I have received a hand-down bike from a friend that had a punctured inner tube which I have since patched, however during my fix I noticed that the tyre is not in the best condition when looking at the sidewall, and would like to know if the tyre is dire need of a replacement.

Thanks in advance for any response!

current state of the tyre

  • 1
    It looks like a nice rim - some nice tyres will make the bike look awesome. Aside - check the brake pads too, they may be old and hardened as well.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 19:23
  • 2
    Check the nipples around the spoke-holes for rust or damage from corrosion. While the tyre is off check the state of the rim-tape. If it's the same age age the tyre it probably needs replacing as well. A good insurance against impending punctures. Best would be to replace tyres, tubes, rim-tape and brake-pads as suggested by @Criggie.
    – Carel
    Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 20:16

3 Answers 3


Yes, you do need to replace the tyre. It can burst any time. You just leave the bike somewhere, hear a loud bang and that's it. If you are lucky. If you are unlucky, it happens when you are riding it and you crash because the bike is no longer controllable.

  • yeah I kinda thought that's the logical thing to do, thanks again for your answer!
    – strox
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 17:22
  • @strox I just want to add that with more relaxed bike, or with larger tyre, such a hardened/worn tyre is less of an issue, with low pressure the tyre can still hold it together decently (almost safely), but with road tyres you start to have 4 or more bars of pressure, it is a lot of force acting on the tyre casing.
    – EarlGrey
    Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 7:31

If that was my rear tire, but I still had to ride a few miles to get home, I'd ride it as long as it lasts. I'm talking about easy, slow, flat miles on a paved road. Not screaming mountain descents or anything challenging.

If that was my front tire, I would walk home.

Either way, it goes in the trash as soon as I get home.

  • Good point about getting home. I've dumped tyres in better condition than that. This does look like gradual degradation, so its been brewing for a while.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 23:59

Yes replace that tire (if not both) immediately. This is called dry rot. Dry rot is caused by sunlight exposure, and ozone.

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