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Old 03-20-03, 11:50 AM   #1
ZackJones
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Rotating Tires

Greetings,

I saw a post in another thread or on another board regarding rotating tires on your bike. I've never done it on any of the bikes I've ridden though I normally would replace both anytime I need to replace one of them.

How about you folks? Anyone rotate your tires?

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Old 03-20-03, 12:13 PM   #2
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Yes, I get more wear on my rear tie than my front so I rotate them when one is more visibly worn than the other.
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Old 03-20-03, 12:53 PM   #3
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Ditto what Bobatin said. I rotate mine about halfway through the season. It just seems like the right thing to do.
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Old 03-20-03, 01:57 PM   #4
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Rear tyres wear with definate shoulders, wheras front tyres wear more evenly. When you buy tyres, buy 3 and expect to replace the rear. Rotating tyres on a bike makes no sense at all.
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Old 03-20-03, 02:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by D*Alex
Rear tyres wear with definate shoulders, wheras front tyres wear more evenly. When you buy tyres, buy 3 and expect to replace the rear. Rotating tyres on a bike makes no sense at all.
Agreed. I tend to subscribe to Sheldon Brown's view on tyre rotation.
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Old 03-20-03, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by khuon
Agreed. I tend to subscribe to Sheldon Brown's view on tyre rotation.
Ditto. Putting a worn tire on the front is asking for trouble. The perception that the rear tire is more important is a holdover from rear-wheel drive cars. On a bike, safety and handling derive much more from the front, and the front tire should always be in top condition.

When the rear tire is ready to be replaced, replace it with the lightly-worn front tire, and put the new one on the front.

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Old 03-20-03, 02:55 PM   #7
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Ditto Rich's ditto.

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Old 03-20-03, 03:05 PM   #8
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I'm glad Zack posted this question. I hadn't thought about it, but now I agree with Sheldon Brown et al crowd.
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Old 03-20-03, 04:27 PM   #9
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Move the front tire to the rear when the rear tire wears out and put the new tire on the front.

This is a ritual that I go through every 1,200 to 1,500 miles with our tandems which, if you haven't thought about it, wear through rear tires twice as fast as single bikes. So, from an economic standpoint, it's the only way I can get an honest 2,400 - 3,000 miles out of a tire before it's shot -- assuming we don't cut a tire that SuperGlue can't fix. From a safety standpoint, it also ensures an "old tire" isn't left on the front just because the tread compound "looks" good. Oh, if a front tire gets a cut that can be fixed by a dab of SuperGlue it gets replaced once we're home and sits in queue for use on one of my single bikes or the back tire of the tandem once the current one wears down.
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Old 03-20-03, 07:14 PM   #10
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All:

Thanks for the replies and the link. I'm adopting the move to back and new up front rotation cycle.

Zack
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Old 03-21-03, 01:00 AM   #11
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JackJones: please read my thoughts below before making a decision, than decide.

I bet all of you that if we took a poll most, if not all of you would say you get more flats in the rear than the front; if this is so, why would you put your best tire on the front? The reason I put my best tire on the rear is not because of the rear wheel drive of old cars, BUT because the rear is more susceptible to flats than the front. The reason the front gets less flats is because you can swerve around hazards only to find the rear does not swerve out of the way as much and catch the hazard, also the front can hit an object and pitch it at an angle that makes it more dangerious for the rear. Also it's easier to fix the front tire.

Now one tire company has recognized this problem and has made a pair of tires to be sold only in pairs where the rear tire is slighty larger with thicker tread and dual kevlar belts whereas the front is lighter, narrower with a thinner tread and only one kevlar belt. That company is Continental new Attack/Force tires advertised in Coloradocyclist. Why would a leading tire manufacture do this? Because they know the rear is more susceptible to flats and it's about time a tire company addressed this; though I feel you should be able to buy these tires separately and not just pairs. Also Rivendell kind of does the same thing with their Ruffy Tuffy for the rear and Rolly Poly for the front thoughts, although these tires are for light touring and commuting, whereas the Continental are for road racing and training.

By the way, I know plenty of riders, including myself, that for years have rode on slightly fatter tire in the rear and narrower tire on the front; I also (including myself again) know plenty of riders that have placed tire liners in the rear and not the front. I now use the Specialize Turbo Armadillos (due to trashy streets and thorny bike paths where I live) so the tire liners are no longer needed, but I still use a slightly larger tire in the rear.

Last edited by froze; 03-21-03 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 03-21-03, 01:40 AM   #12
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Regarding tires on a tandem, a local couple crashed hard several years ago when they inflated the tires before an outing and didn't bother to check the pressure with a guage. The tires were over-inflated. Only a quarter mile out, they were going down a steep hill when the rear tire blew out. They crashed, and the woman broke her pelvis. She was in training to run her first 26 mile marathon, but due to the severity of her injuries, had to scrap her running plans. Check the pressure! Don't guess!
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Old 03-21-03, 02:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by froze

By the way, I know plenty of riders, including myself, that for years have rode on slightly fatter tire in the rear and narrower tire on the front
This seems totally opposite from BCP and everything I've heard (at least in the mountain biking world). If you're going to run different tire widths, you want a wider front tyre to prevent washout and a narrower rear for less resistance so you can accelerate faster.

Also, as far as fixing a front tyre flat being easier, that may be true provided you're not unconscious after bouncing head first across the ground several times from a high speed front blowout. Besides, I don't think it's that much easier to fix a front flat than a rear and on some bikes (read: those with special suspension hubs/axles) the opposite is true.
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Old 03-21-03, 02:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by froze
JackJones: please read my thoughts below before making a decision, than decide.

I bet all of you that if we took a poll most, if not all of you would say you get more flats in the rear than the front; if this is so, why would you put your best tire on the front? The reason I put my best tire on the rear is not because of the rear wheel drive of old cars, BUT because the rear is more susceptible to flats than the front. The reason the front gets less flats is because you can swerve around hazards only to find the rear does not swerve out of the way as much and catch the hazard, also the front can hit an object and pitch it at an angle that makes it more dangerious for the rear. Also it's easier to fix the front tire.
Rotate front to back, put the new one up front, and if you're really worried about flats: get a tuffy liner. Read Sheldon's article and you'll understand this logic a lot better.
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Old 03-21-03, 08:18 AM   #15
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froze: good idea on the poll - I just created one

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Old 03-21-03, 08:28 AM   #16
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O.k., but does anyone flip their tires around. A lot of the roads where I ride, have a significant crown to them, and it wears the non-drive side of my tires so I end up getting an assymetrial profile of my tire instead of round. I flip my tires around so the tire wears evenly side to side!

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Old 03-21-03, 08:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by a2psyklnut
O.k., but does anyone flip their tires around.
It may not be advisable to do this on all tyres since some have tread bias.
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Old 03-21-03, 08:59 AM   #18
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I do it at 1000 miles and they wear out at the same rate after that.
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Old 03-21-03, 09:11 AM   #19
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Check out tip #4 in this string from "Bicycling Magazine". Not on point, but helpful to know: http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,5...ategory_id=365
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Old 03-21-03, 10:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by trmcgeehan
Regarding tires on a tandem, a local couple crashed hard several years ago when they inflated the tires before an outing and didn't bother to check the pressure with a guage. The tires were over-inflated. Only a quarter mile out, they were going down a steep hill when the rear tire blew out. They crashed, and the woman broke her pelvis. She was in training to run her first 26 mile marathon, but due to the severity of her injuries, had to scrap her running plans. Check the pressure! Don't guess!
Sorry, but I'd have to disagree with the assessment that over-inflation caused this blow-out. What is more likely are one of the following scenarios:

1. The rear tire was recently replaced and the tube wasn't installed properly and pinched between the rim bead and the rim which lead to the blow-out.
2. The tire was old and the cloth rim bead -- usually on a wire bead model -- tore which allowed the tube to "escape" from the tire casing and blow out.
3. They ran over something large and sharp that resulted in a blow out.
4. The captain was riding the rear brake on all the way down the hill to control their speed and overheated the rim to the point where either the tire softened up enough to become unseated as the tire pressure increased from the heating and then was pinched as it lifted the tire bead (see 1, above) OR failed inside the tire/rim as the air in the tube expanded.

In regard to #4, it usually takes more than a quarter mile for something like this to happen -- which is actually not all that uncommon for inexperienced tandem tandem teams -- which is why I listed it last. If, however, they were a really heavy team and had been descending a very steep hill for about a mile or were travelling at a high rate of speed (> 45mph) and then dragged the brakes for 1/4 mile it's is possible that the rear rim overheated enough to cause the failure.

Last edited by livngood; 03-21-03 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 03-21-03, 10:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by OtheloTheMoor
Check out tip #4 in this string from "Bicycling Magazine". Not on point, but helpful to know: http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,5...ategory_id=365
Sounds interesting. How do you determine the "flow" as pointed out in the tip? Do tires flow center to edge or edge to center?

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Old 03-21-03, 10:56 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by froze
Also it's easier to fix the front tire. Now one tire company has recognized this problem and has made a pair of tires to be sold only in pairs where the rear tire is slighty larger with thicker tread and dual kevlar belts whereas the front is lighter, narrower with a thinner tread and only one kevlar belt. That company is Continental new Attack/Force tires advertised in Coloradocyclist. Why would a leading tire manufacture do this?
The front tire is easier to fix than the rear? I assume what you're actually suggesting is that some folks find it more difficult to remove and re-install the rear wheel since they need to deal with the rear derailleur and chain. Practice or instruction can reduce this difficulty factor to about a 3 second difference in repair time -- otherwise there is no other difference in replacing or patching a tube.

As for recognizing the "problem" Continental has taken a page out of the Shimano play book and created a solution looking for a problem that doesn't exist. As to why they would do this? Well, isn't it obvious - you even answered your own question when you noted that you'd rather buy them one at a time. Continental wants to sell more tires.

Sorry to sound to cynical, but these are bicycle tires we're talking about. The only mystery is figuring out why they cost as much as they do and why road bike tires even have tread pattens since it serves absolutely no useful purpose.

Last edited by livngood; 03-21-03 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 03-21-03, 10:58 AM   #23
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I want to know why tires for my bike cost more than those for my car?

L8R
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Old 03-22-03, 01:42 AM   #24
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Raiyn: I have very high regards for Sheldon Brown and he is a very knowledgeable in regards to bicycles. And with all due respect to him, in this one area I disagree with him. Not saying I'm right or he's wrong, it's just my opinion based on my 30 plus years of riding including 12 years of racing. And during those years I have suffered blowouts on tubulars and clinchers both on the front and rear going straight or around turns. I have had more problems handling rear flats than front-when a handling problem happened which was not often. It seemed that with a rear blow out going around a turn, the weight of your body over the rear wheel would make the backend slide out from under you, whereas with the front that was not as severe-BUT that is just my experience and I'm sure others had different experiences, just as UrBanking has had more front flats than rears (see his remarks in the poll).

If you read the poll which ZackJones so kindly did (thank you Zack!!), you will quickly see that rear flats are way ahead of front flats, this has been my personal experience and observational experience as well. Again I ask you all, where's the logic on putting your worse tire on the rear only to suffer even greater flats (due to the worn tire) thus the likely hood of having an accident increases as well?

Because of my experiences though I will continue to practice putting the best tire on the rear and lessening my chances for an accident.

Last edited by froze; 03-22-03 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 03-22-03, 01:57 AM   #25
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If your rear tire blows it's a lot easier to control than it would be if your front tire did. I'd rather have the flat in the back.
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