Difference between Folding Bead vs Wire Bead Tire

The tires are the most important parts of a bicycle as they can affect its performance, safety, and comfort. When you ride on your bike then its tires should be durable and fit to the bike to improve its performance as per your requirements.

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Though you can find various types of tires in the market like tubular tires, clincher tires, and tubeless clincher tires, etc. but normally tires with wire bead and folding bead are popularly used. The information provided here under will help you to compare folding bead vs wire bead to choose the best one for you.

What is a folding bead tire?

Folding bead tires are the special version of clincher tires. In these tires, a bundle of Kevlar strands is used to replace the bundle of wire to give it a folded bead. The size of the bead can depend upon the size of the tires. It also reduces the weight of the tire by nearly 50-90 grams.

What is a wire bead tire?

The standard tires used in bicycles are wire bead tires also known as clincher tires. In these tires, the wire bundled in their bead prevents the tire from jumping off the rim and expanding with the pressure.

Wire bead vs folding bead Tire

By comparing wire bead tires and folding bead tires you can choose the best tires for your bicycle. They can be differentiated on the basis of the following factors:


Though both of these tires are clincher tires but the materials used to make beads of these tires make them quite different from each other. The tires with wire beads are more rigid than tires with the folding bead. Though the Kevlar fiber used in folding bead tires is also a durable material but they are more flexible than wire bead tires.


Folding bed tires are lighter in weight than wire bead tires by approximately 2 ounces which makes them easy to travel for long distances. They also improve the performance of the rider as well as the cycle due to their lightweight. The cycle will also run faster even by making lesser efforts and spending lesser energy. On the other hand, the performance of wire bead tires will be less than folding bead tires due to their heavier weight.


The flexibility of the Kevlar fiber used in folding bead tires makes them more flexible than wire bead tires due to the stiffness in their bead. Moreover, folding bead tires can be packaged easily which makes them ideal for going on a long-distance journey.

Rubber Compound

A soft rubber compound is used to make treads of folding bead tires which make the soft treads of the cycle ideal for improving traction between the surface and the tires. It is because the tire will come in contact with a larger surface area. But its only drawback is that its tread will wear out quickly due to the soft rubber used in them. On the other hand, a dual rubber compound is used to make wire bead tires to make them durable. Its sides are made from a softer rubber compound to improve the traction while cornering and central treads are made with a regular rubber compound to improve traction between the tire and the surface.

TPI or Threads per Inch Count

The Kevlar beads and high thread per inch count are the features of fold bead tires that make them lightweight and high performing tires. To make the body of these tires tightly wound nylon threads are used. The tire with a high TPI count will be more flexible than the tires with low TPI count. The fold bead tires with 60 TPI count are considered the best.


The price of folding bead tires is higher than wire bead tires due to their premium design, lightweight, and materials used in them. The difference between the price of fold bead tires and wire bead tires can be from $6-$30 depending upon the type of their construction.

Final verdict

After going through fold bead vs wire bead provided in this write-up one can easily judge that the quality of wire bead tires is inferior to fold bead tires. But wire bead tires are more durable than fold bead tires. So, while choosing tires for your bicycle you should focus on their construction instead of type and price only.