I recently upgraded to puncture resistant tires on my road bike. The previous tires are old, but still usable. Is there any value to doing anything other than throwing them out? For instance, is there any reason to keep them? Is it possible to sell used tires? If no one wants them, can/should they be recycled?

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    Check if there's a place that "recycles" bikes for the needy near you. Otherwise you can probably drop them off at a tire store for recycling, if you ask nice. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 18 '13 at 10:55
  • You could take them to a community bike repair shop. These guys aren't super close to Irvine but maybe there is something similar closer to you. bicyclekitchen.com – Wadelp Mar 18 '13 at 21:30
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    In the UK there are quite a few people who make trouser belts from old tyres. I have a knobbly one (which is a pain to use and plays havoc with the belt loops on my jeans). Road tyres make the best belts. Maybe see if a similar crafty person near you wants them? – Mere Development Mar 19 '13 at 7:41
  • Just burn them. – sixtyfootersdude Mar 21 '13 at 20:03
  • I don't know about tires, but tubes make good fire starter when camping in wet conditions. Just cut them in 1cm wide rings. – Vorac Mar 24 '13 at 14:48

I usually gift them to people who need them.

Edit: To expand more on my answer, I use rather expensive tyres and I want them in mint condition. So after a couple of months I'll most probably change them. The old tyres can still give 6-12 months of quality riding time to someone. So I'll post on local riding forums with closeup photos of the tread and usually people will get them.

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    It's surprising to see how stuff that is useless for us are quite valued by those who sometimes can't afford even the bare minimum. – heltonbiker Mar 18 '13 at 18:55
  • And how do you find people who need them? – Joe Mar 20 '13 at 17:20
  • @Joe: I post in local riding forums. Also see updated answer. – cherouvim Mar 21 '13 at 7:12
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    @DanielRHicks: You obviously assume that I ride a city bike to commute to work. Your statement would then be valid. – cherouvim Mar 21 '13 at 12:15
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    sounds like he's hooked up or else adopting the Sky approach of marginal gains :) – will Mar 22 '13 at 11:13

You could use your old tires for when you are on the trainer and your new tires for road riding. That way your trainer wont wear out your new tires.

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    +1 for people who live in places with a season of bad weather, but for me personally, I don't have a trainer (why wouldn't I just ride outside) and changing tires frequently is a PITA. – Joe Mar 18 '13 at 19:05
  • Yes it would be a pain to change tires, but if you had a spare wheel it might be a more useful suggestion. I live in the ME, even the cold season isn't too cold to go out on the bike, but still sometimes preferable to stay indoors, especially when it rains. – robthewolf Mar 19 '13 at 7:48

New tires are puncture resistance, not proof. It is possible to cut them so they can not be used. I keep old tires, as a quick fix for such situations until I can buy new ones. Also I frequently go to the cottage house with bicycle (cca 60km). So I keep one old spare tire there.


Tyres have steel or aramid beads in the edge. If you cut that off with workshop snips or similar (not dressmaking scissors!) then it becomes a ~2 metre long fairly flat length as opposed to a hoop. This flattened tread can be cable-tied or screwed onto things that need a bumper or buffer.

I've used dead tyres for packing/padding things, and protecting things.

Have also tried to make some rubber tyres for our council wheelie bins because they're horribly loud when rolled. That kind-of worked but simply plating the outside of the plastic wheel with tyre tread was of minimal gain.

The underside of your bike's downtube might benefit from stone protection, and the right chainstay could get some defense from chain slap.

Some tread patterns can suit costumes or simulate other textures.

MTB tyres have much more material, so can cover more area per tyre. Skinny road tyres are a lot less surface area and also tend to be thinner so can fit closer to a corner

Finally, if you used slime or stan's inside a tubeless setup, be aware that it will still be inside the tube and can interfere with glues and paint, and possibly stain whatever you mount the tyre.


In case your idea of tire reuse goes beyond reusing them on a bike, this or that can help.

Main points from links that pertain to tyres and tubes:

  • tyre liners
  • "handy things around the house" like rubber bands.
  • fashion accessories (belts, bags, wallets, elbow patches)
  • Resurrect them (patch the tubes and reuse them)
  • Recycle at the local bike shop / car tyre shop (maybe)

  • waterproof cover for a book

  • creative jewellery
  • Bike tube purse
  • waterproof Tool roll
  • cover a chain
  • make sandals for your feet (modern variant of the huarache or other name)
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    If you could, try to condense and present what your links suggest rather than just linking them. – WTHarper Mar 20 '13 at 12:04
  • @WTHarper done. – Criggie Dec 19 '17 at 0:47

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