What's a Clincher Tire?

Q:   I'm new to cycling and have seen road tires described as "clinchers." What's a clincher? -- Derrick P.

COACH FRED:  You almost certainly have clincher tires on your bike. The term derives from the way that this type of tire "clinches" the rim.

In a clincher, wire or Kevlar runs along the edge on either side of the tire. This "bead" fits under the hooked inner edge of the rim when the tube is inflated. It holds the tire in place.

The other main type of tire is called a "tubular" or "sew up." Its tube is stitched into the tire casing, then the tire is glued onto a special rim. Tubulars aren't seen much anymore, but some racers still use them.

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