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Old 10-31-07, 07:09 AM   #1
sjs731
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Tire Rotation

I just bought a Redline D460 29er and it has Maxxis Ignitor tires on it. There is a rotation arrow on them. The back tire is rotating the way the arrow points, the front is not. I have Panaracers on another bike and they have opposite rotation arrows for front and rear. My question: Is the Maxxis front supposed to follow the rotation arrow since there is nothing saying it should rotate opposite of the rear?
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Old 10-31-07, 08:59 AM   #2
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I just bought a Redline D460 29er and it has Maxxis Ignitor tires on it. There is a rotation arrow on them. The back tire is rotating the way the arrow points, the front is not. I have Panaracers on another bike and they have opposite rotation arrows for front and rear. My question: Is the Maxxis front supposed to follow the rotation arrow since there is nothing saying it should rotate opposite of the rear?
In my experience the rotation arrow, regardless of front or rear, should follow the rotation of the wheels.

Just a question though, you're not looking at the arrow when it is near the ground hence pointing towards the REAR of the bike (not trying to say yer a dummy or anything)
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Old 10-31-07, 09:12 AM   #3
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Thanks. That's exactly what I thought myself. Just wanted another opinion. When the arrow is at the top it is pointing backwards. Just a factory mistake I guess. I'll take it off and turn it around.
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Old 10-31-07, 09:26 AM   #4
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Obviously the "safe/proper" thing is to follow the manufacturer's directions.

However I wonder if tire rotation direction is a scientific fact or just another marketing gimmick? Any one have credible DATA (not anecdotes!) on tread life/traction/noise versus rotation direction?
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Old 10-31-07, 09:35 AM   #5
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Obviously the "safe/proper" thing is to follow the manufacturer's directions.

However I wonder if tire rotation direction is a scientific fact or just another marketing gimmick? Any one have credible DATA (not anecdotes!) on tread life/traction/noise versus rotation direction?
WARNING-ANECDOTE! On cars and motorcycles, I've read that the reason for directional tires is because they are designed for maximum shedding of water in only one direction. Don't know about bicycles.
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Old 10-31-07, 09:39 AM   #6
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One school of thought is for off-road use they should be exactly as your Redline came.

The idea is to provide maximum traction for acceleration in the rear and braking in the front, actions that occur in opposite directions.

I don't ride in the dirt anymore, but when I did we played with all sorts of tire combinations & configurations and I still crashed alot.
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Old 10-31-07, 10:05 AM   #7
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Braking is why the Panaracers on my other bike specify a different rotation on the front than the rear. I have e-mailed Maxxis also and will post what I find out from them.
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Old 10-31-07, 10:29 AM   #8
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Obviously the "safe/proper" thing is to follow the manufacturer's directions.

However I wonder if tire rotation direction is a scientific fact or just another marketing gimmick? Any one have credible DATA (not anecdotes!) on tread life/traction/noise versus rotation direction?
It is scientific fact, check sheldobrown. Bicycles don't go fast enough to hydroplane so tread direction compared to motor vehciles will do nothing on pavement.

There is no water to shed thus direction is important. And if you're riding on pavement, even in rain the 100% slick tires will always give more grip. Tread is another marketing gimmick for tires that are supposed to be ridden on paved roads.
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Old 10-31-07, 10:35 AM   #9
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WARNING-ANECDOTE! On cars and motorcycles, I've read that the reason for directional tires is because they are designed for maximum shedding of water in only one direction. Don't know about bicycles.
That's what I understand.....from what I have read when purchasing tires for my car.

On MY MTB bike I have Panaracer Smoke and Dart tires. The front has a tread pattern that is in the same direction of the tire and the rear has a tread pattern that runs laterally with the tire.

From what I have read, is that the front tire, when compressed on the ground, forces the tread to close together thereby...'pinching' the dirt in between the tread for better traction. Then as the tire rotates and the weight comes off that section of tire the tread or knobs open forcing out any mud. Also, it has side knobs for cornering that are supposed to do the same thing.

I think I read that on Sheldons website - http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#tread

The rear has a 'paddle' type tread or knobs to help push the bike forward.

On my commutter bike I have Tioga City Slickers which have a inverted tread pattern or triangular shaped lines or groves, these tires have a rotation arrow. One day I had the front tire on backwards (just had a flat and I was in a rush to get home) and had stopped off at the LBS. The mechanic noticed that I had the tire on backwards and said as much, as well as it would NOT shed the water as well, plus there is an aerodynamic drag with the....grooves in the tire pointing the wrong way.

My road bike tires have grooves that are about 0.25mm thick and they have rotation arrows. They are worn off the rear tire after about 500km.

I
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Old 10-31-07, 10:35 AM   #10
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Not sure it really matters. I have some WTB Veloceraptors (sp) that have arrows going both ways. One way for dry, the other for muddy. Whatever..
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Old 10-31-07, 11:01 AM   #11
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I have Panaracer Fire XC Pro tires on my other bike and they are same tread pattern front and rear but specifically show different rotation directions.
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Old 10-31-07, 11:10 AM   #12
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Some tires have rotation arrows, not for the direction of the tread but for the directions of the plys inside the tire. Proper flexing occurs in one direction, not the other.
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Old 10-31-07, 11:22 AM   #13
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Some tires have rotation arrows, not for the direction of the tread but for the directions of the plys inside the tire. Proper flexing occurs in one direction, not the other.
I guess then the consensus is - if the tire has a rotation arrow, mount it THAT way.
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Old 10-31-07, 11:30 AM   #14
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Per Jobst Brandt, tread direction is meaningful only for vehicles like farm tractors which sometimes spin their wheels in mud. Not cars, not motorcycles, not bicycles. See:

http://yarchive.net/bike/tire_directional_tread.html
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Old 10-31-07, 03:19 PM   #15
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Tread directionality is not the only reason that tires are directional. Some tires have an internal construction that likes to be flexed in a certain way.
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Old 10-31-07, 07:38 PM   #16
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My Bianchi commuter came with tires mounted with the rotation arrows correct on the rear and reversed on the front. The highest stress on a rear tire is from the driving force while that for the front is with braking. If there is any sort of construction or design asymmetry in a tire then reversing the arrows makes sense.
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Old 10-31-07, 08:10 PM   #17
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It is scientific fact, check sheldobrown. Bicycles don't go fast enough to hydroplane so tread direction compared to motor vehciles will do nothing on pavement.

There is no water to shed thus direction is important. And if you're riding on pavement, even in rain the 100% slick tires will always give more grip. Tread is another marketing gimmick for tires that are supposed to be ridden on paved roads.
+1. Sheldon is spot on here.

In-house testing at Korbach lead Continental to conclude the same thing. There are tread patterns on road tires because consumers want them. They are purely decorative.

Construction and compounding - those make a difference.
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Old 10-31-07, 08:26 PM   #18
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I think the bottom line is that tread pattern doesn't matter for tires ridden on pavement, but it can matter for tires ridden off road. One way it matters for off road tires is that it can affect how well the tires shed mud and debris.

With that being said, I always go with the arrows, if there are any, road or mountain; but then again I line up the labels with the valve stems, too.

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Old 11-02-07, 05:43 PM   #19
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Actually, if you look at a set of high performance motorcycle tires, the tread pattern is opposite each other. That's because the primary forces applied to the front are from braking and the primary forces applied to the rear are from acceleration. Not that a motorcycle tire rated for 200+mph is comparable to a bicycle tire.
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