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how long do tires last?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics' started by Ash, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. Ash

    Ash Warming-Up

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    About 3 months and 2000 km ago I changed the tires, now I am wondering how often people change tires? Would like to hear some opinions!

    Ash
     
  2. Edogawakikkoman

    Edogawakikkoman Maximum Pace

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    Mine usually have a fault in them by the 2000km mark. Either a glass/gravel puncture or a small wear & tear through the 1st layer of rubber hole.
    I usually change them around the 2000km mark if I see one fault in them.
    My Hutchinson tires seem to wear out quicker than any others I've used.

    The nicks and cuts by glass and stones happen before the rubber wears through....

    The cheaper and sturdier tires will last longer than the expensive racing tyres as well....
     
  3. Phil

    Phil Maximum Pace

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    I just replaced my stock Specialized tires on the road bike after 2500kms or so. The rear tire developed a bald patch from a few skidding stops; I moved the front to the rear and 500kms later it had the same problem. They were probably good to go for a while still, but I didn't want to risk complete tire failure 100kms from home.

    They've been replaced with Continental Grand Prix 4000 tires, which have a reputation for good durability/performance balance, plus have wear indicators to let you know when you need to replace them. I'm hoping to get at least 5000km out of these. Oh, and I run 25c size, if that makes a difference.

    And, my hybrid has 28c Detonators and they are absolutely fine at 3000 kms (never flatted either), but that bike doesn't get taken out very often these days :(
     
  4. Ash

    Ash Warming-Up

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  5. Freeride39

    Freeride39 Peloton Leader

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    Tire wear and changing.

    I have switched from the Hutchinson tires (because they are low priced but they wear out quickly) to a German tire Schwalbe Stelvio. I was always told to change your tires when they lose lamination, flat spots, direct damage, you can see your tube through small old punctures, or when the first layer of rubber has worn through. I also learned an old tip from cyclists in California. After every ride I clean my tires down with soap-n-water with a scrub pad. It let's you focus on the tire in detail, plus it keeps the rubber free of road oil, tar, and dirt. Also the scrub pad snags and catches jagged items that might be stuck but not lodged in the tire rubber. Plus this cleaning helps tire lamination.
     
  6. Phil

    Phil Maximum Pace

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    To be honest, the 5000 km number is probably more wishful thinking on my part than anything else. I was surprised at how quickly the Specialized tires wore through*, so I'm hoping for better things from the Contis.

    (* I should admit that it was partly user error--I left my rear wheel midly out of true for a couple of months, so when the wheel did lock, it was usually at the same point (where the bent rim was caught in the brake pads). This resulted in excessive wear on the part of the tire opposite the bend. However, I had fixed it by the time I move the front tire to the back...)
     
  7. Ash

    Ash Warming-Up

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    5000?

    Yeah Phil, I am thinking these contis won't see much past 3000 really... Have you noticed they tend to skid more too? You can inflate them to 140psi or more but they really slide more than my previous ones! Thinking it might be the high psi doing that.

    hmmm...tires...does anyone recommend something that really lasts and doesn't cost an arm and a leg?
     
  8. Mike

    Mike Maximum Pace

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    You guys are right I reckon. Between 2500 - 3000km seems to be the go. I use Bontrager Race Lite Dual Compound, and replaced my last set at 3000km. I'm pretty happy with them so far and haven't gotten a puncture yet. Although, I bet that after writing this it won't be long until it happens (murphy's law). And changing tyres gets expensive when you are riding over 1000km a month! How are those continentals going Phil? Keep us updated mate. Cheers,
    Mike
     
  9. Ash

    Ash Warming-Up

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    thanks all for your contributions to this thread! I would like to hear more though. Mike has the point i had in mind and that is that if you are doing over 1000 km a month then it does get expensive to change tires every 3 months!

    lets take this a bit further!
     
  10. AlanW

    AlanW Maximum Pace

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    You can't have everything!

    So we all want tyres that grip fanastically in all conditions, roll with no resistance, last forever, never puncture, don't weigh anything, and cost 100 Yen.
    Unfortunately such a tyre doesn't exist as improving many of the above characteristics will decrease the performance in other areas.

    Soft rubber compound = good grip and good road feel, but will wear out fast and have (slightly) more rolling resistance.
    Hard rubber compound = good durability and low rolling resistance but will have poor grip especially if the road surface is cold and/or wet.
    Finer, high thread count casing (TPI) = better suppleness, comfort, less rolling resistance but cost more because they are more difficult to make.
    Thin rubber layer and low number of carcass plies = light weight and good road feel but puncture easily.
    Kevlar belts = better puncture resistance but weigh and cost more.

    The tyre manufactures try to balance all these conflicting aspects of performance and come up with a reasonable compromise.
    You need to think about what you're using the bike for. My commuter/hack bike has Vittoria Rubino Pro tyres that are cheaper and harder compound, with a kevlar belt in them because I want low rolling resistance and good puncture resistance and I want the tyres to last a long time. I am willing to sacrifice ultimate grip and road feel on this bike because I don't really need that performance. On the other hand my spangly road bike has Michelin Pro Race 2 clinchers which are much less durable but I want the light weight, grip and feel of a top quality tyre on that machine.

    You pays your money and you takes your choice!
     
  11. Phil

    Phil Maximum Pace

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    Re: skidding, yeah, actually, I do feel they are much less grippy than the Specialized tires, and I'm a bit more tentative on them in the corners. The Specialized tires (All Condition Pros) seemed to be made of noticeably softer rubber, so that falls in line with Alan's useful summary--the Conti's are built for durability, so use harder rubber and sacrifice some grip(?).

    I imagine high pressure would make them bounce around a bit more, too; I think Conti recommends something closer to 95psi (25c) to 110 psi (23c).

    In any case, I'm going to see how far I can make this set last. 1000 kms so far...
     
  12. Ash

    Ash Warming-Up

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    Alan's summary as usual intelligent and useful. Thank you as always.

    So here we come down to it! I love the durability and performance of the contis but dont like the skidability that comes with the high psi...so have two bikes with different tires is the answer....its a hard one. You cant have two different purposes for the same bike, makes sense of course.

    Or there is the middle road... Thats the interesting option! What is the best way to go for the middle road? One bike for duel purposes? What has high performance, durability, doesnt skid everywhere and costs 100 yen?

    suggestions please!
     
  13. Edogawakikkoman

    Edogawakikkoman Maximum Pace

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    3 or 4 sets of wheels.
    It's easy to switch wheels.
    I have my race Mavic Carbons usually with expensive racing tyres.. I have my Bontrager with Bontrager or Michelin Pros on them. I have a cheap pair of Mavic Aksiums with cheap durable tyres. I also have a 10 year old pair of Shimano wheels with cheap tyres on them.

    It's too expensive to keep as many bkes and it takes too long to change tyres for the conditions you want.

    I sometimes even have odd wheels on my bike to share the wear and tear...as the back tyres wear out quicker.

    I save my race wheels/ tyres for 2 or 3 weeks before big races....and races.
    I try and use my cheaper wheels/tyres for when speed is not necesary...
     
  14. AlanW

    AlanW Maximum Pace

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  15. Phil

    Phil Maximum Pace

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    Somewhat interesting discussion on using different tire types/sizes for the front and rear wheel, with a suggestion to use grippier, faster-wearing tires on the front:

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t439904.html

    No consensus or conclusions, though (not that one would expect any on rec.bicycles...
     
  16. WhiteGiant

    WhiteGiant Maximum Pace

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    Re-hash...

    There was some discussion several months ago in the "Bike Maintenance" thread, when Pete found some unusual wear on one of his Michellin Pro 2 tires after only 600km.
    http://www.tokyocycle.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=405&page=3
    With various comments from a lot of people, and a good one from Alan:
    I also noted at the time that I was riding on Michellin Pro 2 tires with about 5,000km on them - and they were well overdue for a change.
    Over that distance, I only had one puncture with them, but I noticed that over time the rubber had become dry, and started to get micro-cracks in them (see pic.1).

    When I finally changed tires last month, I decided to go with "Hutchinson" Fusion 2 tires. They're a little narrower than the Michellins, but have about the same (good) traction - also they can be pumped up to a slightly higher pressure, which "feels" faster.
    Unfortunately, their maiden journey just happened to be on Nokogiri-yama....
    "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but.... They'll really F@CK up yer tires!" (see pics.2, 3 & 4).
    Pic.2, was after I pulled out a 3mm shard of glass from the front tire with a pair of tweezers (NO puncture to the tube though!)
    Pic.3, is the back tire after Nokogiri.
    Pic.4, is in the front, but happened in the weeks after Nokogiri.

    Still, with all the carnage in the photos, the Hutchinsons haven't actually punctured. I did the Hotaka races with the same tires & tubes.

    I've never tried Continental tires, so I can't comment.
    I tried Vittoria tires once, and even in perfect, dry conditions felt as though I was sliding all over the place - never to use them again.

    Anyway, try them all and find what feels good.
    Travis
     
  17. trad

    trad Speeding Up

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    for my money

    My two cents/"iken"

    I've tried a variety - from Hutchinson, Panasonic, generic (also Japanese Panasonic silica infused tires), Michelin Pro2, Michelin Krylion, Conti GP 4000's, etc.. Best handling and wear combo are Michelin Pro2's for me. I do like the Conti's but they got pretty cut up for me (others report very different experience on the Conti's). I ride Krylion in the back for longevity, but these are pretty nervous on paint in the rain.

    Have not tried Hutchinson (except for MTB race tires) or Stevlo (botched the spelling, I know). I hear the Hutchinson's wear VERY fast. For my money next time, I'd by three sets of Michelin Pro2's at a time (if I can find then on sale). Ride/rotate 2, then put the third into service in the back....

    I know this ends up being a personal choice
     
  18. Edogawakikkoman

    Edogawakikkoman Maximum Pace

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    Hutchinson have given me a 4th and a 5th in races. Other tyres have not given me good race results.
    The Hutchinson's though eat little pebbles and you have to dig them out with tooth picks. Very soft outer layer.
    My favorite Hutchinson's were 19mm. Haven't been able to buy them since....
    I weigh more than the average enthusiast so my tyres get an extra work out whether they want to or not.

    I heard that the Michelin Pros have rice husks mixed in to make them even more durable..... they have always lasted me longer than other brands...
     
  19. Ash

    Ash Warming-Up

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    Very interesting posts! I am off to check out the michelin pro 2's!

    I am bloody sure these conti's wont see much past 3000 but i am going to give them the benefit of the doubt till then. They pump up really hard so like T said about the hutchies they 'feel' really fast (and skid even faster!) so I like them from that respect but I think 3000 is a bit low for durability. I would like to see that performance last 5000! Thats what I am after really.
     
  20. Phil

    Phil Maximum Pace

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    Some of you probably saw it, but the November issue of Cycle Sport had a small sidebar article on "Tires that are Good for Cornering". It's just one bike shop dude's opinion, but for what it's worth here are his rankings (with his comments paraphrased):

    ----

    1. IRC Red Storm
    Great grip in rain or shine. Absolutely the best in the rain. Give up a little in durability and puncture resistance, but my choice for races.

    2. Panaracer Extreme Duro
    Very durable, second only to the Red Storm in terms of wet condition grip. I use them for training and long distance road races.

    3. SCHWALBE Ultremo
    3rd place finisher for wet road grip. Look cool.

    4. Continental GP4000S
    Not super grippy, but give confidence in the corners. Come in lots of colors.

    5. Michelin Pro 2 Race
    Very good balance of grip, puncture resistance, and durability. Great in the dry, and no complaints in the wet.

    6. Hutchinson Fusion 2
    Supple sidewalls gives a nice ride, kind of like old-style tubulars. Grippy in the dry, so a good choice for fair-weather riders?

    7. Panaracer Extreme EVO2
    The same compound as used in the Extreme Duro, but built to be lighter. So same grip, lighter, but at the cost of some durability.

    ----

    At at least one online shop, the Panaracers are 2000 yen cheaper than most of the other options, so maybe something to check out:

    http://www.worldcycle.co.jp/shop/
     

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