Life expectancy of a tire.



str8shooter

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Jul 15, 2004
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I'm riding a 2004 Trek 5000 with Bontrager 700x25 tires. With 2100 miles on it the I see the rear tire is substantially worn compared to the front. I know the rear will wear faster than the front especially when I look in the mirror and see what it has to deal with:eek: . I don't see any cord showing through. What other signs should I look for? Is it worth the bother rotating it with the front? I really hate dealing with flats. Does 2100 miles seem normal for tire replacement?

Thanks
 

artmichalek

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Sep 15, 2004
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2100 miles doesn't sound too long. Wait to replace it until you can see threads. Move your old front to the back and put the new tire on the front.
 

wilmar13

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FWIW I tend to just rotate them once the rear is really worn...putting a really worn tire on the front may look funny, but I have never had any handling or flat problems. Also I don't think it really wears any more once on the front... this way I replace both tires at the same time and can keep the same tire type.
 

Doctor Morbius

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Sheldon Brown - bicycle mechanic extrordinair - doesn't recommend rotating tires as the wear pattern on the rear tire will be substantially different from the front. You don't want to put a tire with a flat wear pattern on a front wheel as it could pose safety problems. Instead he recommends keeping the front one in place and changing the rear a couple of times or as needed. His ratio was 2 or 3 rear to 1 front.
 

dhk

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Doctor Morbius said:
Sheldon Brown - bicycle mechanic extrordinair - doesn't recommend rotating tires as the wear pattern on the rear tire will be substantially different from the front. You don't want to put a tire with a flat wear pattern on a front wheel as it could pose safety problems. Instead he recommends keeping the front one in place and changing the rear a couple of times or as needed. His ratio was 2 or 3 rear to 1 front.
Believe Sheldon Brown has got it about right on this controversial subject. Recently rotated a front tire to the back, after it was on front for 6000 miles and two rear tires. It didn't look worn, but seemed to wear out very quickly once on the back, within just a few hundred miles. Based on this experience, it wasn't worth swapping.
 

Doctor Morbius

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dhk said:
Believe Sheldon Brown has got it about right on this controversial subject. Recently rotated a front tire to the back, after it was on front for 6000 miles and two rear tires. It didn't look worn, but seemed to wear out very quickly once on the back, within just a few hundred miles. Based on this experience, it wasn't worth swapping.
Here's the drill from the man himself in case the others want to read over it. I know you've read it, DHK. ;)


http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-rotation.html


:D
 

Adam-from-SLO

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Nov 30, 2003
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Most newer Conti's (GP 3000, Ultra 3000) get me 1200 miles on the rear (I am about 155 lbs.) , thats just before threads start showing through. If I use them in the summer time, where the black-top here can be 100-116 degrees....... I'm sure the life span does suffer, probably 100 or so miles less.

Some of Conti's older tires, Ultra Super Sport, or Super Sports, even Grand Prix's got me 1500-1800 miles rear use ;-)

**Depends upon how much you weight, and what kind of riding conditions the tires will be used for.
 

stormer94

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May 19, 2004
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str8shooter said:
I'm riding a 2004 Trek 5000 with Bontrager 700x25 tires. With 2100 miles on it the I see the rear tire is substantially worn compared to the front. I know the rear will wear faster than the front especially when I look in the mirror and see what it has to deal with:eek: . I don't see any cord showing through. What other signs should I look for? Is it worth the bother rotating it with the front? I really hate dealing with flats. Does 2100 miles seem normal for tire replacement?

Thanks

If it looks good and worn, replace it. It's not woth getting stranded over, or possibly having to cut short a good ride you may have organized. We get a lot of rocks and small gravel on our roads here. Sidewall cuts are hardest on my tires. I think the best one I ever had, had about 1200 on it (rear, was a continental, and she was pretty thin in the center). Seems as though the rest get cuts or trashed around 600 or less. Depends on your luck. Last year I had 4 flats in a week. This year, only one so far, and the tire was still good. (just jinxed it, I know.)

PLUS, for the mere price of a tire, you can experiment a bit and find your favorite tire. I have a tire I like, but HATE to mount them. That's important information for when you are on the road, far away from extra tools. I train on tires that are easy to get on and off the rim. So far, that's been a pretty good idea.
 

2wheelwill

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Jun 8, 2005
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I ride Continental Ultra 2000's and usually get 2500-3000 miles with one rotation. I think the rotation helps with flats since you're more likely to get a rear flat than a front (not sure why) so keeping the most rubber in back is a good thing.

My rule is that if threads are showing I waited too long to buy new tires.
 

wilmar13

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Doctor Morbius said:
Here's the drill from the man himself in case the others want to read over it. I know you've read it, DHK. ;)
http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-rotation.html :D

Sheldon Brown he is a nobody, I mean I know way more than him ;) .

Yeah, I agree that it is safer, but I am going to continue to be a jackass and put my worn tire on the front because somebody needs to prove Sheldon right... I have been unsuccessful in 10 years and thousands of miles to have a problem but I will keep trying.

You know some of your guys were on the thread where we were talking about max cornering forces... the tire that was on my front then (and still is) is one that got a cut in it bad enough that I was debating chucking it but instead just put it on the front. When pumped up to 120psi, it gives really good view of the thread count :D
 

artmichalek

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wilmar13 said:
You know some of your guys were on the thread where we were talking about max cornering forces... the tire that was on my front then (and still is) is one that got a cut in it bad enough that I was debating chucking it but instead just put it on the front. When pumped up to 120psi, it gives really good view of the thread count :D
Are you suggesting that cotton has a higher coefficient of friction on asphalt than rubber? :eek:
 

wilmar13

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artmichalek said:
Are you suggesting that cotton has a higher coefficient of friction on asphalt than rubber? :eek:
Oh for sure...when the surface is wet, the wicking action of the cotton trumps rubber for µ. ;)
 

Doctor Morbius

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wilmar13 said:
Yeah, I agree that it is safer, but I am going to continue to be a jackass and put my worn tire on the front because somebody needs to prove Sheldon right...
I don't always practice what I preach but I'm not going as fast as many of the riders here or racing either. It just depends on the situation.

Since I've read Brown's info though I've only rotated 1 set of tires and that was on the bike I use in the trainer so it didn't matter. Prior to that I would rotate thinking as many others do "well if it works for cars, why not?"

Edit: I've also started using a slightly wider tire in back thanks to SB.
 

dgz69er

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Jun 7, 2005
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str8shooter said:
I'm riding a 2004 Trek 5000 with Bontrager 700x25 tires. With 2100 miles on it the I see the rear tire is substantially worn compared to the front. I know the rear will wear faster than the front especially when I look in the mirror and see what it has to deal with:eek: . I don't see any cord showing through. What other signs should I look for? Is it worth the bother rotating it with the front? I really hate dealing with flats. Does 2100 miles seem normal for tire replacement?

Thanks
you should feel fortunate. i'm riding a 2005 trek 4500 with bontrager tires as well. i've only got 200 miles on the bike and i have almost no tread left on my back tire. I've skidded a few times, but not enough to really affect anything. I am a bit disturbed by the fact I am already show tire wear.

I am not particularily fond of the bontrager tires.
 

IronDonut

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Apr 26, 2005
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I think my Verdinstein rear tire is about ready for a replacement after 800 miles.

I ride like a ****** off gorilla.


str8shooter said:
I'm riding a 2004 Trek 5000 with Bontrager 700x25 tires. With 2100 miles on it the I see the rear tire is substantially worn compared to the front. I know the rear will wear faster than the front especially when I look in the mirror and see what it has to deal with:eek: . I don't see any cord showing through. What other signs should I look for? Is it worth the bother rotating it with the front? I really hate dealing with flats. Does 2100 miles seem normal for tire replacement?

Thanks
 

jmoryl

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Sep 5, 2004
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When you find some tires that you like, buy them in threes. Run the one on the rear until it wears out (when the cords start showing, or sooner if you are bothered) and then replace it with a new one. The front will probably outlast two rears providing it doesn't get damaged.

Anyone notice that there is little correlation between tire longevity and price? I have some $9 Maxxis Detonators on my spare bike that keep going on and on.
 

Doctor Morbius

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jmoryl said:
When you find some tires that you like, buy them in threes. Run the one on the rear until it wears out (when the cords start showing, or sooner if you are bothered) and then replace it with a new one. The front will probably outlast two rears providing it doesn't get damaged.

Anyone notice that there is little correlation between tire longevity and price? I have some $9 Maxxis Detonators on my spare bike that keep going on and on.
Only threes? I buy 'em in lots! Last order was 15 or 16. Can't remember. Got Conti Ultra 2000's through Nashbar. One went bad after only 80 miles. It goes on the trainer this Winter.

I don't think there is a correlation between longevity and price. Cheaper tires are usually heavier and that may explain why they last longer as there could be more rubber.

The $9 Maxxis Detonators sound like they came from JensonUSA a while back.
 

Adam-from-SLO

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2wheelwill said:
I ride Continental Ultra 2000's and usually get 2500-3000 miles with one rotation. I think the rotation helps with flats since you're more likely to get a rear flat than a front (not sure why) so keeping the most rubber in back is a good thing.


Its because 80+ % of your riding weight is on the rear wheel , thus more drag/bite on the rear tire :)
 

BikeyGuy

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Sep 27, 2003
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If you've ever had a flat on the front tire, odds are you end upon the pavement.
I always keep my best rubber in the front. ALWAYS !
In other words, when I need a rear tire, I buy one new tire. That new tire gets mounted up front and the used front tire goes on the rear.
 

StartTday

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Jul 12, 2005
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At 2100 miles on stock Bontrager tires that I'm sure came with the bike. I'd be a bit weary of them.

If the tread looks worn they might last you a bit longer. But do you still feel comfortable taking turns as fast and hard as you did when you first got them?

If those are the same tires that came with the bike, count on them having more miles than just what you put on them. I'm saying this because I part-time at a bike shop and we set up test rides on any of the bikes on the floor. What I'm getting at is you don't know who else has ridden that bike and how they might have been testing the brakes.

I personally would never trust stock tires for too long.

I personally ride Michelin Pro Race tires on my bike. Love them, bit pricey but worth the money. I have them on both my fixed gear and road bike.