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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-22-06, 10:41 AM   #1
Fugazi Dave
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Armorall on your bike tires

Yesterday when doing some routine maintenance on my bike, I noticed the sidewalls on my rear tire beginning to crack. It's getting pretty worn, so it's going to get down to the casing fairly soon anyway, but I was pretty surprised to see this since it's a good tire and not all that old. Anyhow, what I'm wondering is if using something like Armorall on your bike tires will help preven this sort of thing from happening, or at least delay it a bit. Now that I've learned to ride in such a way that I'm not skidding through a rear tire every six weeks, I'd like to keep them from disintegrating in the sun while locked up outside at work.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-22-06, 10:43 AM   #2
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I wouldn't do it. Bicycle contact patches are already small, and adding what is effectively a lubricant to that surface seems ill advised, at least if you value your skin over your skinwalls...
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Old 05-22-06, 10:48 AM   #3
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I have wiped my sidewalls with Armorall with no adverse reactions. Be carefull not to get on your braking surface on the rims though.

Me, I'm moe concerned with have no brakes than with a contact patch as the tire will scuff itself off in a few revolutions when on a nasty road surface.

I'd be concerned however if I tried riding around on a linoleum floor. That's one of those "kids don't try this at home" things.
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Old 05-22-06, 10:52 AM   #4
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it'd just be going on the sidewalls, rather than the whole tire. No point in putting it on the tread.
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Old 05-22-06, 10:56 AM   #5
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The problem with most of those sidewall cleaning products is that they'll tend to migrate out to the tire surface anyway
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Old 05-22-06, 10:57 AM   #6
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are your tires inflated enough?

Sometimes if you do not inflate your tires enough your sidewalls will crack quickly.
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Old 05-22-06, 11:15 AM   #7
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Make sure you Armorall the seat and grips too, Slick.

Enjoy
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Old 05-22-06, 11:20 AM   #8
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Be careful about using armor-all. I work in the automotive industry, and we use it to test materials for environmental stress crack (chemical+heat and/or time+flexing or stress=cracking and fracture). It has some pretty powerful ingredients in it that weaken a lot of stuff.

Probably buying a product that is a tire conditioner would be safer and yield better results.
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Old 05-22-06, 11:31 AM   #9
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I'll check that out. Any products in particular spring to mind? I just figure there's got to be something to help keep your sidewalls from cracking.
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Old 05-22-06, 11:50 AM   #10
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any product that is intended for tires only... mothers makes one, eagleone does also. armorall is notorious for being really ****ty. i'd be a little worried about using that though, on car tires its usually safe because the tire construction is completely different (no rounded profile).
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Old 05-22-06, 11:57 AM   #11
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Wurth Rubber Care. Really, really good stuff.
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Old 05-22-06, 11:59 AM   #12
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Skidding through tires every 6 weeks?
Damn.
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Old 05-22-06, 12:39 PM   #13
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silicone is a really excellent lubricant, and really hard to get off once it's on. Armorall and WD-40 are both high in silicone. would you put WD-40 on your tires?

Incidentally silicone is verboten in paint shops, because once silicone gets on a surface, paint won't stick. You can't even sand it off. It makes a big mess. don't use Armorall anywhere near any metal surface you think may need paint work in the next 6 months. and I certainly wouldn't get it anywhere near bicycle or motorcycle tires. like not even in the same room.

There os a product somewhere for treating bicycle sidewalls. It's pretty old school, but I know I've seen it somewhere. as far as I'm concerned when skinwalls start to get dried out, they aren't long for this world.
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Old 05-22-06, 06:41 PM   #14
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armoral is destructive to rubber, dont use it! i used to put it on my car all the time and with the aid of the sun burned all my window mouldings.
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Old 05-22-06, 07:15 PM   #15
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Yea do not put that stuff on your whole tire!! i was dumb and did before, and i slipped out going around a bend at 20+ mph.. not very good.
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Old 05-22-06, 08:01 PM   #16
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Alright, Armorall = definite no. This is why I ask about things like this before I try them.
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Old 05-22-06, 08:01 PM   #17
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Let the Armor All bashing begin.

If you search the internet newsgroups (ie google groups) you can find a lot of armor all discussion in rec.autos.tech. One excellent post that illuminates the nature of how armor all works goes as follows:

"OK, if you want a detailed chemical explanation, here goes.
Soft vinyl plastics (as opposed to things like PVC pipe)
contain a large amount of plasticizers. The one that is
almost universally used is dioctyl phthalate. It is a
relatively high molecular weight, water insoluble, nontoxic
compound. Over the course of time, the plasticizer will
vaporize and leach out of the vinyl causing it to become
stiff and brittle, which is when it cracks.

ArmorAll is an emulsion of dibutyl phthalate in water.
Dibutyl phthalate has a lower molecular weight than the
dioctyl phthalate in the factory soft vinyl. While it will
plump up and soften the plastic (good) the lower molecular
weight means that it is more volatile and more water soluble.
Therefore it will be lost more quickly to the environment
via vaporization and leaching. A nasty side effect is that
it will take the original plasticizer with it as it is lost.

What this means to the end user is that if you start using
ArmorAll you had better continue to do so, or your vinyl
will degrade much faster than if you had done nothing. "
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.a...a81025475ac008

Now, I understand that vinyl is a very different material than rubber, but I think the same idea applies. I'm guessing it will make rubber dry out faster unless you continue to use it regularly.
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Old 05-22-06, 08:20 PM   #18
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i thought my sidewalls were cracking from over-inflation. under-inflation does it too?
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Old 05-22-06, 08:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Learn_not2burn
Be careful about using armor-all. I work in the automotive industry, and we use it to test materials for environmental stress crack (chemical+heat and/or time+flexing or stress=cracking and fracture). It has some pretty powerful ingredients in it that weaken a lot of stuff.

Probably buying a product that is a tire conditioner would be safer and yield better results.
+1
Armor will actually cause your tires to crack if you don't use it religiously. If you are near any higher end car accessesory shops, look for either zymol or einzeitt (1z). They are both kinda pricey, but really good tire conditioners.
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Old 05-22-06, 08:26 PM   #20
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If your sidewalls are cracking, then its time to get new tires.
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Old 05-22-06, 09:15 PM   #21
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The point being that they're cracking earlier than they seem like they should. It doesn't seem unreasonable to ask that a bike tire go six months without starting to crack, you know?
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