One of my tires (the front) was replaced recently, and I notice that it picks up grit (i.e. tiny, sand-sized debris) much more easily than the cheap stock tire (still on the rear) that came with the bike. This happens both when the road is wet as well on roads that have been recently resurfaced. (In the latter case even though the road is dry, I still seem to get bits of asphalt along with occasional black gunk which makes the sticking worse.)

I have been told that grit sticking to the tire won't cause a flat, and if I don't scrape (which I always try to do under these conditions, although this is really annoying) I find the grit generally spins off the wheel eventually, but nevertheless it leaves me with an uneasy feeling.

When it is time to replace my rear tire, I would like to get a tire that doesn't have this problem. However, I don't see how to tell by looking at a tire whether or not it will have this problem. I do notice that my new tire does seem a bit shinier than the old one, but I don't know that this would be a reliable indicator. Is there some foolproof way to avoid such a tire?

  • 3
    What exactly is the problem? Does the grit get your frame dirty? Are you tracking it inside? Is the grit making the tire not grip as well?
    – WTHarper
    Commented Jun 10, 2013 at 23:06
  • 2
    The cheap stock tires don't pick up grit because they probably aren't gripping the road either. :)
    – amcnabb
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 2:34
  • @WTHarper I guess my main concern is tire wear. The grit pressing against the tire and possibly rubbing against it as it goes round and round can't be good for it. It's not a MTB tire, so it's not like the tire is very thick. I have already observed one piece of grit that actually embedded itself in the tire, although not a large enough piece to go all the way through and unlike the MTB I'm not confident enough to try to remove it...
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 4:41
  • Another risk is that it might cause inner tube puncture if worn through the tyre material in long-term. It happened to a lot of people. Could you kindly put a picture of your tyre, might help some gurus here to understand whether or not it is a tyre problem?
    – ha9u63a7
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 11:11

1 Answer 1


I tend to agree with @amcnabb, softer rubber will stick to asphalt better, but it's going to collect lots of junk. However soft tires will also live less than harder slicks, so anyway it's the balance between grip and durability. If you are not that worried about gripping the road in crazy turns, just search for harder rubber slicks.

  • 3
    +1 for describing that it's a tradeoff between grip and longevity. By the way, if you were to expand your answer a bit to clarify when someone might want more longevity and when they might want more grip, I think this could be a really great answer.
    – amcnabb
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 16:21
  • How do you know if a tire is of the softer or harder rubber type? These are rarely words I see in the description and marketing literature.
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 21:37
  • Then go to your LBS (local bike store) and touch some! And ask the salesman for a durable tire. If you don't have a LBS you feel confident about, find one. In the worst case scenario you can always post here/on other forum what you've been advised and check consumers' opinions.
    – J-unior
    Commented Jun 11, 2013 at 22:59

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