One of the major parts of maintaining your bicycle is changing its tires. Of course, you have to look over other factors, too, such as brakes and chains but all these are useless if your tires don’t work.
Replacing a bike tire costs between $50 to $150. The more expensive a brand, the more its replacement cost. There’s a lot of diversity in bike tires which gives a range of replacement prices.
There are multiple ways to change a bike tire. You can either replace it yourself, which costs less, or you can go to a repair shop to get it done.
All these have different pros, and in this article, I’m about to tell you everything related to replacing a bike tire.
Does Your Bike Tire Need Replacement?
A few factors that show your tire needs to be replaced are:
- More than 3 fractured spokes
- Warped rim
- Damaged brake on the rim
- Lower gripping power
- Corroded rim parts
All these factors are a clear indication that your tire needs to be replaced and cannot at any cost be fixed.
On the other hand, here are a few indicators that show you can repair your tire instead:
- Less than 3 fractured spokes
- Little wear and tear
- Broken nipples
- Slow leak
- Loose tire bread rope
So, first, before you set out to get your tire replaced, sit down and evaluate the situation. Does your bike even need a tire replaced or can the tires be fixed?
Oftentimes, replacing it can work, then there’s no need to bother with all the extra costs induced.
Get Your Tires Checked By a Professional
Even after you’ve concluded that it does need to be replaced, do talk with your mechanic and see how much the costs would be. Your total bill will consist of a total of labor costs, the equipment, and the cost of the tire.
So, it’s best to have a detailed conversation just so that every step is known prior and you’re aware of the end cost.
If the repairing cost is less with the same quality tires and looks like it’d work then go for a repair rather than replacement.
In the end, your main motive is to have a fully functional bike with superb tires; not whether you paid the kidney to do so.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Tire?
Mostly though, replacing a tire by yourself is found to be cheaper, around $10-$20 as opposed to replacing it which costs around $20-$40.
By now, it is certain that replacing a tire certainly costs way more than repairing it. Since there’s more than one factor involved in getting a tire repaired, the final bill ends up being huge.
Another big deal that determines your replacement cost is the kind of bike you have. Different models have different tires which go with them, and so, they are priced differently as well.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the different kinds of bikes and their corresponding tire replacement prices.
Hybrid Bike Tire
The sad part about owning hybrid bikes is that a mere replacement of its tires can easily cost up to $50. As far as labor costs are concerned, hybrid bike tires replacement is pretty straightforward so it only adds an extra $10-$20.
Firstly we have hybrid bikes. The term hybrid comes from the fact that the vehicle has both tubular and clincher tires installed.
These tires make the ride smooth by essentially increasing the bike’s traction, safety, and of course speed. The nature of these tires is such that they are narrow, to allow all the plethora of features to come into being.
It may seem all fancy and expensive with the high replacement cost. This is also just the cost of the tire and labor costs are actually added on top.
The good part about hybrid bike tires is that it’s not that difficult to replace. All you have to do is replace the tubing in the tire and you’re good to go.
Kids Bike Tire
Replacing your child’s bike tire would cost you $15-$25. However, if you do go to a repair shop then you’ll be subjected to labor and other maintenance costs which can add an extra $20 to your total bill.
As the name suggests, kids’ bikes are made for kids, so their tires don’t have much traction. They have quite minimal features. This is mainly because kids don’t need a lot of speed and power.
This is also one of the main reasons kids’ bike tires are made of soft and pliable rubber that provides perfect cushioning from the ground and is also extremely flexible.
This way, the kid riding it can expect the best sort of comfort and is perfect for those who lack coordination and a sense of distance. However, it’s important to know that these tires are also made the same way as road bike tires.
The only difference is that the tire is shorter and more rounded for that extra safety and allows them to balance and handle a sharper-edged and longer tire.
The good thing about kids’ tires is that they cost the same as a regular tire. So when it comes to replacing kids’ tires you’ll have to give the same amount as you would for replacing a “grown-up ” tire. Since these are kids’ bikes, you can also just replace the tire yourself which only takes 20 minutes at most.
Road Bike Tire
Now, road bike tires are the same as kid’s bike tires. They’re both made of flexible rubber and carbon which is not only strong but can also withstand a lot of pressure. The most common sort of bike tire is tubular. These features make it perfect for use on the busy road.
Once again, replacing a tire yourself is a skill at most. If you’re stranded with a flat tire then replacing it yourself is the only option. For road bikes; the process only requires you to replace the tube inside the tire.
On the occasions that the tire is beyond repair, you’ll need an entirely new tire. When replacing a tire it’s best to leave it to the professionals. They manage to do the job quickly and ensure no other issues will come out. Labor costs for road bike tires are the same as all others, $20 for one tire and around $40 for both.
Again, just like with kids’ bike tires, the price for these tires is the same; $25 maximum. Considering their perks, the price doesn’t feel as much as that for kids’ tires.
MTB Bike Tire
For a normal front MTB bike tire, it can easily cost you up to $100. And this is just the initial cost. These prices can go up or down depending on the place you purchase your tire from.
Affordable mountain bike tires can range from $40-$70. A stark change from your usual $20 fix. Add $20 of labor costs to this and you have a total bill of around $90. And since MTB bike tires are hard to replace, you cannot escape these extra costs either.
MTB or mountain bikes are a more professional version of your average bike. So naturally, their tires cost more as well. And there are more features built into them.
» Maybe this also could be of interest to you: Between Mountain Bike vs. Hybrid Bike? » (6 Facts & Differences)
Knobs or knobbies are what help the bike climb over without losing any traction either. It’s all these advanced features that amalgamate into the tire’s price.
Women’s Bike Tire
Women’s bike tires range from around $30-$40. It’s almost the same price as a normal commuter bike just give or take a few dollars.
I know you’re wondering that bikes are bikes, but women’s bikes do have different frame sizes. For starters, their tires are designed to be much narrower than men’s. On top of that, they also have a low profile while men’s bikes have a relatively higher profile.
They also have fewer treads which is a bit of a downside since that doesn’t protect much from other elements. To counter this feature, and reduce any rolling, they’re often made of a much lighter substance than regular road bike tires.
» I have covered more on this subject in this blog post: Women’s Bike Size Chart — (Correct Sizing, Bicycle)
Since women’s bike tires are so different, it’s best to let a professional handle the replacement. If you’re well versed with the process then you can replace it as well. This will save you $20 in labor costs.
How To: Choose The Best Bike Tire
Since there are many different sorts of bikes and every bike has a tire to fit, choosing a tire for your bike isn’t as easy as it seems. Aside from just specificity to the bike, other factors come into play as well.
These factors are speed, the type of bike, and how much it weighs. Since all of these are interlinked; the perfect bike tire should complement all these factors to give a perfect result.
So, let’s look into a few features that need to be considered when buying a new bike tire.
Type Of Bike
Most bikes are limited to their model. This is to say, bigger tires can fit on smaller bikes and vice versa. The tire can withstand the weight of the bike and it ends up being hard to use on the road.
Usually, basic fit tires can cost from $30-$40. Road tires require more compact and narrow tires, this is mainly because these bikes spend their time on flat roads so don’t need treads or extra features.
Additionally, they don’t need any durability other than what they already have, too. This is why road bike tires cost only around $25. On the other hand, mountain bikes are a whole other story. Since they have to work on rocky roads and need extra strength; they need to be extra strong.
It’s because of their adventurous nature that mountain bikes require tires that can uphold the pressure. Therefore, they cost more than average tires, i.e. $80-$150.
Lastly, hybrid bikes are much like regular road bikes with a few technical differences. This is why hybrid bike tires only cost around $50 and even less than kid’s BMX bikes.
The next most crucial point is the weight of your bike. Since the tires are what balance your entire vehicle, it’s necessary to make sure that the tires can withstand the weight of your bike.
» You can also read my post: What Bike Size to Get? (Size Charts & Bike Sizing Guide!)
The weight of a bike affects the cost of your tire as well. If you have heavy equipment, then the tires are able to uphold a bulky frame; which means you get to buy expensive tires.
To get resilient and durable tires, you need to invest in quality tires that inevitably cost more. As for lighter bikes, they use less durable tires that are inexpensive.
Now, this is pretty obvious. The price of your bike tires and the best pick for your tire depends on where you’re going to use it. As I mentioned before, flat terrain tires cost less compared to rocky terrain tires.
The location differences are an essential consideration when you choose your bike’s replacement tire. Since rocky terrains require treads and extra added durability, which we’ve established costs more, hence rocky and other bumpy terrain tires are costly as compared to flat surface tires.
The main reason is rocky terrain tires not only need extra durability but they also have treads that help keep your bike firm in its position and prevent it from toppling over. The treads increase surface area and friction between the ground, ultimately making it more stable.
The reason terrain matters so much is because the right tires can help a lot. And depending on your requirement, you can then look for the best price. Once you know what you’re looking for, finding a cheap price isn’t hard at all.
Speed is a big consideration when getting tires. Speed can also be correlated with driving purpose. This means noting down why you need a bike in the first place. You need to decide If it’s merely to run small errands or to use a cheaper alternative to cars or if it’s your sole means of commuting.
Once you’ve got that sorted, you can decide which tire to use based on the information. If you’re planning on using your bike for small trips to the grocery store, then you can just use an average tire.
However, if you plan on going far with it then that’s when you’ll need more durable and resilient tires. Average quality tires will cost a minimal amount as compared to the more durable and strong ones; which cost way more.
There’s no doubt that repairing a tire is the cheaper option, if you’re like me and prefer quality over the price, you’d make one average investment that will then last you a decent amount of time.
Once you repair your bike tire you won’t have to worry about anything else going wrong for a long time. And usually, you can find good bargains on bike tires if you scavenge for them.
Either way, I hope this article has cleared up your confusion about the vast world of bike tires.