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Why are some of you so cheap about tires?(8 posts)

Why are some of you so cheap about tires?AJS
Nov 24, 2003 5:40 AM
I don't get many times on these forums, I see questions like: "What's the best tire for ____? I'm also looking to get better mileage than ____." While at the same time, some of these people expect to have excellent traction, handling, weight, flat resistance, etc. But mostly I see people wanting almost extreme levels of tire wear/longevity.

Often is the case that for one thing, very good traction comes at the expense of tire wear, simply because better gripping rubber compounds tend to wear faster (softer) than harder, higher-mileage compounds. That's generally the way it is unless you have a dual-compound tire like Vittoria Corsa's or Vredestein TriComp's. And many mfg's try to strike a happy medium between a bit shorter tire life for a bit better traction or lower weight, etc. There usually must be a trade-off.

Of course then there are other variables such as thickness of rubber, tire casing design and material, clincher vs. tubular, rider weight and riding style, and even tire width and pressure, etc. All of those can affect tire wear to one degree or another.

The way I look at bicycle tires is:

1. You've got what - maybe a square inch or less per tire of contact patch between you and potential disaster.

2. Bike tires, even the more expensive models, don't cost that much relative to how often they need to be replaced.

So, if you're trying to cheap-out with a fairly crappy set of tires at say $15. each, (let's say $35./pr. with tax or shipping), as opposed to buying a better pair for $25.-$40. each ($55.-$85./pr.), the better tires cost you $20.-$50. more per pr. than the cheap ones.

But how often do you need to buy them? Once every year or two - or three? And if you're a rider that puts lots of mileage in and needs to replace tires more than once a year, then something you do that much deserves good equipment and bigger cash outlay would seem reasonable.

For the relatively small amount of around $75., I can have much better performance and peace of mind. Saving a few bucks on bike tires - in the long run - might not be the smartest thing to do.

End of rant! ;-)
Once every 2-3 years? You need to get out on your bike more.bimini
Nov 24, 2003 6:13 AM
I've gone through 2 1/2 sets this year. Thats 3000-4000 miles per set.

A lot of the cheaper tires have better wear and do not square off like the expensive ones. The expensive ones trade off grip, weight and low rolling resistance for wear.

By the way, tires are one area where I indulge myself. I like the feel of a good set of tires and I like to go fast so I normally do spend the extra bucks for a good set of tire.

With winter rolling around and the first snow fall it is time to put the Sport 1000's back on the bike though. The sand on the roads works like sandpaper on good tires and your lucky to get a 1000 miles off a set in the winter.
If you lived where I do....AJS
Nov 27, 2003 10:01 PM upstate NY, you wouldn't be doing too much riding in the Adirondack winters.

There's usually snow/ice on the ground for 5-6 months of the year. And even when you get a few "warm" days and the roads get clear, then you have the salt spray getting into every part on your bike. Not good.
Simple answerNessism
Nov 24, 2003 7:02 AM
Tires are one of those components that span a wide range of prices. Marketing has a lot to do with this I think. For example, Michelin Pro Race tires often sell for $40+ but are very similar to many of their lower price models like the Hi-Lite Prestige that can usually be had for low $20's. Both seem to have the same casing (127 TPI), both weigh the same, durability is similar as is ride quality. So why pay the difference?
But, they're RED!Mel Erickson
Nov 24, 2003 7:17 AM
This would clash with my paint too much!
That's why I bought a RED bike! nmMShaw
Nov 24, 2003 4:51 PM
re: Why are some of you so cheap about tires?tarwheel
Nov 24, 2003 8:32 AM
I ride about 7,000 miles a year. At 1,500 miles average wear for a decent rear tire and 3,000 front, that's at least 6 tires per year. However, I generally spend no more than $25 each for good quality tires. If you stock up when places like Performance are having sales, you can save a lot of money. You also can get great every-day prices on quality tires at

I never, ever bike tires at retail bike shop prices. Sorry LBS fans, but I've had more than one tire ruined at low mileage after damaging a sidewall on a rock or something similar. I can't afford to spend $50 per tire with the kind of mileage I put in, particularly when that tire might get ruined long before its tread is worn out.
You're lucky...AJS
Nov 24, 2003 6:25 PM
...that you have the time to get so many miles on your bike. If I could get tires I like for $25. everyday, I'd buy them. But I'm not too far off with Vred Campo's and Fortezza's @ $29.95 per + shipping. Most shops sell those two for at least $39.95. (I only ride a CX bike now - sold my road bike last winter and my MTB 2 years before that.)