4 minute read.

Keeping your bicycle tires in good condition is important for safety and performance. Here are some tips and tricks for checking the wear on your bicycle tires:

  1. Check for worn down tread
  2. Check for holes, punctures or cuts
  3. Check tire pressure
  4. Check for tire age
  5. Check for a visible ridge or uneven wear
  6. Are you getting constant flats?
  7. Does your ride quality feel great?

Check the tread depth for worn down treads

Bicycle tire diagram and explanation

Tires have grooves called treads that provide traction on the road. As the treads wear down, the tire loses its ability to grip the road and handle wet conditions. Worn down tread is the easiest to spot among the list. If you look at a general-purpose tire or a mountain bike tire, seeing any missing tread is a good sign that your tires need to get replaced.

But looking at a road bike tire can be more difficult. That's because this kind of tires has shallow grooves. Take a closer look at the surface of the bicycle tires to check if the pattern is still noticeable. If it already looks exceptionally worn, then it's about time to get a new one.  There are a few brands that have a wear indicator that can tell if the tires are already faded. It'll gradually wear away throughout the tire's life. Once you can't find the small grooves or if it has already changed colors, then it's time to replace it.

Check for holes, cuts and punctures

Look for any cuts, punctures, or other damage to the sidewall or tread of the tire. The road or trail can be full of all kinds of debris, which can eventually puncture your tires. That's why it's always a good idea to check if any of the holes penetrated the casing. If it did, then it's best to change your tires. Remember that any tube inflated to at least 100 PSI will only squeeze through holes. Thus, causing it to become even bigger which can end up as a puncture. It can cause the tire to blow up, especially when there's a tear right near the bead of the tire.  If you find any damage, it's best to replace the tire.


Check the tire pressure

Tires that are under-inflated can wear out faster and make it harder to ride. Use a tire gauge to check the pressure and inflate the tires to the recommended pressure listed on the sidewall of the tire with a bike tire pump.


Check the tire age

Tires have a lifespan, and even if they don't look worn, they can dry out and crack with age. Look for the date code on the sidewall of the tire, it will be marked with a 4 digit code. The first two digits indicate the week of the year and the last two the year. Tires that are more than 5 years old should be replaced, regardless of the wear.


Check the tires for a visible ridge or uneven wear

Checking your bicycle tires for wear

If one part of the tire is wearing down faster than the rest, it could indicate a problem with your bike's alignment or an issue with your riding style. Another tell-tale sign that your tires need replacement is a noticeable ridge. Since the middle part of the tire always touches the ground, you'll soon start to see the rubber getting worn out. Thus, creating a flat ridge right on the center of the tire.

Once it gets more visible, it'll soon affect the bike's performance, which makes it much more challenging to handle. Usually, the back tire gets the most damaged since it's the part that gets more friction.

Are you getting flats? 

Flats are quite common if you're a cyclist. But if it continually happens, it can mean that there is something wrong with your tires. Several flats in a week or on long rides mean that your tire needs replacement. It can also mean that the thread is already so thin that it can't protect the tube from punctures anymore.

Road bike tires

Does your ride quality feel great?

Although your tires pass the test for any signs of wear, you can still replace it if it's affecting your bicycle's performance. If you're new to the sport, then it's best to go with heavy tires that are puncture resistant. But if you feel confident about your skills, consider getting lighter tire handles instead. Not only does it feel lighter compared to all-weather tires, but it'll also help you accelerate better. However, choosing a lighter tire handle also means that it's more prone to flats and can also wear out faster.

By regularly checking your bicycle tires for wear, you can ensure that they are safe and perform well. Always keep an eye on them, and don't hesitate to replace them if you notice any issues. Happy, FUN and safe cycling! 

Check out these related blogs:

The Best Strategy to Buying New Bike Tires!

How to Fix a Flat Bike Tire

How to Install Tubeless Bike Tires

Upgrade Your Ride

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