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  1. #1
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    Wire vs Folding Tyres, Pros and Cons..

    Thought id ask your opinions on the merits of wire vs folding tyres..
    I use wire beaded tires out of pure habit thinking they are stronger and will never come off my rims but is it really worth the weight.?
    Id be interested to hear what and why you use the type you do?
    Do we really need wire in tyres?
    Has anybody had either come off the rim?
    I realise that you would use wire for DH, DJ and heavy applications, but has anybody used folding for this sort of stuff.
    So im looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the two types and the pros and cons of both.
    Cheers and happy christmas...
    Last edited by Tone's; 12-06-2012 at 08:20 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I can't speak to heavy dj use, but I've been using and abusing folding tires of many types for a long time and have not had any issues with the bead giving out. For reference, I regularly hit jumps/drops and rooty descents. I've had wire beads but can't say I noticed a strength difference.

    Again, just my experience, maybe someone with more has a different take.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrick2cents View Post
    I can't speak to heavy dj use, but I've been using and abusing folding tires of many types for a long time and have not had any issues with the bead giving out. For reference, I regularly hit jumps/drops and rooty descents. I've had wire beads but can't say I noticed a strength difference.

    Again, just my experience, maybe someone with more has a different take.
    Thanks Pat, im thinking the same, i ride AM and light freeride, maybe i should ditch the wires for my next pair.....
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  4. #4
    The Original Suspect
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    I have never had an issue with folding tires. I started using them in the early 90s when Panaracer came out with the Dart/Smoke combo with a kevlar bead. They were lighter I believe but I can't help thinking that now days folding tires are better displayed and packaged and take up less retail space than wire bead non-folding tires do. I could be wrong on this count also, but I think folding bead tires are much easier to use tubeless. I have never tried to run wire bead tubeless though, so I can't say with any certainty.

  5. #5
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    Wire beads are heavier, I always run folding.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Thought id ask your opinions on the merits of wire vs folding tyres..
    I use wire beaded tires out of pure habit thinking they are stronger and will never come off my rims but is it really worth the weight.?
    Id be interested to hear what and why you use the type you do?
    Do we really need wire in tyres?
    Has anybody had either come off the rim?
    I realise that you would use wire for DH, DJ and heavy applications, but has anybody used folding for this sort of stuff.
    So im looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the two types and the pros and cons of both.
    Cheers and happy christmas...
    Folding vs Wire Bead Tires

    I have had both wire bead and folding bead tires blow off the rim. Depends mostly on the specific tire/rim combo rather than the bead material.
    mtbtires.com
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  7. #7
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    I have been running kevlar/aramid bead tires for a very long time, even on our mountain tandem - never had a problem. And if there's a tire that sees some serious stress, it's the front tire of a mountain tandem.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  8. #8
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    Folding tires have a much higher casing thread count than wire bead, and therefore has different ride characteristics than a wire bead, and I've always thought them to be more puncture resistant as well. A non issue I guess with tubeless.

    I've always used them and have had no problems.

  9. #9
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    The only difference is that the folding ones are a little lighter. And they fold. Oh, and they cost more.

  10. #10
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    I run wire beads because in a pinch I can remove the bead and use it to beat the bejesus out of someone. Can't get that with Kevlar.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  11. #11
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    I converted to tubeless using a wire bead once thinking it would seal and hold air better, well it's the same effing thing

    Pros of wire bead is that it's cheaper, and it seems like you get stronger sidewall structure. Not to mention, the work out exercise on your fingers, you get from removing the tires without the lever.

  12. #12
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    folding tire's are a helluvalot easier to change if (when) you get a flat or puncture. For that reason alone, I use strictly folding bead. if you add up the cost of broken tire levers, i think cost-wise it's a wash.

  13. #13
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    Wire bead tires: Cheaper.

    Folding/Kevlar: Better in every respect. And I like the weight savings, the smoother ride and fixing flats is so much easier.

  14. #14
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    My fr3 (wire bead) went tubeless with out a hitch on a stans rim. To be honest I can't tell the difference between it and the folding version. (except price and weight).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin_amador View Post
    folding tire's are a helluvalot easier to change if (when) you get a flat or puncture. For that reason alone, I use strictly folding bead. if you add up the cost of broken tire levers, i think cost-wise it's a wash.
    Not always the case. Has more to do with the specific rim/tire combo than bead material. See my link above.
    mtbtires.com
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Folding vs Wire Bead Tires

    I have had both wire bead and folding bead tires blow off the rim. Depends mostly on the specific tire/rim combo rather than the bead material.
    Cheers Shiggy, good point i was thinking it had more to do with the tyre/rim combo, to everybody that has taken the time to reply, cheers n thanks guys....
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by monzie View Post
    I run wire beads because in a pinch I can remove the bead and use it to beat the bejesus out of someone. Can't get that with Kevlar.
    HAHAHA Monz, best answer yet
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    Not always the case. Has more to do with the specific rim/tire combo than bead material. See my link above.
    If we're going to avoid generalizing (like i initially did), it'd be cool to see statistics on the quantifiable aspects of tire seating (mean and std. deviation of percent stretch required for specific tire/wheel combos, tire durometer, bead elastic modulus, etc . . .). For instance, Dupont Tensile Modulus is 70.3 GPa (according to Matweb.com for DuPont Kevlar 29 Aramid Fiber) vs. 303 Annealed Stainless Steels Elastic Modulus of 193 GPa. I have no idea if these are the exact materials that are used for tire beads but, lets assume that they are at least in the same family and use them as a starting point. That means, all things being equal (bead diameter, percent stretch, etc . . .), I'm going to have to apply more than double the force to get the same percent stretch to get the bead over the major diameter of the wheel for a steel bead vs. an aramid bead.

    Obviously, all things aren't equal, which is why it would be cool to see a set of data for at least some relevant characteristics. A sample size of one won't cut it since we have no idea what tolerances tire and wheel mfgs allow.

    So yeah, wheel geometry, tire geometry, bead material properties, tire surface properties . . . all that stuff will play a role in ease of seating beads.

  19. #19
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    I ran a set of Specialized Armadillo's, thorn resistant, folding tires for many miles, well for about 6000 miles. By that time they were bald. I ran them flat a few times too. In the end what killed them was they began slipping on the rim and causing the tube to flat at the valve core. That being said, the bead outlived the tread and I wouldn't be affraid of using them again, it seems they aren't making them anymore though.

  20. #20
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    I have experimented with wire and folded tires (same make/model just that the other was folding), but these were on my road bike.

    Apart from the folding being lighter, at both 100psi, there were no ride differences. But at lower psi, I had more pinch flats on the wire (I don't know why).

  21. #21
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    Have always used folding for weight savings. Never had an issue.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  22. #22
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    Well it seems that folding tyres seem to do the job for most pretty well, im still asking myself WHY about wire bead tyres if folding tyres seem to put up with the same abuse......
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  23. #23
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    ^^^ Cost. Wires are much cheaper.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    ^^^ Cost. Wires are much cheaper.
    Out of interest, why would it cost less to manufacture a wire beaded tyre?
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  25. #25
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    ^^^ I have no idea.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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