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Old 05-23-09, 06:56 PM   #1
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Saving / Preserving Vintage Tires

Anyone have any helpful tips on what I can do to help preserve the gum sidewalls and tread on some vintage tires? I've already discounted Armor All and WD-40 but what can I use to help saturate the rubber so they don't start drying out? Reason I ask is I've found a number of vintage bikes with original branded OEM tires that I don't want to rot away.
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1987 Eisentraut Rainbow Trout
1986 Trek 500 TRI SERIES
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Last edited by TIOS; 05-23-09 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 05-23-09, 07:58 PM   #2
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I have found that pure silicone spray works well in restoring and preserving true rubber items, I don't like Armour all and the like as they are prone to leaving stains after repeated use especially if moisture is left on the item. Silicone also evaporates at a much slower rate the "protectorants" and as such tends to help in keeping rubber from hardening. That is good news for gum side walls which are of a higher raw rubber compound than the "black"
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Old 05-24-09, 06:32 AM   #3
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I'd slide them into plastic baggies and give them a blast of silicone spray. Then out of sight into the bottom of the drawer, away from sunlight and temperature extremes.
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Old 05-24-09, 08:07 AM   #4
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You could put them in a nitrogen chamber, out of contact with the dreaded oxygen.
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Old 05-24-09, 09:50 AM   #5
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tire life (sold by the venerable Hugh Enox in LaHonda, CA, next door to Neil Young, sort of)is a liquid latex solution meant to restore the "gumwall" coating on sew-ups (tubulars, tubbies) that tends to "evaporate". I would not use latex to coat an entire tire (sew-up or clincher) as a preservative, but I do use pure silicone and haven't tried glycerine yet but hear it works (although IIRC it is hydrophilic, so would suck moisture out of the air).
Best condition for long-term storage of rubber items is: a cool, dark, dry place far away from electric motors or other generators of OZONE (and smog). Molds, which like darkness and moisture, can also grow on rubber and destroy it.
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