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  1. #1
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Tire mounted wrong way

    I have Specialized Crossroads EX tires on my pavement only commuting bike. These tires have a directional tread and an arrow for direction of rotation.

    http://www.specialized.com/SBCEqProd...23ibj0y.j27007

    The rear tire is mounted the wrong way.

    I personally don't think it should make a notable difference. I don't want to take it off and remount it until I have a flat (none yet after 900mi) - why mess with something that works. I think it was put on backwards by the LBS when I had a rear spoke replaced. Actually they put it on wrong at one point since they mounted the tire when it was new as well and its never been off otherwise.

    Would you remount it the right way, or wait till a flat? Do you think it would make any notable difference on pavement?

    Al

  2. #2
    contrarian lala's Avatar
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    remount it, dude. it's good for you.

  3. #3
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lala
    remount it, dude. it's good for you.
    Do you mean for practice?

    I have taken off and replaced tires many times in my lifetime (but none in the last year) I don't think I need the practice and don't want to take the (agreed very) small risk of remounting with a pinched tube, etc. Maybe its superstious behavior, no flats in 900mi, don't touch it.

    The only reason the LBS mounted it originally is because they do this as courtesy with new tire purchase. They fixed the rear spoke since I don't have a freewheel puller.

    OK, I probably will remount it, but I get caught up in so many other life activities I haven't prioritized it yet.

    Anyway, the question is more does it make a notable difference, just curious what others think or have experienced.

    Al

  4. #4
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    The direction that a tire is to be mounted is to provide for the most efficient squeezing out of water when the tire is rolling. i.e. the grooves in the tread should channel the water forwards and out at the front of the road contact patch.

    This is only an intellectual exercise since the bikes contact patch is so small compared to a car's, and there is no risk of aquaplaning. These nobby tires have so much area for water to escape that there is no need to bother swithcing their rotation direction..

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tom Pedale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Do you mean for practice?

    I have taken off and replaced tires many times in my lifetime (but none in the last year) I don't think I need the practice and don't want to take the (agreed very) small risk of remounting with a pinched tube, etc. Maybe its superstious behavior, no flats in 900mi, don't touch it.

    The only reason the LBS mounted it originally is because they do this as courtesy with new tire purchase. They fixed the rear spoke since I don't have a freewheel puller.

    OK, I probably will remount it, but I get caught up in so many other life activities I haven't prioritized it yet.

    Anyway, the question is more does it make a notable difference, just curious what others think or have experienced.

    Al

    No need to remount if you're riding this tire primarily on the street. I'm an ex-Specialized sales rep and the directional arrow indicates how to mount this tire for best performance in dirt. Actually, the way you have it mounted now would result in a smoother ride on paved surfaces.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tom Pedale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP
    The direction that a tire is to be mounted is to provide for the most efficient squeezing out of water when the tire is rolling. i.e. the grooves in the tread should channel the water forwards and out at the front of the road contact patch.

    This is only an intellectual exercise since the bikes contact patch is so small compared to a car's, and there is no risk of aquaplaning. These nobby tires have so much area for water to escape that there is no need to bother swithcing their rotation direction..
    On Crossroads EX, directional arrow indicates proper mounting for dirt use since this is a multi-functional (dirt & steet) model. The directional arrow positions the cleats on the tire so as the wheel rotates they act as scoops on the dirt like this when you pedal: <<<<< On the front wheel it's the opposite the direction of the cleats is:>>>> because when you brake or turn the open side of the cleat faces forward as the wheel contacts the dirt to scoop more dirt to give you more control.

  7. #7
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Pedale
    On Crossroads EX, directional arrow indicates proper mounting for dirt use since this is a multi-functional (dirt & steet) model. The directional arrow positions the cleats on the tire so as the wheel rotates they act as scoops on the dirt like this when you pedal: <<<<< On the front wheel it's the opposite the direction of the cleats is:>>>> because when you brake or turn the open side of the cleat faces forward as the wheel contacts the dirt to scoop more dirt to give you more control.
    So this may explain the somewhat cryptic (i.e. "differences... both positive and negative) explaination I got direct from Specialized when I asked a few weeks ago:

    "Yes, there are reasons that the treads are designed the way that they are. I
    believe that you will notice a difference both on the road and off, both
    positive and negative. Braking, cornering, and general handling will be
    effected. However, with the simple profile that the Crossroads has, running it
    either way should not result in any drastic changes."

    A clarification Tom - are you suggesting that it may be best to have the front and rear tire mounted opposite? The tires are not labeled front/back, just direction of rotation. I think from memory on my bike the front tire has the open end of cleat (the > ) facing forward at ground contact and the 'incorrectly' mounted rear tire has the pointed end facing forward where contacting dirt. If I read Tom's comment correctly - perhaps this is the optimum way to have it set up for dirt and its doesn't really matter for pavement? Maybe the LBS intentionally set it up this 'wrong' way as they know its better for dirt?

    Just so you understand my intent of these detailed followup... I really don't care at this point in a practical matter as I don't think I'll notice any performance difference on pavement, but I am curious as to the 'right approach' just for my learning & understanding.

    Al

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tom Pedale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    So this may explain the somewhat cryptic (i.e. "differences... both positive and negative) explaination I got direct from Specialized when I asked a few weeks ago:

    "Yes, there are reasons that the treads are designed the way that they are. I
    believe that you will notice a difference both on the road and off, both
    positive and negative. Braking, cornering, and general handling will be
    effected. However, with the simple profile that the Crossroads has, running it
    either way should not result in any drastic changes."

    A clarification Tom - are you suggesting that it may be best to have the front and rear tire mounted opposite? The tires are not labeled front/back, just direction of rotation. I think from memory on my bike the front tire has the open end of cleat (the > ) facing forward at ground contact and the 'incorrectly' mounted rear tire has the pointed end facing forward where contacting dirt. If I read Tom's comment correctly - perhaps this is the optimum way to have it set up for dirt and its doesn't really matter for pavement? Maybe the LBS intentionally set it up this 'wrong' way as they know its better for dirt?

    Just so you understand my intent of these detailed followup... I really don't care at this point in a practical matter as I don't think I'll notice any performance difference on pavement, but I am curious as to the 'right approach' just for my learning & understanding.

    Al
    For optimum street riding, cleat direction would be >>>on rear tire and >>> on front tire. For optimum dirt riding, cleat direction would be<<<on rear tire and >>>on front tire. From your post, sounds like you've got the optimum street setup now..

  9. #9
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Pedale
    For optimum street riding, cleat direction would be >>>on rear tire and >>> on front tire. For optimum dirt riding, cleat direction would be<<<on rear tire and >>>on front tire. From your post, sounds like you've got the optimum street setup now..
    Tom - sorry to be so padantic about this, but I don't quite get the frame of reference for your symbols.

    If left is the front of the bike and the <<<< symbol is the tread pattern left on the ground by imprint of the tire - my bike is set up this way currently:
    >>>>> <<<<<<

    Using this same convention what do you suggest is best for pavement?

    Finally - I imagine best for pavement would be moving to the Nimbus EX or All Condition Pro ATB if my rims can work with it. I keep wishing I had one of those instead of Crossroads.

    Al

  10. #10
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Just put the labels of both tires on the drive side. That's the way should be done. Period dot end of sentence
    Last edited by Raiyn; 07-16-04 at 11:36 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Tom - sorry to be so padantic about this, but I don't quite get the frame of reference for your symbols.

    If left is the front of the bike and the <<<< symbol is the tread pattern left on the ground by imprint of the tire - my bike is set up this way currently:
    >>>>> <<<<<<

    Using this same convention what do you suggest is best for pavement?

    Finally - I imagine best for pavement would be moving to the Nimbus EX or All Condition Pro ATB if my rims can work with it. I keep wishing I had one of those instead of Crossroads.

    Al

    I gotta say that you are overthinking this waaaaaaaaay too much. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have the tire mounted the optimum direction but unless you are doing some serious off road riding you will never be able to tell any difference.

    I have two identical MTB's with the same tires. One has a nearly slick (worn) rear tire and one has very good tread left on it. I always figured i would notice a BIG difference with the slick one. I haven't. I have ridden each of them over 1500 miles. (each bike 1500 +) I switch the bike I am riding nearly weekly over the same terrain. What I can say for sure is that if the tire isn't flat, you really shouldn't worry about it.

    This is assuming you just go out and ride. If you do some serious climibing, mud etc. You can strike this.

  12. #12
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    Just put the labels of both tires on the drive side. that's the way should be done. Period dot end of sentence
    But that would be too easy

    I do agree that not only are they designed that way, but it looks better too. I also understand that in practice with my type of riding and for these particular tires in makes not real difference.

    But Tom (who has background in this) seems to have some ideas to get me thinking, I am just having trouble understanding them in text symbols.

    Al

  13. #13
    Senior Member Tom Pedale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Tom - sorry to be so padantic about this, but I don't quite get the frame of reference for your symbols.

    If left is the front of the bike and the <<<< symbol is the tread pattern left on the ground by imprint of the tire - my bike is set up this way currently:
    >>>>> <<<<<<

    Using this same convention what do you suggest is best for pavement?

    Finally - I imagine best for pavement would be moving to the Nimbus EX or All Condition Pro ATB if my rims can work with it. I keep wishing I had one of those instead of Crossroads.

    Al
    Easy way to reference direction of tread: sitting on the bike, looking at the top of the tire, the point of the cleat faces the front of the bike. In the rear, the point of the cleat faces the rear of the bike when you look at the top of the tire.

    Using tread imprint (your post) which is different from looking at the top of the tire, if tread imprint for front tire (left side) is presently: >>>> (your post) flip wheel around to point tread in proper direction. You don't need to remount tire, simply flip quick release so QR handle is on proper side.

    On right hand side according to your diagram, it appears that you have your rear tire set up for best dirt riding. Personally, I would not remount since the difference will be slight. Wait until you get a flat to do this, hoping of course that that never happens

    However, if you always ride on the street, you would notice a world of difference with the either the Nimbus EX or the All Condition Pro. In addition to less road noise, weight and ability to accelerate faster, you can also corner harder and more safely since you'll have more contact area with the road. Especially important when it rains.

  14. #14
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    But that would be too easy

    I do agree that not only are they designed that way, but it looks better too. I also understand that in practice with my type of riding and for these particular tires in makes not real difference.

    But Tom (who has background in this) seems to have some ideas to get me thinking, I am just having trouble understanding them in text symbols.

    Al
    and somehow I don't? Read my profile. http://www.bikeforums.net/members/raiyn-3276.html

  15. #15
    Senior Member Tom Pedale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    and somehow I don't? Read my profile. http://www.bikeforums.net/members/raiyn-3276.html
    I wasn't really trying to start a squabble here, just trying to answer a question based on my 8 1/2 year stint at Specialzed where tire tech was always a big subject, and you can bet that even the engineers didn't agree among themselves on everything.

    Raiyn is right when he says that setting up the tires with the directional arrow on the drive side is a good rule of thumb. In the case of the Crossroads EX or any tire meant to be used on dirt part or all of the time, you would be sacrificing performance in the dirt if they were mounted other wise.

    For the street, Al is right, it's not a big deal which way they are mounted, but being the educated tire nerd I am, I was only trying to enlighten, not confuse the issue when I attempted to use a keyboard symbol >>>to represent a tread pattern and tire setup for these tires that would offer the lowest rolling resistance for street use with the qualification that the difference in performance will be small. If you only ride on the street and want a quantum leap in performance, get a Nimbus or All Performance ATB.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I think that you are wasting time reading your tires that would be better spend riding your bike. If you hadn't noticed, you could have left well enough alone and it wouldn't have mattered.

    Now that you have noticed that one of your tires is mounted backward, you have to fix itbecause otherwise it's going to drive you crazy.

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