Last Updated on September 11, 2021
Tires are one of the most important parts of a mountain bike.
Not only do these let your bike go from one place to another. But it’s also the only bike part that has direct contact with the ground. This is why you must ensure it is in prime condition all the time so you’ll have a safe ride.
However, tires are also disposable parts. This means that they have a certain lifespan and they need to be replaced with a new one. Either their treads become so thin, or they get enough damage from trails that you need to get a fresh pair of tires.
In this article, we’ll tell you the usual amount of time that you need to get a fresh pair of tires. We’ll also discuss the factors that affect tire deterioration and how you can maintain the longevity of your tires.
How long should you get new tires?
There is no one single answer to when you should do a tire change because it depends on many things such as your riding style, how often you ride, and the kind of tires you have as well as the terrain you ride on.
However, most enduro and downhill tires last 6 to 8 months for average use. But this can go to a shorter 4 to 6 months if you’re a hardcore rider who rides in the gnarliest of trails.
There are also some instances where tires can last for 1 to 2 years or even more if you don’t ride them often. Or if you’re a very careful mountain biker.
Factors Affecting Tire Deterioration
Frequency of use
One of the biggest factors that affect bike tire deterioration is how often you use it, just like with a car tire. This is an obvious fact. The more you use your bike, the faster the tires will shed their tread and deteriorate.
Let’s say you always ride your bike to and from work every day. And you’ve got trail tires on your mountain bike.
For sure, your tires won’t reach a year of usage. In fact, riding on paved roads speeds up your tires’ lifespan because mountain bike tires aren’t meant for use on cement.
They have softer materials that are made for soft soil and muddy trails. They can easily wear off and become thinner if you always use them on the highways.
Your riding style also plays a huge factor in your tires’ lifespan. If you are a careful rider who just rides for fun and exercise, then you can expect your tires to last for a long time. More likely around 1 year or so.
However, if you always race and you are a competitive athlete, then expect your tires to last for just a few months. More so if you like doing jumps and drops or riding through rock gardens.
The terrain also is a huge factor in your tires’ lifespan. If you always ride on technical trails, then there’s a good chance your tires will get punctured or ripped off. This is especially true if there are sharp rocks or roots on your favorite trail.
On the other hand, your tires will last longer if you always ride in flow trails that have a green or blue rating. But also take note that using your bike on paved roads can also shorten its lifespan because hard cement can easily shed your tire treads. After all, they’re made for softer soil.
PSI is an acronym for pounds per square inch. This is the measurement of the amount of air you put in your tires. Your tires are harder if they have a higher PSI. They are then softer if they have a low PSI.
Tires that have high PSI are harder which means they easily don’t get flexed whenever they make contact with the ground. This is the same as car tires.
This reduces wear and tear because they simply roll over without much ground contact. Meanwhile, softer tires with low PSI have too much ground contact. This then means that this large ground contact will take up more material from the tire.
Top Signs You Need to Replace Your Bike Tires
Worn tread is the most common sign that you need a tire change. Treads are the huge extra chunks of rubber that stick out from the circular shape of the tire. These can also be compared to a car tire’s lug nuts because they provide support
These are important in maintaining traction and reducing the chances of slipping. You should have your tires changed if you observe that the treads are already too thin or small.
Always getting flats and punctures is another sign that you need to get a new pair of tires from a tire shop and have your tires changed. There may be an underlying issue inside your tires. And replacing it with a new pair is the best way to ensure safety. This is why we suggest you stash extra four tires and lug nuts in case you get a flat tire.
Worn down casing
Mountain bike tires have a casing that acts as an extra layer of protection for your tires. You can easily see if your casing is worn down if there are no more lines at the sides.
Or the textures on its sidewalls are already very thin or smooth. White fibers sticking out of the tires are also a sign that your casing is already worn out and you need a tire service on all the tires.
How to extend your tires’ lifespan?
Don’t be too hard on your brakes
Braking can considerably lower your tires’ lifespan because it can shed off the rubber when you brake. What happens when you brake is that your tires lock and don’t move.
But even if they don’t move, your bike still moves because of its weight. This movement then drags your locked tires and causes friction between the tire and the ground.
Don’t skid if unnecessary
Skidding is nice and cool. But it’s just unnecessary unless you’re just showing off! Not only does skids make you slower, but it can also shred your rubber fast especially if you do this on the hard-compacted ground, or worse, on the pavement.
Keep your tires away from direct sunlight and rain
Direct exposure to sunlight and rain can also damage your tires because they are made with rubber. Rubber contracts and expands every time the temperature changes.
And these changes are just made worse by direct contact with sunlight and rain. You should keep your bike indoors when not used.
There is no specific answer on how long does it take to get new tires. It depends on your riding style, riding frequency, terrain, and how you take care of your bike. Just make sure that you check it every time before you ride to ensure safety. Wheel alignment on a balancing machine with a wheel-mounted sensor is also important if you want to keep your bike tires safe.