Okay, let's say your bike needs a new tire. Maybe it has a puncture or a gash in the sidewall. Maybe it has become so worn that the threads underneath are showing through and it clearly needs to be replaced.
How much thought do you give to the process? None, right? Just take the damaged or worn tire off, and replace it with a new one. Easy as pie.
Well, there is maybe some strategy involved here and so it can be smart to pay attention and plan this out a bit. Changing your tires purposefully can not only make your tires wear more evenly but actually keep you safer too.
The rear wheel on your bike typically wears out most quickly. This is due to its constantly pushing off the pavement, grinding off the thinnest layer of ruber each time you pedal. And your front wheel is absolutely critical to your safety in its role in helping you steer. So you don't want the shoddier tire of the pair there on the front. If you have a blowout going down a steep hill or turning fast around the corner you're totally hosed. Maybe you can stay upright if it is the rear wheel that goes, but that's not the case when the front one pops.
So you always want to have the newest tire mounted on the front. That way you've got the best opportunity for steering and control in front, and the wear you're putting on a tire is on one that's already seen some time out carrying you up and down the road. Then, when it's time to replace a tire -- and chances are, unless it's a damage case you're probably swapping out the rear one, right, since that's the one that's been wearing itself out doing all the work-- then you put the brand new tire on in the front to help give you the best option for steering. Next, you take the former front tire and put it on the back wheel. That's the one that now going to start taking the punishment.
Voila and off you go. Simple rule when you need a new tire. Put the new one on in front; move the current front tire to the back cause it's already a little worn and now it can spend the rest of its useful life getting pedaled by your powerful legs while the new one with the best tread is busy up front keeping you safe.
- Guide to changing a bike tire
- Guide to patching an inner tube
- Guide to different types of bike tires
- Easy ways to avoid flat tires
- What are CO2 cartridges and how to use them
- Keep proper air pressure in your tires - how glamorous!