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High mileage front tire

Old 06-24-15, 03:48 PM
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High mileage front tire

I have a front tire with a little over 4k miles. Is that high enough that I should go ahead and replace it?
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Old 06-24-15, 04:10 PM
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At the very least swap it to the rear.

Blow-outs are much worse on the front...
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Old 06-24-15, 04:19 PM
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Age is probably more critical than mileage. I wouldn't trust any zero-mile tires over 15-20 years old, but this tire did over 5000 miles in 4 years, and I would have pushed it further had I not wanted to switch to another brand by that point:

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Old 06-24-15, 05:46 PM
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Front tires, for all practical purposes, do not wear so the only thing to consider is age hardening or physical damage like a cut. I tend to run a front tire through two rear tires or about 8,000 - 9000 miles and then change both tires. At that point the front tire still looks almost new but is getting a bit elderly for my comfort.
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Old 06-24-15, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
Front tires, for all practical purposes, do not wear so the only thing to consider is age hardening or physical damage like a cut. I tend to run a front tire through two rear tires or about 8,000 - 9000 miles and then change both tires. At that point the front tire still looks almost new but is getting a bit elderly for my comfort.
Why not just put the new tire on the front and swap the old one to the back every time, to wear it out?
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Old 06-24-15, 10:03 PM
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In well over 100,000 miles over almost half a century I have NEVER worn out a front tire. That includes over half those career miles being on tubulars. I almost wore out a 1.6" conti slick tire, but just when I thought this would be it, the walls finally succumbed to the ravages of age, UV, water, and ozone, and it died on me.

I'm not a believer in rotating tires, though I don't see anything wrong with it. I suspect I don't because I mostly ride tubulars where it's bad karma to unmount a tire unnecessarily, and the habit carried over.

So, you can move it back so the tread wears through before the walls die, or you can see how far it'll take you. (warning - 4,000 miles is nothing to a front tire).
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Old 06-24-15, 10:56 PM
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If a tire doesn't wear out from use I go by age and condition. My bikes (and tires) are kept in a dark, cool and dry basement. I routinely get 15 - 20 years use out of a front tire. Along the same lines a recently saw a 1968 Schwinn Collegiate 5 speed in almost brand new condition (it was amazing). It still had the original tires on it and they looked brand new. I'd trust them to ride on.
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Old 06-25-15, 02:08 AM
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Depends on what you mean by wear out, I've had front tires that have looked fine, but have gotten a square profile after 4-5000km, swapping them has made a major difference to the bike handling, even though they may have had plenty of rubber left on them
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Old 06-25-15, 08:39 AM
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My Continental GP 4 Seasons wore out after barely more than 3K miles on the rear. I still have the GP4S front tire on, with well over 5K miles in less than 2 years. It still looks fine.
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Old 06-25-15, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mr. peugeot
I have a front tire with a little over 4k miles. Is that high enough that I should go ahead and replace it?
When the rear tire cords show replace it with the front tire and install a new tire up front because a flat there is more likely to cause a crash.

I get about 5000 miles (10,000 total starting up front) out of GP4000S and Gatorskins, but only 2500-3000 (5000-6000 total) out of GP 4 Seasons.

With much less weight on it and no drive forces front tires don't wear fast, and if you don't rotate it you may get rubber cracks from age before the rubber wears out.

Loosing tread pattern doesn't matter - that's just there because customers expect it from cars. Squaring off doesn't matter - there's enough compliance in the tire you're not going to feel it.

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Old 06-25-15, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
I'm not a believer in rotating tires, though I don't see anything wrong with it.
Isn't the problem with rotating tires that you put the worn rear tire on the front, where a blowout would be much more likely to cause a crash than a rear tire blowout?

I don't know, I've never had a tire blow out, maybe this possibility is overstated.
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Old 06-25-15, 09:19 AM
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The only flat I've ever had out on the road was on the rear tire. I would definitely always want the best tire on the front.
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Old 06-25-15, 09:46 AM
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A 10 Month load carrying tour and the Suomi Nokian tire (A10) still looks like New.


To not Crash, you dont want a front blow out, so always put the new tire on the front , if you only buy 1.
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Old 06-25-15, 11:26 AM
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Another thread with vaulable info.
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Old 06-25-15, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
In well over 100,000 miles over almost half a century I have NEVER worn out a front tire. That includes over half those career miles being on tubulars. I almost wore out a 1.6" conti slick tire, but just when I thought this would be it, the walls finally succumbed to the ravages of age, UV, water, and ozone, and it died on me.

I'm not a believer in rotating tires, though I don't see anything wrong with it. I suspect I don't because I mostly ride tubulars where it's bad karma to unmount a tire unnecessarily, and the habit carried over.

So, you can move it back so the tread wears through before the walls die, or you can see how far it'll take you. (warning - 4,000 miles is nothing to a front tire).
This made me smile.

Way back when I rode tubulars I had a pair of Canettis that were charmed. I was in college at the time with no car, so I rode every day, but I never got a flat.

One Saturday morning we were in a parking lot, deciding where to go for our morning ride. I was doing a track stand, and as I came out of it my front tire rolled right off the rim. Down I went, cracking my collar bone (although I didn't know it at the time; I did the ride in a bit of discomfort!).

Turns out the glue on the rims had dried out; my lack of flats never gave me the opportunity to refresh it and it never occurred to me to just do so as maintenance.

One of the reasons I am happy to ride clinchers these days...
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Old 06-25-15, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Chesterton
Isn't the problem with rotating tires that you put the worn rear tire on the front, where a blowout would be much more likely to cause a crash than a rear tire blowout?
You rotate the front to the rear and rear to the trash so your newest tire is always in front.
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Old 06-25-15, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
In well over 100,000 miles over almost half a century I have NEVER worn out a front tire.
+1, on paved roads at least. My hybrid's cheap CST front tire has 15000kms on it so far and still looks new - maybe 80% of thread depth remains. I had to replace the rear one at 14000kms due to a glass shard, but it still was at about 50%.
On dirt roads I've worn out many slick front tires, though.
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