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Old 05-23-08, 06:43 PM   #1
Gus Riley
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Armadillo Side Walls

The second set of Specialized armadillos we have on our tandem have begun to come apart at the sidewalls (the first set did the same thing). I took the tire off and inspected it and am now wondering if this ribbing which is separating from the sidewall is of structural significance. See the picture. It looks to me like this is intended to act as a kind of armor plating.

Anyone have some words of wisdom on this?
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File Type: jpg Armadillo Sidewalls.JPG (63.8 KB, 67 views)
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Old 05-23-08, 07:04 PM   #2
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Hmm. Looks to me like the brakes maybe have been damaging it? If not, what does the bead seat edge of the rim look like?

The sidewall is usually some kind of gum that is merely intended to protect the casing cords from wear. It looks like your is delaminating.
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Old 05-23-08, 08:49 PM   #3
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The bead looks good. I can see the ribbing has been stitched to the bead. The ribbing has broken away from that stitching. This is not a brake problem. It is different, but like I mentioned earlier this is the 2nd set that has done this.
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Old 05-24-08, 05:13 AM   #4
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I am not familiar with Specialized Armadillos. If those fibers are intended to be anchored at both ends, I would say that they are intended to be a structural component of the tire, and the tire is not safe without them.

That looks like the beginning of tire failure to me.

There are probably two layers of fibers in the tire, at nearly perpendicular angles. You can see the layer beneath from the inside of the tire. When one layer fails, you can sometimes see a lateral wiggle away from the location of the failure develop in the tread, because of the unequal tension in the tire carcass.

Given that the tire was intended to work at normal operating pressures only with all fibers intact, there is now an increased likelihood of catastrophic failure of the tire carcass at that location--the fabric will tear, and the tube will escape and burst.

Incidentally, Specialized used to be my favorite tire. I ran through a bunch of Turbo S's and Turbo R's over the years. About ten years ago, Specialized sold a bunch of bad Armadillos that failed on tandems and injured a number of people. If you search on tandem@hobbs (spelling?) you should be able to find many posts about that. These days I use Panaracer T-Serv for Messenger tires, but I won't put more than 100psi in them.
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Old 05-24-08, 12:28 PM   #5
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Anyone have some words of wisdom on this?
Yes, send that photo to Specialized tech support and see what they have to offer.

I could guess, but that really won't help and I can't send you a replacement tire. Specialized, on the other hand... hey, you never know.
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Old 05-24-08, 02:32 PM   #6
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Yes, send that photo to Specialized tech support and see what they have to offer.

I could guess, but that really won't help and I can't send you a replacement tire. Specialized, on the other hand... hey, you never know.
A couple of years ago I bought a couple of armadillos for the triple. When mounting them I noticed one had a defective side-wall. My wife saw that it was a bad tire and put it in the trash. Specialized sent me a replacement tire on my word that the other one was defective. That is what I call customer service...
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Old 05-24-08, 06:46 PM   #7
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Would not ride on a tire whose sidewall is looking that bad . . .
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Old 05-25-08, 08:38 AM   #8
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Thanks to all for your recommendations! We agree they are safety suspect and we're not going to ride them. I did manage to find the specialized tech support email and sent them pictures and the same questions. BTW both front and back tires are doing this, same as our first set of armadillos.
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Old 05-30-08, 08:23 AM   #9
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Here's what Specialized said about our tires:

"You defiantly need to change tire it will blow up on you soon. That tire, if it is a Specialized tire, has to be very old that crackling of the sidewall is called dry rot it happened to older tires after they had been weathered and worn out, tire manufactures have changed the design of the sidewalls so they don't have that happen."

We agree with the "...need to change tire...", but not the dry rot. These tires are not that old. So, we're in the market for new tires.
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Old 05-30-08, 09:16 AM   #10
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These tires are not that old. So, we're in the market for new tires.
Not that old? Like in months... or in years. We found out that tires don't last very long even hanging unmounted in the garage.
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Old 05-30-08, 10:44 AM   #11
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We agree with the "...need to change tire...", but not the dry rot. These tires are not that old.
Did you push-back on Specialized with that info? If not, I would provide them with the purchase date info and ask them what the "shelf life" is for their tires and where you'd find that information as a consumer.

Bottom Line: If you don't feel like you got full value for your tires, tell them that and tell them what you'd propose as a remedy, e.g., a set of tires that won't dry-rot or fail in x months like these did or a refund.
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Old 05-30-08, 11:06 AM   #12
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Not that old? Like in months... or in years. We found out that tires don't last very long even hanging unmounted in the garage.

No more than two years with less than a thousand miles. I dunno, maybe they are old by bicycle tire standards. My other tires seem to last longer. At least they last until the tread is worn enough to justify replacement. Replacement for sidewall deterioration seems pre-mature. Especially considering these are the 2nd set to do this, and they are/were the almighty Armadillos.

We thought the ribs on these tires might be for an armor plating purpose. Appears they are not and that they are indeed part of the structural make-up of the tire.

For Specialized not to recognize these as their tires amazes me. How many other tire manufacturers make Armadillos? The sidewall design on these seem to be unique as well.

We're not looking for Specialized to replace them. No hit on Specialized, however, We're going with a set Conti's or other manufacturer next.
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Old 05-30-08, 11:16 AM   #13
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No hit on Specialized, however, We're going with a set Conti's or other manufacturer next.
When you decide someone's product is inadequate or substandard and change brands, you've pretty much said thanks, but no thanks you've lost my business. That's a pretty solid hit and worse yet, you even gave them an opportunity to salvage the relationship.

Not saying that your approach is flawed or that you shouldn't change horses, just an observation.
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Old 05-30-08, 11:23 AM   #14
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When you decide someone's product is inadequate or substandard and change brands, you've pretty much said thanks, but no thanks you've lost my business. That's a pretty solid hit and worse yet, you even gave them an opportunity to salvage the relationship.

Not saying that your approach is flawed or that you shouldn't change horses, just an observation.
Yes, you are probably correct we are doing that. We're under the opinion that the model we have (no longer available) is/are flawed. I'll bet their newer Armadillos are a bunch better. We just feel a little closer to peaceful vs. confrontational today.
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Old 05-30-08, 11:25 AM   #15
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In all fairness, our set of Specialized armadillos have been in service on and off for more than 2 years. We mount them only when we know that the ride will include long streches of gravel or dirt road. They look great and the type of tire does not look anything like the picture that you showed...the sidewall is black rubber undistinguishable from the rest of the tire???
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Old 05-30-08, 11:44 AM   #16
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In all fairness, our set of Specialized armadillos have been in service on and off for more than 2 years. We mount them only when we know that the ride will include long streches of gravel or dirt road. They look great and the type of tire does not look anything like the picture that you showed...the sidewall is black rubber undistinguishable from the rest of the tire???
The tires have the words Specialized Armadillo Technology on them. A google on Specialized Armadillo also shows several models with "Armadillo technology". Ours appear to be discontinued.
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