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?

  • 3
    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. Commented Mar 18, 2013 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
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 21:30
  • 1
    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? Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 7:41
  • Just burn them. Commented Mar 21, 2013 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
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 14:48

5 Answers 5


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.

  • 3
    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. Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 18:55
  • And how do you find people who need them?
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 17:20
  • @Joe: I post in local riding forums. Also see updated answer.
    – cherouvim
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 7:12
  • 1
    @DanielRHicks: You obviously assume that I ride a city bike to commute to work. Your statement would then be valid.
    – cherouvim
    Commented Mar 21, 2013 at 12:15
  • 1
    sounds like he's hooked up or else adopting the Sky approach of marginal gains :)
    – will
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 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.

  • 1
    +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
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 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
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 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)
  • 6
    If you could, try to condense and present what your links suggest rather than just linking them.
    – WTHarper
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 12:04
  • @WTHarper done.
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 0:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.