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Lemon juice or vinegar on tires - whats that about?(18 posts)

Lemon juice or vinegar on tires - whats that about?Woof the dog
Feb 5, 2002 2:17 PM
ok, read this little sheet with cycling tips from I forget who - some kind of USCF coach. Apparently its not very new, since it goes on about the dangers of rolling tubies.

One of the to-do things for bad weather stated was:
5. Vingear or lemon juice on tires - reduce tire pressure.

Explain that one to me PLEASE!!!!

Thanx a bunch

Woof the lemondog.
Tastes better. [nm]Ahimsa
Feb 5, 2002 2:35 PM
Got me...bigdave
Feb 5, 2002 2:38 PM
I have no idea what that would do... after about 50 feet of rolling in the wet the juice/vinegar would be diluted and off the tire anyway, right? And what effect would those liquids have on rubber compounds anyway??

That sounds like some "old world" coach's tale... like the rational was to make the tires "pucker" and suck the ground or something. :-)

If anyone can enlighten us, please do so. :-)

Its supposed to increase tire traction in wet weather...Tig
Feb 5, 2002 3:17 PM
...but I think you have to use a chicken claw dipped in virgin blood as well! (J/K'ing)
I've heard of the old lemon trick, but doubt the benefits would last more than a mile or two. I'd trust riding smart in wet conditions over some silly tire voodoo.
The skinny...Crankist
Feb 5, 2002 7:04 PM Newsletter
Issue No. 21 -- 12/13/01
ISSN 1536-4143

The McQuaids are Ireland's "first family" of cycling. Paul
is one of 10 children, all of whom are involved in the
sport. Paul won the Tour of Ireland in 1995 and has
represented his country in two world championships.

Fred met Paul in '96 on a ride around western Ireland hosted
by Paul's touring company, Celtic Trails
( Fred loved cycling through the
spectacular Irish countryside -- even though it rained each

While Fred was bundled in a rain jacket and warmers, Paul
often rode in shorts and a short-sleeve jersey. We asked
this Irish hard man for rain-riding tips to help us Yanks
stay on the road this winter.Q: What rainy-day safety tips can you give us?

...PM: The most important rule is go easy on the front brake.
Because 75 percent of all braking power comes from the front
brake, using it can get you in trouble on wet corners. So
use the back brake to slow for turns, and keep your center
of gravity as low as you can.

One other trick: I rode a rainy criterium in Milan once
after the Giro d'Italia. Our mechanic bought a bag of
lemons, cut them in half and rubbed the half-lemon around
the tires. It definitely increased the grip -- but I still
didn't win!
What a load o' blarney.Ahimsa
Feb 5, 2002 7:39 PM
I bet I could fill his seat tube with Lucky Charms marshmallows "to dampen road vibration" and he'd tell 'em how smooth the ride was.

"Ah lads, 'twas like hitchin' a ride on a wee soft babies belly."

I'll bet instead that just before the interview ol' Paul McQuaid had quaffed eleven pints or so down at the pub and thought he'd "have a bit o' fun with the Yanks" by telling 'em to smear lemons on their tyres.


A. (Rubs clover on his crotch to prevent saddle sores)
LMAO :-) Should I rub 4 leaf clovers down there to get lucky? nmjs5280
Feb 6, 2002 9:29 AM
Wow, I am definitely trying that for a rainy crit!!!!!Woof the dog
Feb 5, 2002 9:37 PM
thanx a lot! I will try it out in the next month or two and report back!


Woof, the dog on (citric) acid.
just got thrown in jail & am on assault charge by girlfriendjohan burnt eels
Feb 6, 2002 7:27 AM
you guys better bail me out here.

got home drunk and read these posts. obviously my vision was a bit blurry and my cognitive functioning was amiss coz i proceeded to jump in bed with a handfull of lemon wedges and tried to rub them on my girlfriends wet c*it.

needless to say i was thrown accross the room before being pounded senseless.

nobody beleives my honest mistake
Don't worry about it - that happens all the time on the pro circuit. What do you think White Lightening is for?nmFishfingers
Feb 6, 2002 8:55 AM
Two theories:Me Dot Org
Feb 5, 2002 10:29 PM
1. The lemon juice has citric acid, which works as a 'degreaser' preventing road grease from binding to the tire and forming a slippery surface.

2. The lemon juice is a precurser to tartar sauce. The tyre is to be consumed with chips and a pint.
Jeez, the ignorance....Truth
Feb 6, 2002 2:04 AM
I can't believe you guys aren't using tyre wax yet....
Of course it workscommon sense
Feb 6, 2002 2:25 AM
Jesus, doesn't anyone have any common sense?

Your tires are run over oily, dirty roads. Some of that oil is worn into your tires. Lemon juice (or just water) will clean your tires of this so yes, cleaning your tires before a race will make them grip better.
Just don't use a lubricant like soap
The only benefit would be the cleaning of the tires,morrison
Feb 6, 2002 7:39 AM
and that would last very briefly. Frankly, it's a silly suggestion. At least it's not a DANGEROUS suggestion like Bicycling's recommendation that we put Armor-All on our tires.
Thanks brainiac.common moron
Feb 6, 2002 8:39 AM
The post suggested lemons used on tires to increase wet weather traction. It did not mention cleaning tires before a race. It did not mention washing with water or racing at all. It specified LEMONS APPLIED TO TIRES FOR WET WEATHER TRACTION.
Why is it that the stupidist people always think they have to tell the rest of us how dumb we all are? The biggest mouths are never shut and always attached to the smallest brains.
Thanks brainiac.look at you.. Wooooooooooooow
Feb 6, 2002 10:07 AM
Think hard you Mental Midgetmore common sense
Feb 6, 2002 9:09 PM
I am telling you WHY it works, idiot.
Most people do it before races because in any other situation people usually don't take any risks on wet curves.


Maybe someone can translate this into dumbass so you can understand it.
Of course it worksCrankist
Feb 6, 2002 2:58 PM
Perhaps the acid softens the rubber compound slightly.