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Do tires harden with age

Old 05-07-08, 09:46 AM
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Snap
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Do tires harden with age

Pro2Race tire on front is about a year old. Seemed to slip in a corner a couple of times Sunday. More likely I was going in too fast, but do tires harden and loose grip with age? Do you wear them out and then replace them or demote them to training tires after a certain period of time?
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Old 05-07-08, 09:50 AM
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Rubber ossifies over time and can become hard and brittle although a year isn't long enough for this to happen... you may have been going too fast or not been hitting the corner at an optimal angle.

I work on some really old bikes and on Sunday I received a 60 year old roadster... the rubber block pedals were actually crumbling and I have seen old tyres become as hard as rock and pieces of rubber will just flake and chip off.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:57 AM
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So when my Pro2s and Krylions are all dry and cracked looking, they're still okay? They're not brittle by any means.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:04 AM
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Tires can slip if you didn't consider road surface and environment, over-inflating them for the conditions.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:08 AM
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If your tires are starting to show cracks they can still be ridden but the rubber in the tyre will not have the same ride qualities it once did and this will affect things like handling to some degree. If you are racing and looking to max out performance, fresh tyres are the way to go and the old tires could get relegated to another bike or a trainer.

I spent most of yesterday sorting tyres and wheels at our co-op as we donate a good deal of the extra to a charity that send them to third world countries... these are by no means trash but for most people here not considered worthy enough for their riding needs.

I have a Dunlop Dragon tyre hanging out in my shop that came on my 1978 Raleigh (it's much older than the Raleigh) and it says, "fill until hard"... it is already hard a a rock and is not useable as any skidding will cause huge amounts of rubber to come off.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:12 AM
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+1 on the inflation... I don't race but I do ride faster than most human beings and find that inflating tyres to their maximum does not work when the guy on the bike is a buck fourty five soaking wet.

When you inflate your tires and get on the bike they should compress ever so slightly... if they feel rock hard then they are going to have a negative effect on ride and handling.That maximum inflation is only a recommendation and one should adjust things for their weight and riding style

Do a drop test on the bike...if the bike sounds feels like a rock when it hits the floor it is probably going to ride like one and a small difference in tyre pressure can make a world of difference.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:35 AM
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I understand that tire grip is influenced by many factors and that tires will eventually harden, crack and become unsafe.

I know that I went into the corners in question on a bad line and or too fast.

Race car tires will noticeably harden in a short period of time due to the composition of the rubber and repeated heat cool cycles.

I'm wondering if bicycle tires also undergo a similar change over the course of a season or two.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:44 AM
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Much like botto's heart.
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Old 05-07-08, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Snap View Post
I'm wondering if bicycle tires also undergo a similar change over the course of a season or two.
I've never had a tire last "a season or two." Mine split / wear / crack to an unusable point in 3-4 months time.
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Old 05-07-08, 12:42 PM
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Bike tires don't get heated like racing car or motorcycle tires. And they are not as soft. So they don't have the same sort of ageing problems.

The easy test is to inflate the old tire and a new tire on different wheels and poke each with a fingernail. If there is noticeably less of a mark/indentation on the old tire, then you can leave it to your judgement as to what you should do.

I usually "retire" (ha ha) any race tire that I have a question about to training duty.
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