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Tire Question

Old 02-23-12, 07:45 AM
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Tire Question

I just bought a 2001 Cannondale R600 Aero, in excellent condition. I intend to train for distance rides - a couple of centuries and the Ride Across Indiana (162 miles in one day) in late July. (I did a century last summer on my Trek fx 4.3.) I have a question about tires that came with the bike, and what to do next.

The rear tire is a new Forte Pro DC. The front us a Stradius Pro - I can't really tell how much life it has left. In my "review research", both tires get mixed responses - some excellent, some lousy. Since contributors to this forum seem to be well informed, I thought I would pose two scenarios:
1. replace the front tire with a forte to match the new rear tire, keeping the original front as emergency back up.

2. replace both tires, and keep the two that are on the bike as backups.
I don't want to get stuck 50 miles from home with an unrepairable flat, but I am also not flush with cash. Your thoughts, please
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Old 02-23-12, 08:40 AM
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Don't know about the specific tires you have, but there is a good article here https://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html about tires, and about when replace.


taken directly from the article -
  1. When the tread is worn so thin that you start getting a lot of flats from small pieces of glass and the like, or the fabric shows through the rubber.
  2. When the tire's fabric has been damaged, so that the tire has a lumpy, irregular appearance somewhere, or the tube bulges through the tire
have found this to match the experience I have had with tires and when mine have worn out.
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Old 02-23-12, 09:00 AM
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It looks to me as if that is Forte's version of a light weight race tire. Probably not the best for your use.

If you can swing it I would recommend getting something like a Michelin Krylion Carbon for the rear at least. They are currently being renamed the Pro 4 Endurance and the older Krylions can be found for $30 or less online. Front tires wear slowly compared to the rear so if you want to save some money now use one of your current tires up there until it wears out or you can afford a second Krylion.
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Old 02-23-12, 09:44 AM
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There's no need for tires to match front and rear, so that shouldn't be a factor. Replace either worn tire with the tire of your choice which needn't be either of the two you currently have.

Probably the most important consideration in tire selection is cross section. Many believe that narrower tires are more efficient, but that often isn't the case and for many a slightly wider tire will not only offer a better ride, and better protection from road hazards, but also have lower rolling friction. Here's a link to an article that discusses optimizing tire width and pressure for your weight. I use it to find the road tire width that will be best at between 85 and 105psi.

As for what to carry and what to ride, that's a bit trickier. My personal rule is to leave tires on rims until they wear out, of suffer fatal glass cuts, which here in NY usually happens first. If the tire is in good shape another 162 miles shouldn't be a killer, so you might as well start the trip with the older tires and carry one new one as a spare if you wish. If you do carry a spare, make sure that it isn't so tight that mounting it on the road is too difficult. Many tires these days are so tight that road repair is nearly impossible.

I generally don't carry spare tires for long trips, and have never needed one. The flats I get on the road have always been repairable punctures needing a new tube only. If I didn't trust my tires to go the trip I'd change them out first. One thing I specifically don't believe in is carrying an old tire as a spare. If it isn't reliable enough to be left in service, (especially with a spare as backup), it certainly isn't reliable to be your last hope. Your spare should be your best tire, because once it's used you're without backup.
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Old 02-23-12, 09:49 AM
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Front tires show nearly no wear after thousand of miles while rear tires wear out completely in much shorter distances. This is due to the rears being much more heavilly loaded and also taking the drive forces. You can demonstrate this by weighing a new front tire and then weighing it again after, say 5000 miles. The weight loss will be minimal and it's appearance nearly unchanged. The same procedure on a rear tire (if it even lasts that long) will show a substantial weight loss and be very obviously worn.

That doesn't mean a front tire can be used indeffinitely since it is subject to deterioration and age cracking due to oxidation and UV exposure. I typically buy my tires in sets of three and use one front tire for the life of two rear tires and then replace both.
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Old 02-23-12, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by HillRider
Front tires show nearly no wear after thousand of miles while rear tires wear out completely in much shorter distances.....
+100,000

In 45 years and well over 100,000 miles I've never worn out a front tire. Not one. Both the tubulars on my road bikes and the clinchers on my 26" commuter have always died from old age where the rain and UV finally destroyed the walls, or a glass cut finished them off early. I came close once, but no cigar. OTOH I've worn through a number of rear tires on the road bike, but never on the commuter where all my tires died from glass cuts.
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Old 02-23-12, 01:13 PM
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So isn't there also a potential here to rotate front and back --like we do on cars?
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Old 02-23-12, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dbg
So isn't there also a potential here to rotate front and back --like we do on cars?
Why bother? Some people do, but others use different tires front an back. There are some people who think that there's a benefit, to rotating, and put new tires up front moving the older one to the back, but I'm not one of them
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Old 02-23-12, 05:48 PM
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There's lots of tire choices.

My advice is, if you ride with a group, look around to see what they are using and get the same thing. I don't know if they'll be any better but, sooner or later, you'll have a puncture. If you're using the same kind of tire as everybody else you won't have to listen to the lecture about what crummy tires you have while everybody is standing around watching you fix your flat.
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Old 02-23-12, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dbg
So isn't there also a potential here to rotate front and back --like we do on cars?
Yes and no. You ALWAYS want your best tire in front so putting a partially worn rear tire there is not a good idea. However, once you wear out a rear tire you can install a new front tire and install the old front tire on the rear wheel.

BTW, despite front tires showing almost no wear after many thousands of miles, something does happen to them while in service. I've tried the "rotation" I described above by installing a high mileage front tire in back and replacing it with a new front tire. Despite it looking almost new, it lasted less than half as long as a truly new rear tire of the same make and model.
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