I have a 1969 Columbia Newsboy Special that I have had for many years and I have never replaced the tires. Got the bike out of the garage and pumped up the tires to ride and the front tire poped. Rear tire still good. Will replacing both tires depreciate the value of the bike if I ever decide to sell it?

  • Did the tire really pop? or was that the tube inside of the tire? You should be able to replace the tube without replacing the tire.
    – Benzo
    Sep 5, 2013 at 14:30
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    You're asking if a bike with a flat tire is worth more than one you can actually ride?
    – Cascabel
    Sep 5, 2013 at 14:54
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    Bike tires get old and brittle after about 10 years. A tire over 40 years old is not at all trustworthy and should not be used. If you wish, of course, you can save the old tires should anyone in the future want the bike with the "authentic" tires. (Be sure to replace the tubes as well.) Sep 5, 2013 at 15:23
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    The only reason to keep the tires on such an old bike is if it has some historical significance and it will never be ridden again. In other words a museum piece, like the bike Merckx used when he set his famous hour record: tinyurl.com/klohzso
    – Angelo
    Sep 5, 2013 at 16:11
  • Yes, the tire and the tube poped. I know a bike with a flat tire is worth less than good tires. Take in mind this is a 1969,Columbia Newsboy Special, all original in excellant condition with original tires. It is a collectable bike.
    – Doug
    Sep 5, 2013 at 17:18

3 Answers 3


In my opinion the original tires would only matter to a very small segment of the people, and only then if it was considered a "museum piece", and what are the odds of that? You could always remove the tires ( and possibly wheels ), and replace them with a functional set of wheels and tires, and store the originals if you feel the need to keep them around. Rubber tires don't last forever and will continue to degrade even if stored in a basement. I've been through the Bicycle Museum of America that has an extensive collection of bicycles from the late 1700's to present. Many of these bicycles have parts that aren't original due to accidents or simply being used up over the years they were ridden, but that certainly doesn't detract from their historic value. Wooden wheels and solid "rubber strips" for "tires" didn't last long on the roads they had in those days. Repairs and replacement parts are a part of the history of that particular bicycle.


Like any antique, the closer it is to "original" the more likely the value will increase. However, in the case of many items, there are parts that wear out or decompose over time (rubber, wood, even metal) so they are expected to be replaced.

Now, what you could do to maintain value or at least attractiveness to a potential buyer would be to replace the tires with newer versions of the same tire, or try to find ones that look similar to replicate the same look of the entire bike.

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    You might also want to look for some "New Old Stock". That would be the same tires as the original bike had, but that had never been used. Although they may still have some degradation as rubber will deteriorate just by being exposed to air, if you were able to find tires that had been left in the box, away from the sun, for the last 35 years, they would probably be in pretty good condition.
    – Kibbee
    Sep 5, 2013 at 18:03
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    Interesting answer, do you know if there is much of a collectors market for "antique" bikes? It's not something I've ever really heard of before.
    – PeteH
    Sep 5, 2013 at 18:25
  • Where I live it's a small, niche market. I assume places with more cycle history might have a better market.
    – Aaron
    Sep 5, 2013 at 18:35

The tires shouldn't have an impact on the value of the bike. Tires wear out and are discarded. If you are concerned, though, and you plan to ride the bike, replace the tires with new ones and keep the old ones somewhere so they don't wear out further.

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