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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MrEconomics's Avatar
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    Aug 2004

    Tires: On the sidewall 'fibers' showing...still okay right?

    I found a post from 2014 that discussed this:

    Being 4 years old and manufacturers consistently making tires lighter (usually at expense of sidewall), I just want to confirm the tires are still good to go.

    Tires are Specialized S-Works FastTrak...yes I know...don't say it. They came on the bike.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    All the s-works tires are paper thin... but they work as designed. Even some control casing tires will show cords. My ground control control did, but it held just fine.

    Id take it easy due to them being sworks tires. They're not going to hold up to rubbing rocks. They're designed for xc type riding, and they work fine for that.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Mr Pig's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    The rubber layer over the sidewall on some tyres seems to be paper thin. So thin that it's not going to do very much structurally, even if the cord was not showing through it!

  4. #4
    psycho cyclo addict
    Reputation: edubfromktown's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    I've run some tires with threads showing for quite some time. I'm more likely to run one on the front as opposed to rear because I can generally get the front over or around objects with high-slice potential.

    Another consideration is the length of time- 4 years can be pushing it depending on where you store your bike, how frequently it is ridden and in what conditions.
    【ツ】 eDub 【ツ】

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sturge's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Yeah...around here (New England) the sidewall determines life of the tires. I've had great luck with Maxxis tires (High Rollers, Minions, etc), WTB Bronsons were a little shorter lived but they held out ok. We used to tires waaay beyond having a few frays on the sidewall. Pre-tubeless I would slide a piece of cardboard between sidewall and tube to provide an additional layer of protection at thin spots just to get a few more rides in them.
    12 Santa Cruz Heckler
    18 Kona Process 153 AL/DL (27.5)...

  6. #6
    Reputation: Grassington's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
    All my race spec tyres die from sidewall failure, it's never the tread that wears out first. That's the price you pay for a lightweight, fast-rolling tyre though; can't have everything.
    Generally having a bit of rubber scuffed off isn't an issue, but once the threads start breaking then you're operating right over the plughole of the bathtub reliability curve and it's time to start thinking about a new tyre, unless the prospect of a random blowout is just the thing to add a bit more excitement to a ride (I must admit that sometimes I push it here, with mixed results).

    Here's an ageing Conti Race King RaceSport on my old beater bike (click to embiggen):

    Tires:  On the sidewall 'fibers' showing...still okay right?-00-brake-horseshoe-sidewall-wear.jpg

    This particular section doesn't look too bad, but there are other areas where I can see a little bit of inner tube so it's overdue for replacement. The wear starts (and is always worse) over those widely-spaced long cords because the rubber is thinner here as the main cords hump up over the long cords. Also each long, sparse cord forms a line of weakness so that when the tyre deforms it will crease along these lines, which also accelerates wear. Low pressures allow the tyre to deform more, reducing sidewall life expectancy.

    This race tyre has 2-ply sidewalls (really 1 ply folded back on itself), and like all sensible bike tyres is of cross-ply (bias-ply) construction. Such tyres will deform differently depending on the force direction: braking crumples the tyre flatter, making it more conformal and with a bigger footprint - just what is needed; drive torque actually makes the tyre firm up a little, reducing rolling resistance - again, just what is needed. You can try this at home, just deflate a thin-sidewalled tyre so it's the minimum pressure while still maintaining its shape, then apply the brake and push it forward, then back. It's quite impressive.

    Dragsters sometimes also use cross-ply tyres. They're fitted backwards compared to bike tyres so they deform on acceleration (giving more grip), and they're not too bothered about the braking performance because parachute.

    Tires:  On the sidewall 'fibers' showing...still okay right?-top%2520fuel%2520tyre%2520distortion.jpg

    A bike tyre will crease up in a similar way to the dragster tyre there (but without the extreme wadding causing the tread to fold in on itself because several thousand fewer horsepowers). If only there was some way to combine mountain biking with the thrill of the drag strip...
    Hose me down till the water runs clear.

  7. #7
    BOOM goes the dynamite!
    Reputation: noapathy's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Grassington View Post
    If only there was some way to combine mountain biking with the thrill of the drag strip...
    There's a thread about that around here someplace...

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