Bike in storage for years, need new tires/tubes?



vesterholt

New Member
Jun 27, 2014
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I have a hybrid road / commuter bike that has been sitting in my parents' garage for about 10 years. I recently moved to from Manhattan to Brooklyn, so cycling makes sense for me again (commute is no longer a 10 minute walk, I now have space to store bike, etc.).

I'm worried that storing the bike in an unconditioned space may have caused the rubber in the tube or tires to degrade. Does it make sense for me to replace the tires and/or the tubes, or should they be fine? I took it for a spin around the block the other day and it rides fine but I'm a little worried to take it for a long ride if it is likely that I have a blowout. The tires look and feel ok -certainly not brittle or cracked and there isn't enough wear on them (I'm guessing 500 miles or so) for that to be a concern, only potential damage from being stored in a garage that gets very hot in summer and very cold in winter (bike was in MN so garage definitely gets down to 0 degrees winter and easily exceeds 110F baking in the sun in the summer).
 

dabac

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2003
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Tubes will last near indefinitely in dry storage. Tires may have lost a little traction, compared to when the rubber had the maximal stickiness for that particular compound. But generally, if they look fine they are fine. Cold storage would have been better, but sunlight and ozone - as you can get from powerful electrical motors for instance - is a lot more detrimental for rubber than mere temperature changes.
 

danfoz

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2011
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A guideline for car tires given by the British Rubber Manufactures Association is that unused tires should not be used if they are over six years old and that all tires should be replaced ten years from the date of their manufacture.

If the tires are visibly sound it might be ok as long as you don't plan on riding too aggressively pushing the tire to the limits of adhesion. I would personally replace the tires simply because I like to push corners.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
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NE Indiana
Car tires are a far cry from bicycle tires, car tires have to be able to run up to at least 112 mph for family sedan cars which if the tire is more than 6 years old the attorneys for the tire manufactures want to play it safe and tell you not to use them, but I doubt seriously a bicycle tire will see that kind of speed. I have set of tires on my 79 Camaro that I got 8 years ago and they're not cracked either and I drive the car all the time with those tires; I have a set of tires that came new with a 84 Fuji, I rode the bike with those tires for about 100 miles about 3 years ago and no issues, in fact the tire has no cracks from age whatsoever; I still have those tires hanging in the basement. However I also got a set of original tires for a 87 Miyata and those are cracked like crazy, especially the sidewalls, and I will not even attempt to use them. So it really depends on how they look, sometimes too minor cracks won't show till you air them up so make sure you look carefully at the tire when aired up if nothing looks wrong not aired up.
 

limerickman

Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2004
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I had an old bike in stored away in my garage. It has the old Record tyres. They've lasted 20+ years!