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How to Check If Bike Tire Is Worn

Learn how to replace an old bike tire from Silk Road Cycles' Brendon Nicholas in this Howcast bicycle repair and maintenance video, part one of three.


Okay, so today we are going to learn about how you know when your tire is worn out. This is a big problem we see all the time in the shop. People come in with tires that are very worn out and that can be very dangerous because you could be going down a hill and your tire can blow out and then you can lose control.

So there are a couple different ways to see if your tire is really worn out. At first you'll see with this tire the tread is almost completely gone so this tire definitely needs to be replaced. Also a lot of tires you'll see in the city, because the city is so hard on bicycles with the weather and just all the grit and grime everywhere, is you'll see cracks in the sidewall or even cracks along the tread. Which basically a lot of people call it dry rot and basically the rubber just dries out and it's rotting and can blow out. So these tires need to be replaced and we'll talk about how you replace them and how you figure out which size tire is correct for you. So this wheel is a 700c wheel.

There are a bunch of different sizes. The most common are 700c, 26 inch and 27 inch. So the way that you figure that out is you look around the sidewall on your tire and you'll see on this tire it says 700 x 38c. That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to put a 700 x 38c. Usually there is a bit of a range so you could put a 700 x 40 or something like 700 x 42 depending on your frame. So we'll take this tire off and put a new tire on and show you how to do that.

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