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Old 08-05-10, 11:08 PM   #1
sparx
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Can I ride safely on a perished tyre?

I have recently dug my old generic mountain bike out from the depths of my garage, where it's been sat for the past 2 years.

Had to relube the chain, readjust the gears, etc, and got to the tyres. They both inflate and hold the air fine, but the tread rubber on the rear seems to have perished (the front is fine).

It was stored in a cool place, no extreme humidity, etc. Guessing the winter cold got to it (-15c here last winter!)

Is it safe to ride on it? The tyre seems sturdy enough, the tread doesnt have any weak spots and the tyre wall doesnt have any bulges.

Thanks,
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Old 08-06-10, 12:13 AM   #2
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I have recently dug my ..bike out from ..where it's been sat for the past 2 years.

.. the tread rubber on the rear seems to have perished ....Guessing the winter cold got to it (-15c here last winter!)

Is it safe to ride on it? The tyre seems sturdy enough, the tread doesnt have any weak spots and the tyre wall doesnt have any bulges..,
Cold is good for storage, and -15 C is nothing.

w/o a pic it's hard to say, but it sounds like you've simply worn away the tread on the rear and forgotten about it while the bike was in storage. Lack of tread can be bad for traction on softer surfaces, and can also make a tire more prone to flats.
But the things to look for in terms of safety is cracks, bulges and exposed cords. If you haven't got those you should be good to go.
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Old 08-06-10, 12:23 AM   #3
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If the sidewalls are cracked and you can see cracks in the rubber around the base of the knobbies then they are due for early replacement. They'll be fine for a few casual rides but you don't want to leave it for too long.

It's not the cold that affects rubber. In fact it is actually GOOD for the lifespan of the tire when it's cold. Even freezer level temperatures are good. It's heat and UV that are bad for the tires. That and ozone produced by electric motors. Since only your rear tire is bad according to your estimation I wonder if it sat closer to something with an electric motor in it. Or perhaps it sat in the light from a window while the front sat in the shadow or even behind something else that further deepened the darkness.
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Old 08-06-10, 07:33 AM   #4
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Mhm, both tyres were replaced at the same time, rear one was not sat near anything electrical (in fact, the only thing electrical near the bike was a couple of household voltage wires - and they were by the front tyre!

The rear tyre has small cracks, 5-10mm all over the tread surface. As I say, they dont appear to go all the way through, seem to rather just be on the surface.

Last edited by sparx; 08-06-10 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 08-06-10, 07:49 AM   #5
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Rear tires always wear at a MUCH greater rate than fronts. I'm picturing knobs worn down in the center and a lot of cuts in the rubber, as opposed to cracks. Those happen a lot. Speaking of picturing, can you snap a pic of said tire?

As it stands, I'd probably ride it, keeping an eye out for a good deal on a replacement.
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Old 08-06-10, 08:45 AM   #6
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Tread


Side wall


My memory is appauling. I think I will be buying a new tyre very soon! Didn't notice that large crack at the top of the sidewall before.
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Old 08-06-10, 09:18 AM   #7
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Yep, that tire's completely shot! Looks like the tires that came with my Western Flyer from the 1950s.
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Old 08-06-10, 10:51 AM   #8
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There was something about how the bike was stored that exposed the rear tire to more heat and/or sunlight than the front. Also don't discount the thought that the "new" tires were not that new at the shop. Or that the rear tire was displayed on a rack that exposed it to a lot of sunlight for a few months before you bought it. But what you see is ONLY from age and exposure to bad conditions. Nothing you did while riding contributed to the present condition.

Anyway whatever the circumstances that tire is toast. It's holding air so it's OK to ride around on in a casual manner but you'll want to get fresh tires very soon. Like the next time you ride it you might want it to be to the bike dealer to buy the new tires. If you tried to actually ride that tire in an aggresive off road manner it's likely that the knobs would first off not have the same traction as a new tire on hard surfaces and second that the damage to the rubber would allow a lot of the knobs to tear out of the carcase.

And since both tires saw the same storage conditions for the last two years don't expect the front to be much better. Even if the surface checking hasn't started yet if you rub the rubber it's highly likely that it'll feel slippery and plasticy hard instead of soft and grippy. Again this is part of aging in a hot environment such as sheds or garages so often get in the summers.
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Old 08-06-10, 01:11 PM   #9
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The only other thing I do have to ask is... what is the point of the groove around the rim? Is it to prevent water buildup beneath the brake pads?
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Old 08-06-10, 01:37 PM   #10
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The only other thing I do have to ask is... what is the point of the groove around the rim? Is it to prevent water buildup beneath the brake pads?
At least one purpose is a wear/replacement indicator. As the brake pads are used, they slowly wear away the rim. When the groove disappears, it's time to replace the rim or you risk it breaking apart, likely while riding.
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