The bike’s tire has a more significant role in making every biker safe on the road. Depending on its quality, every tire makes contact with the road differently, protects the inner tube, and holds its shape. The structure underneath your tire is called the casing, which is made of nylon threads.
These nylon threads are usually measured in TPI ( Threads Per Inch), with 120 and 60 TPI among the most popular for bike owners. But what is the difference between 120 TPI vs 60 TPI? Let us find out in this article.
|Features||120 TPI||60 TPI|
|Physical Attributes||Lighter, Thinner||Heavier|
|Bike Preference||Cross-Country, Road Bike||Standard Downhill MTB|
|Durability||Less Durable||Last Longer|
|Price||More Expensive||Less Expensive|
One key difference between 60 TPI vs 120 TPI MTB tires is the weight. In general, the higher 120 TPI casings are usually lighter and thinner. These attributes of the 120 TPI allow the tire to conform better to the shape of the road or the terrain.
On the other hand, you will find the 60 TPI heavier than its counterpart. It may not have the best conformity to the road surface, but it will provide more resistance to puncture, abrasions, and cuts, which generally happen on the road.
A tire with larger threads usually equates to a stiffer casing and a lower TPI. So, when it comes to bike preference, a standard mountain bike tire is best suited with 60 TPI. On the other hand, road bike or cross-country bike tires work best with 120 TPI.
When a tire comes with a smaller thread size, it makes for a higher TPI. It also has lease rubber packing in between the threads, making the tire lighter and more flexible on the road. Usually, cross-country tires come with a single casing found at the center of the thread, while MTB tires come with a two-ply casing.
Another difference between these two tire casing is the best performance it gives to the bike. A tire with a higher TPI, like the 120, will be helpful when cornering due to its ability to conform to the road’s surface.
On the other hand, the lower 60 TPI will not provide the same ride quality as the 120 TPI but will offer more resistance to flats and cuts. So, if you want a tire that lasts a longer distance, go with the high-mileage 60 TPI. For 120 TPI, expect a tire to provide high performance on the road with its ability to roll quicker while providing better cornering.
When it comes to durability, the difference between 60 TPI vs 120 TPI fat tires, according to experienced bikers, is that the 60 TPI usually lasts longer. 120 TPI tires come with more fibers but less rubber, which means they are lighter and more forgiving. So, durability is less.
On the other hand, the 60 TPI has more rubber built on the sidewall making it more durable and lasting longer than the 120 TPI. These features of the 60 TPI also make the tire more resistant to cuts and punctures.
Another difference between 60 TPI and 120 TPI is the price. Usually, the higher 120 TPI is more expensive compared to the 60 TPI. But despite the high cost, the tire makes it up with its superb performance on the road.
On the other hand, the 60 TPI comes with a lower price tag than the 120 TPI and the rest of the other tires. However, a little bit heavier, its affordability allows the biker to get a replacement immediately when needed.
All About the TPI and Casing of the Tire
As mentioned earlier, TPI stands for Threads Per Inch, which is the measurement of how fine the fabrics used in the tire’s casing are. But what is a tire casing? If you check on your bike tire closely, you will see that it is made of so many layers.
One layer is found on the outside. This layer is made of rubberized material and will provide the grip and is in contact with the road’s surface. But below the rubber comes a layer that protects the tire from puncture and breaker.
Another layer is found on the tire’s outer edges and is composed of two beads holding the tire and the rim. All of these layers, when combined together, form the tire casing. When the tire is manufactured, the tread, the breaker, and the beads are stuck in the casing, which is measured through TPI.
When it comes to the tire casing, the usual TPI is 120 and 60. So, comparing 120 TPI vs 60 TPI is expected because many bikers use them. As shown in this article, there are downsides and upsides to using both tires. It is all about finding the right one that will fit your biking style, budget, preference, and other factors.