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pillage! plunder! 4 parts
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Anyone see the program on Discovery on 6/27 on Lance? They talked about how he rides on tires that have "seasoned" (they showed a guy in a cellar with bundles of tires stacked around) for up to 6 years. Did anyone else see this? It seems strange to be on such the cutting edge of technology only to use older tires. Does this mean we shouldn't care about the "new and improved" tires that come out and just wait for them to go on sale?
 

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Get me to In&Out
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Was he talking about silk tires? They were the only tires that got better with age if memory serves.
 

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It's in the game!
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I was amazed

That they age tires like wine and whiskey. The older the smoother. Never heard of it until I saw on the "science of lance armstrong"
 

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pillage! plunder! 4 parts
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I didn't catch all of it...

...but they definitely compared them to wine and cheese with storing them for a select period of time and they are better. I don't really know what they meant by better - whether it is a better ride, they wear better or what ?

It just seems that there is no reason to buy new tires if they have been stored correctly. Obviously he is riding high end tires but if the technology of new tires doesn't superceed older properly stored tires then why buy them?

I am so confused. :confused:
 

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Roadbikereview Editor
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Yes, I caught that interesting segment.

First off the tires are tubular. I'm actually writing a piece on them:
http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?postid=298865#poststop

Tubular tires are tires and tube in one. They rubber tire is glued around the tube to look like a donut. They are coveted for their light weight and supple ride. Although no production bike uses tubulars, almost 100% of grand tour riders use tubulars.

So the segment talks about Julian Devrees who manages all the tires for the team. He has hundreds of tubular tires stashed away in a wine cellar. They are inflated to 40 psi and aged for 5-7 years before they are ready for use. He says the glue used in construction of the tire makes it hard. But with aging, the tire becomes very supple. Supple means more comfortable. Supple means better cornering, etc. etc.

Does it make a difference?? A lot of the experts (sheldon brown, jobst brandt) don't think so. Hey but this guy does and Lance and Bruyneel believe him. I bet you it makes a small difference and you just have to be a world class cyclist with unlimited resources for it to be worthwhile.

francois
 

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Old, slow, and fat.
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francois said:
Does it make a difference?? A lot of the experts (sheldon brown, jobst brandt) don't think so. Hey but this guy does and Lance and Bruyneel believe him. I bet you it makes a small difference and you just have to be a world class cyclist with unlimited resources for it to be worthwhile.

francois
Sheldon and Jobst talk out their rear ends on certain things... Don't believe EVERYthing you read from them without first thinking about it.

Anyway, back to the tires thing. "That's the way its been done for X years, so that's the way we're going to do it." If you recall, they said whatsisname has been wrenching for 40 years... IIRC it used to be much more true for old tubulars to need aging, but ever since I've started riding ~19years ago, it hasn't been a huge issue.

M
 

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MShaw said:
Sheldon and Jobst talk out their rear ends on certain things... Don't believe EVERYthing you read from them without first thinking about it.
OK, so let's think about it. It could be that the old guy in the cellar is talking out of HIS rear end. I believe that those who question the practice of aging tires argue that there is no evidence that the tires become "more supple." In fact, the rubber will harden with time. So, who to believe? Racers and their mechanics are not immune to myth and lore. So, just because Lance does something means that it is correct.
 

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wheel to wheel
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According to Andre' Dugast, the definitive master craftsman, 6 months curing is now sufficient.
"With modern materials tubulars only need to be cured for six months, the best method being stored in a dark dry place (he suggests a cellar) stretched on a rim and partly inflated."
 

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I'm sure there's a certain mojo to it

but I'm not gonna argue with a 6x Tour winner and his wrench. funny I spent part of my holiday gluing up tires, only have one road set but track and cx almost all my wheels are tubs
 

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Call me a Fred
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cadence90 said:
According to Andre' Dugast, the definitive master craftsman, 6 months curing is now sufficient.
"With modern materials tubulars only need to be cured for six months, the best method being stored in a dark dry place (he suggests a cellar) stretched on a rim and partly inflated."
I like to cure my tires with some hickory smoke.
 

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They also noted on the same show that aged tubulars and natural rubber -- as compared to synthetic rubber in clinchers -- is less prone to nicks, cuts, and picking up debris when it's been aged.
 

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i wonder what imbues the aged qualities of rubber? is there like a certain chemical that could be added to newly synthesized rubber to make it more supple? or is the supppleness a product of the slow break down of rubber
 

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Show me the data

pedaling pyrate said:
Anyone see the program on Discovery on 6/27 on Lance? They talked about how he rides on tires that have "seasoned" (they showed a guy in a cellar with bundles of tires stacked around) for up to 6 years. Did anyone else see this? It seems strange to be on such the cutting edge of technology only to use older tires. Does this mean we shouldn't care about the "new and improved" tires that come out and just wait for them to go on sale?

In a Daily Peloton interview Disco mechanic Allan Buttlar supports this. "Alan comes from a cycling family: they have had a cycle shop in Long Eaton, Nottingham, for 112 years"
He says,
"In fact last year at the Tour de France we had four flat tyres on the support vehicles on the race and only two flat tyres on the bikes during the three weeks."
 

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NeoRetroGrouch
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Jesse D Smith said:
In a Daily Peloton interview Disco mechanic Allan Buttlar supports this. "Alan comes from a cycling family: they have had a cycle shop in Long Eaton, Nottingham, for 112 years"
He says,
"In fact last year at the Tour de France we had four flat tyres on the support vehicles on the race and only two flat tyres on the bikes during the three weeks."
Are you calling this 'data'? - TF
 

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MShaw said:
Sheldon and Jobst talk out their rear ends on certain things... Don't believe EVERYthing you read from them without first thinking about it.

Anyway, back to the tires thing. "That's the way its been done for X years, so that's the way we're going to do it." If you recall, they said whatsisname has been wrenching for 40 years... IIRC it used to be much more true for old tubulars to need aging, but ever since I've started riding ~19years ago, it hasn't been a huge issue.

M
I agree that Jobst is full of it on a few issues, but what is your beef with Sheldon? Care to share specific examples?
 

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mentioned in coyle-

aging tubulars is mentioned in the new coyle book "lance armstrong's war." his team's belgian riders believe in aging tubulars. tubulars should be pre-stretched onto a rim before you need them, leading to some aging process just because you were getting the next one or two ready. this may have led to a superstitious belief in aging if someone once had a good day on an aged tubular.

someone gave me an older italian steel bike that required tubulars - i enjoyed them - getting pumped up to 150 psi makes you feel like you are flying. but the one time i put on a pair, it was a lot of work. i feared having to replace the tubulars, so i sold the bike.
 

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Get me to In&Out
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Again I will say it. Silk tubulars were aged because the aging helped strengthen the silk casing. We never stretched cotton because it didn't do the same thing. As for those who will say it is to cure the rubber, I think they are full of it. What happens to rubber as it sets? It will dry rot. Nobody ever would let a tire sit for 5-6 years. Tire technology moves so fast these days that a 6 year old tire would be a relic compared to new technology. In 1999 most riders were still under the impression that 20mm tires were the fastest thing on the road. As an example of tire rot, I recently put a brand new axial pro tire on a spare wheel. The tire had been sitting brand new in a package in the top of my closet since 2001. When I inflated the tire, the side wall had cracks and the thread pretty much split along the green/black junction of the tread. The rubber had oxodized or something, but it was rotten. Now lets assume your tubulars have latex tubes as most do. What do you think happens to latex over a 5-6 year period. I doubt I would trust TdF #7 on an old dry latex tube. I would want proof that this mechanic had the forsight to stow several hundred tires 6 years ago just knowing US Postal would still be around and needing them. Don't believe everything you see on TV. That should be a given.
 

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Skinny Legged XC MTB geek
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Reasons we age the rubber

omniviper said:
. . . what imbues the aged qualities of rubber? is there like a certain chemical that could be added to newly synthesized rubber to make it more supple? or is the supppleness a product of the slow break down of rubber
. aged tubulars and natural rubber -- as compared to synthetic rubber in clinchers -- is less prone to nicks, cuts, and picking up debris when it's been aged
Yep, better performance. These are the REAL reasons young men carry condoms around in their wallets for years.
 

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Like the man said; the real reason for maturing tubs is to allow the rubber to harden a little; brand new rubber is sticky, and picks up road debris and therefore punctures, much easier. Leave your tubs in a dark room for a while, semi-inflated, and the rubber cures, hardens, and is much less sticky. The same is true for clinchers; leave them out for a while before you need them.

Before you jump down my throat to tell me this is crap, no, I don't bother myself, but that is the reason for the cellar full of tubs.
 
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