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Question on Tire Aging??(6 posts)

Question on Tire Aging??JBergland
Apr 19, 2001 5:54 AM
I went through my inventory of spare tires (doesn't EVERY cyclist have about 2-8 extra tires) a couple weeks ago (spring cleaning) and noticed a couple things. I have a couple different wheel set/tire combos so I don't go through that many tires in a given year... maybe 2-3 sets between 2 road bikes and 2 mountain bikes. I buy new tires as needed or when on-sale. As I was inspecting a couple of these tires I noticed cracks on the side-walls and wear marks that I didn't remember seeing last Fall. I ended up throwing away a couple tires that were really bad and putting a bunch into the 'trainer only' pile. One set of tires (mountain bike, mich.) are 3 years old, but look very new... tread is all there and not worn much at all. However, the tread 'feels' dry and there are some small cracks starting in the side-walls.

My question is this: Is there an 'age limit' on tires? I know a 'new' tire that is a couple years old will wear faster than a 'new' new tire... but how old is too old?? Does anyone change tires because of age in addition to wear?? Should I be concerned about the above mentioned mountain bike tire (I use that wheel set/tire 10-12 times per year)?? What do cyclists do to keep their tires from aging when they buy in bulk??

Thank You!!
My personal experienceSpoke Wrench
Apr 19, 2001 7:21 AM
Tires definitely age. Cheap tires age more rapidly than good quality tires.

I think that tires are pretty sensitive to storage conditions too. I get the pleasure of working on lots of department store bikes that have been hanging from garage rafters. Virtually all of these bikes have dry rotted tires. The old, gumwall tires would blister their sidewalls if they were stored in a hot dry environment. I've also read that storing tires near electric motors like furnace/AC blowers will cause them to age more rapidly.

My own tire stock does not seem to be ageing excessively. I have two sons in their 20's who mountain bike and between them they own two of nearly every mountain bike tire known to man. If they don't dry rot, I'll never again have to buy a mountain bike tire for myself. We store this mountain of mountain tires in a pretty good place in my basement and they don't seem to be showing any signs of dry rot premature ageing. I wish I could get the boys interested in road bike tires.
Mine, tooCory
Apr 19, 2001 8:02 AM
I'm sure I throw away more tires because of sidewall cracks than because of tread wear--when I see them on sale, I can never resist the temptation to pick up a couple for $8.99 or whatever. I probably have 15, new or slightly used, hanging in the garage right now (got seven bikes in the family). I've taken a solemn vow to buy no more until we're down to five, but I see Nashbar has them on sale again...
Like Spoke, I've read that the ozone created by electric motors is a factor in aging. Mine live near a freezer, but the building is so drafty I doubt anything builds up in there. Sunlight is hard on them, too. Minor drying doesn't seem to affect them, but I'd be concerned about any crack that went to the casing.
re: Question on Tire Aging??Mucher
Apr 19, 2001 8:36 AM
Aside from the above, do I not remember that UV A/B (both? can't recall) attacks rubber, so might be good to keep them in the dark if you are storing for a long time?

Could be wrong of course....
re: Question on Tire Aging??LC
Apr 19, 2001 8:52 AM
I have seen the effects of aging on rubber, but not with the silicon based compounds.
mtb vs roadBreck
Apr 19, 2001 8:59 AM
My favorite MTB tire, the Ritchey 2.35 WCS skin-wall show aging cracks readily on the side walls in hardly no time atall, but since they are low pressure tires don't worry too much about it & never had them fail.

My roads, the Conti GP 3000, mebee get more concerned about tire degradation, etc. as run the higher pressures. So hve the patch kit w/boot handy on the longer way-out-in-nowhere rides.

In any case I buy "spares" when on sale & talc them, put in black plastic trash bags & throw 'em in the "storage area of my bike shed because that's what the local Old Timer said to do. Like an old carpenter, I have these "methods" keep hangin' on regardless the more moderne 'idees' as they apply, etc.

Not sure if one can save $$$ if too concerned about storage & aging effects. Mebbe better to just buy 'em as you need 'em but hard to pass up "bargains".