Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

clincher tire direction of rotation

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

clincher tire direction of rotation

Old 09-22-21, 05:42 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 478
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 193 Post(s)
Liked 106 Times in 84 Posts
clincher tire direction of rotation

Lately I am finding a tire rotation arrow on even my road tires. Some are difficult to read as with the black on black with the Specialized tires and some are nearly impossible to read as with the Continental Grand Prix 4-season tires. If is is important I would have thought that the tire manufacturers would make it easy to read the notation and see the direction of the arrow. Does anyone know about the importance of the direction of rotation on a non-tubular road bike tire?
Calsun is offline  
Old 09-22-21, 05:49 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,819
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1426 Post(s)
Liked 865 Times in 458 Posts
I have experimented with tire direction in the past with the GP4000, Super Sport, and Ultra Sport and found that it made absolutely zero difference in the rain or dry as far as grip goes. It also made zero difference in rolling resistance and noise.
I also experimented with the Conti 700x38 City Ride and found it made zero difference in rolling resistance and grip in rain or dry. One difference that was noticed was noise, but that was it. Not sure why there are rotation marks on tires with seemingly little to no tread other than to legitimize the "sipping" tread design, although it seems to not matter in the least.
TiHabanero is offline  
Old 09-22-21, 05:52 PM
Friendship is Magic
3alarmer's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Tomato
Posts: 20,565

Bikes: old ones

Mentioned: 292 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23347 Post(s)
Liked 6,767 Times in 4,846 Posts
...it's mostly about the tread design, and wet weather. Not sure it makes a lot of difference, but the tread is designed to shed water off to the sides, in theory. So you want those wavy things pointing backward as the tyre rotates. It does definitely make a difference on car tires.

3alarmer is offline  
Old 09-22-21, 06:00 PM
working on my sandal tan
ThermionicScott's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 21,935

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers), All-City Space Horse (hers)

Mentioned: 95 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3570 Post(s)
Liked 1,960 Times in 1,251 Posts
I'm sure it's there on slick road tires because people needed to know which way to put them on.
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 09-22-21, 06:30 PM
It's MY mountain
DiabloScott's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Posts: 9,529

Bikes: Klein, Merckx, Trek

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3405 Post(s)
Liked 1,704 Times in 926 Posts
Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
it made absolutely zero difference in the rain or dry as far as grip goes. It also made zero difference in rolling resistance and noise.
Makes no difference with tubulars either.
DiabloScott is offline  
Old 09-22-21, 06:52 PM
Senior Member
tempocyclist's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 406

Bikes: 2002 Trek 5200 (US POSTAL), 2020 Canyon Aeroad SL

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Liked 299 Times in 153 Posts
I've mounted my GP4000 tyres the "wrong" way around by accident before. Rode many miles. Makes zero difference.

I'd speculate that the directional arrow is there so people don't ask which way to mount the tyre, and also so the tyre looks good in photos with logos or sidewall patterns lined up. #marketing
tempocyclist is offline  
Old 09-22-21, 07:07 PM
Senior Member
Flatforkcrown's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Barboursville, Va
Posts: 286

Bikes: N+1

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Liked 392 Times in 154 Posts
I have a tubular mounted the wrong way, and I didnít even notice until I had had a couple rides on it.
Flatforkcrown is offline  
Old 09-22-21, 09:58 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Mt Shasta, CA, USA
Posts: 2,045

Bikes: Too many. Cannondale SuperSix, Trek Remedy 8, Trek Crossrip+ get the most ride time.

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 489 Post(s)
Liked 264 Times in 203 Posts
Pretty much irrelevant, to a point as a professional mechanic I prefer to have some rotation direction indicator on all tires because I'm paranoid about missing one, even on a tire that doesn't need it, because it's something that could be "wrong" for the customer. If there isn't one, I just have to methodically inspect the entire tire surface.
cpach is offline  
Likes For cpach:
Old 09-23-21, 06:00 AM
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
rm -rf's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,513
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 815 Post(s)
Liked 221 Times in 165 Posts
The GP5000 tires have the annoying "shark fins", a supposed "tread" on the sidewalls. Some riders care if the fins are pointing in the right direction. It's a style thing, but doesn't affect riding.
rm -rf is offline  
Old 09-23-21, 07:29 AM
Iride01's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 10,656

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 40 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4305 Post(s)
Liked 2,865 Times in 1,994 Posts
If you don't ride down twisty trails at 50 mph or otherwise near the edge of performance the tires are designed for, then probably not a big deal. If for some reason they wear out sooner, well, then you'll know. Or at least have some anecdotal experience to support believing one way or the other.

If a tire has a rotational arrow, I mount it as the arrow indicates. If I don't see it and later notice the tire is on backwards, then I change it. Not so much that I'm worried about safety and performance concerns it might cause, but just because it bugs me knowing that arrow is pointing the wrong way.
Iride01 is offline  
Likes For Iride01:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.