A Tale of Two Tyres....

StuInTokyo

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#1
On January 6th of this year, I bought tyres for the new 26" wheels that Tim built for my Mixier 8. I ride this bike almost everyday, unless it is pissing with rain, but I do not ride it that far, mostly it is my trailer tugging workhorse of a bike. The other day I noticed that the front tyre was looking rather bad....

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Compared to the rear tyre....

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At just over six months do you think this is normal?

What should I do, should I replace the tyre or just keep riding it?

The tyres are pumped up fairly high, but within the limits listed on the side wall of the tyre and on the website too.

I really like these tyres, but I'm not sure that I'd want to have to replace them ever six months or less.

Advice?
 

FarEast

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#2
One thing you need to understand is that the limits are for the tire itself - not the weight of the rider, some companies have a rider weight v PSI rating template available you might want to take a look.

Also if the bike is stored in a hot location then the PSI will increase and damage the tire.
 

Forsbrook

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#3
Stu,

I think you'll be OK.
My tyres always look like that(I haul weight,too)!
In fact the ones I'm using right now look identical to yours.

However,I must say that Schwalbe Marathon Pluses can't be beaten for around town.Their longevity and endurance easily outweighs their weight and rolling resistance.

On a side note...it is great to see you posting on here again.
 

kiwisimon

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#4
switch them around, a puncture on the front at speed with a laiden trailer could be a biatch if you are speeding down a hill. Ride them till they shred. Carry a spare with you however.
 

StuInTokyo

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#5
switch them around, a puncture on the front at speed with a laiden trailer could be a biatch if you are speeding down a hill. Ride them till they shred. Carry a spare with you however.
I can't do that easily, the front tyre is smaller, thinner than the rear. I should carry a spare, but I'm never that far from the L shop. I have the tyre sealant in both the Mixer tyres and the trailer tyres as well, so no flats (fingers crossed!)

To carry a spare I'd have to spring for a folding spare, which are pricey :rolleyes:
 

StuInTokyo

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#6
One thing you need to understand is that the limits are for the tire itself - not the weight of the rider, some companies have a rider weight v PSI rating template available you might want to take a look.

Also if the bike is stored in a hot location then the PSI will increase and damage the tire.
The bike and trailer live by day in the shade of my motorcycle garage on the end of the driveway beside the L shop, it might get 2 or three hours a day of sun, but that is usually earlier in the day when the bike is not there. Otherwise the bike and trailer are parked behind our vans near the entrance of the Dungeon workshop, under cover and it gets zero direct sunlight. It has not been hot enough yet this to affect the PSI much year has it?:rolleyes:
 

StuInTokyo

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#7
Stu,

I think you'll be OK.
My tyres always look like that(I haul weight,too)!
In fact the ones I'm using right now look identical to yours.

However,I must say that Schwalbe Marathon Pluses can't be beaten for around town.Their longevity and endurance easily outweighs their weight and rolling resistance.

On a side note...it is great to see you posting on here again.
Yes, the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres are great, I have them on my wife's bicycle and Tim G has them on his bike that he is on tour with, but for me, because of the tread on them, they have a LOT less grip than a slick does. I need all the grip I can get!:eek::D
 

joewein

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#8
Those cracks in the rubber look a bit like sunlight damage to me, though I'm surprised to see that kind of ageing after only 6 months (reminds me of our old mamachari tyres). Rubber gradually oxidises when exposed to air, especially in the presence of sunlight and at elevated temperatures.

Where do you normally park the bike? Could the front wheel be more exposed to the sun? How much is the front tyre covered by mud guards vs the rear tyre?

Another possibility is that the rear, carrying more weight and providing traction, has more wear that strips away the exposed top rubber while it stays on a the front. What air pressure do you use, front vs rear? Normally (without a trailer) the rear wheel would carry something like 60% of the weight of the bike, versus only 40% at the front, which means the front doesn't need as much air pressure at the same width.

Swapping them around is good practice. Garages swap front and rear car tyres at regular intervals (during servicing or when swapping between summer and winter tyres) to even out the wear, as with cars front tyres tend to wear more quickly. Most cars have significantly more weight on the front wheels vs the rear because of the location of the engine and gear box, plus there's more wear on the front from cornering, breaking and traction (with front wheel drive).

EDIT: I see, you already answered the question about sun light while I typed a reply.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#9
My thoughts, too Joe and James. Strange how the front tire shows significant UV damage, yet the rear doesnt. Anyway - not uncommon. Unsurprisingly higher end tires use more natural rubber in the compounds and is more affected by environment than 'city' compounds. My TT or Track tires would last maybe 1 month 'outside' - however the training tires will last a year or so. And I have even an old Swallow (Korean before Hutchinson) that is more than 20yr old! So - when you get tires you want to withstand the long time sitting outside - make sure they are specifically treated (or formulated) for that purpose. Ozone and UV are the big killers. So, the wheel doesn't necessairly need to be in direct sunlight to show this kind of deterioration - just the ozone levels in Tokyo are enough. Same thing happens to my Tufo's if I leave the wheels on the bike outside - covered under eaves.
 

FarEast

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#10
You also see this kind of damage if the tire is left over inflated for periods of time or left flat with no air in it - one of the reasons why bike shops hang flat tired wheels when in for repair.

Also one thing to point out is that although the tire is only 6 months from purchase date, you have no idea how long it was sat in the shop or display stand for.
 

StuInTokyo

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#11
You also see this kind of damage if the tire is left over inflated for periods of time or left flat with no air in it - one of the reasons why bike shops hang flat tired wheels when in for repair.

Also one thing to point out is that although the tire is only 6 months from purchase date, you have no idea how long it was sat in the shop or display stand for.
True, I bought them online from bike24
 

StuInTokyo

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#12
Something else, the Lrrb was completed about a year ago, it has the GatorHardshell tyres on it, they are kept at a higher pressure, the bike sit about 10' from each other, yet the Lrrb's tyres show none of this cracking eyc
 
Dec 31, 2009
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#14
I would ask Continental if this is normal. The front seems to be deteriorating faster so that's throwing up a warning sign. I have seen quite a few tyres with manufacturer defects working in bike shops, and the policy was always exchange no question. This was always with new tyres though, faulty beads and lumps to recall a few. I don't think they will do anything for you but it will help them to provide a better product with your feedback. You never know they may even discount your next set if you express your discontent (politely). All said and done this is why going to a LBS is good. A good one wants you to be happy, so will offer assistance where others wouldn't even read your email. 6 months is a long time though, but I wouldn't expect the cracking in your conditions. Is it really dry where you store the bike?
 

StuInTokyo

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#15
I would ask Continental if this is normal. The front seems to be deteriorating faster so that's throwing up a warning sign. I have seen quite a few tyres with manufacturer defects working in bike shops, and the policy was always exchange no question. This was always with new tyres though, faulty beads and lumps to recall a few. I don't think they will do anything for you but it will help them to provide a better product with your feedback. You never know they may even discount your next set if you express your discontent (politely). All said and done this is why going to a LBS is good. A good one wants you to be happy, so will offer assistance where others wouldn't even read your email. 6 months is a long time though, but I wouldn't expect the cracking in your conditions. Is it really dry where you store the bike?
No not dry, under cover on the first floor of our building, right at the entrance to my workshop.

Going to a LBS was not an option I could not get these tyres in Japan, in the size I wanted, I tried.
 

StuInTokyo

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#16
If these were not foldable (with kevlar beads), they couldn't have been stored that tightly packed and started oxidizing. Perhaps they sat on a shelve for a long time at bike24?

Are they basically the same type, only a different width?
Not foldable.

Yes, the rear tyre is bigger, as it has to carry more weight and bump over stuff, with the trailer loaded I can lift the front wheel over things, but not the rear wheel, so I figured a bit more volume of air would be a good idea. 26"x1.3 up front, 26"x1.6 on the rear.