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  1. #1
    Senior Member formicaman's Avatar
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    Bald tire goes where?

    Should I move my balding rear tire to the front? After 6 months and 1,000 miles, my Schwalbe Delta Cruiser rear is getting to be a slick. I often carry groceries on it, and have indeed noticed a little shimmty under load in the rain. So is a bald tire better off on the back, the front, or on a bike that doesn't carry loads in the rain?

  2. #2
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    You should move it to the garbage can. Front blowouts are not cool.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    You want the best tyre to be on the front. A rear skid or blowout is a lot easier to control than the front. If it's just the tread pattern wearing down, don't worry about it. Bike tyres don't hydroplane- the pressure is too high and the speed is too low for that. The best tread for the road is actually a totally smooth tyre. When you do come to replace the tyre, put the new one on the front, and the old front on the rear, unless it too needs replacing.
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  4. #4
    Member ClimbTheHill's Avatar
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    Don't do it

    The immortal Sheldon Brown says don't do it:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-rotation.html
    -C.T. Hill

  5. #5
    Senior Member formicaman's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's just the tread wearing down. The tire is sound. However, I do notice it in the rain a little. But advice taken - the best tire should be on the front. Thanks - I really didn't know. Should have figured Sheldon Brown had covered it.

  6. #6
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    Yep, if you can only get one new tire at a time then new one in front and former front one migrates to the rear.
    If the sidewalls are still okay on the balding tire then hang it in the garage or basement as an emergency spare in case you shred a sidewall on the main tires.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by formicaman View Post
    Yeah, it's just the tread wearing down. The tire is sound. However, I do notice it in the rain a little. But advice taken - the best tire should be on the front. Thanks - I really didn't know. Should have figured Sheldon Brown had covered it.
    That's a placebo effect.

    Bicycles don't go fast enough for the lack of thread to be an issue. You'd need to break 66 MPH with a 40 PSI tire and 104 MPH at 100 PSI before you hydroplaned.

    Tires for road-use only have tread because people expect them to and perhaps because it helps sell more tires (people think they're worn out when the tread is gone, instead of once the cords start showing or the rate of flats becomes unreasonable).

  8. #8
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    That's a placebo effect.

    Bicycles don't go fast enough for the lack of thread to be an issue. You'd need to break 66 MPH with a 40 PSI tire and 104 MPH at 100 PSI before you hydroplaned.

    Tires for road-use only have tread because people expect them to and perhaps because it helps sell more tires (people think they're worn out when the tread is gone, instead of once the cords start showing or the rate of flats becomes unreasonable).
    +1

    Perfectly smooth tread is what you want for pavement. The tread has absolutely no benefit. It only creates noise, drag, and looks dumb to those of us that know better Knobby tires also corner terribly on pavement compared to slick tires.

    Obviously, on loose or unpredictable surfaces (grass, sand, dirt, mud, snow, etc.) tread matters a lot.
    Why "derailer" is the correct way to spell the gear-change mechanism: sheldonbrown.com/derailer.html

  9. #9
    Senior Member formicaman's Avatar
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    Well, the delta cruisers have very little tread to begin with. I always thought a little tread helped in wet pavement for traction, but there is really no reason why it would, is there? Just less rubber on road.

  10. #10
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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  11. #11
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    btw my favorite fat slicks are Kenda K838s..

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  12. #12
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frantik View Post
    btw my favorite fat slicks are Kenda K838s.. ]
    I like the Specialized Fat Boy

    spec_fatboy_08_m.jpg

    At 32 mm it's not exactly portly, but I've never seen a slicker tire.

    I'll confess to mounting one of these, and a Fat Frank to the same bike, just 'cause.

  13. #13
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    I really liked my old Avocet slicks, a long time ago. Even in the rain they were fine. Unless your tires are harder than the surface on which you're riding, tread doesn't improve their grip.

    I think Sheldon was wrong re. rotation. Yes, if a tire is in such bad shape that a blowout is likely, it should be tossed. But a tire that simply has a bit of tread wear is just not a safety hazard.

  14. #14
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    My favorite MTB slick is the Performance Forte Slick City. Slick, light and cheap. Seems to be holding up well also. Although I love the 1.25" I wish they also made a 1.5" for when I really load up a bike.

    I dunno if the OP rolls 26ers tho.
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  15. #15
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    I dunno if the OP rolls 26ers tho.
    i saw "cruiser" in the name of the tire and assumed it as a 26" only tire, but i guess they do make a 700c version too
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    Tires for road-use only have tread because people expect them to and perhaps because it helps sell more tires (people think they're worn out when the tread is gone, instead of once the cords start showing or the rate of flats becomes unreasonable).
    For clean roads, sure. Clean and wet too. But once you get something/anything between the tire and the tarmac, a bit of tread pattern is quite nice.
    Rain soaked autumn leaves + slicks is a combination I think can be accurately described as "soapy", and I've often considered having a set of traditionally treaded tires to tide me over between slicks and studs.
    I'm also quite convinced that slicks are more squirrely than traditional treads if there's a bit of sand/fine gravel on the road.

  17. #17
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    Borderline tires go on trailers

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    For clean roads, sure. Clean and wet too. But once you get something/anything between the tire and the tarmac, a bit of tread pattern is quite nice.
    Rain soaked autumn leaves + slicks is a combination I think can be accurately described as "soapy", and I've often considered having a set of traditionally treaded tires to tide me over between slicks and studs.
    I'm also quite convinced that slicks are more squirrely than traditional treads if there's a bit of sand/fine gravel on the road.
    My impression has been that slicks work fine under those conditions - at least as well as knobbies and other tires with more pronounced siping. But I don't know of any actual test data to support one view or the other. With loose material on the road surface there is an advantage to the larger contact patch of a wide, lower pressure tire since it increases the chance that at least some of the patch is on a good part of the road.

  19. #19
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    I'll piggy-back my question on this thread since it seems appropriate - is there any benefit to rotating tires regularly before either starts showing significant wear? Would that equalize the lifespan?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by niccig View Post
    I'll piggy-back my question on this thread since it seems appropriate - is there any benefit to rotating tires regularly before either starts showing significant wear? Would that equalize the lifespan?
    There's no percentage in trying to equalize lifespan. Unlike cars where you want to match tires on the same axle, there's no problem with replacing bike tires one at a time as they wear, or suffer fatal cuts.

    In some cases where you're getting very long tread life on a front tire while the sidewalls are showing weather related aging it might make sense to move it to the back so it wears out before the walls fail. But even there the economic benefit is marginal.

    My rule #1 of bike care is don't fix what ain't broken, so leave your tires on until dictates their removal and/or replacement.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by niccig View Post
    I'll piggy-back my question on this thread since it seems appropriate - is there any benefit to rotating tires regularly before either starts showing significant wear? Would that equalize the lifespan?
    It might equalize the wear, but the wear pattern of rear-wears-faster is really a benefit because you always want the best tire on the front. I understand that the tread does nothign on pavement, but thinner tread is more likely (okay, maybe slightly more likely) to get a flat and I would rather have a flat on the rear than on the front.. If you want to rotate tires, then run until you think the rear is on its last legs, then put a new tire on the front and the old front tire on the rear.

  22. #22
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    I like the Specialized Fat Boy

    At 32 mm it's not exactly portly, but I've never seen a slicker tire.

    I'll confess to mounting one of these, and a Fat Frank to the same bike, just 'cause.
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  23. #23
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I rotated the Schwalbe Marathons on my single speed. They were formerly on my commuter and the rear tread was more visibly worn than the front. So I put the worn one on the front of the SS and the one with more tread on the back. There's still plenty of rubber on both, but I just want to get them both worn down. the front wears much more slowly than the back, especially down the center. The (worn) front tire, though, is nowhere near being worn through though.
    Last edited by Doohickie; 10-19-11 at 02:50 PM.
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  24. #24
    Icantre Member stonefree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    I think Sheldon was wrong re. rotation. Yes, if a tire is in such bad shape that a blowout is likely, it should be tossed. But a tire that simply has a bit of tread wear is just not a safety hazard.
    So true. I've been riding bikes off and on for 50 years before I ever heard of, or even knew this Sheldon guy existed and have been doing everything wrong and I'm still alive, and not one broken bone, so rotate the d*** tires, if you feel like it.
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  25. #25
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    Now that we ride a tandem (and do so a lot), I'm paying attention to tire wear. I have a simple approach:

    If the front gets a flat that corresponds with a possible tire cut, I replace the front tire with a new tire.
    If the rear gets a flat that corresponds with a possible tire cut, I replace the front with a new tire and move the old front to the rear.
    If the rear gets worn such that it's squared off, I replace the front with a new tire and move the old front to the rear.

    I keep the old tires just in case, but don't plan to keep more than three at a time.

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