Tire Life



So earlier this week I went out and ran some errands. It was hot,
windy, and dusty, and I hadn't had much sleep the night before, so I
decided I'd grab a bus home. Got off the bus, mounted up, started riding
the last couple of blocks home, and noticed a thumping noise. Front tire
looked like it had picked up a gob of tar or something. I stopped and
looked. It was a tumor, for lack of a better word, a split in the tire
with the tube bulging through it, the bulge growing at a visible rate. I
took off the valve cap and reached for something to let the air out with--
BLAMMO! Sounded like somebody had fired a 357 magnum. I felt SO lucky
that I was only a block from home, especially considering how far afield
I'd been.
Coincidentally, my teenage son also had a tire explode about a week
ago, on a newer (albeit cheaper) tire with far fewer miles.
So here's a question. Does anybody here know if there's an MTBF (mean
time between failures) statistic for tires? Mine was four years old and
had somewhere around 9,000 miles on it, all on the front wheel. It still
had a fair amount of tread. What's the consensus of the group? How many
miles do you let a tire get on it before you grant it an honorable
retirement?


Bill in Utah


__o | The first rule of intelligent tinkering
_`\(,_ | is to save all the pieces.
(_)/ (_) | - Aldo Leopold
 
T

Tom Schmitz

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
<snippage>
> So here's a question. Does anybody here know if there's an MTBF (mean
> time between failures) statistic for tires? Mine was four years old and
> had somewhere around 9,000 miles on it, all on the front wheel. It still
> had a fair amount of tread. What's the consensus of the group? How many
> miles do you let a tire get on it before you grant it an honorable
> retirement?
>
>
> Bill in Utah
>
>
> __o | The first rule of intelligent tinkering
> _`\(,_ | is to save all the pieces.
> (_)/ (_) | - Aldo Leopold

Bill -

I think it varies depending on usage, normal inflation, road surface,
hilly or flat, yadda yadda.

I rotate my tires and generally find that a pair of tires lasts 3000
miles before the tread is gone and the cord showing.

Tires left on the front seem to last a very long time and tend to die of
old age or road hazard damage, as yours may have.

My 3000 mile figure is barring any road hazard damage. I recently lost a
Pasela TG after only 42 miles when it got a 2" gash in the sidewall.
Can't boot that!

Cheers,

Tom
 
R

Rich Clark

Guest
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> So earlier this week I went out and ran some errands. It was hot,
> windy, and dusty, and I hadn't had much sleep the night before, so I
> decided I'd grab a bus home. Got off the bus, mounted up, started riding
> the last couple of blocks home, and noticed a thumping noise. Front tire
> looked like it had picked up a gob of tar or something. I stopped and
> looked. It was a tumor, for lack of a better word, a split in the tire
> with the tube bulging through it, the bulge growing at a visible rate. I
> took off the valve cap and reached for something to let the air out with--
> BLAMMO! Sounded like somebody had fired a 357 magnum. I felt SO lucky
> that I was only a block from home, especially considering how far afield
> I'd been.
> Coincidentally, my teenage son also had a tire explode about a week
> ago, on a newer (albeit cheaper) tire with far fewer miles.
> So here's a question. Does anybody here know if there's an MTBF (mean
> time between failures) statistic for tires? Mine was four years old and
> had somewhere around 9,000 miles on it, all on the front wheel. It still
> had a fair amount of tread. What's the consensus of the group? How many
> miles do you let a tire get on it before you grant it an honorable
> retirement?


I never let a tire accumulate all its miles on the front. It could rot
before it wears out. I move good front tires to the rear when the rears wear
out, and replace the fronts with new. This way the good rubber is always on
the front, where a blowout would be potentially more catastrophic than on
the back.

So I have no personal data about front tire lifespan. I generally get about
6000 miles out of a Continental Top Touring after I move it to the back. At
that point the newer tire on the front still looks almost new.

RichC
 
E

Earl Bollinger

Guest
<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> So earlier this week I went out and ran some errands. It was hot,
> windy, and dusty, and I hadn't had much sleep the night before, so I
> decided I'd grab a bus home. Got off the bus, mounted up, started riding
> the last couple of blocks home, and noticed a thumping noise. Front tire
> looked like it had picked up a gob of tar or something. I stopped and
> looked. It was a tumor, for lack of a better word, a split in the tire
> with the tube bulging through it, the bulge growing at a visible rate. I
> took off the valve cap and reached for something to let the air out with--
> BLAMMO! Sounded like somebody had fired a 357 magnum. I felt SO lucky
> that I was only a block from home, especially considering how far afield
> I'd been.
> Coincidentally, my teenage son also had a tire explode about a week
> ago, on a newer (albeit cheaper) tire with far fewer miles.
> So here's a question. Does anybody here know if there's an MTBF (mean
> time between failures) statistic for tires? Mine was four years old and
> had somewhere around 9,000 miles on it, all on the front wheel. It still
> had a fair amount of tread. What's the consensus of the group? How many
> miles do you let a tire get on it before you grant it an honorable
> retirement?
>
>
> Bill in Utah
>
>
> __o | The first rule of intelligent tinkering
> _`\(,_ | is to save all the pieces.
> (_)/ (_) | - Aldo Leopold



I got about 27 miles off of a brand new Specialized Armadillo tire. It was
the rear tire. The previous Specialized Armadillo tire had like 3500 miles
or so on it.
On my commute to work early in the morning, on a particularly smooth section
of road I felt a thump thump thump as I cruised along.
At the next intersection I got off and looked at the rear tire, and it had a
bulge at one place all around from side to top to side.
So I let out a fair amount of air, and pedaled on into work. I honestly do
not remember hitting anything that might have caused the casing and or plies
to go bad.
After work I had to pedal over to the LBS and get a new tire to replace it
with before I could ride on home.

On my MTB years ago I got maybe three miles before a broken beer bottle
slashed a brand new expensive tire too.
Major bummer.
It sort of makes you want to just stick to the el-cheapo tires instead of
getting the good stuff.
 
B

Bill Baka

Guest
Tom Schmitz wrote:
> [email protected] wrote:
> <snippage>
>> So here's a question. Does anybody here know if there's an MTBF
>> (mean time between failures) statistic for tires? Mine was four years
>> old and had somewhere around 9,000 miles on it, all on the front
>> wheel. It still had a fair amount of tread. What's the consensus of
>> the group? How many miles do you let a tire get on it before you
>> grant it an honorable retirement?
>>
>>
>> Bill in Utah
>>
>>
>> __o | The first rule of intelligent tinkering _`\(,_ | is to
>> save all the pieces.
>> (_)/ (_) | - Aldo Leopold

> Bill -
>
> I think it varies depending on usage, normal inflation, road surface,
> hilly or flat, yadda yadda.
>
> I rotate my tires and generally find that a pair of tires lasts 3000
> miles before the tread is gone and the cord showing.
>
> Tires left on the front seem to last a very long time and tend to die of
> old age or road hazard damage, as yours may have.
>
> My 3000 mile figure is barring any road hazard damage. I recently lost a
> Pasela TG after only 42 miles when it got a 2" gash in the sidewall.
> Can't boot that!
>
> Cheers,
>
> Tom


I seriously doubt that anybody cares enough to do an MTBF calculation on
bicycle tires when so many are Chinese junk and once they ship to *-mart
they could care less about quality. Maybe on the top end Michelins or
whatever there is some research done, but not on the mid to bottom end.
The only tire I have worn out from mileage was the rear knobby on a well
used mountain bike and that took about 7 or 8 thousand miles, mostly on
pavement. I wore it to a slick and only changed it for safety reasons
and to put a road width tire on the back. The front, with less weight is
still going with plenty of knobbiness left. I did buy one brand new tire
that was made in China and it developed a big wart about ten miles from
home the very next day. I let enough air out to make it home with a
thump...thump...thump at about 15 PSI then went shopping again, for a
different brand. I found some with a different name that looked
identical and came from China so it probably came out of the same factory.
That was my MTB story, my road bike blew a sidewall from UV damage at
125 PSI, but that may have been a faulty gage at the tire shop.
Just stay away from those damn Chinese tires unless you like walking.
Bill Baka
 
C

Chris Z The Wheelman

Guest
I usually get about 4000 miles out of a tire, but I only ride it until
the t(inverted) tread is gone and the rubber is "smooth". This, of
course, takes place on the back, whereupon I transfer the front tire
onto the rear rim and put a new one on the front (best rubber where you
want it most, as one poster put it).

- -
Comments and opinions compliments of,
"Your Friendly Neighborhood Wheelman"

My web Site:
http "colon-slash-slash" geocities "dot" com "slash" czcorner

To E-mail me:
ChrisZCorner "at" webtv "dot" net
 
Bill Baka wrote:

> I seriously doubt that anybody cares enough to do an MTBF calculation on
> bicycle tires when so many are Chinese junk and once they ship to *-mart
> they could care less about quality. Maybe on the top end Michelins or
> whatever there is some research done, but not on the mid to bottom end.


The Bontrager Race X-Lite on my rear wheel is currently bucking the
trend set by my other tires and has already lasted over 5 weeks. If it
makes it past 6 weeks it will be the second longest timespan a tire has
survived on this bike. And if it makes it to 8 weeks it will even
outlast the cheap Chinese junk I got for 30rmb in the bloody middle of
nowhere.

Rear tires 1, 2, 6 (former front 1) were probably Chinese. Same brand,
I just don't remember specifically which brand.
Rear number 3 and 4 were expensive but probably also Chinese.
Rear 5 was the junk Chinese tire.
Rear 7 (current) and front 2 are the Bontragers and are Taiwanese.

Rears 1, 2, 3, and 4 got sidewall blowouts.
Rear 5 made it to nearly 3000 km before I wore the tread off to the
point of getting a flat every day.
Rear 6 (former front 1) was destroyed in an accident.

-M
 
B

Bill Baka

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
> Bill Baka wrote:
>
>> I seriously doubt that anybody cares enough to do an MTBF calculation on
>> bicycle tires when so many are Chinese junk and once they ship to *-mart
>> they could care less about quality. Maybe on the top end Michelins or
>> whatever there is some research done, but not on the mid to bottom end.

>
> The Bontrager Race X-Lite on my rear wheel is currently bucking the
> trend set by my other tires and has already lasted over 5 weeks. If it
> makes it past 6 weeks it will be the second longest timespan a tire has
> survived on this bike. And if it makes it to 8 weeks it will even
> outlast the cheap Chinese junk I got for 30rmb in the bloody middle of
> nowhere.
>
> Rear tires 1, 2, 6 (former front 1) were probably Chinese. Same brand,
> I just don't remember specifically which brand.
> Rear number 3 and 4 were expensive but probably also Chinese.
> Rear 5 was the junk Chinese tire.
> Rear 7 (current) and front 2 are the Bontragers and are Taiwanese.
>
> Rears 1, 2, 3, and 4 got sidewall blowouts.
> Rear 5 made it to nearly 3000 km before I wore the tread off to the
> point of getting a flat every day.
> Rear 6 (former front 1) was destroyed in an accident.
>
> -M
>

That kind of says it all, then. It is getting hard to find a good tire
unless you have a decent LBS to go to. I have tried all the auto stores
in addition to the *-marts and they all carry the Chinese junk tires.
So now I have to add up some car mileage to get to an LBS to buy bike
tires. Bicycling is still not taken seriously by the big retailers.
Bill Baka
 
G

gds

Guest
Bill Baka wrote:
> >

> That kind of says it all, then. It is getting hard to find a good tire
> unless you have a decent LBS to go to. I have tried all the auto stores
> in addition to the *-marts and they all carry the Chinese junk tires.
> So now I have to add up some car mileage to get to an LBS to buy bike
> tires. Bicycling is still not taken seriously by the big retailers.
> Bill Baka


It seems to me that almost the entire range of bicycle tires can be
bought from web/mail order houses. So, your really don't have to travel
farther than your mail box.
 
B

Bill Baka

Guest
gds wrote:
> Bill Baka wrote:
>> That kind of says it all, then. It is getting hard to find a good tire
>> unless you have a decent LBS to go to. I have tried all the auto stores
>> in addition to the *-marts and they all carry the Chinese junk tires.
>> So now I have to add up some car mileage to get to an LBS to buy bike
>> tires. Bicycling is still not taken seriously by the big retailers.
>> Bill Baka

>
> It seems to me that almost the entire range of bicycle tires can be
> bought from web/mail order houses. So, your really don't have to travel
> farther than your mail box.
>

That is true but I like to have the tire in my hand and get a feel of it
for the quality. I have seen some name brands that didn't have much meat
on the road part of the tire and might not survive some of the nastier
thorns around here. Armadillos have got my attention but I have seen a
few negative comments, so.....
I do get the pricepoint.com e-mail ads, but still.
Bill Baka
 
R

Rick

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
> So earlier this week I went out and ran some errands. It was hot,
> windy, and dusty, and I hadn't had much sleep the night before, so I
> decided I'd grab a bus home. Got off the bus, mounted up, started riding
> the last couple of blocks home, and noticed a thumping noise. Front tire
> looked like it had picked up a gob of tar or something. I stopped and
> looked. It was a tumor, for lack of a better word, a split in the tire
> with the tube bulging through it, the bulge growing at a visible rate. I
> took off the valve cap and reached for something to let the air out with--
> BLAMMO! Sounded like somebody had fired a 357 magnum. I felt SO lucky
> that I was only a block from home, especially considering how far afield
> I'd been.
> Coincidentally, my teenage son also had a tire explode about a week
> ago, on a newer (albeit cheaper) tire with far fewer miles.
> So here's a question. Does anybody here know if there's an MTBF (mean
> time between failures) statistic for tires? Mine was four years old and
> had somewhere around 9,000 miles on it, all on the front wheel. It still
> had a fair amount of tread. What's the consensus of the group? How many
> miles do you let a tire get on it before you grant it an honorable
> retirement?
>


Complicated question. Front tires last longer than rear, but a problem
with a front tire can be much more dangerous so ..... I rarely have a
tire that lives out its entire life on the front; usually I start out
with a matched set, once the rear is worn the front gets moved to the
rear and a new front purchased and installed. How much life I get from
a tire still varies a lot. The go-fast racing tires can be less than
2K miles. With a bit headier/expensive racing tire, like the higher
end Vittoria's, I get about 3.5K miles/tire. On the touring bikes, the
(now discontinued) TT 2000 will last 6-7.5K miles (remember, this is
combined time on front then rear), while the Panaracer Pasela TG's will
last in the 5K mile range. In other words, lots of variance depending
on wheel, weight, tire, etc.

- rick
 
G

gds

Guest
Bill Baka wrote:
>> >

> That is true but I like to have the tire in my hand and get a feel of it
> for the quality. I have seen some name brands that didn't have much meat
> on the road part of the tire and might not survive some of the nastier
> thorns around here.


OK, but you probably can't judge the thorn resistance by just holding
the tire. But if that's what you like to do I imagine that as long as
you don't mount them on the rims or destroy the packaging the
legitimate dealers will take them back.

To me tires are a commodity. I like the ones I'm currently running and
simply buy them where the specials are at the time.

BTW my experience is that some of the very expensive tires have the
poorest survival rates. Like many parts made for racing they are not
all that durable. That said a small premium in weight will yield a
large premium in durability and at a lower cost.
 
B

Bill Baka

Guest
gds wrote:
> Bill Baka wrote:
>> That is true but I like to have the tire in my hand and get a feel of it
>> for the quality. I have seen some name brands that didn't have much meat
>> on the road part of the tire and might not survive some of the nastier
>> thorns around here.

>
> OK, but you probably can't judge the thorn resistance by just holding
> the tire. But if that's what you like to do I imagine that as long as
> you don't mount them on the rims or destroy the packaging the
> legitimate dealers will take them back.


I actually feel even the knobbies for my MTB's to see how much meat is
on the non-knobby part of it where a thorn could (and has) get through
to cause me a problem. Always check the thinnest part of the tire.
>
> To me tires are a commodity. I like the ones I'm currently running and
> simply buy them where the specials are at the time.


I wish it was that simple but I ride a good 20 miles out of cell phone
range on my back mountain trips and I would not want to carry the bike
for that long before I could call my wife.
>
> BTW my experience is that some of the very expensive tires have the
> poorest survival rates. Like many parts made for racing they are not
> all that durable. That said a small premium in weight will yield a
> large premium in durability and at a lower cost.
>

I have to agree. Some of the racing tires are probably made for one day
of hard riding and then time for a new tire. I doubt that any rider on
the TdF uses a set of tires for more than a day or maybe two.
Weight dictates that the tires be thin.
I guess it is all a matter of purpose.
Bill Baka
 
6000 or even 4000 miles is excellent for a bike tire. I take it those
tires are bigger and lower-pressure than the skinny 700 x 23c racing
bike type ones I use.
 
J

Justen

Guest
[email protected] <[email protected]> wrote:
> The Bontrager Race X-Lite on my rear wheel is currently bucking the
> trend set by my other tires and has already lasted over 5 weeks. If it
> makes it past 6 weeks it will be the second longest timespan a tire has
> survived on this bike. And if it makes it to 8 weeks it will even


> Rears 1, 2, 3, and 4 got sidewall blowouts.


Any chance your rear brakes are misadjusted such that the pads rub
against the tire sidewall in addition to, or instead of, the rim?

I've seen this a few times on friends bikes when they get repeated
sidewall blowouts/tears.

Justen
 
Bill Baka wrote:
> [email protected] wrote:
> > Bill Baka wrote:
> >
> >> I seriously doubt that anybody cares enough to do an MTBF calculation on
> >> bicycle tires when so many are Chinese junk and once they ship to *-mart
> >> they could care less about quality. Maybe on the top end Michelins or
> >> whatever there is some research done, but not on the mid to bottom end.

> >
> > The Bontrager Race X-Lite on my rear wheel is currently bucking the
> > trend set by my other tires and has already lasted over 5 weeks. If it
> > makes it past 6 weeks it will be the second longest timespan a tire has
> > survived on this bike. And if it makes it to 8 weeks it will even
> > outlast the cheap Chinese junk I got for 30rmb in the bloody middle of
> > nowhere.
> >
> > Rear tires 1, 2, 6 (former front 1) were probably Chinese. Same brand,
> > I just don't remember specifically which brand.
> > Rear number 3 and 4 were expensive but probably also Chinese.
> > Rear 5 was the junk Chinese tire.
> > Rear 7 (current) and front 2 are the Bontragers and are Taiwanese.
> >
> > Rears 1, 2, 3, and 4 got sidewall blowouts.
> > Rear 5 made it to nearly 3000 km before I wore the tread off to the
> > point of getting a flat every day.
> > Rear 6 (former front 1) was destroyed in an accident.
> >
> > -M
> >

> That kind of says it all, then. It is getting hard to find a good tire
> unless you have a decent LBS to go to. I have tried all the auto stores
> in addition to the *-marts and they all carry the Chinese junk tires.
> So now I have to add up some car mileage to get to an LBS to buy bike
> tires. Bicycling is still not taken seriously by the big retailers.


I do have a decent LBS to go to. Two of them in fact. I'm writing
this post from the computer in the back of the smaller of the two. I'm
not sure what I did but I seem to have lost my internet access
privileges at the larger bike shop.

-M
(By the way, I figured I've been posting here regularly enough that
along with my using renminbi as my unit of currency, my country of
residence ought to be obvious...)
 
G

gds

Guest
Bill Baka wrote:
>
> I wish it was that simple but I ride a good 20 miles out of cell phone
> range on my back mountain trips and I would not want to carry the bike
> for that long before I could call my wife.
>

So, the assumption of having tires that you like for rides like that
are that they are durable. I see no difference as to if they were
purchased locally or on line. That's my point. It is that simple. Tires
are a commodity, so, once you find a type you like you can order them
on line or where ever. I see no need to be constantly changing
brands/models so I see no need for the hands approach to buying
replacement tires. Are you suggesting that quality control on tires is
so poor that you need to inspect every single tire because of wide
variation? That has not been my experience.

On long solo rides I always have some booting material with me. Have
used it but rarely over the years but it protects against the scenario
you mention. While possible I have only been on one ride ever where I
saw a tire so blown that booting material wouldn't get you back home.
Much more likely to run out of tubes or CO2 cartidges on a bad day then
seriously blow a tire.
 
R

Rick

Guest
gds wrote:
> Bill Baka wrote:
> >
> > I wish it was that simple but I ride a good 20 miles out of cell phone
> > range on my back mountain trips and I would not want to carry the bike
> > for that long before I could call my wife.
> >

> So, the assumption of having tires that you like for rides like that
> are that they are durable. I see no difference as to if they were
> purchased locally or on line. That's my point. It is that simple. Tires
> are a commodity, so, once you find a type you like you can order them
> on line or where ever. I see no need to be constantly changing
> brands/models so I see no need for the hands approach to buying
> replacement tires. Are you suggesting that quality control on tires is
> so poor that you need to inspect every single tire because of wide
> variation? That has not been my experience.
>
> On long solo rides I always have some booting material with me. Have
> used it but rarely over the years but it protects against the scenario
> you mention. While possible I have only been on one ride ever where I
> saw a tire so blown that booting material wouldn't get you back home.
> Much more likely to run out of tubes or CO2 cartidges on a bad day then
> seriously blow a tire.


Run out of tubes? Who cares, I have a patch kit. CO2? I have a pump.
And for those times I really worry about a tire issue stranding me I
carry a folding spare. Hey, that is what we did as the only viable
on-road fix for flats in the days when tubulars ruled. These days,
with clinchers, the only time I worry enough to carry a spare tire is
when I am doing things like riding through the Alps, Pyrenees, etc..

- rick
 
B

Bill

Guest
Rick wrote:
> gds wrote:
>> Bill Baka wrote:
>>> I wish it was that simple but I ride a good 20 miles out of cell phone
>>> range on my back mountain trips and I would not want to carry the bike
>>> for that long before I could call my wife.
>>>

>> So, the assumption of having tires that you like for rides like that
>> are that they are durable. I see no difference as to if they were
>> purchased locally or on line. That's my point. It is that simple. Tires
>> are a commodity, so, once you find a type you like you can order them
>> on line or where ever. I see no need to be constantly changing
>> brands/models so I see no need for the hands approach to buying
>> replacement tires. Are you suggesting that quality control on tires is
>> so poor that you need to inspect every single tire because of wide
>> variation? That has not been my experience.
>>
>> On long solo rides I always have some booting material with me. Have
>> used it but rarely over the years but it protects against the scenario
>> you mention. While possible I have only been on one ride ever where I
>> saw a tire so blown that booting material wouldn't get you back home.
>> Much more likely to run out of tubes or CO2 cartidges on a bad day then
>> seriously blow a tire.

>
> Run out of tubes? Who cares, I have a patch kit. CO2? I have a pump.
> And for those times I really worry about a tire issue stranding me I
> carry a folding spare. Hey, that is what we did as the only viable
> on-road fix for flats in the days when tubulars ruled. These days,
> with clinchers, the only time I worry enough to carry a spare tire is
> when I am doing things like riding through the Alps, Pyrenees, etc..
>
> - rick
>

I wish it was that easy but I have had a tire blow out (explode) the
sidewall at a not too inconvenient time, if you don't count the wife's
lecture about riding so far out. There really is not that much quality
control with bike tires unless it is a premium manufacturer that is
worried about reputation. With Chinese tires if the sales fall off they
just change the name printed on the tire and keep making them.
Such has been my experience and I hate to pay $40.00 for a really good tire.
Bill Baka
 
R

Rick

Guest
Bill wrote:
> Rick wrote:
> > gds wrote:
> >> Bill Baka wrote:
> >>> I wish it was that simple but I ride a good 20 miles out of cell phone
> >>> range on my back mountain trips and I would not want to carry the bike
> >>> for that long before I could call my wife.
> >>>
> >> So, the assumption of having tires that you like for rides like that
> >> are that they are durable. I see no difference as to if they were
> >> purchased locally or on line. That's my point. It is that simple. Tires
> >> are a commodity, so, once you find a type you like you can order them
> >> on line or where ever. I see no need to be constantly changing
> >> brands/models so I see no need for the hands approach to buying
> >> replacement tires. Are you suggesting that quality control on tires is
> >> so poor that you need to inspect every single tire because of wide
> >> variation? That has not been my experience.
> >>
> >> On long solo rides I always have some booting material with me. Have
> >> used it but rarely over the years but it protects against the scenario
> >> you mention. While possible I have only been on one ride ever where I
> >> saw a tire so blown that booting material wouldn't get you back home.
> >> Much more likely to run out of tubes or CO2 cartidges on a bad day then
> >> seriously blow a tire.

> >
> > Run out of tubes? Who cares, I have a patch kit. CO2? I have a pump.
> > And for those times I really worry about a tire issue stranding me I
> > carry a folding spare. Hey, that is what we did as the only viable
> > on-road fix for flats in the days when tubulars ruled. These days,
> > with clinchers, the only time I worry enough to carry a spare tire is
> > when I am doing things like riding through the Alps, Pyrenees, etc..
> >
> > - rick
> >

> I wish it was that easy but I have had a tire blow out (explode) the
> sidewall at a not too inconvenient time, if you don't count the wife's
> lecture about riding so far out. There really is not that much quality
> control with bike tires unless it is a premium manufacturer that is
> worried about reputation. With Chinese tires if the sales fall off they
> just change the name printed on the tire and keep making them.
> Such has been my experience and I hate to pay $40.00 for a really good tire.


I have two reactions to the last statement. Why be so cheap when your
life can, literally, be at stake? Blow a tire on a fast descent and
your epitaph could read read something like "did not want to pay for a
decent tire." $40 for a tire that will last 4-7.5K miles is not
unreasonable.

My second reaction is to find a good tire that works then buy it over
and over again, looking for deals. Two years ago I picked up some
Conti TT 2000's (list at the time about $35) for my wife on sale at $20
each. Then a few weeks later I got some more for me and spares at $12
each ($15 on sale, then 20% off on all tires). Now that the TT 2000
is discontinued the demand is high and we just had to pay $35 each to
get an extra couple of the future (sigh!). But I can get Panaracer
Pasela TG's, a darn good tire, at $19 at quite a few places and
occasionally down to the $12-14 range. If you would get over the
fondling obsession and just settle on a decent brand/make you could
find something that works well at a good price and do comparison
shopping online. The worst thing you can do is use *MART as your tire
store.

- rick