any issues you might not have picked up before. If your tyres fail the test, you can find new bicycle tyres at Cape Town’s number one cycle shop, Chris Willemse Cycles.

Smash the race 

The tyres are responsible for boosting performance on the trail. So, make sure the ones you have, whether it’s the tubeless bicycle tyres or tubes, are in good condition. Perhaps it’s wiser to get yourself a new set of tyres just to be sure that you get the best riding experience of your life. If you don’t know where to find bicycle tyres, look on our website. You can also get other bicycle spares. Shop online and have it all delivered to your doorstep!