Style points


Q: My riding buddy said that I mounted my tire incorrectly by not lining the tire’s labels up with the valve stem. I cannot figure out why it would make a difference. Does this really matter?

Craig Brackens

Farmington, NM

A: No, lining the tire’s label up with the valve stem does not functionally matter. Tire direction, however, does have a massive impact on performance, so always make sure you follow the marked rotation-direction arrow that’s on the sidewall of the tire. What your friend is referring to is mostly a style thing that is related to how bikes look on the showroom floor. The proper way for mechanics to build a bicycle is so that all labels and logos are visible while looking at the bike from the drive side. Wheels are typically built so that the hub logo is visible through the valve-stem hole. This positions the valve stem and tire logo at the top. It will vary from one tire brand to another, but typically the tire brand is on top, and lined up with the valve stem and model name or specs at the bottom. The only functional reason to align the label with the valve stem is as a reference point for tire-damage repair after you remove the tire from the rim.

“Ask MBA” peeve of the month:

When your shoelace comes loose and wraps around your pedal spindle while you’re in the middle of a steep climb.

Have a question for the MBA crew? You can send your brain busters to [email protected].

You might also like