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Know your tires. There are two types of bicycle tires – tubular and clincher:
Clincher tires are the normal type of tire, with a separate inner tube. The tire has a woven fabric casing with either metal or folding fabric beads.
Tubular tires, on the other hand, are used mainly for racing. They have no beads and the two edges of the carcass are sewn together with the inner tube inside (they fit only on special rims, held on by cement).