When the first diamond frame bicycles became popular in the 1890s they were often called "wheels" - the national cycling association was called the "League of American Wheelmen." We have moved from "wheels" to "bikes," but the bicycles have remained remarkably the same over more than 100 years - elegant in their efficiency and simplicity. And many of the issues that we think are new? They were around then too.
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Incipient Tire Failure
I bought more tires at some point than I needed and switched mostly to 25 mm wide tires, so I ended up having this 23 mm tire probably longer after it was manufactured than I realized. Then I wasn't able to ride much of the winter and the tire developed these odd red . . . things. What are they? But they didn't seem to weaken the tire. I rode it a few times, then noticed the grey stripe material was giving way. Yikes!
In 2007 when I purchased a carbon fiber road bike in a fit of self-indulgence, I assumed I would ride it with 700x23 tires forevermore. But then I got a steel frame road bike and it came with 700x25. This of course was hardly a fat tire, but it was more forgiving in certain ways than the narrow tires, and eventually I became convinced it had little influence on how fast I could ride (which was hardly a huge concern anyway).
Unfortunately right before I became convinced of the superiority of the slightly wider tires, I purchased several Michelin tires that were on sale. Eventually I decided I would use up these on the front tire of my carbon figure bike. What we see above is the last one. I realize I have no idea how many years old it is . . . as it happens, I had some surgery so I was not riding this bike for something like six months. I was surprised to see that over the winter, these crazy red dots had appeared, but the tire seemed sound. I rode it a few times, then Sunday looked at it again and discovered it was coming apart at an accelerated rate, to say the least.
This is a Michelin Krylion Carbon Road Bicycle Tire (700 x 23) - Black/Grey. Michelin no longer makes this tire, which was somehow related to the ProRace tire Michelin was selling at the time. Typically described as a "training tire" rather than a "racing clincher." This particular one came with a grey sidewall stripe, which is not something I was looking for it often seemed like tires on sale had some odd color (and I'm cheap, I guess).
It is somewhat dramatic to me how the tire rubber is giving way now - you can clearly see the casing under the rubber. So bike tires do age, if you don't wear them out otherwise, it appears. Yikes!
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