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  1. #1
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    Front wheel reversible?

    Hey there fellow members,

    I bought a set of Conti 4000 road tires. They were a #@$% to install (getting that last part of the bead was tough!). Then I realized they're directional tires and I installed the front one backwards. Instead of removing it, I figure I'd just flip the skewer (well, not needed really) but also flip the sensors for my HRM and cyclocomputer. I checked with an LBS and they asked what type of rims first. I said Bontrager Select (came with my ride years back), probably cheapish compared to what usually comes with mid-range bikes these days). i was informed some wheels are reversable but some aren't. But mine should be OK.

    Are the Bontrager's reversable (front)? Are there rims that aren't reversible? I'm thinking, even if someone is rebuilding a rear wheel, reinstalling spokes and all, the rim itself could be reversible, rigth? Can't think of a reason why not as the spoke pattern on most bikes I see dont' seem to be directional, and not like motorcycle wheels where they would be.

  2. #2
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    Yep shouldn't be a problem.
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  3. #3
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I don't think you'll hurt anything, but I wouldn't even bother going to the trouble. Conti puts that arrow on the sidewall, but I never pay much attention to it and I've never noticed any difference in ride, cornering, or wear when I've installed it "backwards."
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  4. #4
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    Here are the only possible reasons I can think of why a front wheel would not be reversible:
    --asymmetrical wheel due to space constraints (folding bike or recumbent bike)
    --disc brake on one side
    --wheel designed for one-sided attachment (that is, mono fork)

    Ball bearings roll both directions. Spokes go both directions. The rim brake surface is the same in both directions.

    That said, just like with symmetrical hubs and symmetrical rims, there is no earthly reason besides aesthetics, why a slick tire like a Continental 4000 should go one direction or another! The minimal tread pattern on those tires is for looks and it doesn't matter which direction it turns. And believe me, the rubber itself doesn't care which way you go.
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  5. #5
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    put your wheel the way it should be and forget you put the tire on wrong. there's no difference. a skewer on the "wrong" side of my bike would bother me more than treads going the wrong way. when you pedal you aren't going to go backwards fyi.

  6. #6
    Breakfast in America pancake4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
    a skewer on the "wrong" side of my bike would bother me more than treads going the wrong way.
    i think you could put the skewer on the other side... they do come apart

  7. #7
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the sensor for the HRM is supposed to be somewhere on your body.

  8. #8
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    They may want you to think it's a directional tire, but I don't believe it. Tread has no function on a tire like that. Reversing the direction of a non-functional tread has no effect.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    They may want you to think it's a directional tire, but I don't believe it. Tread has no function on a tire like that. Reversing the direction of a non-functional tread has no effect.
    This.
    I think tire manufacturers add the tread directions just to look more technologically advanced in their design. It has a use in mountain biking, but on road tires it's there for looks.

  10. #10
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mondaycurse View Post
    This.
    I think tire manufacturers add the tread directions just to look more technologically advanced in their design. It has a use in mountain biking, but on road tires it's there for looks.
    Actually, it could be the way the plies are wrapped. Potentially there could be a (small) difference in rolling resistance. Not to mention tread design if there's a tread pattern. I'll let one of the tire engineers get all specific. I know my Speedmax's are directional also, but that's due to tread.

  11. #11
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    That's a point I hadn't thought of CCrew. It just might be true.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

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