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  1. #1
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    Rotate tires?

    I've never been very ocd about bike maintenance, I want to start off better with my commuter rig. On my mountain bikes for example...I always ended up with a bald rear tire long before the front needed replaced.

    So...how many miles do you all typically get out of commuter tires and do you rotate the tires at all? My bike is stock with Vittoria Randoneurs (sp?).
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    I've never been very ocd about bike maintenance, I want to start off better with my commuter rig. On my mountain bikes for example...I always ended up with a bald rear tire long before the front needed replaced.

    So...how many miles do you all typically get out of commuter tires and do you rotate the tires at all? My bike is stock with Vittoria Randoneurs (sp?).
    I think that when your rear tire start to be worn out too much, replace it. You rotate the tires on a car coz there is much more going on with differentials and controlled stability that they wear out weird if you don't rotate, but a bike is simple. If you don't care about running a worn front tire when your rotate tires, then why not ? But fwiw, I'd rather have a good front tire than rear on my commuter rig coz you need the control in the front even more when you get under bad weather like storm or snow.
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  3. #3
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    I guess a couple of schools of thought are to maybe run the rear tire down to maybe 1/3 tread and swap with the front (maybe at 2/3) and let them even up wear towards the end. Or run until the rear is gone and then with the new tire, you could put it on the rear leaving the front as-is, or put it on the front and move the front to the rear. The latter option keeps the front tire in the best condition since losing a front tire is the most problematic while riding.

    I haven't yet reached any of those points on my current bikes and tires, but in the past 35+ years have probably done all the above. Also, depends somewhat on how easy the tires mount up on your wheels. If they go one and off fairly easily, rotating them front<->back is likely not a big deal. But if you need multiple tire irons and colorful language to get the tires on and off, it might be best to leave the tie in place as long as possible since you may stress/damage the tire mounting/dismounting it multiple times. Also depends on whether the front/rear tires are the same or not.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
    The latter option keeps the front tire in the best condition since losing a front tire is the most problematic while riding.
    That`s what The Gospel According to Sheldon recommends. His suggestion for rotation is to buy a new tire when the rear is shot, put the new one in front and move the front one to the back. It makes a lot of sense to me even though I don`t do it
    Since I find myself swapping tires frequently, if one is obviously more worn than the other, I put the least worn one in the back. Sorry, Sheldon.

  5. #5
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    My rear tires usually last 4000-5000 miles. I swap a new one in when it's obviously worn or damaged (usually they pickup a cut before they wear all the way out).

    The last time I changed a front tire it had something like 13,000 miles on it. It was not nearly worn out but it picked up a nasty cut and it was prudent to swap it out.

    I'm too lazy to do the Sheldon Brown rotation thing of moving front to back, etc. When a tire needs replacing, it gets replaced and the other one is left alone. I've had people tell me I am crazy for keeping a front tire on for so many miles (for me 13,000 miles is less then two years of riding), but it's never caused me any particular problems. Maybe I am just lucky? Maybe others are over cautious? Who knows. To each their own, I say!

  6. #6
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    I sit with the 'replace a tyre when you have to' camp. If it aint broke, don't try and fix it so I prefer to leave a perfectly good tyre where it is, which means probably about 3-1 ratio of rear to front replacements for me.

    Have to say though, I recently wrecked two almost new Gatorskins when some prick decided to discard a carton cutter blade on the road. Both tyres and tubes sliced through to the rim. I've scored some Vittoria Zaffiro Pro's really cheap from a guy who changed his mind about white tyres and they look awesome on my old commuter. The ride is really nice too. It's the first time in ages I've bought two new tyres so it will be interesting to see how they wear.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    I've never been very ocd about bike maintenance, I want to start off better with my commuter rig. On my mountain bikes for example...I always ended up with a bald rear tire long before the front needed replaced.

    So...how many miles do you all typically get out of commuter tires and do you rotate the tires at all? My bike is stock with Vittoria Randoneurs (sp?).
    I got about 4000 km on a Conti Sport Contact Pro on the rear....then it got a siewall bulge....front is still going strong and bearly 6000 km...

    So rotating would help

  8. #8
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    I always intend to rotate, but then I put fenders on for the winter so I can't see the balding rear tire anymore, and I forget about it. But with the price of some of these tires, I have high hopes that I'll remember to rotate with this next set.
    I just took off my Big Apples after about 5k miles, because the rear was worn out. The front could go much longer. I could have gotten another season of commuting out of them (at least) if I had rotated.

    My OCD problem is that I don't like having a new tire and an old tire sharing the same bike. Usually when I replace, I do both. If I get a nasty cut or something, I go to my 'pile-of-old-front-tires-that-didn't-get-worn-out-because-I-didn't-rotate-like-I-should-have', and pull out something for temporary duty.
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  9. #9
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    I follow the Sheldon Brown school of thought, always have.

    Dan

  10. #10
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    I do the Sheldon thing, too. I have caught a tube with a problem. If I was riding tubeless like some here, I would be inclined to do two new tires and spare the old front like someone else here who happens to use tubeless tires. A tire swap out becomes the excuse for a general maintenance and clean up for the bike.

    BrianMc

  11. #11
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    ^^ Yeah, tubeless makes it more of a pain to rotate. When I finally look at the rear getting bald underneath the fender, I put it off because re-seating two tires is a bit of a pain.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  12. #12
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    my rears wear out faster than my fronts too, and when the rear gets too bad, i move the front to the rear and put a new tire on the front. i dont mind if my rear tire slides a little, but i hate when my front tire slides

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    That`s what The Gospel According to Sheldon recommends. His suggestion for rotation is to buy a new tire when the rear is shot, put the new one in front and move the front one to the back. It makes a lot of sense to me even though I don`t do it
    Since I find myself swapping tires frequently, if one is obviously more worn than the other, I put the least worn one in the back. Sorry, Sheldon.
    Never knew Sheldon recommended that; I feel smarter now, since I bought my last couple sets of tires in 3's just so I could DO that....I based my decision on reading somewhere that the rear tire wore out 2x faster than the front, so the math just clicked for me; the rotation scheme just made sense when I looked at the somewhat-worn front, and thought about the gradual degradation of steering feel over the recent months.

    (NOTE: before I even really knew who Sheldon Brown WAS, I remembered reading something he told a customer {who wrote to a magazine about it} about "It's just my commuter bike"; Sheldon looked the dude in the eye and said, "There's nothing more important you can do with your bike than ride it to work." That has stuck with me, so my bike gets IMPORTANT use!)
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  14. #14
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    I don't care that my rear tire loses thread faster, I actually like it that way, since I get lower rolling resistance from it

  15. #15
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    I follow Sheldon's non-rotation mantra.

    To avoid unsightly aesthetic issues from tire mis-matches, I use the same type and colour of tires over and over again, usually until they go out of production.

    The second sentence in this post is not to be taken as a recommendation.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  16. #16
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    I like the Sheldon recommendation if you're settled on what tires you're going to use.
    Rotating makes sense if you want to wear out at the same time and then try a different set of tires.

    Posted w/ Tapatalk via Android

  17. #17
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    I like to rotate my tires. I also do this with brake pads as well, as they tend to do the same thing. rear wears more than the front.

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