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Is it better to buy a bike that comes with puncture resistant tires, or get a cheaper bike that comes with worse tires and then get them replaced?

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Most probably it doesn't really matter, punctures have a nasty habit of just happening. Even puncture-resistant tyres will wear out naturally sooner or later, so will need to be replaced. I'd base your purchasing decision on other factors. –  PeteH Jun 23 at 16:46
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Is it the exact same bike, with different tire options? If so, it's a matter of doing the math and comparing the costs of buying the tires yourself vs. buying the bike with the tires already on it. If they aren't actually the same bike, there's a lot of other aspects to consider. Last time I bought a bike, I told myself I would replace the tires with "puncture resistant" ones. But I used the stock tires for a while and didn't experience any problems so I decided to keep the ones that came with the bike. –  Kibbee Jun 23 at 16:48
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Very few road bikes come with puncture-resistant tires, so if you want them on a road bike you'll almost certainly end up buying them yourself. An off-road bike may or may not have them, depending on how it positions itself in the marketplace. But since there is considerable difference in types of puncture-resistant tires you're probably better off buying the bike you like and getting the desired quality of puncture-resistant tires separately, unless the bike just happens to come with them. –  Daniel R Hicks Jun 23 at 20:00

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Don't decide your bike based on the stock tires. Tires are consumable components, and will not last like the rest of the components will. Tires are cheap, changing the frame or drivetrain is expensive.

Just ride the stock tires until they are worn out, then replace them with the puncture resistant tires, if by that point they are still important to you.

Many shops will swap out various components as part of a purchase anyway, so you can have your cake and eat it too.

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Wear vs punctures depends heavily on riding conditions if you do a couple of miles of cycle lanes next to busy roads you will essentially never wear out a set of tyres but get frequent punctures. So in these conditions either fit them as soon as you're happy that the bike is set up right, or get them fitted either at the time of purchase or at the first service. –  Chris H Jun 24 at 10:37

You can get puncture resistant inner tubes, liners, or just squeeze a bunch of Slime into the current inners. Or not worry about it, keep your tires properly inflated, and be a happy camper.

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Either way from my experience whether you spend the money up front or afterward puncture resistant tubes and tires are worth the expense. I have purchased mine aftermarket, and they added so many miles, and trips it's unreal. Let's face it changing tires and fixing flats is a hassle and I was having one once a week or around every 100 miles, until I changed to thicker tires. So in my case I say tires may not be the most expensive component but they effect the overall biking experience greatly. Good luck buying!

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Every hundred miles? Do you regularly inflate your tires? Or do you live in some sort of glass filled apocalyptic wasteland? –  whatsisname Jun 24 at 14:33

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