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How much does tread direction affect riding?

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How much does tread direction affect riding?

Old 03-21-21, 01:43 PM
  #1  
alpharalpha
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How much does tread direction affect riding?

Ok, I put my rear tire on backwards, was kind of a rushed job, has slime in tube and am wondering is this a big deal? I've always been a stickler for having them on the right way, but for the time being I don't feel like messing with it; it's not my primary rider, so just wondering, would I be doing any damage to the tire riding it this way, or significantly affect my resistance etc?
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Old 03-21-21, 01:45 PM
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Iride01
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Not much if you aren't operating near the edge of the envelope.

But if the tires have rotational markings on them to show you which way to mount them, then I'll go by their recommendation.
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Old 03-21-21, 01:55 PM
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Not a tire expert, but my guess is the direction of the chevrons mostly comes into play when the riding gets slick or mucky. The idea I believe is that the leading point of the chevron pushes crud away from the center of the tire. And that affect might even be minimal.

Doesn't look like these particular tires are meant to set any speed records, so the affect of their direction on your speed is probably undetectable, if anything at all.

But if you're gonna fret about it every time you go for a ride, just bite the bullet and change it. It's something you can do while eating chips and watching March Madness.
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Old 03-21-21, 02:00 PM
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A backwards tire chevron produces a huge amount of aesthetic drag.
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Old 03-21-21, 02:15 PM
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That tire? No difference.
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Old 03-21-21, 02:22 PM
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Chevrons on road bike tire treads are 99.998% marketing, with the remaining 0.002% being incorrect thinking.
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Old 03-21-21, 03:30 PM
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You'd have to look at the depth of the tread. They're designed to shed water outwards. The contact patch on a car tire is rectangular, so a tread on a regular highway tire (as opposed to snow or mud tire) is designed to move water off to the side to avoid hydroplaning. On a bike tire (as opposed to a car tire), the surface that is on the road is oval shaped and naturally sheds water outwards and minimizes hydroplaning. So the tread is probably not important. But, if the tread is backwards, any effect it would have, little as it may be, would be to push the water inward, possibly causing a little hydroplane effect.

I don't have any tubeless tires and have never dealt with slime in a tire. If I ever put a tire on backwards I take it off and do it the other way. I think the only directional tire I've dealt with recently is Continental Gatorskin. Frankly, I believe that tread pattern is too superficial to be meaningful, but the OCD part of me puts it on "correctly".
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Old 03-21-21, 03:44 PM
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the rear tire might smooth it's center before it might become an unwanted experience with it rotating unidirectionally.
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Old 03-21-21, 07:27 PM
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You won’t earn any points with the bike bunnies, unless they don’t notice. Just distract them with the bulge in your shorts.
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Old 03-21-21, 07:33 PM
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I think I’ve put hundreds of miles on backwards tires.
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Old 03-21-21, 07:39 PM
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Always put aesthetics first. So, whichever looks better.
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Old 03-21-21, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
I think Iíve put hundreds of miles on backwards tires.
Doesn't that subtract the miles? You have a few hundred to put on now!
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Old 03-22-21, 04:38 AM
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Google "tread splice". Sometimes directional arrows are there for a reason.
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Old 03-22-21, 04:49 AM
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It can unexpectedly assplode causing a catastrophic chain reaction which can lead to the end of the world.

Please correct this before it's too late.
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Old 03-22-21, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Google "tread splice". Sometimes directional arrows are there for a reason.
I'm sure high performance auto tire issues will affect his hybrid bike tire because of his high speed runs, and hard cornering, pulling all those G's with those plastic pedals.
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Old 03-22-21, 06:05 AM
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The contact patch on your bike tire is but a very thin line, so the treads on your tires are superfluous. They do nothing to sipe away water on wet pavement. It's just aesthetics. The tires I have on my commuter have 'city' tires have a 4-mm wide slick strip down the middle. This is all that makes contact with the ground most of the time, especially if I'm running higher pressure. The 'treads' outside of this strip provide no function.

On automobile tires where the contact patch is a much, much wider strip, the treads on uni-directional tires work to sipe away water toward the the front/side of the tire to reduce the possibility of hydroplaning, which is dangerous.

But having the treads pointing the rear, especially on the front tire, is an eyesore. Yours is at the rear, so no biggie. And if you have fenders on the back, even better.
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Old 03-22-21, 06:07 AM
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Tread direction itself doesn't matter in the least bit for a pavement tire like this. There are one or two high performance road tires that supposedly have directional casings, which promise to have lower resistance when rolling in the proper direction, but this is not one of those tires.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:48 AM
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pdlamb
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
I think Iíve put hundreds of miles on backwards tires.
Ditto. Never noticed any difference.
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Old 03-22-21, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Tread direction itself doesn't matter in the least bit for a pavement tire like this. There are one or two high performance road tires that supposedly have directional casings, which promise to have lower resistance when rolling in the proper direction, but this is not one of those tires.
haven't came across that with bicycle road tires.
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Old 03-22-21, 08:14 AM
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On hard surfaces it makes very little, if any, difference.

You might notice some difference if riding on soft surfaces like dirt or sand, when accelerating or braking. On directional off-road knobby tires you can tell a bit of a difference, but not so it makes the bike unsafe or bad to ride.

Chevron patterns on car tires are to squeeze water out of the way to prevent hydroplaning. Bike tires have too high pressure and travel at too low a speed to suffer from hydroplaning so it will make little or no difference on a wet hard surface.
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Old 03-22-21, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
haven't came across that with bicycle road tires.
I hadn't, either, but someone pointed out an example in a semi-recent thread. I was being literal when I said "one or two."
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Old 03-22-21, 08:56 AM
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On the road? My experience - as long as the tread rotates the same direction as the rim (and other wheel and in the direction of bike travel) it works for me. )

Real life - I ride both Paselas with directional patterns and Vittoria Gs with little on flip-flop hubs and flip the wheel frequently. Pay zero attention to how my tire is flipped and never noticed. On my wither fix gear with its regular track hub, I've run Paselas for years "backwards" to have the labels to the left as I look at my bikes fomr the left, not the right. They are always leaning right side to a rack or wall. If backwards tread was an issue, you'd think it wold show after the first 20 tires or so.
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Old 03-22-21, 09:07 AM
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So, after reading through this thread, if I understand the experts correctly, and since this is on the internet it must be true, when my tires are down to nothing, I can flip them around and run them backwards until the treads are back? WOW! I wish someone had told me that years ago. How much money I could have saved on tires...
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Old 03-22-21, 09:46 AM
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You can't convince me that tire manufacturers do any analysis or testing to determine proper tread direction.
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Old 03-22-21, 10:48 AM
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In my experience it makes absolutely zero difference on the road. I do think it makes a difference in mud, so I actually pay attention to those directional arrows on my CX bike.
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