How Often Should Tires Be Changed?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by blur92, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. blur92

    blur92 New Member

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    How often do you purchase and change your tires? Also, if you haven't ridden your bike in years is it safe to use the same tires, or should you change them anyways? What brands of tires do you recommend?
     
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  2. retrogrinch

    retrogrinch New Member

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    I've got a large stable of bike for the family. Tires get replaced whenever they are severely damaged, worn out, or the sidewalls begin to crack or show other signs of age/weakening.

    Minor cuts/punctures don't necessarily mean a tire needs replacing. If there is bulging around the cut then definitely get a new tire. For emergency repairs I always have duct (duck) tape and nylon strapping tape in my repair kit. I've been on many rides where a tire had to be "booted" to keep going. Two layers of duct tape, with an "X" of the nylon strapping tape sandwiched inside the duct tape, makes for a very strong repair. I've also successfully booted tires with dollar bills and even pieces of cardboard from the side of the road. Desperate times, desperate measures...

    Road tires can quickly go from appearing to have ample tread to showing cord. Once the cord starts showing one doesn't have many miles before the tube will blow out. DAMHIK!

    I've had two road tires where the cords failed inside the tire. Both times these were cheap made in China tires which came on the bicycle, and both times there was ample rubber on the tire and no signs of damage on the outside of the tire. Likely the failure was due to a manufacturing defect and a minor impact. When a cord fails the tire will develop a "Z" like shape and will "thump". A complete and sudden failure could result. At a minimum, move the damaged tire to the rear wheel to reduce the chance of a bad crash should it fail. If you have duct tape, boot the damaged section. Get a replacement ASAP or a ride home.

    As tires age the rubber hardens. When the tire is new this is sometimes referred to as "curing". Sunlight and head accelerate the aging process. Tires can be stored for several years in a cool dry location. Tires on a bicycle stored in an uninsulated garage in Phoenix Arizona will age quickly. Leaving the bicycle outside in full sunlight will age the tires even faster (it's the ultraviolet light).

    Depending upon the type of tire and how it's being used will determine how many miles it sees. My race tires will wear out in less than 1k miles. Continental Gatorskins are on the training bike and will last 1k to 2k miles (rear tires wear fast). The Schwalbe Marathon XR's on my wife's commuter have a few thousand miles and little sign of wear, nor a single flat. The XR's are an amazing tire for commuting and touring, but they're the heaviest tire in the fleet.

    My preference for tires is with the major brands who have been around. Shopping for tires is a compromise of three factors: Weight/Performance, Durability, Price. Pick two, it's impossible to get all three. Schwalbe, Michelin, Continental, Nokian, Panaracer, and Clement are among my favorite brands. IMO the Specialized tires have been over priced for the performance (read: I can always find better performing tires for less) - BUT Specialized stands behind their products and I've never had a "bad " tire.

    Happy shopping,
    Greg
     
  3. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Good rundown retrogrinch. Judging by the tire lives you quote, it sounds like our roads here are less abrasive than yours. I use GP 4000s, and routinely get 3600-4000 miles on the rear before the wear dots disappear. OTOH, maybe my power output is just a lot lower....
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "Road tires can quickly go from appearing to have ample tread to showing cord."

    ^^^ This.

    For rears, I get 1000-1500 miles out of several brands of high quality racing/performance training tires.
    For fronts, generally around 4000 miles.

    I pull the rears off the minute I see the thinning rubber starting to lift off the cord. More often than not, I miss seeing that and replace them with cord showing.

    Most rears just wear out. Fronts go with about a 50/50 mix of high miles and damaged/cut beyond repair and just plain worn to the cords.

    I like Michelin Pro 4's and Vredstein Fortezza TriComps when it comes to clinchers. Spesh ain't bad at all, but their high end tires are spendy. Kenda for the team bonus pricing and they're not a bad tire.


    Sew-Ups I lean to Clement. Never had good luck with Conti. Will use Wolber, Paris, Vittoria and others if need be. I like Yellow Jersey el cheapos for training.
     
  5. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Just 2 comments on the above:
    1. Nokian tires don't exist no mo... They are now called "Suomi".
    2. Instead of duct tape etc you can always use a specifically manufactured tire boot. I used a Park Tool tire boot on my rear GP4000 S(hit) 2 which had a tear on the sidewall at 2000km and I had another 2000km with it so far. I even washed the tire the other day after picking up a whole "Swarovski" collection of glass from the road cruising over a Carnival Party area which resulted in about 3 cuts in the tube and the tire boot is still in place. The tread is starting to wear and there are some nasty scuffs and some cuts in the tire but it still works fine. Will be replacing it with a Vittoria Rubino or Zaffiro, possibly with the "Tech" version of each.


    When to replace tires?

    1. If they are in-repairable, like badly torn and stuff.
    2. If they have become brittle with age.
    3. If they are right down awful to begin with (eg. getting cut really easy or ruining alot of tubes).
    4. If the tread has been totally worn out.
    5. If the bead had been cut.

    etc.


    Good luck! :)
     
  6. blur92

    blur92 New Member

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    Thank you so much for the informative, helpful answers. I am somewhat of a newbie when it comes to cycling, and I have little to no knowledge on bicycle upkeeping. I'd also not risk getting a blown tire while riding and then ending up injured.
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Unless the tires are cracked along the sidewalls the tires are fine to use, I have a set of original Fuji tires that came with the bike new in 84 and the tires are fine, just depends on how they were stored.

    As far as brands go most major brands are good tires, I would find a closeout sale on a tires like Vittoria, Vredestein, and Michelin, These tires are routinely found for less than Continental or Specialized when they have closeouts and are equal or better then those two brands. Read the reviews of any tire your considering, the users are usually pretty accurate with their assessments, some you can tell are fakes when they say crap like I went 8,000 miles on a set, but most are for real.
     
  8. ambal

    ambal Active Member

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    8,000 miles is a lot on a set of tires, it could be possible on a velodrome, nowhere else though. retards
     
  9. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    My experience is that the Conti GP4000 is the best tire for me, and well worth the extra money they cost over the other brands due to their good performance, puncture protection and long wear. In my opinion, the reason Conti GP4000s sell well at a higher price is because a lot of us veteran riders have found them to be worth it. At the last road races I worked, a lot of the Masters Pro I/II field seemed to be using them.......a pretty good endorsement I'd say.

    I've been buying them from ProBikekit at a decent discount. A friend thinks they are too expensive, and has had good luck from the Rubino Pros. Don't believe they last as long or roll as well, but they can be found a good bit cheaper on sale than the Conti's.

    Not trying to change your mind here, certainly use the tires that work for you best. I think in terms of grip, fast rolling, puncture-protection and security first, then cost/mile. If a GP4000 goes 3600-4000 miles on the rear without any punctures, that's only a 1.25 cents per mile or so.....a lot cheaper than other cycling-related costs for me. Saving $10 on a cheaper tire just doesn't compute for me.
     
  10. DancingLady

    DancingLady Member

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    I bike around 15 miles a week and my tires have lasted about 2 years. I check the tread now and then to see how they are doing to make sure they are OK. I ride on pavement all the time, so that may make a difference if you are riding on different kinds of surfaces.

    I don't think there would be anyting wrong with tires if the haven't been used in a few years, but your innertubes may not last long if they are old. My first adult bike was a gift from someone who had been unable to ride for over 10 years and the back tire went flat after only a few weeks from age. If your tires still have tread and look to be in good condition, I would recommend having the inner tubes changed to save yourself the frustration of flats that might be likely to happen with old tubes.
     
  11. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    Most tyres (note spelling) I've bought in the last few years have been secondhand from a national auction here.

    I therefore have a lot of experience with different models. No model of tyre is perfect.
    Most I've bought have most of the life still left in them - say done 1000kms have 3 k kms left.

    I'm a tyre miser - big cuts etc I glue a patch on the inside etc I always us Mr Tuffy (or other names) tyre liners in my training bikes too.
    I've only had one tyre have a tube blow out on me in recent years and I was able to walk home (barefoot!).
     
  12. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    I got just over 8000 kms from a front Michelin Megium. I think the back gave me about 6 000kms. We have coarse chip roads which are not easy on tyres. I weighed about 72kgs. I think they were just a hard compound though they handled well and didn't slide out in the wet either.
     
  13. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    I replace the rear tire with my front tire when I see signs of the cord showing, and put a new tire up front.

    Why does the front get a new tire? Because if you blow the rear, you can still kinda-sorta steer. Your front goes on a fast descent, it's butt-cheek pucker time. :eek:

    My rear now is worn from the trainer, so as soon as the snow melts, it's time for a new front at least. But seeing as how the bike came with cheap Schwalbe Luganos, I my just replace both and be done with it. I have an almost-new set of Bontrager R3s hanging in the shed. Which I may be able to reach without snow shoes by the weekend, if this warming trend holds. :D
     
  14. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    They are utter-sh^t... Their sidewalls are a joke... If you somehow manage to never touch the sidewalls to something, that's another story.

    I got about 5000km on a pair of those. One of them had the last 3000 with tire boot for a 3mm cut on the sidewall. Somehow they are still holding though... and yeah, they are fast and dont flat. (too much, alot of glass sometimes causes a few flats now and then.)


    That's what I also keep telling my self for using a booted tire on the rear for 3000km now... But on a descent a sudden "push" from the bike getting wobbly on the rear could probably cause loss of balance... :unsure:
     
  15. lectraplayer

    lectraplayer Member

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    Really, anything can cause a loss of balance/control at any time, but IME your chances are good if you lock up or otherwise have a failure on your rear. A failure of the front tire, and you're screwed everytime.
     
  16. lectraplayer

    lectraplayer Member

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    Really, anything can cause a loss of balance/control at any time, but IME your chances are good if you lock up or otherwise have a failure on your rear. A failure of the front tire, and you're screwed everytime.
     
  17. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    "If" the tire stays on the wheel. :D If it slides aside and gets jammed somewhere... Hmmm :D
     
  18. kana_marie

    kana_marie Member

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    Oh wow! I would have thought I would have to switch them out A LOT more often than that. This is good news!
     
  19. Weatherby

    Weatherby Well-Known Member

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    I switch the rears out around 4 times per year and the fronts around 2 times. I have tested a bunch of tires. The Vittoria CX EVO are nice but wear too quickly as do the Challenge Parigi Roubaix.

    I switch them out well before they wear out. No flats in over 8,000 miles.....the current set are getting long in the tooth and I am probably asking for trouble.
     
  20. shilpa123

    shilpa123 New Member

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    It all depends on how often you use your bike. I am a regular rider and I definitely think it is important to change it once in a six month. It is really useful to change.
     
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