When to Change Road Bike Tires?

Are you wondering what is the right time to change road bike tires? This article is all about when to change road bike tires?

Bikes help you get from one place to another. They have been around for a very long time but got overtaken by the use of cars in the past century or so. Now that people slowly realize that cars consume too much fuel, they’re shifting back to bikes as a way to get around.

Riding bikes to get around has many advantages like getting exercise and helping to save the environment. People have recognized this, and the demand for bikes is now rising.

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All bikes are not the same, and one bike cannot fit everyone’s standards or requirements. Therefore, bike manufacturers offer different models that can cater to different demographics.

One of the most popular uses that customers have for bikes is riding them on the road. Thus, road bikes are the most common bicycles you’ll see.

Any bike, including a road bike, requires a certain degree of maintenance to perform to the best of its abilities.

One of the most important parts to replace are your road bike tires. Tires enable you to ride your bike. If these aren’t in the best condition, you’ll be in a world of trouble.

Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike with Integrated Shifters

In this article, we will talk about all the steps you need to take to ensure you change your road bike tires at the right time and some of the warning signs that it’s time to get new tires.

Why are Tires Important in a Road Bike?

Bike tires interact with the ground. You can’t move around without the tires, which makes them important for operating your bike. Without the best tires, you can’t have an ideal bike.

It would help if you considered different factors before picking tires for your bike. You have to check if they’re ideal for your bike. Do they fit the purpose you bought the bike for?

For example, in road bikes, tires need to be equipped for speed. So, look for tires that support you going at a decent speed down the paved road. Choose tires that are narrow and firm, so you can ride the bike easily without slowing down.  

Tires also control aspects of rolling resistance and aerodynamics for speed. Tires at the optimum pressure can make you go quicker or slower.

You have the option of either going with tubeless tires or tires with tubes. Tubeless tires are more expensive. However, they’re less likely to burst during use.

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Many commuters also use road bikes to get around, and thus, they prefer tubeless tires to avoid punctures and not lose time to repairs.

However, if you’re someone who rarely uses their road bike, you can use tube-type tires and not worry about frequent punctures.

Read Can a Mountain Bike Be as Fast as a Road Bike?

When to Change Road Bike Tires

We understand now that quality bike tires are necessary for all bikes. These tires are the part of the bike that enables it to move and get around. However, all maintenance requires changing road bike tires frequently or when they seem like they are worn out.

It may not be easy for a newbie to know when to change road bike tires. We’re listing some warning signs so you know when the time to change tires is upon you.

The more your ride your bike, the more you’re going to wear down the material and rubber composite that your tires are made of. If you have a hole or cut in your tire, it’s time for you to replace it.

However, there are also other signs that you can look for to ensure you replace your road bike tires at the right time. Make sure to check your tires for air pressure and pinch flats before you ride your bike, so you’re not caught in trouble.

Schwinn Volare 1300 Adult Hybrid Road Bike, 28-inch wheel, aluminum frame, Blue

Here are six easy steps for telling when you need to change road bike tires:

1. Cracks

You can ride tires with cracks on them, and they may work fine. However, cracked sidewalls are a sign for you to get new tires; otherwise, these might burst at any second.

Cracks paired with an air pressure of over 80 PSI are not a good combination. You’re likely to burst your tires before you get to your next destination.

These cracks may have occurred due to wear and tear or being exposed to changing weather conditions for a long time.

Regardless of the reason, you should get new tires if you see cracks in your current ones.

Read How To Pick a Good Road Bike

2. Cuts

We said this before, and you would know it too. If you have cuts or holes in a tire, the air will leak. Even if you’ve managed to sew the tire up, it won’t be restored to its original condition, and you still have to replace it with a new one.

If you don’t do it at the right time, you might see that the tire has deflated completely overnight the next time you want to ride your road bike, and that’s a less than ideal situation.

Continental Grand Prix All Rounder Bicycle 700x25 Black Chili Folding Clincher - Pair (2 Tires)

3. Flats

It’s always a good idea to check your tires for staples, glass, or debris after you’ve got a puncture and before installing a new tube and riding.

If you have tubeless tires, you should ensure that the surface of the puncture is completely clean and no debris has entered into the tube’s casing. You can then use sealant to fix up your flat.

If you keep getting flats while riding and you can’t seem to figure out where they’re coming from or what to do with them, you should replace your tires altogether.

In the best-case scenario, you can buy tubeless tires and worry less about frequent flats.

Read Can Road Bikes Go on Grass

4. Bald Tread

It can be difficult for you to decipher when your tread has gone bald, especially in road bike tires since the tires already have shallow grooves. You should look at the tires and bring them close.

If you can still see a pattern, you’re good to go. If you can’t, your tread has become bald, and you should replace your tires.

In most cases, you can tell that your tires are worn out when you can see the casing, and it should be your sign to replace. If you don’t do this, you risk getting hurt.

Certain tire manufacturers also go the extra mile and place wear indicators on the tires. If you see your tires are withering away to the point that you can no longer see the tread, know that it’s time to replace your tires and buy new ones.

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5. Defects

You should always check your tires for defects or inconsistencies. It could be something that came with the tire or damage caused due to your constant usage.

Most road bike tires come folded, and if they’re left this way for a long time, some defects and faults may form. If you live in a boiling place, the hot pavement may also cause your tires to have some terrible side effects.

6. There’s a Ridge

A healthy tire that you don’t need to replace looks as smooth as an ice cream scoop on a cone. The middle of the tire is the most significant place where the ear down will happen as this is the place constantly in contact with the ground.

As the rounded part of the tire gets more worn down, it’ll start to straighten down. The squaring means your tires will tread differently. Your ability to handle the bike will also change, and you’ll be more susceptible to flats of all kinds.

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Usually, the back tire is the one that starts flattening off the earliest, and when this occurs, you must strap in as you will have to replace your tires.

Check out, How to Clean and Lube Your Road Bike Chain

Why Is it Important to Replace Tires at the Right Time?

It’s easy to look at your bike tires as another costly maintenance factor. However, you must know that you must replace tires at the right time. Not doing so will cause you more harm than good.

We have listed why you need to replace road bike tires at the right time and what happens if you don’t.

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed 700c

1. Compromised Road-Grip Due to Worn-Down Tread

The tread is the groove in all your tires that helps your tire grip onto the road.  If you have a worn-down tread, you will go faster than you anticipated. Your breaks won’t work as well, and you’re likelier to hurt yourself.

Worn-down tires are a direct safety violation, and you don’t want to be in trouble. Riding road bikes on the road means you’re susceptible to crashing into many automobiles and vehicles much bigger than you.

If your tread is worn down, you might slip and put yourself in harm’s way. For this reason, you should replace your tires as soon as you feel the grip fading.

2. Blowouts That Leave You Stranded or Make You Crash

You need to note that if a tire is worn down enough, it can develop cracks. When these cracks are not taken care of for a long time, they may lead to some unwanted consequences.

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If the cracks are not taken care of, or worse, noticed, you may fill your tires up to normal air pressure and then ultimately end up with your tire blowing out.

If your tire blows out in the middle of a busy day or when you’re out to get errands, you will be stranded and will have to ask other people for help.

Worse things can happen, like blowing out your tires in the middle of the road and crashing into a car.

Read How to Clean Disk Brakes on a Road Bike

3. Difficulty Stopping and Braking Properly

Tires remain in contact with the ground during use, and they are necessary for stopping and braking.

If your tires are not working at the maximum capacity, your stopping distance will increase even if you have applied your breaks at the right time. This fact means that you’re more likely to get into crashes and hurt yourself if you don’t replace your tires in time.

You’re also less likely to handle your bike safely. You must be able to stop and break effectively, so you can keep yourself safe.

It’s even worse if the conditions of the roads aren’t the best, which effectively means you can’t ride your bike in the rain.

Thus, to ensure that you’re handling your bike well and breaking effectively, you should replace your road bike tires as soon as you receive signs of distress.

Michelin Power Road Front or Rear Road Bike Tire for Asphalt, X-Race Compound, Red Sidewall, 700 x 25C

Eventually, you can also start having wheel alignment problems that exacerbate the already imperfect conditions of your tires.

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Final Thoughts

The perfect time to change your road bike tires is when you feel like you should be changing them. If you’re someone who’s been riding road bikes for a while, you’ll be able to tell when your bike is due for a tire change because of the way you’re handling it.

Knowing the right time to change your tires also depends on how observant you can be. You must inspect your tires carefully at least once a month, so you know how they’re looking. There are many signs and features you can check to know that it’s time to change the tires on your car.

However, if you have enough money, you can just as well get your road bike tires regularly every three months. This may be wasteful if you don’t use your road bike that often.

It’s imperative that you change your tires, as not doing so can lead to a disaster and put you in grave danger. To avoid any harm to your life, you should maintain your road bike tires.