Bicycle Mechanics - Do tires have an "expiration" or age limit?
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11-03-09, 03:17 PM
I found a couple of brand new tires that had been in storage since probably 1995. They were Velociraptors with less that 100 miles on them. Good MTB tires.
I used them for @150 miles, mainly on pavement. I noticed that the outside knobbies were pulling loose. Is that because of the pavement, the age of the tires, both, neither? Should I just trash them at this point?
Generally tires are good until they show dry rot, or cracks so the threads are broken or exposed.
11-03-09, 03:25 PM
If the knobs are tearing loose then they are shot. The rubber is no longer "live" enough to accept the stretching and it's cracking.
Tires stored in a cool dark place can last for years. But if they are exposed to things like the heat of a garage over successive summers or see a lot of daylight then they'll age fast.
I've got some tires that are put away in the dark in my basement. They are about 7 to 8 years old and while they are showing some signs of hardening they would be rideable. On the other hand my garage gets very warm in the summer. A tire that's about 5 years old mounted on a rim out there is totally shot and is just waiting for me to unmount it and toss it in the garbage at some point when I need that wheel.
11-03-09, 07:04 PM
My personal opinion is that tires (like virtually everything else nowadays) have a "built-in" expiration date. Simple reasoning: manufacturers want to sell you more of their product. In the olden days, stuff lasted forever. How can they prop up their bottom line if people only have to buy stuff when they really need it?
I bought a pair of Carlisle bike tires at a thrift store last year (2008). I know Carlisle last made bike tires in 1987. So, they were 21 years old, and perfectly fine. No dryness, no tread wear, no cracks. Tires I buy now last 2 or 3 years at the most. And tubes all seem to just "loose" air. I think it's just that the manufacturers have figured out a way to make tubes and tires that are designed to wear out so you have to buy more. IMHO.
Although, I've moved up to Schwalbe tires. Fairly expensive, but we'll see if they outlive the Taiwanese and Chinese brands.
11-03-09, 09:12 PM
Bikemeister, likely those Carlisles came out of some lost and forgotten cool and dark warehouse and they were packed in something that sealed them off. Rubber itself comes with a "best before date" that manufacturers can't improve on and this doesn't include sitting in bad conditions for 30 some odd years. But if stored properly then yeah, any rubber tire will do fine.
11-04-09, 09:18 AM
Probably being stored in my Vegas garage where the summer temperature can hit probably 130 in the garage and dry as a bone sucked the life out of those tires. Thanks for the info.
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