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Old 01-25-09, 06:28 PM   #1
saturnhr
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How much useful/safe are new old stock (NOS) tubular tires?

My question in particular relates to Clement Pistard tires (for track use) with silk sidewalls. Similar "new stock new tires" from Dugast are quite expensive (above $150 per tire). Even if the innertube fails one could have it replaced by http://www.tirealert.com/ - or should they (the tubular innertubes) even be replaced prophylactically?

Any feedback appreciated!
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Old 01-25-09, 08:34 PM   #2
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Put 'em on rims (you don't need to glue them until you're ready to ride them) and pump them up. If they hold air, Bob's your uncle.

Remember, the tubes are latex and will lose air more quickly than butyl tubes, but if they hold a decent pressure for a day or so then I'd expect they're fine.
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Old 01-25-09, 09:32 PM   #3
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I remember that the USPS team head mechanic was known for aging road race tubular tires for several years before use. It was supposed to make them more puncture resistant according to the piece on TV during the TDF broadcast several years ago. They showed his basement with hundreds of tubular tires aging there.

I would expect any deterioration would be dependent on storage conditions.
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Old 01-25-09, 10:22 PM   #4
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I think aging tubulars is silly as modern rubber only deteriorates over time. I'm betting this is one of those myths that just won't die in cycling.

Here is Jobst Brandt's article (against aging) on Sheldon Brown's page.
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Old 01-25-09, 11:25 PM   #5
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I think aging tubulars is silly as modern rubber only deteriorates over time. I'm betting this is one of those myths that just won't die in cycling.
Does old rubber improve with age?
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Old 01-26-09, 12:15 AM   #6
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Does old rubber improve with age?
No, old rubber deteriorates with age the exact same way new rubber deteriorates with age.
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Old 01-26-09, 12:16 AM   #7
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Does old rubber improve with age?
No - it rots, naturally, into powder. But before it powders, it becomes brittle with age and cracks. Not something you'd want holding you up as your going 40+mph down a steep hill.
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Old 01-26-09, 05:30 AM   #8
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Panthers is right, it can be a problem. But yours might be in good shape. If you mount them on rims and pump them up to pressure, then let them sit a few days, you'll see. If the casing has any loose or broken threads, they're toast. If the tread is cracked down to ethe casing, peeling away, or of course falling off, you won't be able to use the tire. If it loses all its pressure in an hour, you have a leak. If it looses most pressure in 24 hour, you're ok, they are just latex. But mainly inspect the tread and the casing. A dry surface might be just a dry surface.
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Old 01-26-09, 07:05 AM   #9
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Agree with all the above.

I would add that even if the tires hold air and do not look physically compromised, they could still be unsafe. The strip of fabric covering the stitching on the tire is held on with glue that gets brittle with age and loses its stick, so you could have a tire that is glued on that rolls because the strip separates from the tire. Check the strip.
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