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Tire Longevity(10 posts)

Tire LongevitySSA
May 9, 2001 4:35 PM
How do you know when it's time to replace your tires? I'm still a little new to the road scene. It's easy to tell when your mountain bike tires have had it. What about road tires? My bike came with Michelin Axial Pros, which seem more for performance than longevity.
re: Tire Longevitygrandemamou
May 9, 2001 5:10 PM
I ride mine until one of two things happens. The casing pokes thru or I get a severe cut. Not very scientific but works for me.
What I do...MrCelloBoy
May 9, 2001 5:15 PM
is rotate the rear to the front and vice-versa to get a bit of extra wear. (The rear takes more punishment). Then do basically what the other fellow said, look for bad cuts or loose threads. If the casing starts to dry out and start to crack I'll also think about replacing it.
Oh no...Biking Viking
May 9, 2001 5:50 PM
...that means that you are sometimes running an old, worn tire up front from time to time. That sounds like a dangerous thing to do. I've never flatted a front tire on a high speed descent - I don't even want to think about that. I know guys who have flatted the front in a turn - it's like hitting a patch of black ice. I ride until I'm forced to ditch the rear, then move the front to the back and install a new front. Much safer!

Axial Pros rock. Read my story at:

re: Tire LongevityCurtis
May 9, 2001 6:22 PM
If you stick with Axial Pros, you can expect to get one good season out of them. Axial Pros are strictly a race tire and will not hold up over many miles/months. I've used them, but $50 per tire was too much for such short life, so I switched to the next tire in the Michelin line up, the Axial Super Comp. I am replacing these after nearly two full seasons of riding (15 mile one-way commute, long tours on the weekends). The Axial Super Comp is not around anymore, so I opted for the new #2 tire, which I believe they call the Axial Carbon. At $35 each, I feel these represent a good value; good longevity, more than adequate performance and great puncture resistance (one flat in two seasons).

BTW, I usually replace tires when any of the following occur; tears in the carcass or cracks developing in the tread. Stick with Michelin...I don't think you will be disappointed.
re: Tire LongevityJL
May 9, 2001 7:02 PM
Performance has the Axial Super Comp. on sale for $18. Are they trying to unload the inventory, or are they still around?

Just wondering.

Must be old stock....Curtis
May 10, 2001 3:40 PM
....'cuz my LBS doesn't even list the Super Comp in their catalogs. It seems that model has been replaced by the new Axial Carbon.
Define "one good season"Kerry Irons
May 9, 2001 7:35 PM
A Michelin AxialPro will rarely last over 2K miles. That may be a good season, or two months depending on who you are. Tires wear with mileage, not time.

Per the original question, when to replace a tire is a personal question. Assuming we are talking due to wear and not failure, for sure a tire is worn out when casing threads start to show through the tread. Some replace their tires much sooner, like when they "look squared off" or some such subjective measure. Always put the new rubber on the front and put the front on the back - don't ride worn tires up front.

I've collected a bunch of tire wear data over the past 3 years, and tire life is dependent on rider weight, riding style, the tire itself, and front or rear location. At 180 lbs., I get half the mileage on a tire compared to my 120 lb. wife. A Michelin will rarely last me 2K miles, but a Conti GP will last 5-6K (on the rear)because the Conti GP tread is 2.5X thicker than the Michelin tread. Michelin puts much of their tire weight in their side walls. Smooth riders don't wear tires out as fast as hammer meisters and people who are constantly jamming or pedaling squares. If you hear your back tire going "whoosh, whoosh, whoosh" with with your pedal strokes, you're not riding smoothly and wearing tires faster. Front tires essentially don't wear out. I've weighed them before and after many thousands of miles and there is minimal weight loss. They age, they get cracked and cut, but tire wear is due to power transmission (tandems and heavy downhill braking excepted). An "aged" front tire, put on the back, will get about 2/3 the mileage of a new one.
re: Tire Longevitysimstress
May 9, 2001 10:43 PM
I replace mine when they develop square shoulders, maybe 2000 miles. Also, pitch the tire if it sustains serious trauma, of course.

On Saturday, I was on a group ride with 6 women. One woman was very unlucky and got 3 flats in 20 miles. It had rained hard the night before, so there was probably bits of debris on the road. Unfortunately, she used 650c wheels, while everyone else had 700c. We had to help her patch after the first one. Anyway, she was the only rider using Axial Pros. Agree that it's not a durable tire.

I'm using a pair of Axial Select Kevlar's. They ride just fine for training, but they're really ugly. The only flat I've had is from an industrial staple collected from near a construction site.
Got 2500 miles on my last pair of Axial Pros.Gadfly
May 10, 2001 10:00 AM
To me, that's not bad. Replaced them just this week, actually, with another set.