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Thread: Cracks in Tire?

  1. #1
    Keys are in the ignition Mphetameme's Avatar
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    Cracks in Tire?

    Not sure if this is the proper place to post this or not but I just pulled my bike out from under the deck after the winter and found these cracks all over the tires. How serious is this? I only use this bike for commuting.



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    These are serious defects and the tires are toast. The cracks appear to go all the way to the cords and the rubber seems to be badly weathered and brittle. Replace them NOW!

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    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    I wouldn't ride those. Better to spend the money on tires than hospital bills.

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    Keys are in the ignition Mphetameme's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for the advice. Although here in canada our hospital stays don't result in bills, I'd still rather not go through the pain and inconvenience of a Halo. I'll get these replaced pronto.

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    Keys are in the ignition Mphetameme's Avatar
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    Just curious, is there some way to prevent these sort of cracks in the future? I only bought these tires last year and never used them all winter. The bicycle sat wrapped in a tarp under my deck all winter. Unfortunately I don't have a garage - do I need to bring my tires indoors for the winter, or is there some sort of protectant I can spray on them? I have a bottle of silicone spray that says it will protect rubber mouldings on windows, etc but I was hesitant to spray this on my bike tires without more information.

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    Senior Member BrianJ1888's Avatar
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    looks like dry rot to me. car tires get that if they sit for too long. any chance your tires froze under your porch? that would pretty much kill them. in the future, keep the bike inside if you can. it prevents a lot of wear in general, no just the tires.

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    Yet another vegan biker
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    I'm running a pair of 3-year-old Geax Roadrunners with cracks exactly like yours. They've yet to get a flat.

    They're now on my rainy day/mud commuter and I have com-plete faith in them.

    The rubber on bike tires is important mainly on the tread area to prevent the cords from being punctured.

    I run 130psi 700 X 23 IRC Paperlites on my Litage . Like their name suggests, their sidewalls feel paper thin. Their rubber coating on the sides is no thicker than a condom's latex, demonstrating that rubber isn't really needed on the sidewalls.

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    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    I always thought it was a bad sign to see cracks like that but according to Sheldon Brown, http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#wear sidewall cracks like that aren't too much to worry about.

    Regards, Anthony

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    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    I just got a flat on friday on tires EXACTLY like that.
    They creased the tubed and eventually the tube got a
    split about 1 foot long !! The strange thing was that it
    happened when I was in work. I rode to work like always
    and parked, no problem. When I got to my bike the tire was
    afterwards the tire was flat. Change it NOW

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    They creased the tubed and eventually the tube got a
    split about 1 foot long !!
    You mean that the tubes had actually protruded into the cracks? They'd have had to have slits in the tires themselves for that to have happened. It sounds like your casing was ripped - thats certainly something that would warrant replacement.

    Cracks in the rubber are harmless on the sidewalls and only a threat on the treaded area if they are such that they allow things like glass shards to pierce the casing.

    I suggest taking the tire off and examining the inside of the tire.
    Last edited by silversmith; 04-03-06 at 09:17 AM.

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    Minneapolis colinm's Avatar
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    Ride them, while seeking out new tires and replacing them at lesiure.
    THREAD KILLER

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    if you can't keep your bike inside in the winter, keep the tires inside and slip the ones you have now on the wheels (sans tube) so it's not sitting on the rims.

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    if you can't keep your bike inside in the winter, keep the tires inside and slip the ones you have now on the wheels (sans tube) so it's not sitting on the rims.

    And yeah, these things are fine for now. The cords are fine.

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    Keys are in the ignition Mphetameme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianJ1888
    any chance your tires froze under your porch?
    Uh, yeah. In fact, they froze in October and didn't thaw until March. I guess I should make room in my apartment for my bike.

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    Senior Member EGreen's Avatar
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    Leaving your bike outside for the winter There should be some protective/enforcement agency for this! I'd leave my wife outside under the porch before I left my bikes out there!

    On particularly cold nights I bring them into bed with me.

    Perhaps, there should be official intervention for this as well.



  16. #16
    Gone, but not forgotten Sheldon Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mphetameme
    Not sure if this is the proper place to post this or not but I just pulled my bike out from under the deck after the winter and found these cracks all over the tires. How serious is this?
    Not serious at all, if the tires aren't lumpy and misshapen. The rubber is not a structural part, so the tires are safe as long as the fabric is undamaged.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mphetameme
    I only use this bike for commuting.
    Only for commuting? Commuting is the most "serious" sort of cycling there is, and among the most demanding on equipment.

    By the way, another poster repeated the old canard about "dry rot." Dry rot does not affect tires since they stopped using cotton cord in the 1960s.

    The cracks may have been caused by running the tires too soft, by the way.

    See: http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#pressure

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Not serious at all, if the tires aren't lumpy and misshapen. The rubber is not a structural part, so the tires are safe as long as the fabric is undamaged.
    True the rubber isn't structural but the cords are and they are very vulnerable to fatal damage and cuts if there is nothing to protect them. I again recommend, replace the tires.

  18. #18
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    Speaking as a wrench, I would advise you to replace the tires. They are rotting. Check the tubes also. It would pay to replace both of the also.

    the best way to prevent that from happening is to keep your bike in a heated place during the winter.

  19. #19
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Pssshhht. Some cracks in the rubber? And you guys are advising him to replace them? I'm with Sheldon Brown, and I think that he would know. Those cracks don't look serious at all. The tires aren't rotting, tire cords are made of nylon, for crying out loud! Unless he's riding through some serious stretches of gravel or road debris (and I mean real debris, not some gravel and the occasional discarded wrench), the cords are not vulnerable to damage and in zero danger of being damaged. I've commuted on tires older than I am with cracks that bad or worse. No problems whatsoever. No need to be scaring people. Tires are able to take some abuse, have a little faith in them.

  20. #20
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    I think Brian was referring to that condition where the minimalist rubber sidewall on an old skinwall tire is dry and crumbly and flakes off exposing the cords to potential fatal blowout. I dont see that here, tho. Probably fine if OP maintains proper pressure. But does anyone here think that extreme temps dont affect tire rubber?
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