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Clincher Tires

Clincher Tires

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Bead strip ... But all tires have a bead, right?!

Yes, they do. The edge with which the tire sits on the rim is called a bead by the tire dealer. In the beads of modern tires, a ring of wire ropes sits in this bead for stabilization. In the bead strips, which are also specially designated as such, there is no such wire ring. The tire bead is soft and - viewed in cross-section - shaped like a hook. This "hook" clamps the tire under a corresponding fold on the outer edge of the rim. The tire is inflated with 3.5 to 4 bar pressure, the high pressure holds the tire reliably on the rim, under the fold. Since the tire beads just overlap in the middle of the rim bed and the spoke nipples are covered by the beads, the tube has little contact with the rim. Bead strips are therefore traditionally ridden without a rim tape.

Why bead strips?

The first tires for motorcycles ever, and of course those of Harley-Davidson, were such bead strips. Until the end of the 1920s, bead strips were standard equipment on Harleys. Nowadays, bead stripes are usually used for restorations oriented to the original. Because of the high air pressures, the ride comfort is not as great as with later tire designs. And in case of pressure loss, the tire can jump off the rim from one moment to the next.

How do I recognize bead stripes?

After dismounting, it can be clearly recognized by the hook bead. As long as the tire is mounted, it is best to pay attention to the rim. First sign: the rim edge is strongly bent inwards. Second sign: the rim center section curves fairly flat from edge to edge. (More modern rims are recessed in the center of the rim.) And: The spoke nipples on rims for bead-strip are not located centrally in the center, but are arranged in two rows a good distance further out. The holes for the spoke nipples therefore form a more pronounced zigzag line than on the usual motorcycle rims. Bead strips can be disassembled and assembled without tools once the air has been released from the tube.

What is written on the tire sidewall of bead stripes?

Often, but not always, the size designation on the tire sidewall is based on the old system, which names in inches first the outer diameter and then the tire width. So, for example, 28 x 3. The rim size is then determined by calculation: 28 - 2 * 3 = 22. However, we specify the appropriate rim in addition to the tire.

Some manufacturers also use the newer system: e.g. 3.85-20, there 3.85 stands for the width, which is often equal to the height, the 20 after the line is the rim diameter. Whichever system the manufacturer uses, all these specifications are so-called nominal sizes. So when re-measuring, you will not always come up with the exact number given.

Which beadstrips for Harleys of the 20's are available at W&W Cycles

The offer of W&W Cycles consists of tires with authentic profiles of the renowned US manufacturer Coker, in the then common outer diameters of 26" and 28" for rims with 20" and 22" diameter respectively.

Have any questions?

Our service team will be glad to help out: Mondays - Thursdays 08:00-17:00 CET, Fridays 08:00-16:00 CET, Phone: +49 / 931 250 61 16, eMail: service@wwag.com