When to change your bike tyres

At the risk of stating the obvious, without tyres your bike simply does not run! No matter what tech bling you have on it and how light you have managed to get it. Even £1000 wheels don’t run without tyres on them. So you could say it is quite important to make sure your tyres are in good condition and do the job they are made to do. If you have worn out tyres or the wrong ones on a 10k bike can become useless, just by having a tyre let you down. So no matter how good your bike is if your tyres are not up to the job it can hinder your performance, make your bike feel slow or not handle as well as it should do. So what do you look out for and when do you change your tyres. But before we talk about that.

What kind of mileage should you expect to receive from a tyre?

Schwalbe suggests that as a general guide, you can expect around a mileage of 2000 to 5000 km or 1200m to 3100m from Schwalbe standard tyres. With the marathon, and marathon plus tyres, this can see well in excess of this mileage. This is just a guide and every rider will experience some variables due to the riding style and road conditions etc. Top brands like continental and Vittoria also demonstrate this kind of mileage.

What tyre pressures should you run to get the best out of them?

Below are ways in which you can identify when your tyres may need changing.


Tread wear indicator

Continental have a cool system that works well called the TWI (tread wear Indicator) this helps you to identify when the tyres are in need of replacing. They have small round holes in the tread so that when these small holes disappear it suggests that you replace the tyre. If you are using other brands and you see the puncture belt, carcas or threads through the rubber then they will need replacing straight away.

Worn sidewalls

Check the side of your tyres sidewalls often. Are they showing signs of creasing, bulging, threads showing, thinning, discolouring or deteriorating? These are signs that the tyre is starting to wear or weaken and could leave you more prone to blowout or tyre splitting. At this point, preferably before, you should change the tyre.



This is much harder to recognise. Sometimes tyres deform, which could be simply because a part of the tyre has become weaker due to a low-grade rubber. If the tyre is deformed upon installation this could be because the tyre has not been seated correctly on the rim. Take the tyre and inner tube off and reinstall them. Spin the wheel in your hands to see if the tyre is spinning correctly. If after some attempts this is still not right contact the manufacturer and get a replacement as it may have come out of the mould deformed.

Lots of holes, cuts and abrasions

This is a fairly normal sight to see on a tyre. Riding over gravel, stones, glass and general road debris causes small cuts and holes in the tyre. Check this regularly and if the holes or cuts are fairly deep then you run the risk of puncturing. Tubeless tyres of better for dealing with this kind of issue as the sealant help to seal small holes and cuts, but still if there are too many it is worth considering a change.

Squaring off

This is rare, but if you do a lot of straight lines and do little bends and corners they tyre can become a little squared off just because you are only using the middle part of the tyre for most of the time. It is hard to tell but you will be able to feel it in the handling. It will have become to handle less securely and may feel like to have less grip.


These are pretty obvious and in most cases are irreparable,  even if the tread is ok and you are able to re-seat it, you should replace it straight away.

Another Puncture?

Have you ever said to yourself another puncture?! Too many punctures can mean you need to replace. The tread could be low or you may have lots of injuries to the tyre. If your tyre has not have done a lot of miles but could be old and deteriorated over time. If you have had one too many punctures in a short space of time, replacing the tyre is the best thing.


If you have any questions of want advise on tyres, pressures or choosing the right tyre then feel free to ask us on the #YourRide

Writer and expert