I found out cracks in my bicycle tyre. I am not sure if the tyre is damaged. Following is a picture for reference I would like to know what can be the possible causes for these cracks and how to avoid them. The cracks

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Is it safe to ride on cracked tyre?
    – ojs
    May 20, 2017 at 9:14
  • 1
    The crack in the sidewall is likely due to riding underinflated, or leaving the bike sitting for months with a flat tire. It makes the tire more apt to burst, but not severely so -- plan on replacing it eventually, but it should be good for a few weeks, or the summer, depending on how much you ride and how you treat it. May 20, 2017 at 12:58
  • Those cracks are called 'cracks' Aug 12, 2021 at 21:26

3 Answers 3


It is not ideal, the tyre is approaching end of life, but the tube is unlikely to burst through that crack because the structural part of the tyre (the threads) still there and are still somewhat protected from the weather.

Do plan on replacing it, but you should get at least months or more of riding. Basically wear the tread out some more then replace both tyres.

  • 4
    If the tyre is overaged the threading is likely to burst as well. I would not ride and replace it ASAP.
    – Carel
    May 20, 2017 at 16:14
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    @Carel I've witnessed a tyre like that exploding just when standing in the garden. Aug 9, 2021 at 15:08

I'd say, it's time to replace the tire. It doesn't really matter what caused it - could have been low quality, age, or extended use. The cracks mean the layers the tire is made of are separating and in the long run you will see more punctures because the material is softening. A brand-name tire costs 15 to 25 EUR/USD/GBP which I consider low enough to not take the risk of punctures.


For the record, that is called "Dry Rot", and it's caused by rubber drying out and getting less pliable. Commonly happens when a bike is on a concrete floor not being used(like in a garage or storage shed) for a long period of time. It will make your tire brittle, and sometimes will make it unsafe. A little dry rot usually isn't detrimental, a lot can split the sidewall of the tire causing a blowout. Yes, you should change the tire.

  • in which region is it called dry rot? In the uk that term refers to certain fungal infections of structural timber and we say the tyre has perished.
    – Noise
    Aug 9, 2021 at 18:58
  • @JoeK I googled dry rot, and it does appear to be a general use term that's applied to both automotive and bicycle tires. Sidewall weathering is probably a more accurate term, and I agree that dry rot overlaps with the fungal infection issue and isn't technically accurate in rubber tires. That said, it does seem that people are using the term. We can shake our fists at them, but they will respond that we are pedants, so...
    – Weiwen Ng
    Aug 10, 2021 at 11:32
  • @WeiwenNg gwgl confirms it's a US term. It doesn't really matter very much. I'd rather have "dry rot" tyres than timbers, hey.
    – Noise
    Aug 10, 2021 at 13:18

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