Author Topic: Judging tire wear  (Read 2933 times)

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Offline Doug.ftc

Judging tire wear
« on: September 05, 2018, 06:05:55 pm »
Hi all,
We're running Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, 700x35, on a couple of touring bikes. They've been dependable and durable, and are well used but still looking quite good. Max mileage on any of the existing tires is about 3500, most of that on a fully loaded road tour. We're getting ready for a five-day, moderately loaded road tour with some long, fast descents. We need to decide whether to replace any of the tires.

What are your tips for checking tire wear and criteria for replacing tires that are worn but not obviously damaged in other ways?

Thanks in advance,

Offline John Nelson

Re: Judging tire wear
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2018, 09:33:47 pm »
My experience with Schwalbe Marathon Supremes is that you can’t tell. I’ve had two explode at about 7000 miles with tons of tread left. So if you want to get full value, start with the ones you have and carry a spare or two.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Judging tire wear
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 07:07:02 am »
I would probably change them but then keep the old ones and put them back on when I got back for club/local rides.  I too do not like the idea of flying downhill and have a wheel blow.  It's bad enough when going 12-15 and it blows.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Judging tire wear
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 11:21:43 am »
I've only used one or two Marathons (it's been a while), and my recollection is I took them off when they started flatting and I noticed the threads showing through -- as I do most of my tires.  So I'd probably inspect the tread area to make sure there are no flat spots, and keep riding.  You're only talking about a few hundred miles for the tour, right?

There are a couple more things I would do.  First, make sure the better tire is on the front.  The back tire flatting is harder to control than the front, to bias things to help you keep control.  Second, John's suggestion to carry a spare tire is a good one.  I'd probably go with a smaller folding tire (32 or possibly 28) for lighter weight and easier packing.  I'd think one spare for every two or three bikes should be plenty.

Offline Doug.ftc

Re: Judging tire wear
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 10:12:58 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated.

This tour will be about 250 miles. The tires have not been flatting, no noticeable flat spots, no threads showing. So maybe they're good to go.

We'll definitely pack a spare, SOP for our tours (we needed it with a blown sidewall on the last tour).

Pat: I'm curious re your statement, "The back tire flatting is harder to control than the front . . ." Don't you mean the opposite? Because a flat on the front is more liable to make you lose control, that's where the better tire should go?


Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Judging tire wear
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2018, 09:20:04 pm »
Doug, you are correct.  It's EASIER to control the bike with a flat rear than a flat in front.

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