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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-09-06, 12:36 PM   #1
rykoala
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Do I need new tires?

I have cheap performance bike brand 26x1.25" slicks on my fixed gear commuter. When patching the rear tube this morning on my way to work (pinch flat- my fault!) I noticed lots of little nicks and cuts in the tire. I've noticed the same on the front. They don't go through the casing, its just the rubber is cut. Most are no longer than 1/8", maybe one that is 1/4" at the most. But if you bend the tire, the cuts are shown to be all the way down to the casing but not through it.

I've not had any problems with the tires, and even though they aren't the kevlar tires, I don't get many flats on them. SO, do I *need* new tires? Or should I just keep on these until they're worn down to the casing? I don't know how to guage slick tires really. Treaded tires are easy, because when the tread wears down, you need new tires.

Any advice appreciated, thanks
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Old 02-09-06, 01:48 PM   #2
max-a-mill
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i don't think so....

my tires get pretty cut up too! a couple have had cuts that go all the way into the casing, those i replaced; but the smaller cuts are ok, i think. at least i hope they are, cause all my tires seems to get these within the first month or two.

funny you mention it cause i just spun my rear tire this morning in the garage to see if any of the cuts had gotten big enough to worry about or any new ones had formed.

my rule is, if the cut is big enough where i can see the tire bulging at the cut it's new tire time.

i'd love to hear what others do!
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Old 02-09-06, 01:56 PM   #3
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If I weren't ever going more than 4 or 5 miles from home, I wouldn't bother changing, but if I were going to ride any further than that I would change them.

I would also change the tires if I had any high speed descents in my plans, or any other conditions that would make a tire failure especially dangerous.

My threshhold is simply how far I am willing to push the bike if the tire fails and/or the danger if there is a failure.
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Old 02-09-06, 03:18 PM   #4
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In the winter, tires have a harder time than in the summer:

- Roads are frequently wet, which 'lubricates' glass and nails going through the tire.
- The city does not street-sweep in winter, leaving lots of glass on the road.
- You tend not to pump-up your tires as frequently, leading to pinch-flats.

Because of these things, get the toughest Kevlar-backed tires, like Armadillos, for the winter even if your summer tires are in good shape. Nothing sucks like changing a tube at the side of a slushy road with fingers numb from the cold.
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Old 02-09-06, 03:55 PM   #5
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Would it be worth it to run some plain jane mtb tires in the winter then? I have a few 1.9" mtb tires hanging around in the shop, maybe I should switch to those for the nasty road season? I am just worried that these tires are getting cut up and I'll go through then quicker. Then again I'd hate to spend $50 on a new set of tires (or $25 depending on how cheap I get LOL) and they get cut up just the same.

I guess what I am asking is this: Should I just be switching to my junk tires in the winter?
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Old 02-09-06, 04:04 PM   #6
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If your dealing with lots of snow and rain during the winter season then I definately suggest running some tough kevlar belted tires to minimize the punctures. However if you don't mind changing flats too much then you can probably get lots more miles out of those. If you start seeing casing or bulges or you just get too many flats then the tires are probably worn. Small cuts in the rubber are not really anything to worry about.
It probably is a good idea to examine the cuts to ensure none are harboring a piece of glass or wire that is slowly working its way to your tube.
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Old 02-09-06, 10:36 PM   #7
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I rode my last set of tires several thousand miles past the point where you are. Not by choice, low on cash. After 4000 miles I was getting flats about once a week. When I had two flats on the same 12 mile ride to work. I started shopping. When the sidewall blew out at 7000 miles my wife simply ordered the lbs to put on a set of 700x38 Nimbus Armadillo tires. When the rains are over I'll switch to 700x28 Armadillos and save the heavy rubber for next rainy season. Even if the tread looks fine change them when the sidewalls start to crumble.
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Old 02-10-06, 12:22 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the tips. It sounds like I'm OK for now. I'm going to keep an eye out for a good deal on some tires, just in case, but sounds like these should get me for quite some time
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Old 02-14-06, 08:44 AM   #9
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czech this out... (forgot i took the picture).

this is my old tire before i replaced it. the cut in the first pic on the left maed the tire bulge so that was the cause for replacement.

it had at least 10 other cuts like the one on the right and smaller that were never a problem... this tire was freakin old!

second pic just shows wear, third pic is shiney new tire....



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