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What would cause a tire to fail this way?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My pricey Conti 4 seasons are dying young-- less than 2 thousand miles. Still haven't had a puncture and at least half the tread is left, but there are threads/strings coming out from where the sidewall meets the bead.

There's quite a groove there now, and both wheels have a lot of rubber coated strings wrapped round them.

I blamed continental at first, but it doesn't seem very likely that the same defect would hit both tires.

Could this have been an under-inflation issue? Since I ride a lot of unfinished [aka, dirt and gravel] roads, I don't keep them pumped to the max at all times-- I keep them around 80psi. Is there any rule of thumb about how little is too little?

Like these, if it weren't for the wear issues. Not real fast, but good in the wet, easier to keep upright in the dirt.

I've been considering Hutchenson tubeless, anyone with hands on experience re: ride comfort on uneven surfaces or rolling resistance? Not that I can afford them, but that's why God gave me a credit card, right? No? Oh well, I didn't want to be married to a single model tire anyway...

My dilemma is that I like a smooth, fast tire but need something that I can keep upright for the 3 miles between my house and the beginning of the pavement.
post #2 of 12

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

Maybe a little under inflated but I have heard of this before in this tire as in weak sidewalls and loose threads.
I am not sure if this is an inherent problem with the tire overall or maybe an occassional bad batch.
It might be worth contacting the dealer and make in inquiry if this is truly a defect.
post #3 of 12

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

I have two sets of GP4000 where the threads have come loose after just 1000km.

I suspect its likely a bad batch, but I think I will try other manufacturers next time.
post #4 of 12

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

[QUOTE=Oruboris]My pricey Conti 4 seasons are dying young-- less than 2 thousand miles... there are threads/strings coming out from where the sidewall meets the bead.

No fears - these threads/strings are just the way Conti's wear. See this thread: http://www.cyclingforums.com/showthread.php?t=467775
post #5 of 12

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

It's a Conti clincher thing. I had GP4000's that did the same thing. It's a sign of a lousy design or crappy manufacturing. Normal wear shouldn't involve having to pull or cut threads off your forks and/or brakes after a ride.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

Heh-- Mr. Murphy links back to an old thread of mine that concerned choice of a 700-23 for use on rough roads-- I guess I could have just bumped that one back to the top, but since my new issue was more about tire wear, thought it needed a new thread.

Thanks, though: there were some responses in that thread I hadn't seen.

I've been getting more comfortable with this tire style on dirt, though it's still a little dicey in areas where a lot of pea sized stuff is piled on a hard surface. All depends on when they graded last.

I agree that a wider tire would have an advatage, I'm just not sure I want to ride them on the highway once I get there...

Can I put a wider tire on a 23 wheel, though? I'd be willing to experiment with the ride properties if I can safely do that. Don't want to pay for wider wheels unless I'm convinced they'll help on dirt without hurting [too much] on pavement.

I'm asking you guys because there aren't a lot of good road bike shops here in SW Montana. There's one in Butte owned by Levi Leipheimer's family, but since he's disowned the town he grew up in, I hate to give 'em my money.

As to Contis just aging this way: Ok, probably a lot of truth to it since the tires still seem sound. Makes me think I can keep riding these for a while without too much danger.

But I've lost a LOT of tire: the amount that they've shed is really significant, and the groove its left very obvious. I think the company must intend this material to do *something*, most likely keeps the sidewall from overflexing as it approaches the bead. If it really isn't needed, they'd leave it off and save some weight.

Once I get to the pavement, I have some downhills where 35mph is everyday, and 50 happens with a tailwind. The idea that these sidewalls are less than 100% in those conditions scares me big time.
post #7 of 12

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oruboris
Can I put a wider tire on a 23 wheel, though? I'd be willing to experiment with the ride properties if I can safely do that. Don't want to pay for wider wheels unless I'm convinced they'll help on dirt without hurting [too much] on pavement.
The tire size you can use depends on your forks and frame. You likely can use a 25 and maybe even a 27 or 28. Neither of those three will hurt you on pavement.
post #8 of 12

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

Agree with Alienator that a wider tire is your best bet, and you don't need a wider rim to mount a tire that's 2-5mm wider. 25s really aren't slower at the speeds most of us ride. In fact, unless you're a real lightweight, at 85 psi I'd bet they roll faster than 23s. A lot of faster veteran guys here have switched to 25s so they can run lower pressures on the road, ie 95 psi, for better ride, longer wear and fewer punctures.
Even if the wider tire has a watt or two more aero drag at 30 mph, doubt that significant for your application.

To me, the fact that you're able to get away with running a road tire at all on dirt and gravel roads says good things about the Conti 4 seasons. The tires I'm currently running, Vittoria Open Corsa CX, probably wouldn't make one trip to the highway without punctures from the fine gravel.
post #9 of 12

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

Continental are thumbs down for me(might be only me).Had used a pair of yellow conti ultra race.Under 2k km and had been flatted for almost 8 times in total(front + rear)??In long distance tried twice that when on the way heading to destination(the rear blows after bumping a real small stone).When on the way back home(again but on the front real small stone).Luckily it blow near my home or ****.And yes the threads coming out from sidewalls too.I promised aint buying conti in my life anymore.Try surfing www.roadbikereviews.com.You could read some reviews written there.
post #10 of 12

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oruboris
My pricey Conti 4 seasons are dying young-- less than 2 thousand miles.
.
How heavy are ya? I about 87kg, and I don't think I've ever got more than 2000 miles out of a rear tyre, but I guess you know what's 'young' for you.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

There may be some truth to the idea that a lesser tire wouldn't have lasted this long, and probably argues in favor of a high tpi count.

But these started to come apart before I moved, so the road isn't to blame.

And I'm not sure my road is *that* bad: surely a lot of cyclists in Europe ride over cobblestone and that sort of thing-- my road is a lot like that in terms of texture. Yeah, there's sand and some gravel on top, and I do bounce off loose, egg sized rocks sometimes, but it isn't sharp crushed gravel an inch or two deep-- don't think I could keep the bike upright in that.

My reluctance to go for a wider tire was less about aero drag than the size of the contact patch-- I noticed a big difference when I switched from Michelain slicks to the Contis. The slicks were much quicker feeling, with a higher top speed for a given level of input. Not a scientific finding, mind you-- just my instinct and speedo.

Oh, as to weight: I'm 150 lbs, or 68k. I got 3000 miles out of my last slicks. The tread on the Contis still looks pretty good and I'd buy them again if the theads weren't coming off.

So if I'm reading the general consensus correctly: It's safe to go up to a 25 assuming the turn freely inside my brakes and forks, and an inflation of 80-90 psi won't lead to premature failure, it's just a matter of finding a balance between grip on the dirt vs. easy rolling on the pavement?
post #12 of 12

Re: What would cause a tire to fail this way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alienator
It's a Conti clincher thing. I had GP4000's that did the same thing. It's a sign of a lousy design or crappy manufacturing. Normal wear shouldn't involve having to pull or cut threads off your forks and/or brakes after a ride.
Is this a Conti thing, or just a GP4000 & GP4 thing?

My gatorskins seem to be wearing normally.

But definitely not going to get taken in by the "Handmade in Germany" slogan again. Yep, I am a sucker for marketing hype.
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