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Tire ripped in center while braking

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Tire ripped in center while braking

Old 10-16-15, 09:21 PM
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Tire ripped in center while braking

I got a pair of grand prix 4 seasons just a couple weeks ago and today a car was making a turn and stopped in the middle of the road (instead of just completing the turn and avoiding a chance for a collision) so I braked fairly hard but only a minimal amount skid , next thing I hear a pop and check my tire and theres about a 2 inch rip right in the center of the tire. I didn't run over anything. Is this a defect? Tire pressure? I calied the seller and they're shipiping me a new one free of charge which is awesome, but I want to know if it's sone thing I did so I can avoid it or if it was just a faulty tire.
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Old 10-16-15, 09:24 PM
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How could anybody even make a guess with this little information and not having the opportunity to see the tire?
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Old 10-16-15, 09:27 PM
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It's actually fairly easy to burn (wear) through the entire tread, and sub tread in a single braking. Ask parents of active boys riding their first coaster breake bike about this.

So if you panic stopped, using mostly the rear brake, and locked up the rear wheel in doing so, I'd chalk it up to a wear through, as I described. You'll also see less worn areas feathering out around the most worn sections, in all for directions.

OTOH- if you don't see the wear pattern, and the tire doesn't show wear surrounding the blown out area, then something else is going on.

Also keep in mind that if you skid into and across a sharp stone, or glass shard embedded in the pavement, it'll slice a tire the same way it would your arm if you brushed across it with any pressure. Tires do a decent job handling obstructions when they toll over them, but if sliding (like in a skid), they're no better off than anything else.
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Old 10-16-15, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
How could anybody even make a guess with this little information and not having the opportunity to see the tire?
Yes and no.

We can't, and shouldn't guess based on so little info. But there are clues, ie. a fairly hard braking with a minimal skid. So we can reference those clues and help the OP understand what might have happened, and provide some context by way of personal experience of a similar event.

Of course we can't know, but can offer some insights, which is about all anybody should expect from a forum like BF.
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Old 10-16-15, 09:40 PM
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It sounds like a defect to me, unless you're putting on over 1500 miles a week

I think there was someone recently who had a small cut/tear right in the center of their tire, where the was an obvious seam in the rubber, and then managed to split it open when inflated to high pressure.

I think this was the thread, but the pictures are missing.
http://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-me...re-repair.html
GP4000s2 on that one. Hole was right in the center of the tread, then split open when he ove
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Old 10-17-15, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I think there was someone recently who had a small cut/tear right in the center of their tire, where the was an obvious seam in the rubber, and then managed to split it open when inflated to high pressure.
How can you have a seam down the center of a vulcanized bicycle tire? There may be some parting flash from the mold, but I don't think there are any seams.
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Old 10-17-15, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
How can you have a seam down the center of a vulcanized bicycle tire? There may be some parting flash from the mold, but I don't think there are any seams.
Correcto --- there are no seams. What people call a seam is the flash which is the result of the seam in the mold. The rubber is continuous. Much more important the cloth body plies below are also continuous made by folding a cloth strip with the fabric running on the bias at 45° under and around the beads and back to an overlap at the center tread. (see picture here) So here too, a seam of any kind is impossible. If a tire splits down the center, either the cloth plies were damaged at some point or the adhesive allowed the plies to slip past each other. Either way, you'd clearly see frayed ends. A smooth split of any kind implies a cut from an unknown source.
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Old 10-17-15, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dingblok View Post
I got a pair of grand prix 4 seasons just a couple weeks ago and today a car was making a turn and stopped in the middle of the road (instead of just completing the turn and avoiding a chance for a collision) so I braked fairly hard but only a minimal amount skid , next thing I hear a pop and check my tire and theres about a 2 inch rip right in the center of the tire. I didn't run over anything. Is this a defect? Tire pressure? I calied the seller and they're shipiping me a new one free of charge which is awesome, but I want to know if it's sone thing I did so I can avoid it or if it was just a faulty tire.
More front brake next time.
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Old 10-17-15, 01:26 PM
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I've never heard of this with Conti. They have really good quality control too. I can't imagine how a skid on a tire a couple weeks old can produce a tear in the thread. Most likely it was a prior cut from some road hazard
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Old 10-17-15, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
I've never heard of this with Conti. They have really good quality control too. I can't imagine how a skid on a tire a couple weeks old can produce a tear in the thread. Most likely it was a prior cut from some road hazard
I agree. A minor skid alone shouldnt toast a tire that new.
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Old 10-18-15, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
I've never heard of this with Conti. They have really good quality control too. I can't imagine how a skid on a tire a couple weeks old can produce a tear in the thread. Most likely it was a prior cut from some road hazard
The only thing I could think is that the road I was on, the bike lane is very coarse so maybe it tore it up and there was construction recentky so bit if stuff couldve been there. There was nothing obvious though. But you're probably right about running over something prior, must've been earlier in that ride.

And homebrew, I'll have to remember to use my front brake more. I just remember flipping over the front so many times when messing around with friends as a kid.


Could tire pressure contribute to a tear? I.e. too high or low?
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Old 10-18-15, 07:16 AM
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I'd be interested in seeing a pic of the tire. IIRC Grand Prix tires have a puncture protection belt in them, and those belts are tough. Glad to see they are taking care of you with a replacement. Don't be afraid of that front brake. You get about 70% of your stopping power from it.
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Old 10-18-15, 08:24 AM
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I have totally killed brand new GP4000s by skidding them on rougher pavement.

Can you avoid it, yes - don't skid your tire. Sometimes this is unavoidable, like when a car stops right in front of you and it's either grab a handful of brake or slam into the car. Replacing a $50 tire is a lot cheaper than repairing a cracked carbon bike and a broken collarbone.
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Old 10-18-15, 12:39 PM
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I still have the Continental Grand Prix 4000-S sitting in the garage with the "mother of all skids". Rear tire.
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Old 10-18-15, 03:43 PM
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I wonder if different tires have different amounts of skid resistance.

I saw a guy a few weeks ago with a blow-out from skidding, walking towards meeting his ride home.

I've been mostly riding Origin8 Elimin8ers over the last year (plus other tires in the winter). I've had a few skids avoiding "right hooks", taking off some tread, but leaving the tire usable.

A couple of months ago (maybe 2500 miles on the tires), I decided to test a few emergency stops (from 30 mph and 20 mph). Left some long green stripes on the driveway and road. The Elimin8ers have a dual color casing. Colored on the outside, black on the inside, and a couple of large black patches were showing after the skid test. I thought my tire was done in, but I've now put about 1500 more miles on them, and they're looking even balder, but still going strong. Still hoping to find that mythical kevlar layer. Soon....

Ayway, that black inner layer both provides a good wear marker, and seems to wear forever.

And, no flats lately, perhaps because there is hardly any rubber for stuff to get stuck in.
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Old 10-19-15, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I wonder if different tires have different amounts of skid resistance.
They do, a softer more supple tire like the GP4000s isn't going to stand up to a skid like a harder tire like a gatorskin. I have gatorskins on my track bike and skid them to stop at times, if I did that to a set of GP4000s, I'd need a new rear tire every week.
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Old 10-19-15, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
I still have the Continental Grand Prix 4000-S sitting in the garage with the "mother of all skids". Rear tire.


Seriously, you guys.
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Old 10-19-15, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post


Seriously, you guys.

tire - Album on Imgur

Sorry forgot to upload them. Don't know if they'll help
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Old 10-19-15, 05:30 PM
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Wow, that was a serious skid, more than your "so I braked fairly hard but only a minimal amount skid".

Some years ago, I needed to emergency brake on a steep downhill. So I grabbed both front and rear brakes. The back wheel immediately locked up, and I started fishtailing due to the very limited traction on my rear wheel. Scary! Letting off both brakes temporarily let me recover.

Now, on hard or emergency braking, I only use the front wheel. Practice on an open road with no cars. It has to be a learned response.

A crop of your photo:



From the Sheldon Brown link:
Skidding the rear wheel also wears the rear tire very quickly. A single rear-brake-only stop from 50 km/h (30 mph) with a locked rear wheel can wear the tread of a road tire right down to the fabric!

Maximum braking occurs when the front brake is applied so hard that the rear wheel is just about to lift off. At that point, the slightest amount of rear brake will cause the rear wheel to skid.
Attached Images
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skid.JPG (41.2 KB, 38 views)

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Old 10-19-15, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dingblok View Post
Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
A crop of your photo:
I'm going to have to agree with that being a serious amount of skidding, and not a tire defect.

I think you should offer to buy the replacement tire.

In a sense, it isn't surprising that one can take off 1/8" or more tire tread with a single skid, and to have that be most of one's tire.

The grippier tires should be better for cornering and stopping, but skidding seems to be their Achilles heal.

There are some tires designed to withstand some moderate skidding.

For example the Thick Slick.
Thickslick | Freedom Bicycle

Or
Schwalbe Durano Skid Performance Tire.
Schwalbe 700X25 Durano Skid Performance Folding ? SoCal Bike
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Old 10-19-15, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dingblok View Post
tire - Album on Imgur

Sorry forgot to upload them. Don't know if they'll help
Oh wow, that is impressive. I've done plenty of panic skids, but never worn all the way through the fabric like that.
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Old 10-19-15, 08:43 PM
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I'll have to learn to use the front brake. Thanks for the help guys. I was just surprised that it got busted after that skid as the tires I had on before were like 13 years old and what I thought were comparable skids faired fine.

And to cliffordk, the replacement has already shipped out and arrived at my school so I think I'll take this as break on my wallet but jenson will be sure to have my business.
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Old 10-19-15, 09:05 PM
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When I was a high school kid last century I burned a 27" tire almost to the rim in a panic stop when a car right hooked me at the bottom of a steep hill. It was a long walk uphill home.

Tire technology is quite improved since the 60's but the physics remains unchanged
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Old 10-20-15, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
From the Sheldon Brown link:
Skidding the rear wheel also wears the rear tire very quickly. A single rear-brake-only stop from 50 km/h (30 mph) with a locked rear wheel can wear the tread of a road tire right down to the fabric!

Maximum braking occurs when the front brake is applied so hard that the rear wheel is just about to lift off. At that point, the slightest amount of rear brake will cause the rear wheel to skid.
The rubber on a road tire is fairly thin. I once burned down to the casing during a skid (pump fell into the rear wheel) and don't skid the rear tires on road bikes any more.

Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Wow, that was a serious skid, more than your "so I braked fairly hard but only a minimal amount skid".

Some years ago, I needed to emergency brake on a steep downhill. So I grabbed both front and rear brakes. The back wheel immediately locked up, and I started fishtailing due to the very limited traction on my rear wheel. Scary! Letting off both brakes temporarily let me recover.

Now, on hard or emergency braking, I only use the front wheel. Practice on an open road with no cars. It has to be a learned response.
Saying "never use the rear brake" is as bad...if not worse...than saying "never use the front brake". People who are afraid of the front brake are generally newbies who don't know any better and can be excused for their ignorance. People who are afraid of using their rear brake are presumably more knowledgeable and have no real excuse.

Yes, you get the most braking power out of the front brake and, yes, the maximum possible deceleration for a bicycle is on the front brake alone. However there is a caveat on the maximum possible deceleration statement. That is the maximum possible deceleration before the rider is pitched over the handlebars. It's a mathematical limit and not a practical one. Up to the point where the rear wheel leaves the ground, the rear wheel contributes about 20% of your deceleration. That's a lot to be pitching out the window when you need to stop in a hurry.

You and Sheldon Brown have it wrong on how to stop in an emergency. Your bike skidding on a downhill under heavy braking is simply physics. When you apply the (both) brakes, the system shifts the weight forward onto the front wheel. If you reach the point where the rear wheel has lost contact with the ground and starts to slide, that means that the weight transfer is too much and you are at risk of continuing further forward and of the bars if you apply more force to the brakes. The bike...or any vehicle, really...also starts to lose control as the rear wheel slides. The best thing to do is to put the rear wheel back in contact with the ground so that you stop fishtailing and gain control. The way to do this is to get off the front brake. This puts the tire back down on the ground and lets you regain control of the bike. You were right to let off the brakes.

Now you may be thinking that your wheel won't skid if you stay off the rear brake, which is true. However, you also have nothing to tell you when the rear wheel is lifted off the ground and you are applying too much front brake and are headed for disaster. Using the rear brake and feeling for that point where the rear wheel is starting to slide rather than roll will tell you how far you can go with your brakes without ending up face down on the pavement. Without the sliding feeling, you have no idea if you've applied too much or too little brake.

The best way to approach a hard stop is to use both brakes and push back and down over the saddle with the pedals parallel to the ground. This moves the center of gravity of the bike down and back which greatly increases the amount of deceleration you can generate before you are over the bars. Moving the CG back 2" to 4" and down the same amount increases the deceleration that you can generate from 0.5g to around 0.9g. This is particularly important on downhills where your CG is already moved forward and the amount of deceleration you can generate before going over the bars is sharply decreased.

This is standard mountain bike riding, by the way. You'll not find too many mountain bikers who will advocate using only the front brake...at least not too many that still have their front teeth.
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Old 10-23-15, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
...snip...
Now you may be thinking that your wheel won't skid if you stay off the rear brake, which is true. However, you also have nothing to tell you when the rear wheel is lifted off the ground and you are applying too much front brake and are headed for disaster. Using the rear brake and feeling for that point where the rear wheel is starting to slide rather than roll will tell you how far you can go with your brakes without ending up face down on the pavement. Without the sliding feeling, you have no idea if you've applied too much or too little brake.
...
That makes sense. Going for maximum braking would really benefit from multiple practice sessions to get good at the correct braking effort and bike feel. I see that Sheldon advocates pedaling while doing the hard braking exercises. That way, when the back tire starts to lift or lose traction, the pedaling suddenly gets easy and you know you've reached the limit.

Maximum braking situations are kind of by definition dangerous, unexpected events. That's a real skill to get it all correct instantly.
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