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How to choose BMX tires: Tires are the only point of contact a bicycle has with the ground. A new set of tires can noticeably change the feel of a BMX, save a great deal of weight, and enhance the appearance of any bike. BMX tires have different tread patterns depending on their intended use - dirt, street, park and race tires are all designed to excel in a particular application. Replacing stock tires with new rubber is a cost effective way to shed considerable weight on most complete bikes. Because tires rotate, weight savings are quite noticeable. Tires also come in an array of colors and can add a bit of personality to any ride.


Tires are designed to perform best in their intended application. Dirt tires have raised knobs, more aggressive tread, and provide good grip on dirt and uneven surfaces. However, the rough tread makes them feel sluggish and slightly inadequate in the park or on the streets. Street and park tires use less aggressive treads and are designed to roll smoothly on level surfaces, so they have smooth treads and very small knobs, if any at all.


BMX tires all have the same 20-inch diameter. It’s the width of the tire that varies between models. Tires range from 1-inch on some race tires, all the way to 2.35-inch dirt tires. Most BMX bikes come with tires close to 2-inches wide.


Most tires are made of rubber, however some companies offer extremely lightweight tires made entirely of kevlar. When looking at tires, bead material also plays a big part in their overall weight. Beads come in steel and folding kevlar. As a general rule, folding bead tires are lighter than their steel counterparts.

Things To Look For

Choosing the right tire begins with deciding on the tread that best suits the type of riding you do the most. Most manufacturers make it easy to select the right tire by classifying the treads they offer according to their intended use. Riders seeking to improve traction on dirt will want a tire with a more aggressive tread, and street/park riders will want a smoother rolling surface with less tread. The second thing to look into is weight. Many stock bikes come equipped with steel bead tires with thick sidewalls, which are generally much heavier than most aftermarket tires. Tires with folding beads and thinner sidewalls weigh less while sacrificing little strength.

How Much To Spend

Tires range in price from $10 to $50. Models in the $10-$30 range are rubber with a steel bead. Most of the tread patterns of the expensive tires are also available at this price point, so feel and grip are still very good. Moving up to the $30-$50 range, tires are equipped with kevlar folding beads, and some are made entirely from kevlar. In this range, tires are also available in many colors. There are considerable weight savings in the $30-$50 range over the $10-$30 range. Because it is possible to save over a pound of rotating weight by upgrading your tires, they are a great place to start when upgrading and personalizing your ride.

Product Reviews

Before buying, be sure to do your research and read product reviews. Reviews are a great way to find out specifics about a particular model, user impressions, and things to watch out for. After you’ve purchased a product and had enough time to thoroughly test it, we encourage you to leave a review for other people to see when they are researching bikes and parts on the web.

We hope you’ve found this information to be helpful. If you have a question that isn’t answered in this guide, our BMX forums are a great place to get advice from knowledgeable riders. Your local bike shop is also a great resource.

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