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My MTB is due for a tire replacement. I'm also trying to get into long distance biking. Budget is a big concern right now but also I don't want to have to replace my tires so soon.

Is it worth getting the cheapest tire? Not really doing cutting edge stuff so proprietary lug design or w/e don't apply I think. I do want some slicks.

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    I don't have data to hand to back this up but consider that cheap tyres will wear faster. They'll also be more prone to punctures, costing you in puncture repair supplies/tubes. Whether you'd pay more now to save money in the future is a very specific question to think about – Chris H Aug 15 '17 at 15:42
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    My experience from a couple of cheapo tires has been too that they wore out very fast and were quite expensive per kilometer. Surprisingly one of them had quite ok grip and rolling resistance, but it didn't survive an emergency stop. – ojs Aug 15 '17 at 16:21
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    The trick is to find the jovial spiritualist, er, "happy medium". Cheap tires are rarely good, but expensive ones are rarely worth the money. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 15 '17 at 22:20
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Very cheap tires are likely to have little or no puncture protection. Unless you're riding under very optimal conditions, slightly higher quality tires are worth it when you consider the time/cost of replacing or patching punctured inner tubes.

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