Biketoworkday is supported by its audience. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

What is a Folding Bike Tire & What Makes It Unique and Mind-blowing

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

what is a folding bike tire

Do you plan to get a bike for your next trip? Then, picking the right tire is a crucial task to consider. Since folding tires gained popularity worldwide due to their excellent features, check out this article if you want to know why folding tires are bikers’ favorites today.

We will first tackle what is a folding bike tire.

What’s a Folding Bike Tire

Foldable bicycle tires are ideal if you want to go for constant cross-country travels where high-quality gear is a must.

What makes this tire type extremely popular for casual bikers and mtb bikers is its ability to meet the demands of touring cyclists who want to avoid a popped tire. A biker knows that in case his tire pops, he can quickly put on folding bicycle wheels.

Foldable tires have a high thread per inch count or TPI, which makes rides smoother and more comfortable.

I love how this type of bike wheel gives me peace of mind whenever I go for off-road or cross-country trips.

What Makes a Folding Bike Tire Compact


Wheels for folding bikes are known to fold into a compact and relatively flat shape. What makes this possible is that these tires do not have wire bundles. They instead use Kevlar strands bundled together to guarantee optimum flexibility.

What are Kevlar strands?

Kevlar is an organic fiber that’s tough and durable, and unlike the wires used in common tires, it is foldable. Because of this advancement in tire engineering, current folding tires are lightweight and more accessible to transport than rigid equivalents.

Folding Tires vs Regular Tires

Now that you have an idea what a folding bicycle tire is, we will highlight the differences between folding and regular bike tires. This section is useful for bikers who can’t decide which type to buy.

First, as mentioned above, foldable tires use Kevlar strands, which are more bendable than the steel cables used in regular tires.

Another distinction between the two also lies in the weight. Regular tires have a lower TPI than foldable ones, and a lower TPI means a higher weight. Depending on the model, folding tires save about 2 ounces per tire, so they’re suitable for riders who want to pack light.

Third, the prices of the two types are another factor buyers should consider. Because foldable tires are more expensive than regular ones ($6 to 30$ more per item), they are not very budget-friendly, especially if one has multiple bikes.

Last but not the least is the rubber composition. As a rider, I noticed that a softer rubber mix for the tire’s tread is usually incorporated with foldable mountain bike tires. The softer tread grips better on most surfaces but deteriorates faster than conventional tire treads.

That said, it’s still possible to find folding bike tires with adequate longevity. Such models have two or three rubber blends instead of one.

Overall, the choice of folding or regular tires depends entirely on personal preferences. The low weight and easy storage of foldable tires might please long-distance riders, but may not matter to people who only use bikes for short commutes.

For more information about the prices of tires and wheels, please check out this article.

What Bike Types Are Ideal for Folding Tires

You might wonder what bike types are ideal for folding tires. To summarize, you can use a folding tire for road bikes, foldable bikes, hybrids, MTBs, and even e-bikes. They really offer much versatility.

How to Fold a Folding Bicycle Tire

Suppose you got your folding bike tire, but have troubles packing it. This section is useful for you. You can fold your tire in half twice, or fold it in half once and roll it into a ball. It should then be compact enough for transport.

When to Replace Your Folding Bike Tire


Since we already know that a folding bike tire is not as durable as a rigid bike tire, it’s a good habit to look for signs of damage to avoid accidents and maintain optimum safety. Here are some of the common signs that show your tire needs replacement.

Cuts are the most prominent sign. So, if you notice your tire having one, get it replaced as soon as possible.

The second sign to look for is a bald tread. Take a moment to look at your wheels and see if the wear indicator’s still visible. Overly-worn tires have faded wear indicators; to avoid unwanted accidents, I highly suggest upgrading your bike tires if this is the case.

In general, defects must not be ignored. Always check your tires for faults or irregularities, whether they’re caused by careless manufacturing or usage. Most bike tires are folded when packed, and prolonged bending might cause difficulties. High heat can also weaken rubber tires.


So those are some of the features of a folding bike tire. As you can see, knowing what is a folding bike tire can greatly help those who love to travel as they can decide whether to pick or avoid this type of gear.

Folding tires come with a slew of high-end features. They are made of lighter materials, which gives elite cyclists an edge.

  • Bring a folding bike tire if your travel involves a lot of transport.
  • Check for defects before going on the trip. This way, you will know when to replace your bike tire.
5/5 - (3 votes)