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Tire lasted only 300 miles(12 posts)

Tire lasted only 300 milesBrian C.
May 2, 2001 9:32 AM
It was a Continental Grand Prix Supersonic 23C x 700 tire (rear) and it blew out on the weekend. It was a racing slick that came with the bike, which has been on the road for less than a month.
An inspection revealed a half-inch by one-and-a-half-inch 'scuff' that had penetrated through the rubber tread and two or three plies. To look at it you'd have thought the bike had been braked hard on sandpaper.

Does this reflect a cheap tire?
Any recommendations for tires that will be seeing rough roads? (Rough, as in tar-and-stone-chip style pavement.)
How typical is this - that one screeching halt on your bike will more or less destroy the tire?
Does it show a lack of braking finesse on the rider's part?

All insights and suggestions will be appreciated
Some ideasRetro
May 2, 2001 10:15 AM
You can destroy a set of car tires (said the former racing driver from expensive experience) in one skid, but I've never seen it happen on a bike. I guess it's possible, but usually you can't skid long enough to do it--the bike just stops. Did you do a slide for life at 50mph?
Could it have rubbed somewhere else, on a rack or another bike in transport? I wore a hole clear through an aluminum frame one time in a 500-mile trip in the back of a pickup, just from jostling against a steel frame. I've also seen a bike slip down on a hitch-mount rack so the tire bumped the pavement occasionally. That will wear it out in a hurry. Can you see from the scuff the direction of the abrasion, whether it goes across the tread or circumferentially? That could be a clue.
I doubt it's the pavement, which would cause symmetrical wear (assuming no major skids) rather than a single scuff. Those Contis are pretty good tires.
re: Tire lasted only 300 milesLarry Meade
May 2, 2001 10:28 AM
Conti GP Supersonics are marketed as a race only tire. As such they are very light and not very durable. This is not an indication of a cheap tire. I have seen a rider lock up a rear tire and in the span of about 30 feet blow the tire. If you lock it up, it will likely be ruined before too long. This is why learning to brake primarily with the front brake will stop you faster and save tires. A sliding tire is not really very effective in slowing you down. As for tire suggestions, if you like Conti tires, try the GP 3000. I personally have had great luck with Michelin Axial Pros. Now someone will likely post that these tires are junk and that you should go with Veloflex, Vittoria, Specialized, etc.... Every tire out there will have some saying it is the greatest thing since STI/ERGO and an equal number saying that they would rather ride a Huffy than that tire. Finding the perfect tire for you is kind of difficult. Just keep trying different ones until you find one that you really like. For rough road conditions stick with a tire at least 23mm and I would stay away from super light, race only tires.

Larry
Another way of looking at it.Spoke Wrench
May 2, 2001 11:09 AM
I think of tire selection as a triangle. One point of the triangle can be labeled low cost, one point high performance and one point high durability. You can buy tires that fit anywhere inside the triangle.

Continental Supersonics are going to fit way out on the high performance point. I'd put Specialized Armadillos on the high durability point and probably some Kenda thing on the low cost point. Most other tires are going to fit somewhere in the middle.

It looks to me like most of the tire reviews on this board tend to favor tires that are fairly high performance. Tandem & Hobbs tire reviews tend to favor high durability tires more. Figureing out how you really use your bike and selecting equipment that favors your particular style of riding is part of the fun.
ContisHap
May 2, 2001 11:23 AM
I've used Conti GP's (23's) for many years and have found them to be very reliable. I am currently running my first set of Conti Super Sonics (also 23's). They are very light and perform well. I've put 600 miles on the set, on good to rough pavement. So far, I've had no problems, however they do show some wear and I assume they won't last nearly as long as the GP's (2000 to 2500 miles). I think that a 300 mile wear-out indicates that something unusual happened.

IMHO, Hap
Missed the bus, thankfullyBrian C.
May 2, 2001 12:39 PM
Thanks, gents.
The rear tire has locked up a couple of times, once to avoid being hit by a bus. Perhaps it was my misfortune that it locked up twice on the same spot on the tire. (While fixing the flat, by the way, it did occur that race car drivers usually head for the pits for fresh rubber after major skids. Alas, couldn't do that in the middle of nowhere.)
Thanks for the advice about using the front brakes more, Larry. They've been making a ticking sound when applied, much like a quiet metronome, and I've been avoiding them. The LBS owner said it could part of the breaking-in proccess.
A local supplier has some GP 3000s at a pretty good price right now and I'm leaning that way. But he's fresh out of 23s. Would 25s be okay?
Thanks again. Brian C.
Missed the bus, thankfullyLarry Meade
May 2, 2001 1:21 PM
I would go with the 25s without any reservation. In fact I am looking for some right now. I typically ride 23s but Conti tires seem to run a little narrower than Michelin. For this reason, I would like to get my hands on some Conti GP3000 25s and see how I like them. I used to ride the original Conti Gp but kept cutting the casings and getting many flats. I haven't had nearly as much problem with Michelin.
Larry
Durable, Light, and Inexpensive....grz mnky
May 2, 2001 1:29 PM
Pick any two.
re: Tire lasted only 300 milessimstress
May 2, 2001 2:42 PM
The tires are fine. You were just unlucky.

My friend toasted his rear tire (Hutchinson Super Comp) within 500 miles. He made a few skidding stops on the neighborhood hill that has a traffic light at the bottom of it. Another friend has had the same bike and tires with no such problem.

Another thing I've heard... if the bike is mounted on a hitch rack such that the wheel is near the exhaust pipe, the heat from the exhaust could weaken the tire. Could be urban legend, but just another thing to be aware of.
How do Continental Sport Ultra 3000 stack up?Brian C.
May 2, 2001 2:52 PM
How do Continental Sport Ultra 3000 stack up?ColnagoFE
May 4, 2001 1:00 PM
good but i like the standard (not gp3000) grand prixs best for all-around riding.
what did you expext?ColnagoFE
May 4, 2001 12:58 PM
this is a ultra light racing-only tire. 300 miles seems about right.