How Long Do Road Bike Tires Last? Average Lifespan and Tips on How to Make It Longer!

No bike company can tell you for sure how long your bike tires will last. But we can. Find out how long your tires would last and how you can increase their lifespan.
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Last updatedLast updated: April 02, 2022
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You should know the feeling of getting a new bike, especially if you spent a fortune on it. When you do finally take it out for a spin, you keep peddling like there’s no tomorrow. To make matters better, if your bike was with all the specs to make it one of the best bikes, then you’d probably not go slow. 

That’s the joy of a good bike. When a bike is standard and gallant, there is nothing that can stop the ride. Whether it is a mountain bike or a gravel bike, it’ll still make you pretty much happy.

But one of the things that kill the fun very quickly is a worn-out tire. It reduces the speed and performance of the bike. It also makes the bike dangerous for riding. However, it is always better to change the tires even before they get worn out. That way, you’ll keep the lifespan of the bike itself.

The average lifespan for bike tires

How Long Do Road Bike Tires Last? Average Lifespan and Tips on How to Make It Longer!

Every product has its average lifespan, and after this date, the product would likely start to degrade in quality.

Nothing in life lasts forever. And just like every other thing, the tires of the solid bike that cost you some money will not last forever also. It’s called the ‘average’ lifespan because it is not the same for everyone. Since the method of use, the quality of product, and the maintenance process are different from one person to the other, we cannot calculate a specific lifespan date for all bike users. The lifespan for bikes is also calculated in miles instead of years, as it is commonly done.

So, what is the average lifespan (using expected mileage) for some bike tire types?

Racing Bike Tires – 1000 miles

Hybrid Bike Tires – 1000 to 3000 miles

Road Bike Tires – 1000 to 3000 miles

Puncture-resistant tires – 3000 to 5000 miles

Mountain Bike Tires – 1000 to 7000 miles

However, it can be difficult to calculate how many miles you have done, except you use a self-mile-calculating bike. That’s why we want to add that you prepare to change your tires 1 to 2 years after you buy your bike.

How to know that tires are aging?

Though tires are at the bottom of a bike, they are the foundation for the movement of the bike. Without tires, your bike cannot move, except you want to fly. Therefore, tires are very important in a bike, and as we said earlier, no company can tell you exactly when your tires would begin aging. They can only give you an expected milage (as we too have earlier done). Unfortunately, we also cannot tell you exactly when.  However, you can find out how long your tires will last by checking through a few of these provided tips, including tire threads checking, damage checking, an inspection of crisscross threads, and sidewalls.

Check the threads

The thread of a tire is your number one indicator for an aging tire. It is also the easiest and fastest way to know if a tire is aging. So what is a thread, and how can you check it to know if your tires are ready for a change?

Thread is thin or thick lines that are inscribed into the tires, almost like the tire’s birthmark. The threads come with the tires, and they help to create friction when it comes against the ground while riding. The threads of different bikes differ from each other. Some are thick, deep lines, and others are very thin and not so deep. Generally, the faster a bike is supposed to be, the less obvious the threads should be.

So, to check the thread of your bike, simply inspect your tires for any trace of threads left. The lesser threads you see, the older your bike tires have become. And because this can seem a bit difficult, especially if you didn’t know how the bike’s thread looks like before, make sure to check your bike’s thread immediately after you buy it. You can also scan through the internet for how the thread of your bike looks like.

But note that some bike types do not come with threads. Instead, they have contact patches. And since patches are harder to trace, there’s another detection method.

Check for damage

This is another detection method – to inspect the tire for damage. Damage to your bike tires can occur as a result of the kind of road you ride your bike on. Rough roads damage your tires faster than smooth roads. The kind of road you ride on also tells the kind of damage you would likely see.

How Long Do Road Bike Tires Last? Average Lifespan and Tips on How to Make It Longer!

Rips, cuts, and tears come as a result of extremely rough roads or roads with branches stuck or nails on the floor. A cut or puncture can also be caused by a stone. However, flat spots come around from over-ridding. All these things gradually degrade the quality of a tire, and hence, you will need a replacement as soon as possible.

The different types of damage include punctures, flat spots, rips, cuts, or tears. Punctures are the most common Trusted Source How graphene could make tyres stronger and lighter The graphene makes the tyres lighter, with less rolling resistance and more grip – something which was impossible using existing compounds, explained the company’s senior executive manager Michael Marx. www.bbc.com , and they can happen rather frequently in the lifespan of a bike tire. It happens when your tire begins to lose air as a result of a hole in a tire. This causes your tire to be flat very quickly. It can occur as a result of a pin, nail, or a stick rupturing the tires while riding. A good piece of advice is to check your tires before you ride them for these signs. And in the case of a punctured tire, you can immediately Trusted Source Get Inspired: Tips on how to prevent a puncture Ultra lightweight tyres are great for racers looking to save seconds but, for most cyclists, more durable and puncture resistant tyres are a better choice. Look for tyres with puncture protection technology such as Kevlar reinforcement. Puncture prevention features will normally be well indicated on the sidewalls or packaging of tyres, but if in doubt, ask at your local bike shop. Check your tyres regularly for embedded thorns, glass or stones. They might not have worked their way through and can be removed before they cause a puncture. www.bbc.com .

Crisscross threads

Another way to detect the age of a tire or how close it is to replacement is by checking for crisscross threads. Crisscross threads are different from regular threads. To know when a tire is getting old, threads disappear while crisscross threads appear. So what are crisscross threads?

It is the protection belt that is placed underneath the rubber for every bike tire. And it is called a crisscross thread because it is woven in a crisscross pattern. It is woven from carcass thread, and they are invisible through the outside of the tire.

However, when they do begin to show in any part of your bike tire, then you’ll need to replace it. But we advise that you shouldn’t wait till you see the belt before changing your tires. If the damage is a little too much or the thread lines are all gone, then you should be preparing to buy a new one.

Sidewalls

How Long Do Road Bike Tires Last? Average Lifespan and Tips on How to Make It Longer!

When it is thin, broken, uneven, or cracked, then it is starting to reach its due date. When the sidewall of your tires is bulging, it could be from hitting a stone or a bump. And though bulges mean that the sidewall is being damaged, thinning or crack mean that it is old.

The sidewall is another area to inspect when checking to see the strength of your tires. It is the flank of the tire. And aside from the tires’ thread, this is another great way to check the health of your tire. If you notice the sidewall of a new bike, it is usually full and thick. This is how a healthy sidewall should be.

The type of crack also determines what might have caused the crack. Long cracks at the sidewall of your bike mean that there wasn’t enough pressure in your tire while riding it. If it’s an evenly distributed crack, it simply means that your tires are getting old and would soon need replacement.

You can care for the sidewall of your bike. To do this, make sure you report to a qualified bike shop for tuning. There, you can attend to other parts of your bike too. When you report to a bike shop for inspection, you’ll be able to notice other parts of the bike and any damage before it is due.

Neglect

This is not necessarily a cause of the bike. Neglect has more to do with the rider than the bike. It is when the rider pays no attention to his or her bike’s health. Some people would call this – poor maintenance. It is widely known that drastic results can be evaded by constant checkups. When you constantly check on your bike’s health, you will be able to easily detect when something is going wrong. Waiting till the dying moment can be very dangerous and unsafe.

The things to look out for during checkups are the pressure of the tire, the thickness, the threads, feel, temperature, and so on. You can also write out the total mileage you have covered to track the age of the tire. Pump the tires if needed and take them to a tuning shop to check the speed and performance of the bike.

The more often you check your bike for faults, the longer the bike will last. The same goes for your tires. The more you care for your tires, the longer they’ll stick with you. 

Why do you need to replace your bike tires?

Tires, as we have mentioned earlier, are the foundation for your bike to move. And when it is faulty or old, you need to replace them as quickly as possible. Most people tend to postpone the replacement of their bike tires till the last minute. And this can cause really dangerous, unsafe, and scary outcomes. Most of the cases of road accidents with bikes occur as a result of bad tires, and if you speed a lot with your bike, you have more reasons to change those tires immediately. They are less than quality. We have some reasons you should replace your bike tires quickly. Take a look at them.

They are worn out

How Long Do Road Bike Tires Last? Average Lifespan and Tips on How to Make It Longer!

Work out tires can cause really bad situations. It can keep you stranded, cause an accident where you injure yourself, or you ruin your cloth. You could even end up spoiling the bike even more when you crash hard as a result of bad tires.

Bike tires get tired too. And when they are, it is a good time to have them replaced with new ones. If not, they’ll fail. A failing bike tire can dismantle itself while riding. It could also scatter and cause you to fall. Think about it, riding so fast that you are in the middle of nowhere, and your tires immediately tear and fall off. You’ll have to walk your bike back home.

Some people also seem to think that they don’t have to replace their tires because they didn’t move their bikes in months. Unfortunately, it’s the other way around. A bike that has been kept in one position for too long is at higher risk of being worn out. The tires could have gotten too hard that they cracked. Or, the bike tires have been eaten by insects (which make the tires weak). That’s why people recommend that you should replace your tires immediately you bring them out of storage.

Poor performance

This is another reason they should replace your tire. When you bought the bike newly, you knew how kick-ass the bike was. You probably can remember how great the bike felt when it came to speed, balance, support, performance, noise, and so on. However, when some or all of that begins to depreciate, then it is time for a new tire. Most people tend to look at the spokes and other areas of the bike when it is not performing, but now you know. The no 1 place to check is your tires. They are the culprit.

Now sometimes, it is not caused by bad tires. It could be caused by poor maintenance tires (since many company’s produce quality bikes. So when the performance of your bike reduces, check the tires. Or simply go to a bike shop and have it checked out.

If it is not yet extreme, then you might just need to replace a few things, tune them and maintain them. But if it’s extreme and has reached the point of no return, you might need to replace it immediately.  

Safety

What is the essence of a bike if it doesn’t keep you safe? The reasons to have a bike are to move fast, keep safe, and any other personal reason (including for exercise or touring). To stay genuinely safe with your bike tires, don’t wait until you see the signs before you change the tires. Except you see the signs come before then, change your tires when the expected mileage has been reached. For a road bike, the maximum mileage is 3000 miles. So if you don’t have any cracks or cut or break before then, change the tires to ensure your safety.

One might wonder why he should change the tires even before seeing any sign of fault. Just as you don’t need to be sick before you take part in healthy practices, the same applies to your bike too. There could be internal damage that you are not seeing if you are using your tires way past the average lifespan.

However, you can still lookout for red flags like flat tires or regular pumping. Also, don’t overlook your inner tubes when replacing the tires. Some injuries might have affected the inner tube, too, and while replacing the tire, it would be safer to replace the inner tube too.

Control

How Long Do Road Bike Tires Last? Average Lifespan and Tips on How to Make It Longer!

A bike without control is very unsafe. It means that the bike would be moving left to right on a straight road.

Finally, if you don’t have as much control over your bike, then it is time to replace your bike. Less control can come in the form of vibrating tires. The good thing about changing tires for better control is that you can switch between brand tires. In a road bike, you can have mountain bike tires for better support as control. 

However, you shouldn’t do this on your own. Visit a bike specialist to be advised on what kind of tires you should get for your need, as well as the best way to ride it so that you get maximum control. Also, you need to note that you get more control on a wider bike tire and less control on thinner tires. If you are experienced, you can dabble with a thin tire. But as a newbie, use the thick tires for now. With time, you can switch it up with race bike tires. 

Final thoughts

Bike riding is more than fun if you are feeling the breeze in your hair. But it is more than the speed and the fun. It also involves maintenance and safekeeping. You have to regularly check on your tires (the foundation) before going for any ride. As a road bike rider, your tires have an average lifespan of 1000-3000 miles. And this depends on how often you use your bike, where you ride it, how you ride it, and how often you inspect your bike.

So, if you are asked how long do road bike tires last? You now know that it is not a straightforward answer. So many things do into the lifespan of a road bike tire. But you can always increase the lifespan with proper maintenance, regular checking, and care.

References

1.
How graphene could make tyres stronger and lighter
The graphene makes the tyres lighter, with less rolling resistance and more grip – something which was impossible using existing compounds, explained the company’s senior executive manager Michael Marx.
2.
Get Inspired: Tips on how to prevent a puncture
Ultra lightweight tyres are great for racers looking to save seconds but, for most cyclists, more durable and puncture resistant tyres are a better choice. Look for tyres with puncture protection technology such as Kevlar reinforcement. Puncture prevention features will normally be well indicated on the sidewalls or packaging of tyres, but if in doubt, ask at your local bike shop. Check your tyres regularly for embedded thorns, glass or stones. They might not have worked their way through and can be removed before they cause a puncture.
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