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How long do tires last? Is there a date code? Mine are 15 years old, I think.

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How long do tires last? Is there a date code? Mine are 15 years old, I think.

Old 09-13-20, 02:31 PM
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CheGiantForLife
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How long do tires last? Is there a date code? Mine are 15 years old, I think.

I don't ride often, just a few times a year.
I used to ride 1 mile to the park to do pushups,
or ride 1 mile to the gym. Not anymore.

My tires might be 20 years old ?
Is there a date code like on car tires?
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Old 09-13-20, 03:35 PM
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Iride01
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If you regularly do 50 plus mph for certain I'd change them out. But if you are less than 10 mph most of the time I'm not certain it's going to ever be an issue even if they fail catastrophically. If your normal speed is between 10 and 50, then that's your call.

20 years old.... I got you beat, I rode some 30 year old tires. Didn't last long though.
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Old 09-13-20, 04:35 PM
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Juan el Boricua
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I've never been aware of date coding on bike tires before, and none of my bikes' have them so, I'm unable to comment on that.
But more than age, I'll assess condition first:
are they somewhat supple when deflated, or stiff/they retain the shape of the flat spot when they were deflated?, are there cracks visible on the sidewalls; is the bead delaminating (separating) from the tire?, is the tread section delaminating from the sidewalls; do they have a good and sound tread section, or worn, with cords showing?; if gumwalls, are they pliable or appears "to be separated in chunks"? If yes to any of the above, I would ride carefully and not very fast till I were able to get replacements; if it was my grocery-getter or for around-town cruising bike (or had been on a tight budget and can't spend on new tires inmediately), I've used them 'til worn. Doing so, be mindful that they're more prone to flats as their integrity is compromised ( stiffer; cracks that can allow shards and bits of glass/metal/pebbles embed and puncture a tube) but, I had no more flats than on newer non-protected tires so it was OK. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 09-13-20, 04:54 PM
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I have some Suomi Nokian Studded tires I bought in 1990. their rubber compound is such that they're still good today..

hard long wearing black. bike stored in the dark basement until there is Ice on the street..






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Old 09-13-20, 09:52 PM
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I’d look at condition, not age. If they aren’t hard and aren’t cracking, use them.
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Old 09-13-20, 10:06 PM
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We were airing up my girlfriends bike. It had been sitting in a shed for probably 15 years. The tires were cracking a lot. One tube held air the other didn't, so we replaced the tube. After getting to riding pressure - about 55psi that round if I recall correctly - the side walls eventually blew and the tube protruded from the wheel like a big blister. Needless to say, there are new tires on the bike now...

So moral of the story - if the tires are old and crusty they aren't going to be worth a whole hoot of a lot.

If you have small cracks and the rubber still mostly seems OK I wouldn't be too concerned. If the rubber is cracking and disintegrating that is another ball of wax. Time to replace the tires.

If you are concerned with them - figure up what your riding pressure is (hopefully towards the higher end of the pressure spec range for the tires - lower = more rolling resistance = harder to pedal) then add 20psi. Inflate to the 20psi over (for road/touring tires 60-100psi, if you have a MTB with lower pressure around 20-30 maybe do 10psi over). If the tires hold that pressure for a bit (say, 5-10 minutes) then back off to your riding pressure and call it good. If you blow the side walls - replace the tires.
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Old 09-14-20, 12:56 AM
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Tire life will vary greatly with road conditions, tire inflation, load, weather, and storage when not being used. Thus it's really impossible to tell someone how long a tire will last.

Cheers
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Old 09-14-20, 07:26 AM
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Depends on conditions where they are left. I have heard ozone can damage tires and tubes over time, so avoid storing where electric motors often are running. And I have had tires go from newish to bare sidewall threads in a single season by leaving the bike exposed to direct sunlight the whole summer.

Otherwise, if the tire mounts and inflates nice and round and not too many cracks are visible, then it is probably good to go.
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Old 09-14-20, 07:36 AM
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Some bike tires I've had on cruisers are more plasticky than rubbery. Those tires are somewhat hard when new and seem to get more slippery over time, but they don't seem to show cracking as soon as a tire with better grip.

If not worn through from riding, two things make me get rid of bicycle tires that otherwise look okay. Dry rot cracking or a surface so hard you hear it squeak on dry pavement in turns. I like to lean fairly aggressively in turns and prefer tires with some grip in them.
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Old 09-14-20, 09:25 AM
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Never ride farther on old tires than you're willing to walk home.
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Old 09-14-20, 09:46 AM
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The cheap tires on my mountain bike were 30+ years old when I gave the bike away 2 years ago. Still had tread and nothing but hairline cracks in the rubber which hadn't hardened. Fine for the recreational cyclists.

Do change at least the tube though. While it was sitting in my garage I heard what sounded like gun shot 3 years ago. I didn't find anything unusual when I looked. The next day when leaving in my car I noticed something on the hood. It was the valve stem from my back tube. That could be a problem even at 20 kph (12 mph) on a road with car traffic.

My guess is most road bike tires will wear out long before age is a concern. But in the event the tire sits for many years I would give it a close inspection if it's under 10 years old If older then that, I would replace it and the tube if so equipped for peace of mind considering the speeds one might achieve, especially down hill.
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Old 09-14-20, 06:46 PM
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I had a 700 x 20 foldable clincher hanging in my basement for 30 years (never used). One day I decided to throw it on the rear of my everyday rider. I got 3,000 miles and one flat out of it.
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Old 09-15-20, 03:23 PM
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CheGiantForLife
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My 15-20 year old tires are not dry or cracking. Tons of tread. Always indoors. I will keep using them.
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