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4 month old tires returnable?

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4 month old tires returnable?

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Old 07-28-08, 08:39 PM
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Rob_E
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4 month old tires returnable?

About 4 months back I bought some new tires, Specialized Infinities. The purchase was not entirely on purpose (I thought I was getting Armadillos), but the tires were cheap enough, and I thought they'd at least carry me through the summer when I'd get the tires I wanted. I thought they might wear more quickly than I wanted or that they might flat more often. I have had two flats (one was a good-sized nail, but the other appeared to be a staple), but the tread has held up well so far, but I've noticed the tires seem to be cracking. I took some pics, but I don't know how well you can see it. They're cracking along the edge of the bottle-dynamo track (I don't use a bottle dynamo), and they're cracking at the edge of the actual tread, along the outer edge of the sidewall.

Sorry about the oversized pictures, but the cracks don't show up as well in pics when I shrink the photos:







I don't know if this is normal or not. I'm used to running my tires until they get thin enough that I'm getting regular flats, but these look like they're heading towards a more sudden end before the treads are actually worn.

Is this normal wear? They've got about 1100 miles on them, and I really don't have an idea of how much life I should get out of a set of relatively inexpensive (about $25 each, I think) tires. But they're failing (or look like they're failing) in such a weird way, I wondered if it would be reasonable to try to return them? I expect to replace them, regardless, I just wonder if this is normal wear and/or if it would constitute a justifiable return.

What say the seasoned commuters?
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Old 07-28-08, 08:52 PM
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Generally rubber cracking isn't a problem. However.

The issue isn't really "justifiable return." People come up with justifications all the time that won't get warranty service. I have a retail store and I end up in the middle regularly.

It's a warranty issue. Here's the generic specialized warranty linked from the infinity tire description:

"Warranties

All of our products come with the regular Specialized warranty. You are getting brand new stuff just as you would if you were to walk into one of our dealers. Our basic warranty for equipment is a 1 year warranty against any kind of manufacturing or structural defects. The only exception is our computers which are covered by a 2 year warranty. For information on if an item is covered by warranty or how to process a warranty contact one of our Dealers or call our customer service department M-F (excluding holidays) between 7am & 5pm at: (877) 808-8154. Please note that any item bought from one of our dealers needs to be taken back to that dealer."

Is this a manufacturing or structural defect? Possibly. The rubber might be the wrong composition. If so, they'll be aware of it by now. Or just take back to the dealer as directed under the warranty.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:21 PM
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Unfortunate, especially after being sold tires you really didn't want to begin with.

If you're close to All Star anyway, I might stop in and ask them what they think. Express concern for your safety and see how it goes. I think this might get you further than walking in asking for something.

That said, I don't think I'd worry about it personally. I've had tires crack before without issue.
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Old 07-28-08, 09:30 PM
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Looks like normal road cuts.
I get lots of cuts from glass. Had four flats last week from glass.

I put on a New Tire last night.
30 miles on the road and this Tiny Wire gave me a Flat.

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Old 07-28-08, 09:34 PM
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Looks almost exactly like the wire that flatted my Armadillo recently.

I don't agree that what we're seeing is road cuts though.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:38 PM
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Lets disspell one misconception here.

Specialized makes two types of tyre and multiple models. One type is the Flak Jacket (the tyre may have a picture of a dog on the label) the other is Armadillo (the eponymous 'dillo will grace the label instead of the dog). Given the price you paid for those tyres (I think you said $25), they're probably Flak Jacket Infinity tyres.

as for the cracking... I'd say that you should check your pressure more regularly. Make sure its not above or below the rated range for that tyre. 1100 miles is a respectable milage for many tyres but I wouldn't be surprised that a well maintained set of Infinities could last into the 3000s.
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Old 07-29-08, 07:43 AM
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I say buy some new tires. As said above, 1100 miles is a pretty respectable distance for low price tires. If they're really bothering you, buy some new ones, but I don't think that you should try to return them.
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Old 07-29-08, 07:50 AM
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Thanks for the input, everyone. Jeffs, I like your suggestion of just taking the tires to the shop and asking if they think it's a problem, rather than going in with the idea that I'm going to complain.

I know that I Flak Jacket tires rather than Armadillos, but it seems that even without protection of the Armadillos, the tires should not be cracking. These are not, I don't believe, normal road cuts from glass. I tried to photograph a section of tire that would give a good indication, but those cracks go all the way around. Unless I was riding through a glass-coated road, I don't think I would get that even of coverage of glass cuts. Plus the cracks along the dynamo track are on the sidewall, where the tire shouldn't be hitting the road anyway. I would have attribute them to the tire not holding up when it flexes.

Anyway, no matter how this goes with the bike shop, I'm going to be getting some better tires.
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