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Do bike tires go bad with age?

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Do bike tires go bad with age?

Old 04-14-21, 11:34 PM
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robertj298 
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Do bike tires go bad with age?

I'm looking at some older Vittoia Rubino3 tires that are new in the original box
for $55 for the pair. Would these tires still be good?
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Old 04-15-21, 12:05 AM
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alo
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I think nobody can tell you with those specific tires.

Rubber and tires do deteriorate with age. They may deteriorate more rapidly when exposed to sunlight. Then not all tires are the same. Many are still good after several years.

I would not pay very much for old tires.
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Old 04-15-21, 12:34 AM
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I installed a NOS set of tires on the bike that I ride in Jamaica. In one season and just into the second season, they failed utterly. Will I ever use old NOS tires again, on a bike I ride? Not a chance.

Taken at the beginning of season two (I ride between three and four thousand kilometers each season, while wintering in Jamaica)...


Taken the day, or two, after the failure. The gumwalls were in a nasty state of repair...


While on the subject, old plastic rim liners are NOT to be trusted, either...


I bought a set of tires in Jamaica and they are darn near bullet proof...
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Old 04-15-21, 12:43 AM
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I've had some 28 Paselas for ages that steal my beer, act obnoxious and are often aggressive towards me and my wife. I'll say they've gone bad.
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Old 04-15-21, 04:34 AM
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Yes.
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Old 04-15-21, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Yes.
I second that, shall we vote?
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Old 04-15-21, 09:18 AM
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Strange. I had an 88 Miyata mtn bike that had the original Miyata tires on it. They still looked really nice.
No cracks in the sidewalls and they looked almost new.
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Old 04-15-21, 09:49 AM
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Simple answer is YES.

More complicated answer is that all tires deteriorate, but at differing rates depending on how they were stored, where they were stored, what rubber compound etc...
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Old 04-15-21, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Rocket-Sauce View Post
Simple answer is YES.

More complicated answer is that all tires deteriorate, but at differing rates depending on how they were stored, where they were stored, what rubber compound etc... also YES, but with more details.
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Old 04-15-21, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by robertj298 View Post
I'm looking at some older Vittoia Rubino3 tires that are new in the original box
for $55 for the pair. Would these tires still be good?
How old are we talking about? FWIW, I wouldn't say this is much of a deal if the tires are more than a few years old. If I found them in my garage and needed to use them, I might give it a try.
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Old 04-15-21, 11:02 AM
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Most definitely. Same for brake pads. UV light, oxygen and ozone are the primary culprits. Folks who ride vintage bikes with original tires and pads have a death wish as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 04-15-21, 05:28 PM
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a bit of a coincidence, but I had an issue with one of my own tires that I had put in storage for a few years.
It was actually a set of wheels with the same tires that I'd been using when I had decided to change to a set of wheels with wider tires.
The old tires were in good shape with little wear. No degradation was obvious, and they were being stored in the same room where I keep all of my spare tires (a spare bedroom).

Well, I was about 18 miles into the ride and on the way home when I felt a bit of a vibration. I had just turned onto a different road, so it might have just been undulations in the road surface, but I pulled over and took a quick look. The bulge in the tire suggested some broken cords, so I let a little air out (to avoid more cords breaking), and headed for the shortest route home.

I got within a mile of home when the tube blew. When I stopped and looked closer, I could see that there were some sections of tread coming off of the cords. Not good, and I thought about it during the walk home. (thank goodness it was a bike with SPD pedals!)

When I had time to pull the tire off and take a closer look, I discovered that it wasn't just the tread delaminating from the cords, the cords had also delaminated from the tire's interior surface! I think the tube must have pushed between the layers of the cords or just pushed around them.





I haven't looked in my records to see if I can figure out when I put these tires on. No idea when they were made... although these are Michelin Pro 3, and I know I've got some Pro 4 tires in a different size, so maybe these were old stock when I got them?

This isn't to suggest that this will happen with other tires, but I suppose that this sort of problem, if it will happen, will be less likely when new (just a guess).

At the other end of the scale, I've got the Vittoria Giro D'Italia tubulars that came with my '74 Raleigh International. The tread is still bonded to the cords and it still holds air. I'm not brave enough to actually ride on them, though!




Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-15-21, 05:44 PM
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It depends on how they're stored. Exposure to heat, UV light, and/or ozone will accelerate degradation. Cool, dark, dry storage means they can last a long time. Premium tubular tires would be aged prior to sale and use to give the rubber a chance to harden a bit. I have some 30+ year old tubulars that still look new and hold full pressure:
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