How to Know When You Need New Tires on Your Road Bike

How to Know When You Need New Tires on Your Road Bike
Keeping your road bike tires in top condition is essential to performance and safety. Several variables can affect the life of your tire, including road conditions and the weight of the cyclist. According to, on average a road bike tire is good for 1,500 to 2,000 miles before it will need to be replaced. Here are some physical indicators to help you know when to swap your old road bike tire for a new one.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
The treads on your road bike tire contribute to traction and stability. These treads come in a variety of designs, from wavy grooves to crosshatches, depending on the riding conditions the tire manufacturer had in mind. These treads wear over time, leading the tire to increasingly loose grip with the pavement. The very center of the tire, which has the greatest contact with the pavement, will wear first. Once this portion of the road bike tire is worn, replace the tire.
Step 2
As an older tire begins to wear, the road bike tire becomes susceptible to small cuts in the casing. Most of the time these are harmless, but as the number of cuts increases, so does the possibility that something sharp, such as a small pebble, will work its way into one of these openings and puncture the tire inner tube. Don't let your road bike tire acquire more than a few of these cuts before replacing it. Splits and cuts will grow larger over time, and the number of punctures--and amount of frustration--will increase.
Step 3
Occasionally inspect the sidewalls of your road bike tire. In rare instances, before the tire tread has fully worn, the sidewall will become lumpy or irregular as the inner tube begins to bulge through the tire. Replace the tire immediately.

Tips & Warnings

Carry an extra dollar bill with you when riding your road bike. In the case of a flat tire, dollars bills can be inserted between the inner tube and tire where the tire casing is punctured. The dollar will serve as a patch, reducing the possibility of further punctures.
Everyone wants to save money, but if your road bike tire needs replacing, spend the money and replace it. Worn tires lack proper road grip and can be dangerous to ride on.

Article Written By Matthew Ferguson

Matthew Ferguson is a writer living in Savannah, Ga. He has been writing for over 10 years and his work has appeared on various online publications. A collection of his short stories was published in spring 2010. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.