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Tire age(2 posts)

Tire ageJimP
Oct 8, 2003 9:02 AM
For those of us that may have some old tires and tubes laying around...

In early September the UK-based Tyre Industry Council (TIC) issued an unprecedented warningto consumers about the dangers of old tires.
The Tyre Industry Council (TIC) is a non-profitorganization funded by tire manufacturers and a number of UK tire retailers whose principal objective is to improve tire safety awareness. The TIC press release was issued after theorganization noted a number of vehicles inspected during roadside tire checks were fitted with tires that were 10 to 15 years old. This lead the TIC to issue a warning recommending motorists check the date codes on their tires and replace them if they are 10 years old or older. They also recommended that tires six years old or older that have not been used should not be placed into service. The TIC press release went on to point out that tire components dry with age and can separate and that anti-aging chemicals added to tires are "only active when the tire is in use; therefore tyres fitted to spare wheels, caravans and trailers are particularly at risk of premature ageing brought on by ozone degradation and static 'sitting' for lengthy periods of time."

If this is true for auto tires, it should hold true for bike tires too. I have seen tires on my wife's bike that were cracked and the rubber separating from the casing from age, not use. I suppose the question could be: How old is the tire and how long will it last? Is the tire you buy in the LBS (or on the web) a month or 2 years old? How can I find out when the tire was manufactured? Was there any anti-aging chemicals used in this tire? Does the tire age more in my 100+ degree Texas summer garage than in the north? How long should we expect a tire to last?

Questions to ponder while riding

I personally retire old auto tires at 5 years ...Humma Hah
Oct 10, 2003 12:55 PM
... actually, lately some brands can handle 7 years ...

I can feel a drop in traction in auto tires around 5 years old, even if they have low mileage and good tread remaining. I believe the rubber gets harder than it was originally, and loses grip.

The dynamics of bike tires are a bit different. I've ridden tires that were 25 years old, and just retired a tube about 29 years old, at the end of August (it was still working great, but I'd pushed my luck long enough). But I was not attempting to get great high-speed cornering with the old tires, just trying to preserve some heritage on an ancient bike. For any race bike that is cornered hard on pavement, I'd insist on fresh rubber, probably 2 years old as a max.