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Old 03-19-13, 02:00 PM   #26
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well, you were confident gatorskins didn't have wear indicators either, but i won't hold it against you!

Tires get old, just like an old pair of jeans. Conti's fabric reinforcement grid is pretty stout thru that tire's life, but the cord/rubber interface is slowly deteriorating, most flat breaker plys are getting worn out, and the tread also has less protective mms of rubber that is also potentially running gouges, nicks, potential shredding presenting weaknesses in the tire level of flat resistance, all the while imbedded microparticles migrate to break the ply barrier.

just like a worn pair of jeans being more likely to develop a hole in the knee. Paradoxically, less of a problem in more expensive tires and tubulars, but still problematic. there's less rubber in better tires, more reliance on casing integrity to hold it all together. perhaps the degradation issues are not as amplified as a discussion of them are.
The thing that amazes me about Gatorskins is just how much longer they last than other "hard case" tires I've tried. Prior to Gators, I ran Bontrager Hard Case and Maxxis ReFuse tires, both of which were good, but I couldn't get more than 1,500 miles or so out of a rear tire. I've already got more than twice that on my Gators and there's still plenty of wear left in 'em.
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Old 03-19-13, 03:06 PM   #27
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I run the tires until they fail, usually due to a cut in the sidewall at the bead, or when the cord breaks and you get that funny bend in the tire.

I keep good tires on the good set of wheels used for Events. Otherwise, I use the everyday wheels, where the tires are allowed to wear out.

I will typically get about 3,500 km out of a rear tire, 7,000 km out of a front, although I've recently been getting 10,000/5,000 front/rear out of Vredestein Fortezza TriComps (the best 23mm performance bicycle tire made, IMO). I don't believe in tire rotation. Fronts stay on the front, rears stay on the rear.

What's interesting is that you're likely paying the equivalent for your high-performance bike tires as you are for equivalent car tires. You can usually get a TriComp for maybe $40 on sale, and it will last you maybe an average 6,500 km (165.5 km/$). You can buy a high-performance car tire for maybe $400 and it will last you about 65,000 km (165.5 km/$).

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Old 03-19-13, 05:28 PM   #28
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well, you were confident gatorskins didn't have wear indicators either, but i won't hold it against you!
FYI I was searching Conti's website for "wear indicator" and the *only* info that came up was for the GP4000s. So I remain to be convinced those triangles are indicators, especially in light of post #20 which tells us Conti has started putting them on Gatorskins.
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Old 03-19-13, 08:22 PM   #29
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That's your loss, i guess, since every clincher road tire Continental makes except conti's 145gram supersonic has some version of a variegated pattern tread wear indicator. Where do you think the tread wear indicator on a conti 4000? hint: its in the diamond tread pattern to the side of the cap of the tire.

Conti hasn't 'started' putting the wear indicators on gatorskins, they've done it for years.

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Old 03-19-13, 08:22 PM   #30
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The degradation of resistance over time is may not be as amplified as a discussion of them make them out to be, but certainly a consideration if you put a lot of miles on tires like most LD riders do.
I agree. And there's not only the question of the odds of flatting, but also the consequences of it. A recreational weekend rider might have to walk a couple of miles. A randonneur might blow the entire event, hotel cost, transportation costs, etc. Gambling with a thinner tire (because, well, that's what happens to them) can be penny-wise and randonnée-foolish.
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Old 03-19-13, 08:35 PM   #31
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That's your loss, i guess, since every clincher road tire Continental makes except conti's 145gram supersonic has some version of a variegated pattern tread wear indicator. Where do you think the tread wear indicator on a conti 4000? hint: its in the diamond tread pattern to the side of the cap of the tire.

Conti hasn't 'started' putting the wear indicators on gatorskins, they've done it for years.
Incorrect.
GP4000 wear indicators:
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Old 03-20-13, 02:45 AM   #32
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sez the guy who was adamant the gatorskins don't have wear indicators built into them!

those divots (new to conti tires in the last two years) are the dumbed down version of the variegated depth tread pattern that forms the basis for all Continental's wear indicators. Serves the same function as wearing the triangle s on the 4000 down to the first innner dashed line.

just look at their tread patterns on all their road slicks, shimangolo.... what are all those patterns doing on the extreme sides of the casings? are they flex grooves? do you think they are grip for extreme cornerning?

On conti's road sport, its lines... on their sport contact, the line crosses the center tread. on the gator skin, they use two staggered triangles.

EVERY ONE of Conti's road tires except their 145g racing slick has been built with tread wear indicators in them, and have been for quite a few years.

You don't have to believe me, just don't try to disprove the better information, shimangolo. I've gotten a free set of 4 season tires on spif, and sat in on several product seminars by their NA team. I know what I'm talking about.

Why do you think the German engineers put all those side tread patterns on their tires? Must be traction in corners... those wiley Germans!

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Old 03-20-13, 03:07 AM   #33
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Ride them til the cords show, or, they start suffering flats. However, the last two to get replaced have been as the consequence of sidewall cuts. I like Michelin Pro Optimums, but, they're proving to not have the most durable sidewalls in the world.
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Old 03-20-13, 03:39 AM   #34
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Vittoria Diamante 6000+ km on the rear, 1 flat unrelated to the threads showing. I've since been keeping a better eye a replacing tires sooner. Tires are also so much more supple when thin.

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Old 03-20-13, 03:47 AM   #35
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I am wary of rotating bicycle tires, as the better condition tire should be in front, but i will rotate tires if i'm mounting a new set not near the end of its service cycle, but after 600 miles or so for a burly road tire, 3-400 for a racing tire.
Not sure if I'm misunderstanding you here.

If you put two new tyres on a bike the rear one will wear faster so will need replacing before the front one. When you wear out the rear tyre, put the front tyre on the back and a new tyre on the front, which means the better condition tyre is on the front. So unless I missed something (which is always possible) rotating tyres when one wears out means the better condition tyre is always on the front?
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Old 03-20-13, 05:28 AM   #36
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Not sure if I'm misunderstanding you here.

If you put two new tyres on a bike the rear one will wear faster so will need replacing before the front one. When you wear out the rear tyre, put the front tyre on the back and a new tyre on the front, which means the better condition tyre is on the front. So unless I missed something (which is always possible) rotating tyres when one wears out means the better condition tyre is always on the front?
Better condition tire on the front for safety is commonly accepted wisdom.

The recommended way to maximize safety and tire mileage is to rotate tires on a bicycle by discarding a worn back tire, rotate the lightly worn front tire to the back wheel, and run a new tire on the front for safety. As the rear tire (previously lightly worn on front) wears out, repeat the cycle.

Never swap nearly worn rear tire to the front of a bike trying to squeak out a few more miles out of a set of tires.


Only when I'm starting out with a totally new set of tires - say on a new bike, or when i've decided to try a new brand of rubber or switching a bike over from 700x 28c winter training tires to supple&fast summer road tires - will i rotate front to back shortly into the tires' service life.

This gives me an extra few hundred miles in the first rotation cycle without significantly compromising safety IMO.

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Old 03-20-13, 09:50 AM   #37
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My bottom line on tires is, if there is a question I change them. Reliability takes priority of economy. I much prefer changing tires/tubes in the shop than on the road.
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Old 03-20-13, 09:58 AM   #38
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just look at their tread patterns on all their road slicks, shimangolo.... what are all those patterns doing on the extreme sides of the casings? are they flex grooves? do you think they are grip for extreme cornerning?
I always figured they were for decoration.
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Old 03-20-13, 11:06 AM   #39
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I always figured they were for decoration.
Well, they are awfully pretty.
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Old 03-20-13, 12:23 PM   #40
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Better condition tire on the front for safety is commonly accepted wisdom.

The recommended way to maximize safety and tire mileage is to rotate tires on a bicycle by discarding a worn back tire, rotate the lightly worn front tire to the back wheel, and run a new tire on the front for safety. As the rear tire (previously lightly worn on front) wears out, repeat the cycle.

Never swap nearly worn rear tire to the front of a bike trying to squeak out a few more miles out of a set of tires.


Only when I'm starting out with a totally new set of tires - say on a new bike, or when i've decided to try a new brand of rubber or switching a bike over from 700x 28c winter training tires to supple&fast summer road tires - will i rotate front to back shortly into the tires' service life.

This gives me an extra few hundred miles in the first rotation cycle without significantly compromising safety IMO.
OK, that makes sense. I thought you were saying that dumping the worn rear tyre, putting the less worn front tyre on the rear and a new tyre on the front was a bad idea. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 03-20-13, 05:53 PM   #41
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That's your loss, i guess, since every clincher road tire Continental makes except conti's 145gram supersonic has some version of a variegated pattern tread wear indicator. ...
Maybe you should just supply him with your reference instead of arguing about it.
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Old 03-20-13, 06:12 PM   #42
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Maybe you should just supply him with your reference instead of arguing about it.
\

what, get the North American tire designer in from the last Continental in-house tech talk I got paid to attend? Sure thing.

You don't have to believe that the continental designers crafted wear indicators into the tire patterning of the bulk of their road tire lineup, that's fine. I'm not concerned.

someone was adamantly telling the forum his tires DON'T have wear indicators, despite reports from other posters to the contrary.

I do have to say, though - this thread is showcasing a potential reason Conti went to the new divot wear system system though - many americans may fail to recognize wear indicators built into the sides of the cap of a bike tire!
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Old 03-20-13, 06:58 PM   #43
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Suppose you could have mentioned that before. Irregardless, I never really pay much attention to the wear bars. I just toss them when I start getting flats, don't think I've ever had one get to the cords.

Regarding tire wear, that varies greatly depending on how heavy the rider is, how they ride and where they ride. I've ridden Conti GP4000's almost exclusively for a number of years (Conti is one of our team sponsors) and have never gotten more than a 1000 miles out of one. I do have a gatorskin 23mm that they accidently gave me and I wore it out at around a thousand miles. It did have some time on the tandem though.
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Old 03-20-13, 07:27 PM   #44
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the triangles make sense as wear indicators. I'll have to check the ones that I removed just because they looked a little worn to see how close they got to the triangles
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Old 03-21-13, 06:25 AM   #45
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I just toss them when I start getting flats, don't think I've ever had one get to the cords.
I've ridden a pair of Schwalbe Ultremos down to where it wasn't just cords; it was inch-long flaps of rubber coming off and showing everything underneath. Not the world's best idea, though.

I think when to replace is context-dependent. If you want to maximize your chances of finishing the 600K, put new tires on.
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Old 03-21-13, 11:52 AM   #46
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I figured it had earned retirement.
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Old 03-21-13, 03:11 PM   #47
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That tire's got at least twelve more yards in it, you waster.
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Old 03-21-13, 03:45 PM   #48
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I had a Clement Criterium seta where the tread just came off. Never had a flat with that tire, I just changed it because I figured tread was important.
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Old 03-21-13, 08:12 PM   #49
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i never have worn out a tread- the sidewalls fail first, no idea why, even on good quality.
i always have lotsa tread left.

cars now, that's different. when i can see three of the four plies, i start keeping an eye out for the fourth to show. then it is time to replace.
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Old 03-22-13, 07:33 AM   #50
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I guess tire usage and replacement isn't dependent of a given tire's tread wear or previous mileage.

I guess experienced cyclists evaluate tire usage and replacement based on their own experience and particular needs and resources. (having excess money affects usage patterns)

I guess this thread is pretty useless - although hearing others comment about their tire usage is better than having no experience or idea yourself. (I guess.)
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