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Which way to put on tires?(11 posts)

Which way to put on tires?MacsOnBike
Aug 14, 2002 11:22 AM
Today when I put on two new Grand Prix 3000 tires on my bike for the first time I realise that it makes a different what way you put on the tires. The question is if it is importent to put it on correctly. And what way IS "correctly"? Is the "pattern" to point towards the way the wheel is turning or against?
Tire installationburdiman
Aug 14, 2002 11:46 AM
We never covered this in mechanic school but I have always installed the tread pattern pointing forward.

In addition, I place the label of the tire at the valve (makes it easier to find and places it opposite the rim label).
Makes no difference.alansutton
Aug 14, 2002 12:13 PM
Either way is fine for road.

On mountain bikes, follow the manufactors directions.
Almost all of the guys I've worked with laugh at me.Spoke Wrench
Aug 14, 2002 2:04 PM
Relative to performance, I doubt it makes much difference on a road bike. However, I do take the attitude that since I can't ride very fast, at least I can look good doing it.

I like the little arrows in the tread to point forward.
I like to have the colored labels on the right side.
I like the labels to line up with the valve stems.
I like the tires to match front and rear.
I like the valve stems to point absolutely straight up.
I don't like sidewall colors that clash with my bike.

Sometimes a couple of those concepts will be mutually exclusive and cause me to hyperventillate every time I ride that bike. I've also read that the tread arrows on the back tire should point toward the back, but I think the guy who wrote that could have been a little anal retentive.

On mountain bike tires, I generally follow the directional arrows on the sidewalls, but often there's more than one. I have this vision in my mind of a mountain biker who uses the cross country arrows to ride to the top of the hill then removes and reverses his tires for the downhill run.
Traditionally, everything goes so you can read it from...cory
Aug 14, 2002 2:14 PM
...either the saddle or the right side of the bike. A neighbor of my dad's, back in the '50s, had been a racer and mechanic in Italy before WWII. I'm fuzzy on details because I was very young, but one of the things I remember is that he installed everything so the labels were "correct" from the saddle, in the case of things like hubs where the names ran across the bike, or from the right side when they ran lengthwise. Tires were mounted label to the right, bisected by the valve. That helps find thorns and glass if you have a flat, too--since you know how the tube was mounted in relation to the tire, you can go right to the spot to see if the sharpie is still there. I still do it that way out of habit, and because it looks good to the few who notice.
Chester Kyle (pretty sure it was him) did some tests for Bicycle Guide years ago that showed "bicycle tire tread is one of those things that looks more important than it probably is." I don't think he found any difference at all in traction from mounting one way or the other in road tires. I can feel it with some MB tires, though.
Aug 14, 2002 5:29 PM
the GP 3000 has a label on each side! On a semi slick road tire, it makes no difference.
Traditionally, everything goes so you can read it from...ccrabb
Aug 14, 2002 9:58 PM
But I just gotta ask...wasn't he installing sewups? Then only labels to the right. You have an infinite degree of freedom for the clincher (Lie group, oh nevermind) but the sewup goes where the valve stem hole is. I like the idea of finding the sharpie (clincher mode) so am gonna do this. /c
re: Which way to put on tires?flybyvine
Aug 14, 2002 7:56 PM
Tread on the outside.
re: Which way to put on tires?JimP
Aug 15, 2002 8:48 AM
I never thought of that - maybe that's why my tires seem so slipery.
I always think about water when mounting tires.Quack
Aug 15, 2002 9:43 AM
If you're riding rain and the water needs to get off the center bead to the sidewall, which way do you mount the tire? I remembered seeing a hydroplane on glass tire test with automotive tires and the grooves channel the rain when they are compressed under load. Don't know if it applies to bike tires but who knows? Also, label always at the stem to make flat fixes more efficient and put the labels on the right side of the bike if possible. I believe that's so that when someone is admiring the component group on your bike, your tire brand is plainly displayed. That said, always lean your bike up against walls with the right side out to put your bikes full assets on display. It's better for the thieves too!
I always think about water when mounting tires.Jofa
Aug 15, 2002 12:04 PM
Hydroplaning is something that automobile tyres do but bike tyres don't. They are narrow, present a curved rather than a flat edge to the wet surface, and aren't going very fast. Slick is ideal in all functional terms, on the road; the tread is there to look pretty and allow brand identification, nothing more.

I'd agree with you about the rest: we might as well make it all look neat. I get as needlessly upset when I see a tyre with the label on the left as I do when I see a hub logo readable from the front. Its nonsense, of course.