When to Replace Your Mountain Bike Tires: The Definitive Guide on Tire Replacement

The life expectancy of a mountain bike tire varies depending on how often you ride and the way you ride. If you are riding every day, your tires will naturally wear out faster than if you only ride once or twice a week. The type of terrain that you typically ride also has an impact on the lifespan of your tires. For example, if there is gravel in your usual routes, it will take its toll on your tires and shorten their lifespan significantly.

With all these factors, pinpointing the exact lifetime of your bike tire isn’t something I can say offhand. However, I’ll share all the data and factors that may influence the longevity of your bike tire. I’ll also outline signs to look out for of a worn tire.

How many miles does a mountain bike last?

Mountain bike tires will typically last between 3000 and 8000 miles. However, riding a mountain bike on terrains with sharp rocks, gravel, and other harsh terrains will reduce the mileage closer to 1000 miles. While riding less demanding trails like cross country trails will make the tire last at least 3000 miles.

With that in mind, you can see that mountain bike tires can last quite a long time. For example, if you were to get 3000 miles from your tires, then that would allow you to ride the bike for 8 miles every day for an entire year or 56 miles per week.

Let’s face it…

You most likely won’t be riding 8 miles every day or 56 miles per week. The average mountain biker reports riding an average of 30-40 miles in a good week. So if you fall within those averages, then your tires will last more than a year easily!

How does the terrain affect my Mountain Bike Tire Life?

The terrain is one of the greatest factors that influence the lifespan of mountain bike tires. Riding on rougher terrains may reduce the lifespan of a tire that would last 3000+ miles down to 1000 miles. In terms of the actual time, that would be roughly (6) six months of weekly riding 40 miles. But if you end up ripping the tire on a sharp rock within a week of owning it, then that’s all there is to the life expectancy.

Another factor to consider with the terrain is the type of mountain bike tire you have equipped on your bike. Each type of mtb tire is designed to take on a certain type of terrain, which the manufacturers predetermine. In addition, different types of tires offer different performances on different surfaces. So if you are riding on a trail, one type of tire might last longer for many miles than another.

For example, if you plan to do mostly XC riding, having touring or trail tires that favor rolling efficiency is all you need, and you’ll get a good 3000 miles or more from them. On the other hand, if you plan to do lots of pavement riding with beady tires, you can expect the life/mileage to be greatly reduced. If you’re looking for a great guide on how to pick a good mtb tire, then check out this guide.

How long do mountain bike tires last on the pavement?

Again the life expectancy of the mountain bike tire will depend on the type of tire(treading and compound). If you select a proper mixed surface tire and ride on pavements frequently, you can expect to get 1 to 2 years out of your tires. On the other hand, if you have traditional mountain bike tires, you will get six (6)months – 1 year from those tires if you ride on pavement. 

How do you know if your mountain bicycle tires are worn out?

You can know when your mountain bike tires are worn out by looking for these telltale signs:

  • Worn tread – Pay attention to flat spots on your tires that look like they are rubbed out. Some tires also have tread wear indicators so pay attention to those.
  • Cracks or cuts on the surface of your tire – These are usually caused by potholes, rocks, or other sharp objects hitting your tires while riding on rough terrain. If you see this, it’s time to get new ones!
  • Loss of traction – if you feel like there is less traction than usual while riding, this could be because the tires are worn out.
  • Weakened sidewalls – if your tire has a bulge or uneven sidewall that looks weakened, then it’s time to get new ones! Look out for cracks/tears in the sidewall or if you can see the inner fabric through the tire.
  • They Keep going flat – If your tire keeps going flat and it wasn’t punctured, then it’s a sign that there is something wrong with the tire.
  • Hole in the Tire – If your tire has a hole in it that cannot be patched, then that’s an obvious sign of a tire that needs replacement. Also, if you feel like the tire gets punctured by an object that typically wouldn’t cause any damage, then it needs to be replaced.

How can I make my mountain bike tires last longer?

Making your mountain bike tires last longer isn’t as straightforward as do x, and you’ll get an extra 1000 miles from a tire. Rather it’s by doing a combination of actions that will allow you to extend the life of your tires. And even then, the length you can extend it by is determined by factors outside your control, like weather conditions.

Avoid Heat and Fluctuating Temperatures

Most of us don’t have proper storage for our bikes, so we often leave them exposed to heat and fluctuating temperatures of rain, snow, and then heat. These fluctuations in temperature and the inactivity of the bike can cause the tires to wear faster or dry rot. 

Inflate your bike tires to the correct air pressure

Tire inflation is critical to extending the life of your tires. Without the tires being inflated to the correct pressure, you risk them popping or getting a pinch flat. Having lower than the required air pressure also causes uneven tread wear, which will force you to have them replaced before you needed to. 

Choose the Right Tire for the way you ride.

Getting the appropriate tire for your riding style and the terrains you frequently ride on can go a long way in increasing the life expectancy of your tires. 

Replace your Front tire

A simple trick you can use to lower the amount of money you need to spend on your bike is to replace a single tire. In most cases, the rear tire is the one that will be worn faster. So you can save a few dollars by buying a single new tire and putting it on the front while moving the front tire to the back. Of course, this tip is only applicable when your tires aren’t specific to the front and rear of your bike.

Avoid Skidding

Taming the way you ride and doing your best to avoid skidding on hard surfaces can help in increasing how long your tires will last.

Track Mileage

Using a cycling app like Strava is a great way to help you know the total mileage you’ve ridden. Then, if you see the tires wearing more than you expect, you can adjust the way you ride to increase the life duration of the tire.

How much do new MTB tires Cost?

You can expect to pay between $40 to $99 for good-quality mountain bike tires on average. A good quality tire will typically last about 3000+ miles. At the same time, cheaper options might not even give you 2000 miles even with moderate mountain biking.

The cheapest mtb tires are the ones that don’t make it past 800 miles. These tires usually go for less than $30. So if your mountain bike is the main way you get around, then be ready to spend more money on tires. Quality ones are $60-$100.

Buying mountain bike tires is an important decision because the right set of wheels can make you more comfortable and efficient on the trail. It’s not always better to buy cheaper tires.

FAQ

Do you need to Replace Both Tires on my MTB?

You do not need to replace both tires on your bike at the same time. Usually, the back tire wears out faster than the front one. In that case, you should only replace your rear tire and save money by putting the new tire to the front and the old to the back.

Is it difficult to replace a tire yourself?

Replacing bike tires by yourself is a straightforward task that can be accomplished in as little as 15 minutes.

How much does it cost to replace MTB tires?

The cost to replace your mountain bike tire includes the service fee and tire costs ranging between $50 on the cheap end and up to $120 to replace expensive tires. 

Wrapping Up

With this information, you should now be able to judge the life of your tires. If you are riding demanding trails, then expect to replace your tire sooner than if you were on cross-country terrain. But regardless of how often or where you ride, it’s important to keep an eye out for telltale signs that signal when a tire has reached the end of its lifespan. When these problems start showing up on your bike tires, it may be time for new ones!