Why Are Bicycle Tires So Expensive [Top 10 Reasons]

You may have noticed that the price of bicycle tires varies widely. However, there are a few tires that are way too expensive. What is the reason behind this? Why are bicycle tires so expensive?

Materials, structure, warranty, durability, weight capacity, safety features, and performance are a few reasons why some bicycle tires are more expensive than others.

You will find everything you need to know about this issue in this article. Don’t miss out on any parts.

why are bicycle tires so expensive

How Much Do Bicycle Tires Cost?

The price of high-end bicycle tires is different from low-end tires. If you want to go with a cheap tire, you will find some options that cost between $15 and $20. However, these tires are not up to the mark if you’re comparing them with the pricey ones.

A pair of expensive bicycle wheels will cost you somewhere between $75 and $150. There are also mid-range bike tires available that you can get. They come in a $20-$70 price range.

Within the range I have mentioned above, you can select the one that matches your budget. However, the higher the budget the better the wheel will be.

Note that different bicycles require different types of tires. So, this influences the price. For instance, a tire for a commuting bike and a tire for kids won’t require the same tire. Hence, the price will certainly be different.

The same applies to tire sizes. The price for different-sized tires is not similar. There are a few other factors that influence the price of a bicycle tire. For instance, features, warranty, materials, etc.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Bicycle Tire?

The cost of bike tire replacement isn’t fixed. The type of your bicycle, your living area, and the cost of equipment will influence the cost of replacing a bicycle tire.

If you want a range, the replacement can cost you anywhere between $50 and $250, depending on the factors mentioned above.

Why Are Bicycle Tires So Expensive?

As I have mentioned before, there are cheap bike tires available in the market. However, that’s not what we are talking about today. Today’s discussion is about why high-quality tires are expensive.

There are a few common reasons that you can think of. On the contrary, there are also some unexplored reasons nobody can think of. I’ve included all reasons in the below sections.

1. Materials

The most common reason for the bike tires to be so expensive is the materials. High-end tires are made from high-quality tires, which certainly increases the cost of the product.

Low-end bicycle tires are not made of high-quality raw materials, which allows them to be cheap. However, when the materials are of low quality, the entire quality gets compromised.

Other features like durability, structure, and performance also lack perfection when the materials aren’t right. Individual particles used for creating the tires also need to be of high quality. For instance, bicycle tube cost is also a part of the tire’s cost structure.

So, to sum up, if you want the best quality, the materials need to be better and that increases the price.

2. Structure

Structures are different in low-end tires and high-end tires. This directly relates to the manufacturing procedure of the tire. Cheap tires are made using a process called extrusion.

A semi-flat mold is used to inject rubber inside it. This process is cost-friendly and keeps the expense to the minimum. However, the quality isn’t up to the mark because the layers aren’t even.

Uneven layers mean that the tire will not be as strong as it’s supposed to be, resulting in early wear and tear. Now, let’s talk about how an expensive bicycle wheel is manufactured.

Expensive tires feature woven structures. These structures make sure that the layers are even. This makes the tire more durable and efficient on the road.

3. Imported

Premium-quality tires are not manufactured worldwide. The locations are limited. That means if these tires are made available in a particular country, they will have to be imported from another location.

This can also apply to raw materials. When materials are imported from another location and assembled somewhere else, that increases the cost. Along with the cost of materials, there is an extra cost of transportation.

Besides, tax is levied on imported products, adding to the manufacturing cost. And an increase in manufacturing cost means added cost in the retail price.

4. Brand Value

Getting a bicycle tire from a renowned brand will cost you extra compared to a local or unpopular brand. Some brands have more reliability, customer feedback, and a strong position in the market.

The brand can leverage these features to ask for a higher price from its customer base. In addition, people are willing to pay a higher price to get a tire from a specific brand. That also gives the brand another reason to make their products pricier.

High-end brands also have a higher cost structure that includes marketing and advertising of the product. These costs result in increasing the price for the customer.

5. Retail Value

A bike tire is not directly sold to the customer from the manufacturing unit. Manufacturers sell their products to retailers and retailers sell them to the final consumers. So, the retail sellers also need to profit from the product.

That means you are paying for not only the price the manufacturer sets but also the profit the retailer is making. This chain creates an increase in cost. The longer the chain, the higher the price will be.

If one seller buys the product from the manufacturer and sells it to another retailer, the price will go higher.

6. Warranty

Cheap bicycle tires may not offer you any warranty at all. On the contrary, tires from a well-known brand will stand behind their products. A warranty ensures that you get a replacement for manufacturing defects.

If anything happens to the tire during the warranty period, the manufacturer will either fix the issue or provide you with a replacement tire. Offering this warranty requires extra cost.

The manufacturer must ensure that the tire won’t get damaged during the warranty period. That’s why tires with warranty backups are more durable in nature.

Overall, offering a decent warranty period for a bicycle tire requires extra cost, which is added to the product’s price. You can get a cheap tire if you’re willing to sacrifice the warranty service.

7. Durability

The equation is as simple as it gets. If you invest a handsome amount of money on your bike tire, it won’t get damaged anytime soon. This means you will have to visit a servicing center less frequently and the bike won’t need a replacement for a long time.

Ensuring durability means making the tire last longer on the road. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. The features I have mentioned so far are all responsible for making the tire durable.

Better materials last longer. The structure of the tire also contributes to durability. So, durability is more of a combination of multiple features. As you can guess, ensuring durability is another component of increased prices.

8. Weight Capacity

The sturdier a bike tire is, the higher the weight capacity. The name simply indicates the amount of weight the bike tires can endure on the road. However, there’s more to it.

Even when the user is using the tires within the weight limit, they will still experience wear and tear. However, if it’s a high-quality bike tire we’re talking about, it will take more time for the tire to get damaged.

On the contrary, using cheap tires regularly will make them get damaged quicker, even when the user is below the weight capacity of the tire.

9. Safety Features

When you’re riding your bicycle on different types of roads, the tire needs to be strong enough to endure that rugged use. High-quality bicycle tires are made with these safety features.

Another example is when an accident happens, expensive tires will offer more stability to the ground and keep the user steady to avoid major injuries. Getting into an accident with cheap tires and expensive tires is not the same.

Adding these safety features when producing a bike tire requires additional costs. Naturally, the price then goes up for the people buying the tires.

10. Performance

The last thing I’m about to mention is the performance. This feature is a combination of a lot of factors. When you’re riding your bicycle on different surfaces, a premium-quality bike tire will always deliver.

Another example is when you’re using various speeds on the road, and adjusting the speeds very frequently, the tire will back you up every time. High-quality bike tires are also very convenient to use. You can feel the smoothness and efficiency when you’re on the road.

On the contrary, cheap tires will soon get damaged if you’re doing the above-mentioned things with them. You can’t adjust the speed as efficiently as the expensive ones and the tire won’t back you up on rough roads.

In simpler words, expensive tires can endure more roughness compared to cheap tires. Making the tires sturdy enough is another reason for the tire to be expensive.

How To Save Money On Bicycle Tires?

The first way that I am not going to suggest is very obvious. Go for a cheaper one instead of an expensive one. So, why not do this?

Buying a cheaper tire will end up costing you more. The tire will certainly require frequent servicing. In addition, you will soon have to replace it with a new one.

That’s why if you’re a regular bicycle rider, I will not recommend this way for you. However, there is another way you can try.

You will be surprised to see how frequently sellers offer discounts. This goes for both online and local stores. So, unless you’re in absolute need of changing your tire, wait for a sale. You will get a great deal out of a discounted tire.

Comparing different tires will also help you save money. If you know what you need and shortlist the ones that meet the criteria, you can choose the cheapest one among them.

Are Expensive Bicycle Tires Worth It?

As you can see, the reasons why bicycle tires are so expensive are pretty solid. So, they’re absolutely worth the price. The real question here is whether you should invest such an amount in an expensive bike tire.

The answer depends on what kind of cyclist you are. If you use your bicycle pretty regularly, it’s absolutely worth it. The same goes for people who ride their bicycles on rough roads and in harsh weather.

On the contrary, if you are not a regular biker and the chances of your tire getting damaged are low, it may not be a good idea to get expensive tires. You can always go for a mid-range bike tire to save some money and get a quality product at the same time.

Note that there are a lot of products available in the market that are expensive but not high-quality. So, before you spend a fair amount of money on bike tires, make sure that you’re doing in-depth research about the brand.

Reading customer reviews and checking the reliability of the brand is a great place to start. In addition, look for warranty services so that you have a backup in case anything goes wrong.

Final Verdict

Hopefully, this article clears up why are bicycle tires so expensive. Most of the time, you get a very good value compared to the money you’re investing. People often fail to consider the cost of repair and replacement with cheap tires.

So, if you’re having second thoughts about getting an expensive tire, I recommend you reconsider. Evaluate your options, and think about future expenses before getting a cheap tire for your bicycle.

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