So it’s time for a new set of bike tires, and you don’t know how much you should be spending on them. You go to your local bike shop, and there are hundreds of tires that cost from as little as $10 all the way up to $100. So how much does it actually cost to change and tire, and what should you be paying?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as you might think. There’s so much to think about from sizing, different rubber compounds, and if you are going to need tubeless or not. In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to think about when selecting a new bike tire and how much it should cost.
Why Might You Need a New Bike Tire?
Every bike can benefit from new tires, and there are many reasons why you might need one or a set. Here are our top reasons why you might need new tires or should change your own.
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The first thing you need to consider when it comes to cycling is always safety. Keeping your bike in top shape keeps you safe while on the roads. Damaged or old tires are prone to blowouts, and this is the last thing you need on a fast descent or on a busy road.
New tires offer the best performance, and having a new set on your bike will give you lots of extra grip and can help them roll much faster. Before a race or a competition, professionals will always give themselves fresh tires, so they have the best chance of winning.
Your tires could not need replacing. You might just want to add an upgrade to your bike. You could be upgrading your tires for them to be wider, have more grip, or even be smaller and faster rolling. You might even want to upgrade your bike to a tubeless system.
Let’s be honest in saying new tires look incredible. Bikes look amazing with fresh rubber on, and new tires make a huge difference when you plan to show off your bike. Bikes look brand new with fresh tires. We love it.
What Do You Need to Consider When Buying a New Tire?
Before we go into what makes a tire expensive and how much you should pay, it’s vital to know that you’re buying the right tires for your bike. If you plan to replace the tires on there like for like, then you will be fine, but if not, here’s what you need to think about;
- 26” / 27.5” / 29” (MTB)
- 650b / 700c (Road)
This is the most important measurement on your bike, and getting this correct is vital to the tire fitting your rim properly.
- 1.8” – 4” (MTB)
- 35c to 50c (Gravel)
- 23 – 32c (Road)
This is important to get a size that fits inside your frame, but typically you can pick from many different sizes.
- Large and Knobby (MTB)
- Large and Slick (Gravel)
- Small and Slick (Road)
Finally, you have tire style. You have to pick the right style for the bike you have and the roads you’re going to be on.
Tubes or Tubeless
Going tubeless is an excellent upgrade to make your wheels lighter and your puncture protection better, and you need special tires for this.
What Affects the Cost of a Tire?
Tires range from between $10 to $100, and many people ask why they are different if they look the same and even do the same job. Here’s why tires cost different amounts.
The better the brand, the more you’re going to pay. Bigger brands put a lot of money into the research and development of tires, which eventually comes out in the end cost. The same goes for brands that sponsor huge teams. They charge more because they have teams to support.
More expensive tires are made of better rubber compounds. This means they will last longer and also be better at stopping punctures. You can feel the quality of a tire when it is off the wheel. Typically good compounds make it feel tough when flexing.
Tubes or Tubeless
When it comes to the internals, tires with inner tubes are generally much cheaper than tires with a tubeless system. This is because tubeless tires are made very differently and not only have the job of stopping punctures but sealing the liquid inside ready in case anything gets through.
TPI refers to threads per inch. Some tires have lots of little threads, which can improve the performance but reduce puncture protection, and some have large threads with more rubber compound, which don’t perform as well but offer better puncture protection.
How Much Does It Cost for a Bike Tire?
It all comes down to personal preference and how much you want to spend. For a cheap tire, you can spend as little as $10, and for an expensive tire, as much as $100. Here’s what you get;
A $10 will offer very little puncture protection, and you might end up spending a lot of money on inner tubes in the long run.
Then you have performance, a $10 will give you very little performance, unfortunately. It will be heavy, and the rubber won’t give you the grip you might need if you’re in a race.
Cheap tires don’t tend to last very long. They are made of a cheap, less resilient compound that will break down in time compared to an expensive compound.
A $100 can offer amazing puncture protection, and depending on the tires, some are known to last 3000k plus with no issues at all.
Then you have performance, a $100 can give an amazing performance. Racing tires are very lightweight and made with very little rolling resistance.
If you get a good all-round expensive tire, you can expect it to last a long time. No matter how many miles you plan to do, it can sit on the bike for years and still perform when the cobwebs are blown off.
How Much Should You Spend on a Bike Tire?
We recommend spending around $40-$60 on a standard tire, and on a Tubeless tire, we recommend spending $50-$70. Tires in this range are from the top brands that are excellent at helping you avoid punctures and give you excellent performance.