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Tire Opinion Please-Folding or Wire?

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View Poll Results: Folding-Wire-No Preference
FOLDING TIRES
21
65.63%
WIRE BEAD
6
18.75%
NO PREFERENCE
5
15.63%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

Tire Opinion Please-Folding or Wire?

Old 05-11-21, 07:08 PM
  #1  
Bigbus
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Tire Opinion Please-Folding or Wire?

I know which I prefer and why, but I would really like to hear what others think. If money and weight is not an issue, do you prefer folding tires or wire bead and most importantly, WHY?
Thanks in advance for all replies.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:05 PM
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Bill in VA
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For me it is simple. On a vintage bike with a NON-hook bead rim, wired-on. A folding tire will blow off a non-hooked rim at a lower pressure all things being equal. There used to be some tight folding tires designed for the older rims, but they are long gone. They later had warnings on the package "NOT for non-hook bead rims". It was a luck of the draw situation with Japanese tires and some handmade Italian clinchers being usable, but going to a wire-on was far easier. I did carry a folder as an emergency spare.

If the rim is a hook bead, folding all the way, for storage and for less weight.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:10 PM
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Interesting question. I'm not aware of any reason to choose wire beads other than they are cheap.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:16 PM
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I don’t think I’ve bought a wire bead tire in years. Except for the vintage rim issue above, you are basically just adding weight to save a few bucks.

If I had a fleet of bikes, it might be different answer.

John
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Old 05-11-21, 08:18 PM
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clinchers. It's usually what the preferred tires come in for my use.
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Old 05-11-21, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
If money and weight is not an issue, do you prefer folding tires or wire bead
Money and weight are kind of the only issues.
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Old 05-11-21, 10:45 PM
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The tires I have is wire bead. Same tire model and size but folding is 2X the price at my LBS!!

No way I'd buy folding unless I'm riding for 1000 miles and it only stays in my toolbag as emergency spare.
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Old 05-12-21, 06:12 AM
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I am a notorious cheapskate and stopped buying folding tires once I stopped racing. Outside of racing I don't see any reason to spend and extra dollar for a folding tire. Just not enough difference between them in a low performance setting to justify the extra cost. With that said, if you are a typical bike dork, you will buy folding and think it is the bees knees.
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Old 05-12-21, 06:23 AM
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Tubulars, anyone?
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Old 05-12-21, 06:46 AM
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I've got a couple folding tires I'll pack for traveling spares. The rest of my stash is less expensive wired beads.
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Old 05-12-21, 09:23 AM
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Wire, please

Would only buy folding tires for packing if going on a long trip. First and only one I tried was an absolute bear to get on the rim; in fact I bent the rim trying to get it on. Not that they are all like that, but once burned, twice shy.
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Old 05-12-21, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Tubulars, anyone?
Come on Phil, that wasn't an option...haha
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Old 05-12-21, 09:39 AM
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Personal experience here. For years I've been using folding tires on my bikes for no particular reason than availability in the size and tread pattern I wanted at the time. I recently picked up a wire bead Vittoria Randoneur for cheap and was really surprised at the ease of installation compared with folders. Hardly any massaging at all to smooth out the bead seat and the ride is surprisingly softer than the folder I have on the front and definitely more comfortable than the folder I replaced. Weight's not an issue with me because I am just out for the enjoyment of riding and the exercise. Thanks for all your responses so far, I have really enjoyed reading them.
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Old 05-12-21, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckles1 View Post
Would only buy folding tires for packing if going on a long trip. First and only one I tried was an absolute bear to get on the rim; in fact I bent the rim trying to get it on. Not that they are all like that, but once burned, twice shy.
IMO from the experiences I've had with the varieties & options; there's no rhyme or reason with the type of bead/casing for how much effort it might take. Matter in fact, I had two of the same brand/model/size tires that were different for mounting effort. I bought both tires at the same time, but a la carte & not as a pair in one package.
The last folding tire i installed was a Pirelli Velo tubeless ready on a carbon [iirc 50mm] wheel. Was easy. Kevlar tends to be easier to slip on when the tire & wheel are colder. Like under 40F colder.
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Old 05-12-21, 01:11 PM
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Recently I though I'd cut up a wire bead Specialized touring tire for disposal. There wasn't just one wire per bead. Inside each bead there were 3 wires! Just what in the heck was the reason for this massive overkill? The tread of the tire has a mesh of wires embedded inside just like car tires. It was just a crazy amount of overengineering. Oh yeah- the tire failed because the sidewall developed a bulge and started splitting open. All those steel wires didn't prevent that.
But yeah to answer the original question, there is no reason for wire bead tires to exist anymore. Please don't encourage them.
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Old 05-12-21, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Tubulars, anyone?
Not in recent years. But I still have the wheels I built many years back and they are still in decent shape. It would be a hoot to get some tubular cyclocross tires for those wheels.

Otto
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Old 05-12-21, 03:08 PM
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No preference. First 10 years of riding was on wire beads. But folding tires became so common that I bought them because they were there.

I could ride a wire bead and a folding and not know the difference. Never felt different, never noticed a difference switching, I just ride my bike.
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