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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was riding the other day and noticed small longitude (1-1.5 cm long) dry rotting tear along the tire. I probably have about 2-3K mile on the tires. They are not worn out and I do ride frequently. However I live in Texas and the bike can see temperatures as high as 140 in the garage. I took the tire off and inspected inner surface and it looked fine. Is it time for new tires or am I fine for now?
 

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YOu don't say how old your tires are but if I saw dry rot, I'd get new tires. I had tires like that and found that they punctured more readily. Plus, I bet you'll noticed improved ride and handling on tires that don't suffer from dry rot.
 

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Dry rot, according to Sheldon Brown, doesn't affect anything.

Your tires won't explode or whatever else. The bead isn't gonna come off etc... use them as you would. I rode on my 1988 tires from a used bike for about 1200 miles before tossing them.
 

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I read in several different articles that the tires Armstrong used in each of his tour wins were around 7 years old. The claimed reason was so that any oils left over from production had plenty of time to dry out. If this is the case I don't think dry rot should be a concern on fairly new tires.
 

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I had a rear tire that was around 15 years old actually explode.
Thankfully, it was in my car at the time and I think that is an
extreme situation.
 

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Tires with cotton casings will rot a lot faster than tires with nylon casings. A nylon tire should be good for 10 years, if kept out of direct sunlight.
 

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As long as you don't hang the bike outside, should be fine.
If you ride 250 to 300 miles a week, I do not think that you will have to worry about dry rot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. I am guessing that the tire is 4 years old....since i bought the bike used. I have about 2500 miles on it.

While on the subject, is there a trick to getting the tire bead to seal near the valve. When i change my tube, its a hit or miss with the tire seating right where the bead is. Any tips?
 

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phoehn9111 said:
I had a rear tire that was around 15 years old actually explode.
Thankfully, it was in my car at the time and I think that is an
extreme situation.
The tires will never explode. It's always the tube. :p

Basically, always ride new tubes with old tires for so called "dry rot"
 

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Seating the tire

sprtbiker said:
While on the subject, is there a trick to getting the tire bead to seal near the valve. When i change my tube, its a hit or miss with the tire seating right where the bead is. Any tips?
As you start to mount the tire, begin at the valve, and push the valve up into the tire as you put the bead on the rim. The tube should have enough air in it to give it some shape (you can just blow it up "by mouth" to accomplish this). Once you have the tire mounted on the rim, work all the way around to be sure the tire is seated and the tube is not caught under the bead. As a final step before starting to inflate the tire, push up on the valve again to insure that the tube is not caught under the bead at the valve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Kerry - Thanks for the tip about filling the tube with air. I will try that next time.

Lawrence - There small little cracks along my tire but on the contact surface when you are going straight (i.e. not the curved surface). Is this normal?
 

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Probably checking

Tires take years to dry rot, it sounds like it's checking. They are small cracks, 1/4" or less long in the outer surface of the tire, a hundred of them, up and down, perpendicular to the rim. When you put a new tire on, the heavier you are, the sooner they will appear, could easily be within a month or two of being new.

Right now I have 4 sets of tires that I ride on different wheels for different reasons, a heavier 25c for training, a hill wheel with a 28 cassette, a lighter wheel for riding longer distances, and a very light set when I'm riding with a group and I know I'm going to be pushing myself.

Out of all these tires/wheels (Kenda, Michelin Pro Race 2, Vittoria Zaffiro, Vittoria Corsa), the only one that is checking is my Vittoria Zaffiro which I have had for 3 years and have about 8,000 miles on them. They must have started checking the first month or two that I had them, probably had less than 1,000 miles on them at the time. Back then I weighed 242 lbs, now I'm down to 214 lbs. Some tires seem to check, some don't, I don't know why. But I do know the heavier you are, the sooner and more checks you have. Probably has something to do with both the type of rubber in the sidewall and the flexing of the sidewall, maybe also air pressure. More air pressure probably the less checking you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
lawrence said:
Tires take years to dry rot, it sounds like it's checking. They are small cracks, 1/4" or less long in the outer surface of the tire, a hundred of them, up and down, perpendicular to the rim. When you put a new tire on, the heavier you are, the sooner they will appear, could easily be within a month or two of being new.
ARE YOU CALLING ME FAT??? Darn it, even in the virtual world, people know I am fat. :)

Thanks for clearing that up. I am guessing it is checking. The side of the tires are fine. It is just one area of the tire surface and there a lot of them. Now I feel better about riding on them. I was worried about them, somehow, just falling apart while I was riding. Not a good visual.
 
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