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Old 04-06-06, 10:07 PM   #1
mycoatl
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Embarrasing Newbie Tire Mounting Question

Kind of a dumb question, but what direction do I mount my tires? On my Mt. bike tires, they had direction indication arrows. I can't figure out which direction to mount my tires or my wife's.

Mine are Conti Top Touring 2000 (700x32)
Wife's are Panaracer CTX (700x37)

Do I mount them so I look down from the cockpit at my front tire and see an "A" or a "V" in the tread? Normally, I'd mount them as an "A"--less rolling resistance, but the description on both says "inverted tread." Does this mean I mount them as a V? Help!
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Old 04-06-06, 10:11 PM   #2
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Inverted tread means that the tread pattern is cut out from the tire, rather than having protruding knobs. The tire logos go on the drivetrain side of the bike. If they're on both sides I'd mount them with an "A" as you call it but I don't think you'd ever notice a difference.
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Old 04-06-06, 10:11 PM   #3
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As I understand it, inverted tread just means that rather than stuff sticking OUT like knobs, stuff kinda sticks IN, like grooves. If that makes any sense. I am unfamiliar with these particular tires, but I'd say that "A" sounds like the right direction. I'm sure someone will come along shortly and say for sure.
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Old 04-06-06, 10:13 PM   #4
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Gah, I've been beaten to the punch! You sneaky!
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Old 04-06-06, 10:15 PM   #5
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Gotcha, and thanks for the quick imput.

In my mt biking days it was common to mount the rear wheel with the tread "inverted" to grab more dirt in soft soil conditions. So when I read inverted I was thinking along the same lines. Thanks for setting me straight.
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Old 04-06-06, 10:15 PM   #6
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You should see an "A" from the cockpit. This channels water away from center of tire as it contacts the pavement.
When in doubt, simply make sure the tire labels are facing the right hand side of your bike.....same side as the drivetrain.

edit....I guess I arrived at the party late as well....

Last edited by roadfix; 04-06-06 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 04-06-06, 10:22 PM   #7
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Haha, I win

I've read that the narrow, rounded profile of bicycle tires combined with the relatively low speeds at which they operate mean that hydroplaning won't occur, regardless of tread pattern/orientation. So therefore it makes no difference whether they're mounted with an A or V. It's more of a psychological thing I guess. The aerodynamic difference would probably be too small to measure. It would be interesting to see some numbers on the hydroplaning issue.

Edit: The above applies for road tires with inverted tread. MTB tires definitely handle differently on loose surfaces with the tread pattern reversed.
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Old 04-06-06, 10:35 PM   #8
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you sould mount the tires so that you can read the maker's purdy sidewall label from the right, or drive side of the bike.

this has been the convention for many years.
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Old 04-06-06, 10:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enduro
Inverted tread means that the tread pattern is cut out from the tire, rather than having protruding knobs. The tire logos go on the drivetrain side of the bike. If they're on both sides I'd mount them with an "A" as you call it but I don't think you'd ever notice a difference.
yeh thats it.
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Old 04-06-06, 11:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enduro
It would be interesting to see some numbers on the hydroplaning issue.
Ask, and ye shall receive: http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#hydroplaning

It doesn't matter how you mount 'em - inverted treads on a road tire make no difference, other than to increase rolling resistance due to tread "squirm" while reducing traction (compared to slick tires) due to both squirm and less material in contact with the road surface.

Inverted tread might make some difference in grip on snow or dirt roads, but I rather doubt it. Knobbly tires will definitely grip loose surfaces more effectively than slick or inverted-tread road tires will, but on actual road surfaces, the best kind of tread has no features at all.
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Old 04-07-06, 05:48 AM   #11
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we call the drive train side of the bike the 'busy' side.
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Old 04-07-06, 06:27 AM   #12
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I can understand the concept of "squirm" on knobbies, but with the modestly inverted treads on the two tires the OP mentioned? Wouldn't any difference in rolling resistance be so subtle and minor as to be virtually undetectable?
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Old 04-07-06, 02:41 PM   #13
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In the northern hemisphere, mount the tires so the tread look like an A. In the southern hemisphere, mount them so the tread looks like a V. I have thought about a clever reason why this is best, but there is not enough room here in the margin to explain it.

Denis K

Last edited by Denis K; 04-09-06 at 10:30 AM.
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