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Old 04-06-12, 02:49 PM   #1
TomD77
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At what point do you replace tires?

I seem to be hard on rear tires. Below is a picture of a Conti Gator Hardshell with about 2100 miles, the contact area has been worn flat, no longer round in profile. The front still looks pretty much like the day it went on.

It's not like we have tread wear indicators on these tires to tell us when to replace so the question is: when is it time to replace?

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Old 04-06-12, 02:57 PM   #2
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That does not look worn yet as no cord showing and no tears or rips. May have plenty of life in it or not much. My sure sign that a tyre is getting worn is when I start getting punctures on a frequent basis. So when you get a tyre this worn and you get a puncture- Feel how much rubber is left on the tread area. If it feels thin- change it.
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Old 04-06-12, 03:09 PM   #3
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I move worn tires to one of the older bikes that gets ridden less and mostly on paved trails. On the older bikes they have to be really worn before replacement.
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Old 04-06-12, 03:16 PM   #4
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Do you use the bike a lot on a trainer? The OEM Kenda Kryterium tires that came on my Defy lasted 3,100 flat free miles. I had a lot of trainer miles on the rear tire so I got some new Ultra-Gatorskins (now called Hardshells) and they are right at 1,700 flat free miles. I haven't had the bike on the trainer with the Gatorskins and they both look like new.
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Old 04-06-12, 03:17 PM   #5
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About two days ago.

My stock Kenda Qwest tires have flatted twice now (back tire) because of a puncture through the tire, where I can see little white threads. When I inflate the tire there's a tiny bulge at that spot.

So I ordered Schwalbe Marathons to replace them. They should arrive today. I just hate having to change flats.

BTW, I agree with the others. They don't look like yours need replacing yet.
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Old 04-06-12, 03:17 PM   #6
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Here is one. The rider had three flats on our ride today.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3flats 003.jpg (107.8 KB, 153 views)
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Old 04-06-12, 03:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
About two days ago.

My stock Kenda Qwest tires have flatted twice now (back tire) because of a puncture through the tire, where I can see little white threads. When I inflate the tire there's a tiny bulge at that spot.

So I ordered Schwalbe Marathons to replace them. They should arrive today. I just hate having to change flats.

BTW, I agree with the others. They don't look like yours need replacing yet.
You will have much fun installing the Schwalbe Marathons. My friend had to use metal levers.
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Old 04-06-12, 03:22 PM   #8
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Here is one. The rider had three flats on our ride today.

I'm surprised that he didn't have more. Looks like they're a little past calling them "slicks."
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Old 04-06-12, 03:35 PM   #9
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I'll always replace mine when I get a flat and can see tube rubber through the cord. Sometimes, just when pieces of cord are sticking out.
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Old 04-06-12, 03:51 PM   #10
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Replace them when you no longer have complete faith in them.
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Old 04-06-12, 04:14 PM   #11
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I would start checking them regularly at this point looking for signs of threads showing. When the rear looks shot, put the front tire on back and replace the front with a new tire. Or if you have a lot of big rides coming up, go ahead and change them now or move them to another bike.

Waiting for flats can be deceiving. I rode my first rear Roubaix Pro tire to the point that the belts were separating without a flat or any non visual sign of wear. I check them more often now.
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Old 04-06-12, 04:15 PM   #12
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Is it just me or am I seeing a little "whoopdie" in the tire alignment, so to speak? That flatspot is making the rim look out of true.
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Old 04-06-12, 05:03 PM   #13
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I keep ridding mine till the cord shows or I get multiple flats for no good reason.
Then there was the time I had a gator skin I threw away because I had so much radial tire wire pieces in it I was getting at least one flat per ride, and one time I had 4 flats on one ride. Thats when the tire went into the dumpster and a new one went on.
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Old 04-06-12, 05:07 PM   #14
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Probably 1/3 or maybe a bit more of my mileage is on the local bike path which runs alongside Narragansett Bay. Seagulls opening clams by dropping them on the paved path has that path littered with shards of clam shells. This results in my tires dieing the death of a thousand cuts. Well before the tread is worn, the rubber begins to look suspect. The bike path is dead flat so my speed is somewhat steady. On other rides where there is some downhill riding and speeds get up to 30 mph or so, I worry about a catastrophic failure. The result is that I check my tires for cuts frequently and when the fear factor is high enough, well before the rubber is worn, I replace. This is much cheaper than a hospital stay. I still get 2500 to 4000 miles on tires.
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Old 04-06-12, 05:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
I seem to be hard on rear tires. Below is a picture of a Conti Gator Hardshell with about 2100 miles, the contact area has been worn flat, no longer round in profile. The front still looks pretty much like the day it went on.

It's not like we have tread wear indicators on these tires to tell us when to replace so the question is: when is it time to replace?

That's what my Gatorskins look like at 2000 miles. I can get another 1000 miles from them, IF they hold together! I find Gatorskins start to pick-up small cuts and tiny rips in the sidewall well before they wear out. Once I see that kind of damage, I change them out.

I've started using Vittoria and Schwalbe tires on my touring bikes. Even the speed-oriented Vittoria Rando Hyper is holding up far better than the Gatorskins.
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Old 04-06-12, 05:18 PM   #16
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I replace mine when the chord starts to show, if the sidewalls start to display threads coming away, if there is any other damage to the tire such as large tears or cuts that can't be fixed without a boot on the inside. The rear tire getting a flat profile is pretty typical. Like others have said, I'd start paying attention more often - check before each ride.
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Old 04-06-12, 06:01 PM   #17
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Being extremely adverse to flats is pretty much a given for anyone who selects Gator Hardshells, especially considering that flat resistance is the supposed principle characteristic and reason for being for the tire. I did get a flat (the 1st) on this tire about 2 weeks back, the cause was what I thought to be a very small stone chip. The next tire I get I think I'll use a micrometer to see the tire thickness new and again a couple of thousand miles later.
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Old 04-06-12, 06:12 PM   #18
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I replace mine when the chord starts to show, if the sidewalls start to display threads coming away, if there is any other damage to the tire such as large tears or cuts...
Me too. I replace with any cut through the cords that's more than 2mm or that shows some bulging. I don't worry about cuts that are only in the rubber and don't go through the cords. I'll add that I put the new tire on the front and move the used front to the rear if it was the rear that needed replacement.
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Old 04-06-12, 06:12 PM   #19
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1. Most of the time I cut a slash in caseing sidewall before the tread wears out.
2. If I start getting frequent punctures, I take it as a sign from my tire that it's time for a replacement.
3. If my karma is good, I'll eventually see a line start to form all the way around the centerline of the tire. When I see that, I know there's no use trying to get the last few miles out of that tire.
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Old 04-06-12, 06:47 PM   #20
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You will have much fun installing the Schwalbe Marathons. My friend had to use metal levers.
Ain't it the truth! I got them on without resorting to that, but my hands are sure sore now. My initial impression is that they're harsh, but I'll see tomorrow.
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Old 04-06-12, 06:49 PM   #21
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Ain't it the truth! I got them on without resorting to that, but my hands are sure sore now. My initial impression is that they're harsh, but I'll see tomorrow.
You did good.
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Old 04-06-12, 07:17 PM   #22
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I bought a Continental GP 4000s as a trial. This tire is highly regarded for its ride qualities, traction in the wet and durability. The ride qualities I can confirm - nice silky smooth ride as well as good traction. My principal interest is in a light tire that also has good durability. too soon to tell about durability.

My usual tire is the Serfas Seca which for the price is a fine tire with good traction, low cost and low weight but poor durability. The folder is a mere 210 grams in a 28mm.

My bike, a Specialized Secteur, came with 25 mm All Condition tires which are pretty good, good traction and general durability but they get cut up over clam shells on the bike path but are fine over the road. Looking at one of these tires right now with 3000 miles on it, there is probably another 1000 miles or more of life so this is a tire.

For more money, Specialized has a folding Roubaix Armadillo Elite I've been riding over the clam shells with no cuts to speak of or flats for about 1000 miles so far and only on the bike path so I'm well satisfied with this tire. On longer rides over the road I swap out the rear wheel for a Velocity A23 rim and Serfas Seca RS folder. Here the Serfas works great.

Not a surprise really but the tire should be matched to the road surface. I should mention that these tires are all 25mm or 28mm.
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Old 04-06-12, 07:50 PM   #23
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Ain't it the truth! I got them on without resorting to that, but my hands are sure sore now. My initial impression is that they're harsh, but I'll see tomorrow.
Those are not lightweight delicate namby-pamby tires - at 580 grams (559 size) they should be plenty durable.
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Old 04-06-12, 07:53 PM   #24
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You will have much fun installing the Schwalbe Marathons. My friend had to use metal levers.
Maybe... maybe not. This video has circulated a few times on the forums. Good technique for any tire:


Regarding the Gatorskins, I have about 2900 on my rear tire right now, a regular Gatorskin, and it looks like yours. I'll be watching it carefully to see what's happening. The threads on the sidewall (perhaps mainly cosmetic?) are starting to come out here and there. But under close inspection, the tire looks OK, particularly the sidewalls. No cracks. Sorry, no pictures.
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Old 04-06-12, 08:30 PM   #25
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When tires, as the rear in the photo, get squared off as such, they might be ridden for more miles but they lose their cornering feel. My rear looked just like the one shown and I could tell on descents especially there was a more defined edge. I replaced them yesterday. Now I would normally move the front tire to the rear and put a new tire on the front but my LBS gave me a pair of Specialized Turbo Pro 25s to try so off came the Spec. Turbo Sworks 23s. I rode them today and they felt quite nice. I'll know more after tomorrow's 70 miler.
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