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Is aging tires still a thing?

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Is aging tires still a thing?

Old 01-21-23, 04:03 PM
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Atlas Shrugged
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Is aging tires still a thing?

The tubular vs clincher thread brought back some memories. Way back in the day I recall aging tubular tires in my parents basement as that way they lasted longer. Barnum was my daily use tire but I recall aging red silk tires but my memory fails me as to brand (help would be appreciated). I recall they were like a day or so wages each! Was aging really productive or was it like many things of that era a tradition? Is it relevant today?
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Old 01-21-23, 04:48 PM
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Your question made me curious, and I found this article. Apparently, since tubular tires are not vulcanized, they actually do continue to benefit from aging a few months.

https://www.cxmagazine.com/buying-tu...cess-explained
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Old 01-21-23, 05:00 PM
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Leonard Zinn asked several manufacturers about proper care for bicycle tires. None mentioned anything about aging being beneficial. All recommended storing the tires inflated on rims under conditions of moderate humidity and limited light exposure and keeping them away from ozone sources. One suggested that their tires can be stored for about 3 years under those conditions before beginning to deteriorate but that they can likely be safely used for another 3 years after that.

https://www.velonews.com/gear/techni...-unused-tires/
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Old 01-22-23, 12:54 AM
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Andrew_G
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
The tubular vs clincher thread brought back some memories. Way back in the day I recall aging tubular tires in my parents basement as that way they lasted longer. Barnum was my daily use tire but I recall aging red silk tires but my memory fails me as to brand (help would be appreciated). I recall they were like a day or so wages each! Was aging really productive or was it like many things of that era a tradition? Is it relevant today?
Generally speaking, aging tires is no longer required. In September of 2020, I emailed several bicycle tire manufacturers, and posed this question:
"Is there any benefit for today's bicycle tires to age a tubular or an open tubular (clincher tire)? In years past aging a tubular was supposed to make it more puncture resistant and more durable. If aging worked in the past but is not beneficial now, what has changed to make aging a tire unnecessary? Thank you."

Here are the three replies I received:
(1) From Veloflex:
"Ciao Andrew,

Seasoning tires nowadays is a bit less important than in the past, that's mainly due to the fact that with seasoning you give the time to the glues to cure and the rubber to vulcanize for some time again.
Today with new technological improvement in glues the tires are almost ready the day after, we found in some occasion to furnish tires to teams riding the Giro d'Italia that have been installed the week after, and no problem at all happened.

While the rubber has been ameliorated a lot, its seasoning times are reduced, anyway it will benefit for 3-6 months of seasoning in a dark room possibly not glued on a rim attached to the wall, this way the rubber finishes the vulcanization process that makes it a bit more resistant to abrasion.

So we're not talking anymore of one/two years of seasoning but a lot shorter time.

It's up to you to decide to install the tire immediately or wait for some period, anyway we always suggest to mount without glue the tire on a wheel and check that it keeps pressure overnight with a maximum appreciable pressure loss of 1-1,5 bars due to the latex inner tube.

If the tubular stays inflated then it's ready to be seasoned, just inflate it every one or two weeks to mantain its shape.

These last steps are unnecessary for clinchers as they don't have inner tubes.

Best regards, Veloflex Team."

(2) From Vittoria:
"Hi Andrew,

As advancements have been made to the materials that comprise our Corsa tubular and Open Corsa clinchers (especially in the rubber compounds and puncture resistant belts) it is really of no benefit to age a tubular any longer.

Sincerely, Luke"

(3) From Tufo:
"Dear Andrew,

Definitely this doesn’t work nowadays due to the new production technologies. Sorry for not going into the details.

Regards from Tufo Jana

Jana Halámková
Account Manager"

Lastly, I did see a few years ago that aging was suggested for FMB tires. However, I just checked FMB tires on the German retailer Bike 24 (https://www.bike24.com/brands/fmb) and a couple of the Open tubulars (i.e., clinchers) say that they have a "contemporary tread with a state of the art compound". There is no statement saying that aging (seasoning) of the tire is recommended.


Andrew G.
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Old 01-22-23, 08:27 AM
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When I was racing back in the 80's and 90's I would stretch my sewups, Conti 250 sprinters and Vittoria Corsa GTs, on old rims, inflate them and store them in a closet. Usually for the season as spares or the next season as needed. Whether it made them "better"...eh who knows. I certainly could not tell the difference but riding/racing on sewups is awesome.
Miss them but not the cost and effort lol.
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Old 01-22-23, 10:38 AM
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At the risk of going into conspiracy territory, my opinion is that there is certainly no harm in aging a tubular for a while as long as it is under the proper conditions and the timeframe does not go into into the double digits. Whether or not any performance enhancements can be realized may be debated, but what cannot be debated is the fabulous orange color that a natural sidewall gets with a year ( or several) of proper storage.
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Old 01-22-23, 12:12 PM
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Just like any other cargo cult practice, I'm sure it's still a thing.
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Old 01-22-23, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew_G View Post
....
(2) From Vittoria:
"Hi Andrew,

As advancements have been made to the materials that comprise our Corsa tubular and Open Corsa clinchers (especially in the rubber compounds and puncture resistant belts) it is really of no benefit to age a tubular any longer.

Sincerely, Luke"

(3) From Tufo:
"Dear Andrew,

Definitely this doesn’t work nowadays due to the new production technologies. Sorry for not going into the details.

Regards from Tufo Jana

Jana Halámková
Account Manager"

....
Andrew G.
so you're saying that I've waited long enough to use the Vittoria Giro D'Italia tubies that came with my 1974 Raleigh International?
They still hold air, amazingly!



They've spent most of their existence in dark places, and never been glued.
I got the bike in 2000, and the bike had been boxed up before that. I suppose if I was going to try riding them, that would have been the time.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 01-25-23, 06:37 AM
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My apologies for the late comment here, but the source below was having site problems the day this thread was posted.

FWIW, here's what the late Jobst Brandt had to say on the subject of aging tubular tires roughly 2 decades ago:

Q: What advantage is there in aging tubulars?
A: None!

Brandt's complete explanation can be found here.
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Old 01-25-23, 07:20 AM
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I would not recommend aging clinchers! At least, not for as long as I did inadvertantly. I bought an extra Schwalbe Marathon Plus and it sat in a clothes closet for 6-7 years before I got around to using it. The sidewalls were soon cracking (but not so much as to make it un-useable) after installation and use. I'll still ride it for years until it fails.
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