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Front wheel reversible?

Old 09-03-09, 02:48 PM
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goldenset
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Front wheel reversible?

Hey there fellow members,

I bought a set of Conti 4000 road tires. They were a #@$% to install (getting that last part of the bead was tough!). Then I realized they're directional tires and I installed the front one backwards. Instead of removing it, I figure I'd just flip the skewer (well, not needed really) but also flip the sensors for my HRM and cyclocomputer. I checked with an LBS and they asked what type of rims first. I said Bontrager Select (came with my ride years back), probably cheapish compared to what usually comes with mid-range bikes these days). i was informed some wheels are reversable but some aren't. But mine should be OK.

Are the Bontrager's reversable (front)? Are there rims that aren't reversible? I'm thinking, even if someone is rebuilding a rear wheel, reinstalling spokes and all, the rim itself could be reversible, rigth? Can't think of a reason why not as the spoke pattern on most bikes I see dont' seem to be directional, and not like motorcycle wheels where they would be.
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Old 09-03-09, 03:29 PM
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Yep shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 09-03-09, 03:36 PM
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I don't think you'll hurt anything, but I wouldn't even bother going to the trouble. Conti puts that arrow on the sidewall, but I never pay much attention to it and I've never noticed any difference in ride, cornering, or wear when I've installed it "backwards."
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Old 09-03-09, 03:39 PM
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Here are the only possible reasons I can think of why a front wheel would not be reversible:
--asymmetrical wheel due to space constraints (folding bike or recumbent bike)
--disc brake on one side
--wheel designed for one-sided attachment (that is, mono fork)

Ball bearings roll both directions. Spokes go both directions. The rim brake surface is the same in both directions.

That said, just like with symmetrical hubs and symmetrical rims, there is no earthly reason besides aesthetics, why a slick tire like a Continental 4000 should go one direction or another! The minimal tread pattern on those tires is for looks and it doesn't matter which direction it turns. And believe me, the rubber itself doesn't care which way you go.
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Old 09-03-09, 09:55 PM
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put your wheel the way it should be and forget you put the tire on wrong. there's no difference. a skewer on the "wrong" side of my bike would bother me more than treads going the wrong way. when you pedal you aren't going to go backwards fyi.
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Old 09-04-09, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by illwafer View Post
a skewer on the "wrong" side of my bike would bother me more than treads going the wrong way.
i think you could put the skewer on the other side... they do come apart
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Old 09-04-09, 02:27 AM
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I'm pretty sure the sensor for the HRM is supposed to be somewhere on your body.
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Old 09-04-09, 03:27 AM
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They may want you to think it's a directional tire, but I don't believe it. Tread has no function on a tire like that. Reversing the direction of a non-functional tread has no effect.
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Old 09-04-09, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
They may want you to think it's a directional tire, but I don't believe it. Tread has no function on a tire like that. Reversing the direction of a non-functional tread has no effect.
This.
I think tire manufacturers add the tread directions just to look more technologically advanced in their design. It has a use in mountain biking, but on road tires it's there for looks.
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Old 09-04-09, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mondaycurse View Post
This.
I think tire manufacturers add the tread directions just to look more technologically advanced in their design. It has a use in mountain biking, but on road tires it's there for looks.
Actually, it could be the way the plies are wrapped. Potentially there could be a (small) difference in rolling resistance. Not to mention tread design if there's a tread pattern. I'll let one of the tire engineers get all specific. I know my Speedmax's are directional also, but that's due to tread.
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Old 09-05-09, 10:24 AM
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That's a point I hadn't thought of CCrew. It just might be true.
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