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  1. #1
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Tandem tire mileage

    Howdy from Tucson!

    Had to replace front tire on our tandem after today's tandem toot as it had a 'wave' in the casing. Got great mileage: 3,830 miles on a Maxxis Detonnator 700x23. Looked like there was still some good rubber left, but a 'wavy' tire needs to be disposed of. Replaced it with a Michelin Pro Race 700x25, we'll see what kind of mileage we get out of that one.
    What are some of the great mileage tires on your tandem?
    Just curious!

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem

  2. #2
    My own worst nightmare
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Looked like there was still some good rubber left, but a 'wavy' tire needs to be disposed of.
    I always wondered about that. This, then, must be something that happens to the tire over time. I always just assumed such tires were that way from day one, and even though it reflected a mfg problem, it was just the way some tires came out, and it was okay.

    So what exactly causes this to happen?

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Howdy from Tucson!

    Had to replace front tire on our tandem after today's tandem toot as it had a 'wave' in the casing. Got great mileage: 3,830 miles on a Maxxis Detonnator 700x23. Looked like there was still some good rubber left, but a 'wavy' tire needs to be disposed of. Replaced it with a Michelin Pro Race 700x25, we'll see what kind of mileage we get out of that one.
    What are some of the great mileage tires on your tandem?
    Just curious!

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy & Kay/Zona tandem
    Can't tell you about Road tyres, As I am an Off-roader, but we are lucky if we can get 1000 miles to a rear tyre, before it stops gripping. The tread on the front at this milage is normally pretty good, but I always change both tyres at the same time,That 1000 miles again, due to the number of cuts and scrapes on the casing. I try to pass these tyres onto to friends of mine, but they have learnt now that if I am giving it away, it is no good. The number of thorns and bit of flint that are still embedded in the tyre, cause them so many punctures at their lower pressures, that they don't take them when offered.

  4. #4
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Having ridden in Texas for the first time this past weekend I was reminded that tire selection, performance, and impressions are best evaluated on a regional, if not on a local basis. Therefore, while it's always interesting to read about how well certain tires perform via forums like this it's important to quantify the types of roads, terrain, and pace that the tires are subjected to as well as inflation levels and of course team weight. Again, even if a team fits your team to a "T" on weight and riding style, your optimum tire might be quite different. Thus, take what you learn and bounce it off others who ride in your local area or region to see how their experiences might compare before assuming any one tire could be the right tire for you.

    Rationale:

    If you are a devoted follower of cycling on OLN and/or via reading race reports and interviews at VeloNews, CyclingNews, etc..., you may have heard many of the racers who were interviewed during the Tour 'Day' Georgia make reference to the incredibly smooth roads that they raced on. It's not just the roads the tour travelled on either... Georgia has some of the best maintained roads in the country and smooth asphalt is the rule, not the exception. In fact, Georgia's various DOT agencies seem to be obsessed with laying down fresh asphalt as most roads seem to be re-paved about every 5 years. Therefore, since we seldom encounter expansion joints or chip-seal (aka, tar & chipped stone), we can use narrow, high-pressure tires that deliver a relatively smooth and comfortable ride which tend to be rather kind to tires. However, if you live in North Georgia you'll find that (as the Tour de Georgia riders noticed) our roads constantly undulate with few sections of truly flat roadway. Therefore, while our roads are smooth, the constant climbing that occurs during most rides greatly accelerates rear tire tread wear.

    To put this all into perspective, let me share some examples:

    While riding in Texas hill country this weekend we climbed some 2,850v feet over the 67 mile Saturday loop ride; however, at home here in Georgia we'll climb 2,350v feet on our local 25mi loop. A single 50mi ride over the same 3 Gaps that the Tour de Georgia visited on Friday near Dahlonega will net you 5,200v feet. However, 100% of our roads are paved with smooth asphalt that is relatively free of any potholes, patched segments, tar-sealed cracks. In comparison, over the 165 miles of riding this past weekend in Texas, at least 80% was on chip-seal. The most Georgia-like section of roadway that we discovered was a recently paved section along the Devil's Backbone where it intersected with Purgatory Road. If we were to ride these roads all the time I would definitely rethink my tire selection vs. what we currently ride; something a bit larger and with lower air pressure to be sure.

    Similarly, we have ridden in Northern states where concrete roads, expansion joints, and other cold-weather caused road problems would also cause me to rethink tire selection and perhaps even wheel or the need for a stoker's shockpost.

    Just some food for thought.

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madpogue
    So what exactly causes this to happen?
    Here's a guess.... asymmetrical bulges or lumps in bicycle tires are most likely caused by:

    1. Manufacturing defects due to irregular lay-up of the threads in the casing. The better tubular and clincher tires are still layed-up by hand. I've had a few Vredestein tires over the years (< 10%) that had irregularities right out of the box and have always been able to exchange them for replacements. Invariably, the irregularities don't usually show up until you're well into your first ride. At least before they went to the all-black tires, on one or two tires I could see uneven thread coverage in the visible top-most layer of the tire's casing in the vicinity of the the bulge.

    2. Road hazards/debris that puncture the tread and/or cut threads in the casing. The higher the thread count and pressure of a tire, the more likely this is. Tread cuts (vs. punctures) will clearly cause the casing to deform but, amazingly enough, I've often found I can effectively arrest a tire cut with SuperGlue (condeming the tire to the rear wheel of course) to salvage some additional life out of a tire. It seems to bond the threads, casing, and tread quite nicely.

    3. Road hazards that result in broken threads in the casing. I think a lot of tires develop lumps, bumps and waves when threads break-down in the casing after a hard impact that may or may not visibly damage the tire, e.g., pinch flats and those "I can't believe we didn't flat" impacts.

    Just my guess based on what I've seen over the years.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Howdy from Tucson!

    Thanx for the replies/interest in tandem tire wear.
    Agreed that road conditions, rider weight, and even temperature can greatly affect tire life. If it's 100+ plus out, just imagine the temp of that blacktop your tire is rolling on!
    Wavy tires, from our experience, tend to sometimes happen near the end of a tire's lifespan when cords and plys tend to separate a bit due to stress/wear, morphing into bulges that get progressively worse. So for safety sake, dump that tire!
    Have also had success putting a dab of superglue or rubber cement (from your patchkit) on minor tire cuts on outside of tires.
    It is always interesting to hear other tandemers experiences/opinions!

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy & Kay, Zona tandem

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