Tread pattern direction


To the point
On a hybrid, would you

a) fit both tyres so that the 'V' in the tread pattern pointed forward (in the direction of travel/rotation), or

:tongue: have the 'V' pointing forward on the front tyre, but backwards on the rear tyre?

Smokin Joe

Legendary Member
Depends on the tyre. If it is a road tyre the tread pattern is for decoration only and serves no purpose. If the treads have a deep cut to dig into a soft surface I would have the V pointing forward on the rear, backward on the front.

Steve Austin

The Marmalade Kid
Traditional thinking, if looking from above, is V on the front pointing forward.

The rear can be either way. V facing rearwards helps braking if riding off road and downhill. On a hybrid i would face it forward still.

The chevrons pointing forward will roll quicker btw


To the point
On my hybrid I have always had the V pointing forward front and back as I use it mainly on-road with occasional light off-road use (bridle paths etc).

What worried me was that I came across this article

and wondered if I'd been doing it wrong.

On reflection, I think I have been doing it right. As Steve suggests, the 'reverse rear' method would seem to be for serious off-roaders.

It is surprising that the tyre labels give no guidance on the matter.
I have come to the conclusion that all bicycle tyres whether dirt or street should be installed with the chevrons pointing forards. Street tires dont actually require a tread of any kind but consumers rarely comprehend the dynamics of the tarmac/tire interface and thing that 'tread' = 'grip'. So its a visual thing; bikes look stoopid with the tires on back to front.
There are sound reasons for dirt tires to have their chevrons following direction of travel on both front and rear.... but Im going out for a fag.


New Member
my schwalbe big apples have a little 'drive' arrow imprinted into the rubber sidewall, dunno about other schwalbe's


New Member
One of my bikes has Conti Top Touring 2000s on it, fitted with both tyres pointing ahead, so to speak. Noticing that the indications on the side walls suggest the rear should be fitted the other way round, I emailed Continental for their verdict. Their reply said exactly what Steve Austin says above.
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