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When do you replace tires?(20 posts)

When do you replace tires?Tom
Mar 15, 2001 5:48 PM
I seem to get a lot of little chunks of glass stuck in the outer layer of my tires, and once a week or so I go over the tires and (carefully!) pop them out so they don't work their way into the tubes. The thing is, after a while, there are a ton of little cuts in the tires, none of which are very deep. How do I know when the tires' had enough?

On my current tires, I've only gotten two flats from glass or thorns, but they're covered with these little cuts. I think they're only in the outermost layer, so are they still ok? Should I fill them in with anything when I find them to keep them from spreading?
re: When do you replace tires?look271
Mar 15, 2001 7:34 PM
The guys at one of my lbs's told me to fill them with superglue. It seems to work ok.
Sure they didn't mean Shoe Goo? nmMel Erickson
Mar 16, 2001 5:49 AM
No, Superglue. (nm)look271
Mar 16, 2001 3:47 PM
That's weirdMel Erickson
Mar 17, 2001 7:19 PM
cause superglue sets up relatively hard and is not too flexible once it's cured where Shoe Goo stays very pliable and flexible. Have you tried superglue and does it work? I've used Shoe Goo successfully for years. It wears more quickly than the tire and may need reapplications but works great and lasts pretty long on the side walls.
That's weirdjonathan
Mar 19, 2001 2:12 PM
i've used superglue to fill nicks in tyres. Partially deflate the tire, run a little glue into the nicks, squeeze the edges together. Works well.
replace tires when...Dog
Mar 16, 2001 5:45 AM
1. If cut allows the tube to buldge out at the cut, I'd pitch them. Just not worth the risk to me.

2. If you can see cords/threads

3. If they are cracking from old age

4. Something better comes along

5. They get too dirty to clean any more

6. You get tired of the color

7. They just don't feel fast any more

8. For any reason, they worry you about being safe - peace of mind is worth a lot

9. They get repeated, mysterious flats - something in there you just can't find or remove

replace tires when...Tom
Mar 16, 2001 6:12 AM
Well, the tube definitely isn't anywhere near coming through these cuts! I can't even see them from the inside of the tire, I think they're pretty superficial (just a flesh wound!). I'll try the super-glue/shoe-goo thing.

about #6, getting tired of the color, that's a funny thing... I ride a Univega ModoVolare, which is yellow, and came with black and yellow vittoria tires which I thought looked pretty darn cool; but so many tires out there have green, blue, or red casings that would just look really bad on that bike :-) I never thought that kind of thing would bother me, but I really want to stick with yellow and/or black, and that really restricts my choices! (we all know color-coordinated bikes go faster)
Mar 16, 2001 6:15 AM
Ya, I used to try to color coordinate, but now go with pure black, or black with tan sidewalls. Never an issue then. The colors always seem to get yucky after a while, especially the lighter colors. Sometimes you are just stuck, though, when the tire you want only comes in certain color schemes; Michelin Axial Pro Lights, for example, only came in the green/black for a while, but now come in all black.

Mar 16, 2001 2:32 PM
"1. If cut allows the tube to buldge out at the cut, I'd pitch them."

Absent any other damage, you can boot the tire and keep riding safely. My boyfriend got a cut on the second ride with his new bike. Bike shop gave him a strip of tire boot instead of selling him another $50 tire. The tire rides well still.
and...Haiku d'état
Mar 16, 2001 5:50 AM
it was suggested to me to replace tires when the rounded contact point becomes flat at full inflation. i put a pair of vittoria action hsd tires on to replace the specialized turbo sport tires that came stock on my bike when the rear started to square out, but the vittorias sucked (sidewall tear within 200 miles), so i put the old ones back on, and just rotated front to back for now.

good luck.
Mar 16, 2001 6:04 AM
I have a Univega ModoVolare, which came stock with vittoria action hsd tires.... they were fine for me until around 700 miles, but then all those cuts just looked too dangerous. I replaced them last fall with performance forte kevlar tires, as a short-term thing until this spring, and I noticed these are getting the same cuts after about 400 miles (which prompted my question).

But none of them are deep, and I definitely never saw the tube coming through! I'll have to try the super-glue/shoe-goo suggestion... Other than the cuts, there's not a lot of wear on them.
ButKerry Irons
Mar 16, 2001 5:16 PM
Be careful with the "when the rounded part becomes flat" suggestion. I've had people tell me their tire was worn out because "the rounded part is flat." So I tell them to pass them through me on the way to the dempster, and I ride them for another 1500 miles before the casing starts to show (my definition of when to replace a tire). Also, keep your best tire on the front. Don't move a worn one to the front - that makes no sense. You want your best rubber where traction is most critical: the front.
re: When do you replace tires?junebride
Mar 16, 2001 10:08 AM
i've got about a jillion little cuts in my otherwise bombproof performance-kevlar-something babies. sometimes at work, when i'm really bored, i probe into the little cuts and extract glass and stones with the edge of a paper clip or whatever's handy. gives me something to do other than read the message board.

of course i have to be on alert when performing tire surgery to make sure my boss isn't coming down the hall - so i won't have to explain why i am engrossed in a bike tire.
re: When do you replace tires?Tom
Mar 16, 2001 10:20 AM
Yeah, I used the tip of a mechanical pencil :-)

I think the cuts looked bigger after I popped all the little pieces of glass out, that's why I got worried. But it's probably better than leaving them in so they can work their way to the tube.
re: When do you replace tires?jilted
Mar 16, 2001 2:54 PM
It seems to me that if a tire were "bombproof" it wouldn't have "a jillion little cuts"... or am I missing something???
re: When do you replace tires?Tom
Mar 17, 2001 10:44 AM
I think she meant bombproof as far as flats go. With all the little cuts on my tires, I've only gotten 3 flats, and one of those was from the valve stem getting torn when I tweaked it accidentally while pumping. That's why I'm pretty sure they're not deep cuts, just on the outer casing.
a tipTipster
Mar 16, 2001 2:48 PM
When you run over crap, rub your (gloved) hand lightly over the tire- this keeps stuff from cutting into the tire and causing flats (obviously you should avoid thecrap in the first place). If you're a fred or have sketchy handling skills don't bother 'cause you will probably crash.
a tipTom
Mar 17, 2001 10:42 AM
Yeah, I've heard about doing that... part of the problem is that I ride my bike to work most of the time, through town, and I'd have to spend most of my commute with my hand on my tire :-)

I do try to avoid the crap when I can, but sometimes it's just all over.
re: When do you replace tires?shmoo
Mar 17, 2001 8:31 PM
Sounds like you've got a pair of Michelins.

The Super Glue thing that look271 suggested actually does work - at least for a while. What you have to do is mark the nicks with a marker and then let the air out of the tire to relax the casing. Your nicks will tend to close up when you do this. Pinch the tire casing to re-expose the nick, drip in a little Super Glue, let the tire go, and wipe off any excess glue. The nick will close again when you let it go, and the glue will hold the nick shut when you re-inflate the tire. It should be good for quite a few rides. For nicks that are suspiciously deep, or for field flats (oops, said the word) that are more cuts than just small punctures, take Doug's advice and "boot" the inside of the tire casing. I use standard glueless patches for this. Just apply the patch to the INSIDE of the casing right behind the nick or cut. Your just trying to prevent a catastrophic failure. If It's bad, best replace the tire when you get home.