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  1. #1
    Max
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    Why bike tires serve 4 times less distance than car tires? Why?

    I would expect the bike tires to last more than car's ones, as the bike is lighter. But I noticed that I have to change the bike tires after about 5000 km, while the car tires last about 20000 km.

    Any particular reasons for this?

  2. #2
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    yes. road bike tires are usually designed to be fairly light which means there isnt as much rubber there. also depending on if the tire has a softer compound it willl wear faster...cars dont really care about weight because the engine can always help it along.
    mountain bike tires get worn by rocks and crap getting stuck in them.
    im sure there are more reasons but i cant think of them

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    Car tires have multiple layers (belts) of wound steel. Check out a used tire and notice how thick and heavy it is.
    Iím not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said whatever it was.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Trek Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max
    while the car tires last about 20000 km.
    If you're only getting 20,000 km from car tires, either you have an extremely heavy right foot, or they are really cheap. I never get less than 64,000 km from a set of car tires.

    The mileage you are getting from your bike tires is about the average.

  5. #5
    OTB is imminent travis200's Avatar
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    Car tires are only inflated to 30-40psi bicycle tires are inflated to 110psi. The thickness also comes into play as a car tire is very thick and very heavy a bicycle tire is around 220 grams and very thin. I am amazed at how many miles a bicycle tire will last.
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  6. #6
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    Contact patch. A road bike tire has maybe three square inches of rubber touching the ground. With a two hundred pound rider/bike you get about 34 pounds per square inch force. My car, at 3200 pounds, has contact patches around 18 square inches. This gives about 44 ppsi force. A little higher than the bike, but the bike tire has a tread depth of maybe two millimeters, while the car tire has a tread depth of about 15 millimeters. Then there is compounding. If you compare a racing car tire to a racing bike tire, the bike tire wins every time. A Hoosier track tire might last 250 miles but even the lightest Continental bike tire will make it 3-400 miles.

    *The contact sizes are guesses, the bike tire is probably smaller and the car bigger, but I didn't want to "load" the answer
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  7. #7
    Rouleur gattm99's Avatar
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    3-400 miles for tires, what do you ride on, glass? Hot coals?

  8. #8
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gattm99
    3-400 miles for tires, what do you ride on, glass? Hot coals?
    I think he might have missed a zero. My Conti GP3000s make it out to 4000 miles although I'm probably better off replacing them after 3000 miles.
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  9. #9
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    My roadbike tire has .5 * 3 = 1.5 in^2 touching the ground. (Ride it, tail slide and lock it up to a stop, look at the patch).
    Two tires = 3 in^2. 200 lbs / 3 in^2=67psi.
    A car tire might have a contact patch of 6" x 3"=18in^2 each. Or 72in^2. At 3400 lbs, you get 47 psi. Less than a bike tire.
    Plus as stated, the bike tire's significantly thinner than a car tire. Not to mention every little thing you go over cuts down into the tire more than a car tire which has less pressure on the object.
    Kind of like a goretex jacket and a leather jacket.
    As a general rule of thumb though, the higher performing and more expensive something is, the more delicate it is, even if its properly designed.
    I've seen $10 timex and casio watches thrown out of 2 story buildings and survive. Also seen a $4000 omega watch fall off a chair and break.

  10. #10
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    I was thinking Continental Olympic tubular, 185g

    I considered getting out some sheet paper and doing contact patches. It would be easy to do the bike but I didn't feel like jacking up the car. Also the only car sitting on concrete right now would skew the results as it only weighs about 1500 pounds.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member wyobiker's Avatar
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    It is a simple answer ... vehicle tires wear as a result of compound, design, weight, driving style, and air pressure (there are more but these are the most common reasons). Because a vehicle tire goes typically at a higher speed more heat is generated. Add in the road condition (abrasiveness of the road surface to name one) the loaded weight of the vehicle and the tire will (it takes a high speed camera to pick it up) what is called jounce. That is when the sidewall flexs. Every time it flexs that movement generates heat. Then if as most people drive throw it into the cloverleaf at speeds higher then posted (most people drive according to their seat of the pants). All this adds up to tire wear. On a bike you don't experience the high speeds nor the jounce. Bike tires don't have as much tread depth as compared to passenger tires. (most passenger tires depending on the make/model and size vary from 9 - 11 /32nds of tread. The cheaper the tire the less the tread depth when new.) There are other factors but I don't want to write war and peace!

  12. #12
    05 Roubaix Comp Double
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    I wonder how hard a compound a bike tire would be to last 10,000 miles? Wow!
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

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    Schwalbe marathon performance line green guard

    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead View Post
    I wonder how hard a compound a bike tire would be to last 10,000 miles? Wow!
    7 months ago I bought a new E-bike and had these tires put on. They are rated for 50kph and the manufacturer claims a life of 15,000 kilometers. Mine are at 13,500 kilometers and I still have trouble detecting any wear on them. I'm sure they will last to 20,000 kilometers and beyond. Bill

  14. #14
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead View Post
    I wonder how hard a compound a bike tire would be to last 10,000 miles? Wow!
    19,000 miles on this one.

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    I had a set of Michelin Country Dry, 26x2.15, on my bike for three years (except for Dec, Jan, & Feb, when I needed 'snow tires' and only rode 30 mi./week); without tracking miles during the other 9+ months of the year, I feel reasonable estimating 12,000 miles of pedaling on those babies. One bike, daily commute (2-9 miles one way), fun rides alone AND with the kids, and utility rides....

  16. #16
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I have some tyres that have passed the 12,000 km mark (and keep going) and others that I expect will last at least that long (Schwalbe Hurricane, CX Comp, and Marathons).

    My racing tyres might see 4000km before they need to be replaced but these are not designed for high mileage and weigh less than 200 grams.

    IN most cases you trade some weight and a little performance for a longer service life.

  17. #17
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Zombie Thread Alert! This thread had been peacefully sleeping since 2004.

    Still relevant, though. Anyone still riding tires the same tires since 2004?
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  18. #18
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Zombie Thread Alert! This thread had been peacefully sleeping since 2004.

    Still relevant, though. Anyone still riding tires the same tires since 2004?
    Yeah, the ones on my cruiser.

    I go through road tires in about 6 months.

    What really struck me about the OP is only getting ~12.5K miles out of his car tires. I got more mileage out of the $20 recaps I used to buy in high school.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mprelaw View Post
    What really struck me about the OP is only getting ~12.5K miles out of his car tires. I got more mileage out of the $20 recaps I used to buy in high school.
    Car tires are one thing that hasn't gone up in price.

    For a long, long time I calculated that, no matter how much I paid for tires, I got 1,000 miles per dollar. That held true whether I paid $20.00 for some recaps or $40.00 for some of the very first Sears steel belted radials. If anything today I'm getting more miles per dollar that I pay for tires.

  20. #20
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Still relevant, though. Anyone still riding tires the same tires since 2004?
    I used the same tires on my hybrid from 1997 to 2008. Of course I was only riding it a few hundred miles a year.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Because tires =! Tires

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  22. #22
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    Beware the zombie tyre is out to wear you down!
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  23. #23
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek Rider View Post
    If you're only getting 20,000 km from car tires, either you have an extremely heavy right foot, or they are really cheap. I never get less than 64,000 km from a set of car tires.

    The mileage you are getting from your bike tires is about the average.
    Probably the opposite. Performance car tires have a softer compound for better grip and wear faster as a result. 20,000kms is pretty average for tires costing $200 each.

  24. #24
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Car tires are one thing that hasn't gone up in price.

    For a long, long time I calculated that, no matter how much I paid for tires, I got 1,000 miles per dollar. That held true whether I paid $20.00 for some recaps or $40.00 for some of the very first Sears steel belted radials. If anything today I'm getting more miles per dollar that I pay for tires.
    Huh?

    The manufacturers have made sure you will pay more for tires. I used to buy Cooper tires for my F150 with 15" wheels, now the F-150 comes with some odd sized 17" wheel where the tires cost more per unit. I had a 1978 Honda Civic that ran 12" tires I could buy one get one free from K-mart. IIRC $25 for two tires. That tire size is now apparently obsolete. Last set I bought for my small sedan cost over $70 a tire!

    Bike tires have gone up too. I used to by cheapo gumwall tires at the big box store for $4 same tire now costs $8. I will admit that the newest generation of kevlar belted tires from companies like Scwalbe are a huge improvement over what we used to buy. I don't know if I am getting 5 times the mileage out of a set of them or not, but not having to replace tires a couple of times a year and having multiple flats a month are worth the cost to me.

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  25. #25
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Probably the opposite. Performance car tires have a softer compound for better grip and wear faster as a result. 20,000kms is pretty average for tires costing $200 each.
    20,000 kilometers is like 12,400 miles. I was just at a tire shop and commented to the owner about the Michelin versus the Continental. He said in Europe the Continental tires are what they call "factory tires". Also, he said in Germany, there is a law that says a car owner must somehow replace a car tire when the tread wear is 50% used. According to that shop owner, that accounts for why Continentals don't last. Why build a high durability tire when there's a 50% rule?

    I then asked the shop owner if he would carry Continental bike tires, and he said no but he knew they were very good bike tires.

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