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Do you replace both tires when one wears out, or only replace the worn tire?

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We all know how good it feels to have a brand new set of your favorite tires on the bike. For this reason I used to always replace both when the rear was worn out. Got tired of feeling like I am throwing away money when replacing a front tire that still had about 35 to 40 percent of it's life left but loved that new set of tires feeling.

A bit more than a year ago I began replacing individual tires as they wear out on both my bikes, almost never having both new front and rear at the same time. Interested in what most of you do regarding this and your reasoning for doing so.
 

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It's always been a question of the great feel of both new tires vs tossing a tire with good rubber left on it. It was an easier decision in the old days when rear tires wore at twice the rate of front tires. It was easy when it was 2 to 1, rear to front. Rear tires kept getting better (both actually) until now with the Ninja I go through a front before the rear. But the rear is only good for another thousand miles so I do both together now pretty much always.
 
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I like to try different tire brands. (How can we say what is good/not good if we don't make our own observations?) I think it is uninformative to evaluate tires unless they are a matched pair in equal condition; i.e. reduce variables. For me, the front and rear usually give it up at about the same time anyway.
 

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I've posed this same question on different forums and found for the most part, the answer depends on the age of the respondent. The older the person is, the more likely to replace both, even if one has some life left in it. I found that cash flow and risk tolerance are the biggest determining factors. Of course, there are always outliers.

As of the past several years, with rare exception, I replace both. The last time I did replace one, the second one needed to be replace within a month or two thereafter.
My primary reason for doing this safety. I don't mess around with stuff like that anymore. The extra dollars is not something I want to throw around, but peace of mind is priceless.
 

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I've posed this same question on different forums and found for the most part, the answer depends on the age of the respondent. The older the person is, the more likely to replace both, even if one has some life left in it. I found that cash flow and risk tolerance are the biggest determining factors. Of course, there are always outliers.
You hit the nail on the head for me, plus I just like new tires, bike, cars, trucks, trailers. When I was in teens, my standard new tire was a bald used tire that would hold air overnight!!!
 

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You hit the nail on the head for me, plus I just like new tires, bike, cars, trucks, trailers. When I was in teens, my standard new tire was a bald used tire that would hold air overnight!!!
Oh yeah, I've done stuff like that too. I grew up in New York and couldn't afford proper snow tires or decent all weather for my car. So many crazy things went wrong.
 

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Two of my bikes now have totally different brands front and rear, and I don’t notice any difference. It’s funny how retirement has changed my way of spending money!

I think too many people, including me over the years, overthink these things. Unless we are racing on a track and using both tires to their limits the tires don’t care what tire is on the other end of the bike.
 

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I've yet to come across a tire that refused to work as designed, because the other tire was not worn to the same tread depth or from a different mfr.

But I'm willing to keep an open mind.
 

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I've posed this same question on different forums and found for the most part, the answer depends on the age of the respondent. The older the person is, the more likely to replace both, even if one has some life left in it. I found that cash flow and risk tolerance are the biggest determining factors.
Yes, right on. When I was starting out in the 70s, one of the old guys who gave me motorcycle advice, suggested the proper way to replace tires was as a set. I guess I didn't question that. But when my financial situation left me very few choices, tires got replaced one at a time with whatever brand I could afford. And things always worked fine.
Luckily, I have more choices today. Now I'm that old guy.
BTW - if we were discussing mountain bike tires (which I know we're not) that would be a whole different story.
 

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I know several of us who would buy a sport tire, for the front and a sport touring tire for the back. This worked really well as both were worn at the at about same rate.

I saw the tire prices at the local Honda shop. I had no idea that they would be so expensive. 268.00 for a q3+ in the 180/50 -17. Are you guys having to pay prices like that?
 

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I prefer to replace both, it feels better on road. But, I just replaced the rear, the front has +- 500-750 miles left. I'll do the front next month. Bridgestone S-22's this time.
 

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I know several of us who would buy a sport tire, for the front and a sport touring tire for the back. This worked really well as both were worn at the at about same rate.

I saw the tire prices at the local Honda shop. I had no idea that they would be so expensive. 268.00 for a q3+ in the 180/50 -17. Are you guys having to pay prices like that?
RC, I've seen prices like that but typically have been fortunate enough to find deals where you get the front tire for nothing. So, I've gone with that. But, I've been lucky to get decent deals since my dealer will also price match with internet prices.
 

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I've done both replace F&R as a set and one at a time. Right now my '12 has an older RS3 at the rear because the front always wear out much sooner. Depends on my cash flow situation. But also I feel guilty tossing a perfectly good rear tire because the front is worn out and needs to be replaced. I lean towards replacing what's worn (fronts) and waiting until the rear is near the wear bars. This spaces out the cash flow and I feel less guilty of waste. What I never do is wait until the wear bars are touching asphalt, especially up front. If I feel the steering feel deteriorate and become annoying, I replace the fronts immediately.
 

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I seem to wear ties out about the same time, so I change both.

Cycle Gear always puts Bridgestone S21 and now S22 tires on sale for in the spring for around $200 a set after rebate. I really like the tires. I grab a set if I need them or not, and shove them in a corner until I do.
 

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I thought I was getting good at changing tires until I ran across the Dunlop q3 plus. I'm not sure I'll be able to break the bead, myself, without explosives.

I usually change both as mail order prices make that possible. If I were paying dealer prices, I would probably push thing more.
 

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I thought I was getting good at changing tires until I ran across the Dunlop q3 plus. I'm not sure I'll be able to break the bead, myself, without explosives.

I usually change both as mail order prices make that possible. If I were paying dealer prices, I would probably push thing more.
Fortunately, the new S22 is easier to install than it's predecessor, the S21. I have twice watched installers damage S21 front tires while installing. I've only ran Q3+ a couple times, and I didn't watch the install. All I know is the dirty looks I get at my local repair shop that installs my tires when they see I have an S21's. Each time the swearing begins. The only tire they stock is Q3. Like you RC, I'll do anything to not pay full price, which is why I stock up in the spring with cycle gear Bridgestone tires while on sale.
 

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I did my own tires for quite a while (had a buddy with a tire machine) but the last few times I've used a place in Seattle that, if you buy tires from them and bring in the wheels, mounts and balances them for free. I called them up and they charged me about $10 more for a set of RoadSmart 3s than I could find on-line. There was $12 for shop supplies, new valve stems and old tire disposal but for $22 I'll sure let someone else do it. They even made sure I got the rebate info about the Dunlops.
For many years I ran a sport tire front and touring tire rear to try and balance out the wear. It helped.
 
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Since the rear goes 1.5x faster than the front I've always just been a cheap ******* and done the front every other rear. The suggestions to run a sport tire in front and a regular touring tire in back is something I never thought of.
 

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I change both at the same time. You have 2 points of contant to the road compare to the car (4 points of contact). Just a peace of mind and I don't have to worry for another 5-10k miles.
 
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