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I put 26" slicks on my mountain bike so I could get good city riding speed and comfort without worrying about bad patches of road. The tread is mostly worn to having no pattern on both tires after about 750 km of use. Maybe that is typical I'm not sure. They were Kenda brand. The guy at the store showed me 2 models to choose from I took the ones that had higher inflation maximum so I could get them at max air pressure capacity for lower rolling resistance.

How do I know I'm buying a good quality bicycle tire versus just an overpriced one? Or for that matter when is a cheap tire a good value or just poor quality?

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    Do you really mean Kendall? Kenda is a common brand but I can't find any specs for Kendall. Kenda make decent tyres but also cheap rubbish so the brand alone isn't enough to go by -- we need the model as well. Also slicks have so littl pattern to start with that they may not be all that worn. – Chris H Mar 26 '18 at 15:47
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    max air pressure capacity for lower rolling resistance Not necessarily true. And one thing to worry about with larger tires is high pressure can get downright dangerous. The surface area for a torus is 4π^2 Rr, For a 26" MTB that's probably 150 in^2 effective tire area after you do the math. Overinflate that to 100 PSI, and you can see how much energy is held in that tire. You can blow it right off the rim, and put enough air in there you can actually explode the rim itself. youtube.com/watch?v=SDLVBPspSK4 And as rims wear, they'll eventually fail under pressure. – Andrew Henle Mar 26 '18 at 16:13
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    @Chris H Yes had the wrong name for the brand. I have Kenda K-193 Kwest Commuter Wire Bead SRC/PRC Bike Tire, Black, 26" x 1.5" – Eric Huelin Mar 27 '18 at 0:40
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Unfortunately the answer is the same as how you judge the quality of any product. Experience with the product, brand reputation, price (higher correlates somewhat with better performance) and searching for and reading reviews.

With respect to your current tires, they are probably not worn out. Not even cheap tires wear out after only 750kms. Road tires have a very shallow 'tread' pattern that is really just cosmetic - bike tires are narrow enough to displace water easily and do not need tread to grip tarmac or concrete surface. See How do I know when to replace my tires?.

Also, you should know that higher inflation pressure does not necessarily mean lower rolling resistance on rough surfaces. See this answer and this GCN video.

  • I did get a nail puncture in the rear wheel so I assume that that tire has got to be replaced. Also, does a high inflation rate mean a tire is more sturdy than one will less pressure tolerance? – Eric Huelin Mar 26 '18 at 18:41
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    If the inner tube can be repaired then the tire can still be used (unless you are using tubeless of course, but even then small holes can be sealed) – Argenti Apparatus Mar 26 '18 at 19:09
  • Low inflation pressure makes a tire susceptible to pinch flats. I suspect higher inflation pressure makes a tire more susceptible to sharp object penetration as the pressure of the tire on the road surface is greater. I don't think there is a correlation between the pressure limit of a tire and resistance to penetration. – Argenti Apparatus Mar 26 '18 at 19:13

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