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View Poll Results: Do you think tires need to break in?
Yes, definitely. 10 27.78%
Depends on the tire. 2 5.56%
Not really but it's possible. 4 11.11%
No, stop kidding yourself. 20 55.56%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-14-12, 08:26 PM   #1
ben4345
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Tire break in?

Does your bicycle tire need a break in period to ride it's best?


EDITED to rephrase the question.

Last edited by ben4345; 04-14-12 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 04-14-12, 09:00 PM   #2
blamp28
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I break mine in by mounitng them on to a set of wheels and riding around - for years.
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Old 04-14-12, 09:12 PM   #3
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Would a tire requiring break in make any sense? It should ride the same untill the rubber is gone.
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Old 04-14-12, 09:16 PM   #4
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of course.
this is for car tires, and motorcycle tires are the same way. motorcycle tires are downright dangerous until they get the outer layer scrubbed off. certain bicycle tires can be this way. the michelin transworld city tires i have on my rigid MTB were this way. the tires that came on my sirrus and tricross both had a slick, shiny coating that got worn down to good rubber over the first 50 miles or so.

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Tires are comprised of many layers of rubber, steel and fabric. Due to these different components, your new tires require a break-in period to ensure that they deliver their normal ride quality and maximum performance. As tires are cured, a release lubricant is applied to prevent them from sticking in their mold. Some of the lubricant stays on the surface of your tires, reducing traction until it is worn away. Five hundred miles of easy acceleration, cornering and braking will allow the mold release lubricant to wear off, allowing the other tire components to begin working together. It is also important to note that your old tires probably had very little tread depth remaining when you felt it was time to replace them. As any autocrosser or racer who has tread rubber shaved off of his tires will tell you, low tread depth tires respond more quickly. Don't be surprised if your new tires are a little slower to respond (even if you use the exact same tire as before). Their new, full depth brings with it a little more tread squirm until they wear down.
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Old 04-14-12, 11:51 PM   #5
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Most rubber products do have a thin skin on them from the molding process. Or in some cases there's a trace of the mold release on the surface. I know that motorcycle tires definetly need to be ridden gingerly and max lean angles approched with care. But this only takes a few moments of scrubbing to wear this layer or agent away.

On bicycle tires the same stuff is likely present. But if you don't encounter an emergency braking situation in the first mile of riding or lean into some turn at a crazy angle within that same first mile of the starting point you'll never notice that the "problem" went away on it's own from simply riding along and through your normal turns.

If you're talking about some internal carcase situation then I'd have to say no, there's no breakin required. Or at least anything that is stressed and lets go is a defect which will likely occur again within that first couple of miles.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:15 AM   #6
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The rider needs to be broken in to the charcteristics of the new tires.
Going from Bontager Sport 23s to Conti Gatorskin 25s changed the handling of my bike more than I expected.
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Old 04-15-12, 12:21 AM   #7
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I break in my tires by not exceeding 50mph for the first 500 miles.
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Old 04-15-12, 07:04 AM   #8
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I try to remember to step on the tire, the first time I install one. Give it a good streach. Continentals have notorious tough #$%^& sidewalls. It was on Sheldon's site. Chris
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Old 04-15-12, 07:27 AM   #9
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I won't use brand new tires for their first ride if the roads are wet as the traces of mold release BCRider mentioned may still be on them. After a couple of miles on a dry road, making sure to lean into corners in both directions, they are as good as they will ever be.
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Old 04-15-12, 09:58 AM   #10
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Hillrider, not that I advise it but I did my motorcycle racing school in the wet on brand new tires. I talked to the instructor about my concerns and he told me we'd be doing more than enough slow "follow me and do what I do" laps that it would not be a concern.... It wasn't. By the time I was on my own and starting to lean more the wet road surface had done the job of scuffing the mold release away. But if that were the street and I'd had to do an emergency stop in that distance and in the wet it could easily have been a whole other story. So yeah, it's not a bad idea to not ride in the rain right off. Or at least to do so a little gingerly for the first few miles.
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Old 04-15-12, 10:25 AM   #11
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I agree that the release agent on new tires can be a cornering traction issue, and treat new tires with a certain amount of distrust for the first few miles. But I don't consider that I "break in" in tires, because the tire's performance later on is unaffected by what I do at the beginning. (unless I wipe out immediately).
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Old 04-15-12, 03:07 PM   #12
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I think they need breaking in - when I put some new tyres on my MTB it was as slippery as hell. I live on a very windy country road, where there is lots of emergency braking and tight bends. Now, three hundred miles later, it's been through it's grippiest phase of life, and I'm about to put a new one on. *sigh*
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Old 04-15-12, 03:21 PM   #13
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Tires definitely change throughout their lifespan, but should perform as designed once the mold release is scrubbed off. One thing you'll find within the first couple hundred miles is that the carcass will stretch a little, so the tires "grow" somewhat. Something to keep in mind if your tires barely fit the brakes and frame after installing.

After that, the rolling resistance actually goes down as the tread thins and becomes more flexible. Downside is that the risk of punctures goes up, so it's up to you when to retire (hee-hee) them.
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Old 04-16-12, 12:43 AM   #14
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So break in would be hit the roundabouts for an hour? I would go along with that if I was super anal. Nonetheless I have roundabouts within 3 miles of homebase. But wait you would have to go the opposite direction to get the other side of the tire roughed up. All things being equal: Creasote shmiasote, for 60-100 bucks a tire they should be cleaning that **** off at the factory. But I digress
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Old 04-16-12, 01:36 PM   #15
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So break in would be hit the roundabouts for an hour? I would go along with that if I was super anal. Nonetheless I have roundabouts within 3 miles of homebase. But wait you would have to go the opposite direction to get the other side of the tire roughed up. All things being equal: Creasote shmiasote, for 60-100 bucks a tire they should be cleaning that **** off at the factory. But I digress
I'd like it if they clipped off all the tire whiskers too. But they'd probably charge more, then...
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Old 04-16-12, 01:43 PM   #16
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Oh there's a break-in period alright, but *I* don't do it, I have a guy for that.



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Old 04-16-12, 02:44 PM   #17
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As has already been mentioned, tires grow/stretch over the first week or so. When I recently mounted up some new 25mm Vittorias I couldn't help but notice that they didn't look very wide. At even pressures they actually measured narrower than my wifes 23mm of the same model. I took the trouble to measure them with calipers over the next several days. By the sixth day they had strectch/grown/settled at width greater than where they started and wider than the wifes 23's, but, not much. Whether this was carcas stretch or the bead settling against the hook, or a combination of the two, I can not say. They gained over 1.5mm. I would expect that to effect handling to some degree.
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Old 04-16-12, 03:24 PM   #18
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As has already been mentioned, tires grow/stretch over the first week or so. When I recently mounted up some new 25mm Vittorias I couldn't help but notice that they didn't look very wide. At even pressures they actually measured narrower than my wifes 23mm of the same model. I took the trouble to measure them with calipers over the next several days. By the sixth day they had strectch/grown/settled at width greater than where they started and wider than the wifes 23's, but, not much. Whether this was carcas stretch or the bead settling against the hook, or a combination of the two, I can not say. They gained over 1.5mm. I would expect that to effect handling to some degree.
interesting, I am going to measure mine.


Hmm, my rear tire (maxxis re-fuse 25c) is still at 23.48mm bead to bead.

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Old 04-17-12, 02:19 AM   #19
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I would expect that to effect handling to some degree.
Interesting. I wonder how though - the only thing I ever notice is a (distinct) lack of grip on new tyres, or is that all we're looking at here?
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