I have been checking my records and I realised that the front tyre on my 2 Speed Sports Squirrel is 23 years old. It is a 3.00 x 20 Avon ribbed tyre and is down to about 2.5 mm of tread in the centre. It has worn slightly unevenly which is certainly not due to the power of the front brake! There are not any cracks although the rubber has proberbly hardened over the years as the bike has always been kept in a cool dry garage. I am on the third rear tyre which is also a 3.00 x 20 this is now a Mitas with a block tread. I do not have a speedometer so have no idea how many miles I have ridden since 1993.
What are other owner’s preferences for a front tyre? I am minded to buy another Avon ribbed as a ribbed tyre was said to give better feel but is this still the case?
The hardening of tyres is caused primarily by the ultra-violet light in daylight, which breaks down the plasticiser in the rubber. Tyres kept in cool and above all DARK conditions, will last almost indefinitely. The man who rebuilds wheels for me, Steve Lomas, at ‘Five-One Wheelbuilding’ (near Cadwell Park), has a gizmo that he can press onto tyres to measure how hard/soft they are, a very good guide to the ageing of tyres that may have plenty of tread and no visible surface cracking. I suppose that as most of our machines are exempt from MOT testing, it is a matter of judgement based on what speeds you may ride at, how exuberant your cornering may be, and how much you value your life. Hardened but otherwise sound tyres will not grip properly on wet roads. I think that I am saying “If in any doubt at all, renew the tyre”
The proper test for a tyre is to kick it.
That must be true – ‘cos that’s what everybody has always done who has ever come round to buy a car or bike I’ve had for sale!
Decided to get a new tyre and tube. I bought an Avon Speedmaster ribbed tyre and tube. I decided to be safe and it will mean that I shall be free from tyre worries for a good few years. I expect the new tyre will be better in the wet but hoping for a dry Banbury run.
I am the (proud) owner of a 1966 Triumph Tiger Cub. In mitigation, I acquired this as part if a deal including a Scott. Some years ago I took the Cub for an MOT and although it passed I received an advisory that the walls of front tyre were cracked and would need replacement.
The following year having not replaced the tyre (and having avoided the temptation to apply shoe polish to fill the cracks as advocated by friends) I presented the bike for MOT again and was surprised to receive a pass without further comment.
Yet another year passed and I was now acutely conscious of the cracked front tyre. I therefore decided to book the Cub in with the garage undertaking the test for a service and change of the offending front tyre. A few days prior to the test I was a little troubled when I received a telephone call from the garage explaining that they were having difficulty sourcing a new tyre. I suggested a few suppliers and thought nothing more.
On the day of the test I rode to the garage assuming that a new tyre would be waiting and there would be no further problem. However, I was told that there was still no tyre available and consequently I settled back to await the inevitable failure of the MOT. Imagine my surprise when I was handed a clear pass certificate by the tester with the words, ” There’s a bit more life in that front tyre yet !”