Tire shelf life



Chuck731

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Nov 15, 2005
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What's the shelf life of a typical 700X23 racing tire?

I have a set of Michelin Axial Pros which has hung unused and uninflated, for 5 years in my garage on a set of Mavic CXP21 rims. Would they still be good to use?
 

Doctor Morbius

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Mar 15, 2004
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It's hard to pinpoint the timeframe. Some tires are soft and some are hard out of the factory. I'd look for any cracks, especially if there are any gumwalls. Just carry a spare. I'd replace the tubes for sure though.
 

Bobby Lex

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Jan 19, 2004
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Interesting tidbit on the "Chasing Lance" series on Fit TV last summer. Interviewed Discovery's chief mechanic (same guy used to be Eddy Merckx's personal mechanic). He has a "tire cellar" where he ages Lance's tubulars for his races. He claims they are best (most supple) when 7 years old.

Of course, those are silk tubulars. I don't know if the same principle applies to rubber compound clinchers.

Bob
 

DiabloScott

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May 15, 2003
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Bobby Lex said:
Interesting tidbit on the "Chasing Lance" series on Fit TV last summer. Interviewed Discovery's chief mechanic (same guy used to be Eddy Merckx's personal mechanic). He has a "tire cellar" where he ages Lance's tubulars for his races. He claims they are best (most supple) when 7 years old.

Of course, those are silk tubulars. I don't know if the same principle applies to rubber compound clinchers.

Bob

That principle doesn't apply to silk tubulars either... it's a bargeload of hooey. But that Julian guy from the Lance Chronicles was quite a character.

Temperature extremes, light, moisture, and ozone are what destroys shelved tires. Chuck's tires might be OK if they haven't seen too much of any of these, but 5 years isn't bad anyway - I'm pretty sure I've got 5-year old tires on at least one of my bikes.
 

F1_Fan

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May 9, 2003
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capwater said:
The "hooey" legacy lives on. Ride on boudreaux........
I recently found some minty 12 year-old Wolber Neo-Pro SP1 in a bag in my garage. One day I'll glue 'em up and enjoy... until they get punctured ;)
 

DiabloScott

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F1_Fan said:
I recently found some minty 12 year-old Wolber Neo-Pro SP1 in a bag in my garage. One day I'll glue 'em up and enjoy... until they get punctured ;)

Yeah, I put on a really old Wolber Invulnerable (~circa 1985???) as a quick replacement but the threads were coming unwoven like a cheap tubesock and the rubber was pretty flakey at the edges. Still worked but I wasn't going to be railing any corners on it.

I never find bags of good stuff in my garage.
 

el Ingles

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Oct 3, 2003
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Chuck731 said:
What's the shelf life of a typical 700X23 racing tire?

I have a set of Michelin Axial Pros which has hung unused and uninflated, for 5 years in my garage on a set of Mavic CXP21 rims. Would they still be good to use?

tyres sent from the factory have a protective coating , as long as this remains intact the tyre should not deteriorate BUT once used they start to ago - if you fitted the tyres but NEVER used them then they may be ok but inflate and check for cracks , especially any seperation of the " tread " between the coloured bands ( the tread is extruded as one piece but does seperate with time , if it has then toss it in the garbage or use on the cycletrainer but not the road )
 

Ozark Bicycle

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Oct 28, 2005
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DiabloScott said:
That principle doesn't apply to silk tubulars either... it's a bargeload of hooey. But that Julian guy from the Lance Chronicles was quite a character.

Temperature extremes, light, moisture, and ozone are what destroys shelved tires. Chuck's tires might be OK if they haven't seen too much of any of these, but 5 years isn't bad anyway - I'm pretty sure I've got 5-year old tires on at least one of my bikes.

IIRC, the idea of "aging" tubies goes back to the days of the so-called handmade tires. The tread on these was not vulcanized after being applied to the casing, as the heat involved was thought to damage the delicate silk or Egyptian cotton casings. Hence, the tread was allegedly kinda soft and prone to cuts when new. Aging allegedly let the tread harden a bit prior to use. I'm not swearing that all of this was/is true, but it was the wisdom of the day. I don't know of any non-vulcanized tires being made today, so maybe this guy is just stuck on the old ways.
 

DiabloScott

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Ozark Bicycle said:
IIRC, the idea of "aging" tubies goes back to the days of the so-called handmade tires. The tread on these was not vulcanized after being applied to the casing, as the heat involved was thought to damage the delicate silk or Egyptian cotton casings. Hence, the tread was allegedly kinda soft and prone to cuts when new. Aging allegedly let the tread harden a bit prior to use. I'm not swearing that all of this was/is true, but it was the wisdom of the day. I don't know of any non-vulcanized tires being made today, so maybe this guy is just stuck on the old ways.

Yeah, one group said that aging made the tires less flat prone, another said the casings got more supple. I don't think anyone ever thought the rubber got better with age, and it surely doesn't.
 

DiabloScott

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Ozark Bicycle said:
IIRC, the idea of "aging" tubies goes back to the days of the so-called handmade tires. The tread on these was not vulcanized after being applied to the casing, as the heat involved was thought to damage the delicate silk or Egyptian cotton casings. Hence, the tread was allegedly kinda soft and prone to cuts when new. Aging allegedly let the tread harden a bit prior to use. I'm not swearing that all of this was/is true, but it was the wisdom of the day. I don't know of any non-vulcanized tires being made today, so maybe this guy is just stuck on the old ways.

Yeah, one group said that aging made the tires less flat prone, another said the casings got more supple. I don't think anyone ever thought the rubber got better with age, and it surely doesn't.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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el Inglés said:
tyres sent from the factory have a protective coating , as long as this remains intact the tyre should not deteriorate BUT once used they start to ago - if you fitted the tyres but NEVER used them then they may be ok but inflate and check for cracks , especially any seperation of the " tread " between the coloured bands ( the tread is extruded as one piece but does seperate with time , if it has then toss it in the garbage or use on the cycletrainer but not the road )

That's not a protective coating on the tires but the remnants of mold release compound. It only serves to make it easier to get the tire out of the mold and serves no other function.

DiabloScott is right about factors affecting tire life. Entering a corner too fast on a tire that's old and aged can be an "enlivening" experience.