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  1. #1
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    C&V tires: Specialized Turbo, Turbo R, Turbo S, Turbo SK4 (photo heavy)

    An interesting choice to make.

    SO, my grail bike arrived with ancient Specialized Turbo R (slicks) tires. Iíve done a shakedown ride with them, but I just donít think they can be trusted. The sidewalls are quite dry. I tried a coating of tent seam sealant, as suggested in another thread. Meh. I don't think pinching that penny is especially worth it. Here is photo with and w/o a dose of the sealer.





    Plus the slick tread has a fair bit of cracking. SO, I think I should sacrifice these into the bin.


    Replacement choices, oddly enough, are from the same Specialized folding Turbo series. I have two mismatched pair.

    Pair one is 25mm. One is very nice Turbo S. I bought this new, probably in the very early 90s. The mate is a Turbo SK4 that has a thin Kevlar belt as well as bead. Iíd probably put the Kevlar on the rear.





    But, which way does the tread orient? The label is printed on one side on one tire, the other side on the mate. That is if Iím reading the tread correctly?


    The other pair is 28mm. Because I have another wheelset of low-flange campy, VO PBP rims and 23mm Vittoria Corsa tires, Iím leaning towards mounting up the 28mm first.

    The mismatch here is an original 28mm Turbo and a Turbo/S, although clearly a later product from the 25mm Turbo/S. The tread here is thicker. Iím thinking this goes on the rear.






    Oddly, this mismatched pair also present the curious labeling w/re: to the tread direction.



    I see an outer pattern on each side that form an > shape.

    Am I right to think it is pointing in the direction the tire should turn?


    Open to suggestions.
    1959 Hilton Wrigley Connoisseur (still my favorite!)
    1963 Hetchins Mountain King (the gravel grinder)
    1971 Gitane Tour de France (The War Horse)
    1971 Gitane Super Corsa (The Garage Queen)
    1980 Ritchey Touring (The Grail Bike)
    1984 Tom Ritchey Team Competition (NOS show bike)
    (replacing the stolen 1981 Tom Ritchey Everest custom)

  2. #2
    iab
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    Doesn't matter.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chombi's Avatar
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    I always pointed the chevrons on the tire treads towards the front of the bike....just because it looked more logical, but as iab noted, I don't think these and most bike tires are "directional", so it shouldn't really matter which way you do it.
    The pics of your old Turbo R tire reminds me when I tried to ride on an old set of Turbo VS tires I had on a wheelst since the later 80's. They still looked very good on the outside and looked like they still have a lot of miles on them. I was also much surprised to find out that the Specialized latex inner tubes I had in them held air to full 100+PSI oressures, and I got to ride the tires for a few miles!
    But then this happened in my garage overnight after that ride....

    It must have been quite a loud bang when the latex tube blew out of teh side of the tire when the cords released themselves from the kevlar bead!
    After examining the dead tire, I realized that the latex outer coating over the carcass cords were gone from the sidewalls, pretty much turned to dust and fell off the tires when I rode them.... So be careful with those NOS tires too, as who knows what all the years had done to them even when they were stored in their boxes all that time. I'd inspect those really close before and after every ride just to be safe. Any sign of the outer latex coating cracking or coming off is a signal to not ride them.
    Last edited by Chombi; 02-16-14 at 07:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, guys.

    Chombi, it was your post about that tire that made me reconsider riding any further on what I have. That said, I've pumped 'em up tight and they've held over a week after a 10 mile shakedown cruise. It was that thread where someone suggested the tent seam sealant. In an emergency, yes. But restored to trustworthy? Don't think so.

    And I will be careful. They clearly show that they've been folded for over a decade or two. . . Still, I've inspected closely, and they all seem pretty good, especially the high-center-ribbed ones.

    Thanks, yet again.
    1959 Hilton Wrigley Connoisseur (still my favorite!)
    1963 Hetchins Mountain King (the gravel grinder)
    1971 Gitane Tour de France (The War Horse)
    1971 Gitane Super Corsa (The Garage Queen)
    1980 Ritchey Touring (The Grail Bike)
    1984 Tom Ritchey Team Competition (NOS show bike)
    (replacing the stolen 1981 Tom Ritchey Everest custom)

  5. #5
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
    The pics of your old Turbo R tire reminds me when I tried to ride on an old set of Turbo VS tires I had on a wheelst since the later 80's. They still looked very good on the outside and looked like they still have a lot of miles on them. I was also much surprised to find out that the Specialized latex inner tubes I had in them held air to full 100+PSI oressures, and I got to ride the tires for a few miles!
    But then this happened in my garage overnight after that ride....

    It must have been quite a loud bang when the latex tube blew out of teh side of the tire when the cords released themselves from the kevlar bead!
    I had a similar experience with some Specialized Turbos: NOS tires, but after mounting, the tread separated from the tire, and the tube extruded through the casing. Fortunately, I was only a couple blocks from home (after a 30+ mile ride) when this happened.

  6. #6
    ish
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    If I were in your shoes, I would see if I could glean any info from old Specialized catalogs - which way were they mounted on the bikes in the photos?

    Actually, if I were in your shoes, I would not bother with period correct tires as they can't be trusted on a bike that actually gets ridden. Too many stories on MTBR of guys blowing out rare tires.

  7. #7
    Senior Member fender1's Avatar
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    I would mount the label on the drive side and call it done. However, I would not ride those or any other 20+ year old tire. I am running the Challenge Parigi Roubaix tires on my Ritchey and by keeping them inflated to about 100psi, I am not having trouble with flats (knocks on wood). I had been running them around 80/85 psi and they flatted a few times. Could just be dumb luck too.

  8. #8
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    I no longer have any of these tires to show you but I remember the Schwinn LeTour tire as being an absolute REVELATION in it's time (~1970). It was a 90 psi gumwall/skinwall clincher with a narrow center strip that was a slick. The center strip was flanked by either herringbone or file pattern tread. IIRC, it had a wire bead. It could be retrofit onto almost any 27X1 1/4" rim (which was all anyone had at the time). They were fast and light (for its era) and strong. I used them for fully-loaded touring. Later, the Specialized tires replaced these Schwinn LeTours but for a few years they were fantastic.

    I still have one of the Turbo R slicks and one other Specialized tire. They are in good shape because they were stored packaged away, not on a bike in someone's garage exposed to smog.

  9. #9
    Senior Member RobbieTunes's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience with what looked like good Turbo's.
    Mounted and ridden, they seemed fine, but after a while started to get lumpy in a couple of spots.

    +1 on some of the old Schwinn Tires.
    I'm running Schwinn Super Records on a certain Centurion that cb400bill rode 100 miles on, with no problem. They still look and ride very well.
    My Heavy Duti still has Schwinn Tires on it, and the Schwinn tubes say "Tractor" on them.

    Robbie ♪♫♪...☻

    Perhaps you didn't really hear what you thought I said...
    ...or maybe you did, and that's why you're so mad.


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