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Old 04-18-06, 06:58 AM   #1
slvoid
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Bad advice on biketiresdirect.com?

http://www.biketiresdirect.com/infor...p?inf=tiretips

Since the front tire is for steering, wouldn't you NOT want an old tire there?
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Old 04-18-06, 07:44 AM   #2
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I think the key element on their site is that it is to increase tire life... and "slightly worn" (not completely worn) This is somewhat reasonable (if you plan to rotate) to do it when the rear is slightly worn rather than waiting until it is about due for replacement.

However, I would opt for other recommendations I have read (I think one was Sheldon Brown's) and not rotate a worn rear tire to the front.

I would have very little problem with leaving a nice slightly worn tire on the front while replacing the rear, even though for a while (until worn) my best tire would be on the rear. I would however not intentionally put the worse tire on front to get a few more miles out of the tires...
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Old 04-18-06, 08:48 AM   #3
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For all practical purposes front tires never show any wear even after several thousands of miles. Weigh a brand new tire, then weigh it again after 3000 miles of front tire service. The weights will be nearly identical while a rear tire will have lost a significant amount of its initial weight in the same distance.

That doesn't mean a front tire will last forever as it has been subject to a lot of flexing, light exposure, etc. and will fail at some point. I does mean you can't judge a front tire by its appearance the way you can a rear.
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Old 04-18-06, 09:23 AM   #4
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whenever i order tires my general rule of thumb is to get four tires. three for the rear and one for the front. has worked for 30 some years.
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Old 04-18-06, 09:28 AM   #5
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i don't see any need to rotate tires. i replace tires as they wear out. i think i've replaced 2 front tires and about 4 or 5 back tires since i've been cycling these past couple of years.
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Old 04-18-06, 09:32 AM   #6
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How about rotating them the other way? It seems more logical to me to rotate the very slightly worn front tire to the back, then put the brand new tire on the front. Since that would be a lot of work for someone who burns through back tires, maybe combine it with alancw3's method. You could rotate the front to the back every 2nd or 3rd time you replace the back tire.

Disclaimer: I'm still on my first set of tires on my road bike, so I may not even know what I'm talking about.
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Old 04-18-06, 10:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dayve
How about rotating them the other way? It seems more logical to me to rotate the very slightly worn front tire to the back, then put the brand new tire on the front. Since that would be a lot of work for someone who burns through back tires, maybe combine it with alancw3's method. You could rotate the front to the back every 2nd or 3rd time you replace the back tire.

Disclaimer: I'm still on my first set of tires on my road bike, so I may not even know what I'm talking about.
That does work. The only thing I've noticed is that a tire that has been in front service for a while, say 2-3000 miles, doesn't last as long as a new tire even though it looks brand new when installed on the rear. Apparently the flexing and exposure does change its characteristics and durability.
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Old 04-19-06, 03:12 PM   #8
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As noted, they can be replaced one at a time as the rear wears, but they have to match or I can't be seen with you...
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Old 04-20-06, 03:24 AM   #9
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I've always moved the front to the back when the rear wears out and placed a new one on the front.
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Old 04-20-06, 07:50 AM   #10
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i once moved the rear tyre to the front. big mistake; it delaminated shortly afterwards! i would say that the best tyre should always go on the front. i did that on my old puch, and the difference was night and day
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Old 04-20-06, 08:40 AM   #11
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Here is another vote for leaving the front tire alone and replacing the rear as it wears. I have never had a problem with this, with the front tire only starting to look worn after going through 2 or 3 rears.
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Old 04-20-06, 08:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
http://www.biketiresdirect.com/infor...p?inf=tiretips

Since the front tire is for steering, wouldn't you NOT want an old tire there?
Yes, no I would not......huh?

I agree,the best tire on the front in case of a possible slide, keep the front end stuck and let the back slide.

If you want to postpone your spending just a little, you can rotate when the rear tire is just a little worn.
But eventually you have to buy a tire, so why not just leave the good one on the front and buy a new rear tire? In the long run does it not wear out the same amount of tires and cost the same?
I think so, don't bother to rotate the tires. It's leaning a little to the cheap side with a little less traction. Not for me.
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Old 04-20-06, 08:48 AM   #13
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There is nothing wrong with what they are saying. The big thing to notice is that they are doing it when there is just the slightest amount of wear on the rear. I think it is a waste of time and effort.

I always put new tires on the front and move the old front to the rear.
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Old 04-21-06, 09:35 PM   #14
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Actually I agree with Bikes Direct advice and disagree with Sheldon Browns. The reason for that is because the majority of your flats occur on the rear so why would you put a worn tire back there? To lessen accidents? Thats stupid since 99.99% of flats aren't sudden blowouts anyway so lost of control won't be any different whether the blowout is on the front or rear and then only on corners would any problem come up. If your going around a corner and have a sudden blowout, the front your front could go skipping across the pavement similar to a car experiencing understeer; if your blowout is on the rear then your rear end will wash out from under you similar to a car experiencing oversteer...except in either case on a bike your struggle to remain on the bike will be a challenge. This I know after 30 plus years of riding and touring all over Gods green earth. So I would rather have the best tire on the rear; and besides the front tire is faster to repair!
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Old 04-21-06, 09:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
http://www.biketiresdirect.com/infor...p?inf=tiretips

Since the front tire is for steering, wouldn't you NOT want an old tire there?
Stupid advice. The front tire is vital and should not be relegated to a swapped tire unless safety is of no concern.
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Old 04-22-06, 06:43 AM   #16
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First off I agree with Bike Direct and Freako's reasoning. Who ever here had a front or a rear blowout and experienced any worse handling porblem? I also agree that sudden blowouts are rare and myself having over 30 years experience riding can tell you that any handling problems from a flat won't occur on a straight road but rather on corners, and if you have a flat on a corner, especially a blowout and especially if your going fast or are loaded, your could have serious concerns, and the way Freako explained it relating the handling to a car is absolutely correct except on a bike you can't control the situation like in car so more then likely your going down regardless if it't the front or rear that blows. I can tell you that the worse crash I ever had from the result of a flat occured when the rear blew out while rounding a mountain curve in California (where I use to live) and the rearend washed out from under me and wiped out causing me to almost go off a cliff! I've also had a blowout on a front tire going around a mountainous curve but didn't quite have the same diffuculty I had with the rear...why? Luck? I don't know, just relating an experience. I had plenty of flats on both front and rear over 30 years as one could imagine and can't really say which I would rather prefer because I usually don't crash as a result of such a problem; I can say from a technical aspect I would rather have a front flat because it is easier and faster to repair. And since most flats DO occur on the rear I put my best tire on the rear. In fact a lot of cyclist ride with slightly larger tire on the rear because of slightly better traction, longer wear and better flat protection because usually the larger tire had a bit more rubber on the tread.

The reason most flats occur on the rear is because you can usually steer around an object with the front tire but the rear will trail in to hit it; or the front hits the object but sets the object up at an angle for the rear to hit a flat it; and most rear tires have more wear on the tread then the front on most bikes.
So I do rotate my tires and put the new tire on the rear and rotate the rear to the front when it gets about 1/2 worn, then usually replace the pair the second time around so both are new, thus the front may only be 2/3 to 3/4ths worn out.

BUT HAVING SAID ALL OF THAT, doesn't mean I'm saying my way or BikeDirects is right or that Sheldon Brown is wrong, just a different opinion that you need to decide which to do. In other words either way is fine. Just go by your personal experience, which type of flat did you have that ended up getting hairy and wish you had the better tire on the front or rear. My 30 years of experience had showed me that BikeDirects advice works for me and Sheldon Browns did not...neither of them were around though when I decided some years back to have the best tire on the rear. And when I made that decision there was the same controversy back then as we're having here today...a controversy that will never end.
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Old 04-22-06, 08:29 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by skydive69
Stupid advice. The front tire is vital and should not be relegated to a swapped tire unless safety is of no concern.
+1,000

You may ride for decades without a front flat. That does not justify having a worse tire in front.

You can imagine what it might be like to get a front flat at speed, or even have one and not have any problems. That does not justify having the worse tire on the front.

Typically (meaning the odds are in favor of it) front flats cause you to go down or have a close call.
Anyone who has much experience riding bicycles on ice and snow, or sliding motorcycle dirt bikes on dirt, and ice and snow, or sliding motorcycles on pavement, will know that controlling the front in any kind of slide or slip or off direction push is much harder than the rear tire. There are a lot of situations where a rear tire slide is quite controllable. To think otherwise is only due to inexperience of sliding and skidding bikes. Ask a mountain bike rider.

Last edited by 2manybikes; 04-22-06 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 04-22-06, 11:56 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by froze
In fact a lot of cyclist ride with slightly larger tire on the rear because of slightly better traction, longer wear and better flat protection because usually the larger tire had a bit more rubber on the tread.
They would be better off with the extra traction up front. Try riding a bike on slippery mud. It's easy with a completly slick rear tyre and knobbly front. With a slick front and knobbly rear it can be almost impossible.
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Old 04-22-06, 12:37 PM   #19
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They would be better off with the extra traction up front. Try riding a bike on slippery mud. It's easy with a completly slick rear tyre and knobbly front. With a slick front and knobbly rear it can be almost impossible.
Yes your absolutely correct IF we were talking about mountain bike riding where in that sport quite a few ride with a larger tire in the front; but on a road bike the opposite is true...or at least sometimes!
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Old 04-22-06, 12:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
+1,000

You may ride for decades without a front flat. That does not justify having a worse tire in front.

You can imagine what it might be like to get a front flat at speed, or even have one and not have any problems. That does not justify having the worse tire on the front.

Typically (meaning the odds are in favor of it) front flats cause you to go down or have a close call.
Anyone who has much experience riding bicycles on ice and snow, or sliding motorcycle dirt bikes on dirt, and ice and snow, or sliding motorcycles on pavement, will know that controlling the front in any kind of slide or slip or off direction push is much harder than the rear tire. There are a lot of situations where a rear tire slide is quite controllable. To think otherwise is only due to inexperience of sliding and skidding bikes. Ask a mountain bike rider.
I was referring to a road biker not a mountain biker of which I have experience with both but quite a bit more with road, and quite a bit of practice in slidding and skidding bikes due to BMX riding I did before I got into the road stuff when I was a little brat. And losing a skinny road rear tire from a sudden blow out while descending a fast mountain curve is not quite the same; generally the speeds on a road bike are much faster on a road thus you have more accute angles going into the turn with less rubber on the ground then a MTB. My experience includes not only 30+ years of cycling as Freako seems to have but also included in that time frame is 15 years of road racing; and during those 30 years I only had 5 crashes and none while racing...huh? Lot's of luck in that area!!! And 2 of those crashes was due to a sudden rear blow out while descending fast around a curve on a mountain road; I had a blow out while rounding a different curve with a front tire but that did not cause quite the problem the rear did...luck? maybe, but blowouts are rare and I never had a crash from suffering a normal flat whether front or rear, going around a turn or whatever.

I'm not arguing over which is the right way; I know people that do it BikeDirects way and I know people who do it Sheldon Browns way and both argue theirs is the better way; that's why you have 2 different opinions from two highly regarded sources, neither are right and neither are wrong, it's just base on different experiences, and until my experience changes I will continue to do it my way.

By the way have you notice the design of the Continental Attack Force tires? HMM...wonder why the better tire is for the rear?
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Old 04-22-06, 05:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freako
Actually I agree with Bikes Direct advice and disagree with Sheldon Browns. The reason for that is because the majority of your flats occur on the rear so why would you put a worn tire back there? To lessen accidents? Thats stupid since 99.99% of flats aren't sudden blowouts anyway
That's a bit of an exaggeration, but the few sudden blowouts are the most dangerous flats.

There are a couple of reasons why rear flats are more common than fronts. One is that there's generally a heavier load on the rear.

Another is that many of the items that cause punctures have a basically linear shape, and just lie flat on the roadway. As the front tire rolls over these slivers or thorns or whatever, the tire disturbs the position of the object, and this sometimes means that it is temporarily pointing upward just as the rear tire comes along.

The safety issue is, indeed, debatable, but the Bikesdirect "tip" isn't about safety:

"To extend the life of your tires, swap the front and rear tires as soon as the rear tire shows signs of wear. Usually the front tire isstill very close to new at that point."

This procedure does nothing to "extend" tire life compared with the procedure I recommend at http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-rotation. That is a bogus claim.

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Old 04-22-06, 10:38 PM   #22
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Mr Sheldon Brown; thanks for replying. Freako's statement was probably a bit exaggerated, but did you by chance read my last post?

Please note I DID NOT say that I felt your opinion was wrong just different; I have in the past read your site dealing with this tire rotating debate and think your opinion is much regarded.

As I kept stating over and over I do my way, or BikesDirect way, due to personal experience; and as you agreed with me that blowouts are rare...or rather few as you stated, and even more rare (or few) on the front due to the same reasons I quoted.

Yet I know plenty of road racers in the past that had blowouts on the rear while going around a corner and most crashed as a result, but I can't recall anyone crashing on a flat straight road having a blowout either in the front or rear except in cases where a tub or clincher came off the rim. In fact where most flats becomes a problem is when the bead of the tire...especially the FRONT tire...becomes unbeaded from the rim. In fact if a tire is properly fitted between the tire and the wheel beadseat controllability during a flat is greatly improved. In fact this is one area where I think there should be some sort of government requirement or standard set forth that would require or standardlize the rim diameters and the tire beads so that we don't run into issues with some tires fit loose and some fit tight etc. Maybe Sheldon Brown with your political awareness you could look into this????

Now I have seen cyclists strike a curb or a road defect etc with the front tire and go down due to the front wheel being jerked in direction different then intended or the front wheel just suddenly stops; but we were talking flats. Also keep in mind that less then 7% of all bicycle related accidents are caused by mechanical failure, which includes flats.

Let me repeat a sentence in my last post: have you notice the design of the Continental Attack Force tires? HMM...wonder why the better tire with better flat protection is for the rear?

Last edited by froze; 04-22-06 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 04-23-06, 10:14 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froze
Mr Sheldon Brown; thanks for replying.
Mr Sheldon Brown was my grandfather, call me Sheldon...


Quote:
Originally Posted by froze
Freako's statement was probably a bit exaggerated, but did you by chance read my last post?
I did, and I don't strongly disagree with anything you wrote in its context. I was not responding to that message, but to Bikesdirect's inaccurate assertion that rotation would extend tire service life.

It's an unfortunate aspect of this clunky bulletin board software that the posts appear in strict chronological order, making it often appear that a reply is addressed to the message directly above it, even though it is often actually replying to something several postings up the thread.

I agree that blowing out either tire while leaned over in a turn will be equally likely to cause road rash.

However, most cycling is done while going more or less straight, and most blowouts occur while going more or less straight.

It seems that you're coming from a racing background, where tires are tubulars or super skinny clinchers. With such tires, a blowout while going straight is generally recoverable by a skilled rider, even at fairly high speeds.

However, racers are a tiny minority of cyclists. Most cyclists ride wider tires than racers do, and when these go flat they get considerably floppier than racing tires do. A medium-width or wide front tire that suddenly loses pressure can lead to uncontrollable steering oscillations and a resulting crash.


Quote:
Originally Posted by froze
Let me repeat a sentence in my last post: have you notice the design of the Continental Attack Force tires? HMM...wonder why the better tire with better flat protection is for the rear?
I don't reply to every post I see or every question that is asked on the forum, but since you seem to be addressing this to me, here you go:

First off, I doubt that Continental would agree that the rear is "better." I think they would say that each is of equal quality for its intended position.

I've already addressed the reason rear flats are more common, see my previous posting.

I have long been a fan of mixing tires front/rear. I discuss possible reasons for this at:

http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#mixing

However, the Continental "Attack/Force" schtick is, in my opinion, primarily a marketing ploy. It's a way for Conti to convince the gullible that they need to buy a pair of tires when only one of them has worn out.

Personally, I lean toward the wider-in-front approach when I do mix tires.

My advice about tire rotation at http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-rotation.html is directed at the majority who prefer for aesthetic reasons to use matched tires.

I must admit that I don't generally practice this myself, mainly 'cause I hardly ever wear out tires. I've got 30 bikes or so, and have always been a bit of a "tire junkie" eager to try out whatever is new and interesting in the tire world. As a result I'm always putting on new tires to replace tires that are still perfectly usabl.

In addition, my rear tires last longer proportionally than is the case with typical cyclists because I hardly ever use the rear brake.

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Old 05-20-06, 05:41 PM   #24
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Tired tire

Hey,
I think what you do in some ways depends on if you were brought up Polish. My Euro forebearers instilled upon my the "cheap" gene. So while I can afford all kinds of new tires, it doesn't feel right to get rid of any before their time. I hate worn tires on my mountain bike, especially in front, cause I tend to lose alot of skin that way. On the rode, its been a very long time, thank goodness since I got up close and personal with the cobles. I rotate my tires from my "good" rode bike, to my commuter. Currently, I've got a pair of conti 3000's on my commuter that refuse to die. They have better than 3000mi on them and yes they've been rotated front to back. I have the brand new replacements sitting in the garage, but I guess I'll have to see threads or flatten the beasts before I toss them. Mind you I would not recommend that anyone follow this very irrational approach. Toodles,Frogge.
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Old 05-20-06, 06:40 PM   #25
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It called rotating for a reason, you rotate the old front to the back and put a new tire on the front.
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