Your bicycle wheels are two of the most important bike components that experience the highest wear & tear while you ride. Not only do bike tires require constant maintenance, they also need routine replacement. For daily riders, the bike wheel spokes are most prone to damage since the rims take massive weight & pressure at every rotation.
The radial load causes wear & tear over time to the bearings and rims, while the lateral load directly affects the bike wheels. Lateral load is generated “as the rider transfers their weight from one side of the bike to the other when pedaling out of the saddle”, as explained on Cycling Tips.
Today we discuss how to evaluate your bike tires for replacement and exactly how often you should consider inspecting your tires. Do remember when we mention bike tire replacement, there is an series of parts and accessories that you have to inspect for damage.
There are several factors that affect the frequency of replacing bike tires including type of tire, how you ride, riding conditions, natural wear & tear etc. When we discuss bike tires we are actually talking about four unique parts of the bicycle that may require replacing. We will discuss the four components in the following section.
First, let’s quickly go over seven important factors that indicate its time to replace your bike tires.
Do keep in mind that the back tire is usually the most commonly replaced, while the front tire can survive much longer. The back tire usually takes a lot of force and when you brake, it takes considerable friction when slowing down. Here is SlickBiker’s exclusive when to replace road bike tires tutorial:
Basically a wheel consists of four main parts, which affect weight during the ride and overall performance.
The width of the rim will affect the tire width itself and the material used for braking surface will affect braking performance. The rim material is made up of aluminum to make the wheel light sometimes a carbon fiber use in replacement of aluminum but such rims are expensive enough.
A flat spoke, which is also called bladed spoke, can provide some small aerodynamic gain over other. The expensive, bladed spokes also help to reduce weight without sacrificing strength quality. Basic spokes are either straight or J bent. Straight spokes have no bend on upper side.
There are basically three tire types from whom we select which one is best for us and when such tire is going to be replaced. You may choose the tire from three types i.e. Clincher, Tabular, and Tubeless.
Manufacturers generally install Clincher tires by default, unless the bike is created for a specific purpose. These tires have a tube within the tire and are fairly decent for most cyclists. The only problem is that they have a short life and should be replaced after every five hundred miles based on terrain.
The second type, Tubular tires have become increasingly popular among professional cyclists. These tires are tubeless and are first preference among MTB and pro-cyclists. Tubular tires have an inner tube stitched to inside the tire which is then glued or taped to the rim. These tires are difficult to patch up since they must be removed and then glued to the rim again.
The third, Tubeless tires are created without an inner tube. The tire, rim, and valve are sealed with a liquid sealant to keep it from going flat. Do keep in mind that you will need to replace the entire rim for a tubeless tire, the only other way is using a tubeless conversion kit. Remember that the liquid sealant is essential to keep your tire from going flat in case of a foreign object.
So, we now know when to replace a bike tire and what symptoms to look for in a worn out tire. The process is although simple once you have gone through it, care must be taken when replacing bike tires. Instead of me trying to make it difficult, here is expert bike mechanic Ron Ritz from Skunk River Cycles teaching us how to replace a damaged bike tire:
The simplest way to make your bike tires perform longer and serve their expected life is with hands on maintenance. It is essential to routinely monitor your bike tire wear & tear. I usually check my tires for damage after every ride, while I check them for air pressure and cleaning before every ride.
I use this checklist to inspect my tires before and after every long trip, especially when going cross country:
I hope this guide helps you in understanding when to replace your bike tires and what symptoms to look for in worn out tires. If I left something out remember to leave a comment so I can add it to the list above. For more beginner guides and tutorials remember to visit us again. Until next time, see you again soon.