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Tyre longevity - GP4S

keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
edited June 2019 in Road general
I don't mean wearing them out, but how long they last on a bike that's not used much. I'm not a high mileage rider.

I've noticed that the tread on my GP 4 Seasons goes a bit like crazy paving after a few years, and not long afterwards it starts to come away from the carcass in chunks. It's happened with 3 sets over the years; I binned another rear yesterday, and suspect the front is on borrowed time. It's annoying that they go before they are worn out.

Is this normal? Is it the price you pay for the grippier low temp compound?

Apart from squaring off a bit the Michelin Pro tyres on the summer bike don't look any different from the day I fitted them.

I remember a Kwik-Fit chap telling me that car tyres have a finite life / use by date as he pointed out the state of the sidewalls on the rear tyres on my wife's car... I guessed they were 12 years old :shock:

Posts

  • thistle_(mbnw)thistle_(mbnw) Posts: 3,896
    keef66 wrote:
    I remember a Kwik-Fit chap telling me that car tyres have a finite life / use by date as he pointed out the state of the sidewalls on the rear tyres on my wife's car... I guessed they were 12 years old :shock:
    I've certainly noticed that on some bike tyres - the rubber tends to start cracking and looks worn. It happened with some cheap Conti Ultra Sports a while ago after about 2 years, although they'd been well used rather than just sitting around.
    However, one of the tyres on my commuting bike is at least 10 years old and isn't showing any signs of wear or aging!
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I'm becoming more convinced it's a feature of the compound. The cheap Conti Sports on the pub bike which have probably done less than 200 miles still look fine after 6 years standing beside the bike with the disintegrating GP4S.

    The GP4s have just become too expensive per mile. I've replaced the bald one with one of the bargain £10 Rubino Pros I snapped up a few weeks ago. See how that fares...
  • apprent1ceapprent1ce Posts: 86
    Keef66 it's interesting to read your post, I noticed this on my GP4S a few weeks back, they were no more than 18 months old and have done around 5000k. I initially thought I had ridden through solvent or something that had made them perish! I never noticed this on gators which I used before switching to the 4S. Aside from this the tyres have been good but early replacement does make them expensive. I've put a new set on and see how these fair.
  • frisbeefrisbee Posts: 691
    The tyres on my winter wheels have done this.

    The tyres on my summer wheels are absolutely fine.
  • perfectmarkperfectmark Posts: 117
    I noticed the break up on the G4S too. Currently using a Cont GP GT tyre (in-between GP4000 and GP4S in terms of puncher protection), to see if they fare any better as the GP4000 doesn't break up like the G4S does.
  • apprent1ceapprent1ce Posts: 86
    Tyre-Degrading.jpg

    This is the degradation on my GP4S, under 12 months old.
  • ibr17xviiibr17xvii Posts: 373
    apprent1ce wrote:
    Tyre-Degrading.jpg

    This is the degradation on my GP4S, under 12 months old.

    I'd be raising that with Conti. Shouldn't happen on a tyre that age.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 4,323
    ibr17xvii wrote:
    apprent1ce wrote:
    Tyre-Degrading.jpg

    This is the degradation on my GP4S, under 12 months old.

    I'd be raising that with Conti. Shouldn't happen on a tyre that age.
    Thats pretty extreme. I have a couple.of bikes i dont use much with gp4000s on and i dont see anything like that. Where do you store that bike?
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,961
    I’ve been using GP4000sII tyres since they were first launched and I’ve never seen anything like that with them. What I do find (and it’s making me consider changing) is the sidewalls seems particularly prone to damage, even with no obvious contact with anything. I don’t mean a specific nick or tear, I mean more like a worn patch revealing the threads. The rubber seems extremely thin on the sidewalls. I take particular care how I look after the sidewalls, really making sure I don’t put them into contact with anything like a kerb, the sides of a rut etc. Last two sets have been changed before reaching the wear indicator limits on the tread due to sidewall damage.

    PP
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 4,323
    Pilot Pete wrote:
    I’ve been using GP4000sII tyres since they were first launched and I’ve never seen anything like that with them. What I do find (and it’s making me consider changing) is the sidewalls seems particularly prone to damage, even with no obvious contact with anything. I don’t mean a specific nick or tear, I mean more like a worn patch revealing the threads. The rubber seems extremely thin on the sidewalls. I take particular care how I look after the sidewalls, really making sure I don’t put them into contact with anything like a kerb, the sides of a rut etc. Last two sets have been changed before reaching the wear indicator limits on the tread due to sidewall damage.

    PP
    The wear indicators are pretty optimistic. The flat part of the tread is quite wide and, um, flat, by the time you get anywhere near the base of the wear indicators and I find that I'm getting punctures well before then as well. But that said they are comfy, roll well and do a reasonable milage, given grip and weight etc. I use them all year round.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    It's how the rubber responds to environmental conditions. Rubber crazes with exposure to UV radiation and ozone principally. Storing the bike in a garage witha chest freezer for example can expose the tyres to ozone. Many electrical appliances generate ozone in there operation.

    Expensive tyres should be ridden regularly or you may not get the full life from them. My bikes are stored in a garage with no electrics. My Bikes with tyres that are used infrequently dont suffer from grazing much. No UV and no ozone means little to no degradation.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • peatpeat Posts: 1,243
    I've had the same thing with GP4000's.
    I have them on my 'holiday bike' that spends most of it's life attached to a turbo trainer (with dedicated turbo wheel/tyre).
    When packing, I noticed the same perishing on the tyres after a winter of no-use. When I was riding, they seemed to have more propensity to make squeaking noises when turning at slow speed, something I had never noticed the year before at the same place. It didn't inspire much confidence, so I didn't ask too much of them on the descents. Just as well really.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 4,323
    It's how the rubber responds to environmental conditions. Rubber crazes with exposure to UV radiation and ozone principally. Storing the bike in a garage witha chest freezer for example can expose the tyres to ozone. Many electrical appliances generate ozone in there operation.

    Expensive tyres should be ridden regularly or you may not get the full life from them. My bikes are stored in a garage with no electrics. My Bikes with tyres that are used infrequently dont suffer from grazing much. No UV and no ozone means little to no degradation.
    Not sure you could attribute to ozone. It is such a transient species and produced in very low quantities by a fridge. I would need persuading.

    I store one of my bikes next to a washer and a drier overnigjt and in a server room in the day. The motors from those are probably just as bad as the pumps of a fridge. Again I have never see issues like that photo, albeit i get through a couple of pairs of tyres a year so perhaps exposure not long enough.

    More likely to be heat, e.g. shed or conservatory. Unless its stored outside a lot of the time, won't be UV.

    Would like to know actually.
  • philbar72philbar72 Posts: 2,216
    that tyre looks about 3 years old! I've noticed its where they are stored as well. so after a ride my old bike is not indoors and the weather definitely ages pretty much everything. one of my tryes I was using in the alps looked like that, and frankly it got replaced as soon as I came back to the UK.

    I had a vredstein tyre that had outer and inner compounds and it fractured along where the different compounds were bonded to each other.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,037
    The age of the tyre is from the date it was manufactured rather than the date you first rode on it. Possibly old stock sent out? Car tyres have a DOT stamp that gives Week Of & Year Of production e.g 0119 (1st week of 2019). Don't think bike tyres have this as I have never noticed.

    When I was MTB'ing and I stored my spare tyres in our conservatory hung from hooks with the corresponding inner tubes laid in the tyre, the sunlight destroyed the inner tube butyl within months during the summer.

    Another possibility is chemical contamination? Ridden through a lot of diesel spills?
  • apprent1ceapprent1ce Posts: 86
    It's how the rubber responds to environmental conditions. Rubber crazes with exposure to UV radiation and ozone principally. Storing the bike in a garage witha chest freezer for example can expose the tyres to ozone. Many electrical appliances generate ozone in there operation.

    Expensive tyres should be ridden regularly or you may not get the full life from them. My bikes are stored in a garage with no electrics. My Bikes with tyres that are used infrequently dont suffer from grazing much. No UV and no ozone means little to no degradation.

    I bought the GP4 Seasons from Wiggle at the beginning of last year in sale and put them on the bike in July just before the London 100. I have ridden the bike all through the winter (Just over 5,000K on these tyres according to Strava), mainly 100 & 200K audaxes, Festive 500 etc including sub zero rides, ice, salted roads etc. The bike is stored in the house in hall area (no heating there, so colder part of house) with no electrical appliances so I don't think that's an issue. I changed the back tyre a month ago as it looked worse than this one!

    Previously, I rode Gators and didn't see anything like this. I guess it might be an old stock issue or riding through some form of contaminant, although not knowingly. I will contact Continental and see if they can throw any light on it. I've been happy with the tyres, notwithstanding this, but don't think I'll get another pair if this is a likely outcome.

    Malcolm, what would you ride (if you had to ride clinchers!) as I ride the same roads as you.

    Thanks for all the responses.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,690
    I've never been happier than the day I ditched Conti road tyres, I have no idea why people rave about them, they're thick dead unresponsive hose pipes, just about any other manufacturer produces better ride feel tyres.

    I had years of Conti woes before finally giving away several pairs and buying tyres that dont crack, thread around the sidewalls and generally make every ride unpleasant.
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 4,323
    itboffin wrote:
    I've never been happier than the day I ditched Conti road tyres, I have no idea why people rave about them, they're thick dead unresponsive hose pipes, just about any other manufacturer produces better ride feel tyres.

    I had years of Conti woes before finally giving away several pairs and buying tyres that dont crack, thread around the sidewalls and generally make every ride unpleasant.
    For years you whinged about cycling through razor blades along the wild unkempt lanes of Wiltshire. Here in rural Scotland, where the roads are carpeted, with under road heating in winter, I don't have issues with Contis, but have found Michelin and Vredsteins turn my wheels into cart wheels and offer as much grip as ball bearings.

    What do you use now ITB, solid tyres?
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,690
    Vittoria Pave CX in the winter then Schwalbe ones the other two days of the year, I've also been running michelin endurance v2 28c which were great but not the most grippy, now swapped out for Hutchinson fusion
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 4,323
    itboffin wrote:
    Vittoria Pave CX in the winter then Schwalbe ones the other two days of the year, I've also been running michelin endurance v2 28c which were great but not the most grippy, now swapped out for Hutchinson fusion
    So you are still shopping around then.
  • itboffinitboffin Posts: 19,690
    itboffin wrote:
    Vittoria Pave CX in the winter then Schwalbe ones the other two days of the year, I've also been running michelin endurance v2 28c which were great but not the most grippy, now swapped out for Hutchinson fusion
    So you are still shopping around then.

    I'm pretty sure i've tried 90-95% of all the brands and models, i have an insane collection of used tyres, also might have a wheel problem :roll:

    everyone needs 20ish sets of wheels right :oops:
    Rule #5 // Harden The censored Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 4,323
    itboffin wrote:
    itboffin wrote:
    Vittoria Pave CX in the winter then Schwalbe ones the other two days of the year, I've also been running michelin endurance v2 28c which were great but not the most grippy, now swapped out for Hutchinson fusion
    So you are still shopping around then.

    I'm pretty sure i've tried 90-95% of all the brands and models, i have an insane collection of used tyres, also might have a wheel problem :roll:

    everyone needs 20ish sets of wheels right :oops:
    At least. Why fix a puncture when you can just flag the team car down and get a new wheel. Saves on co2 emissions as well. Sort of.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    tyre degradation has enviromental causes. UV and Ozone are two ways which rubber degrade. Heat not so much as what has to happen is the cross links that bond the long molecular chains together get broken. That requires radiation (infra red has insufficent energy) or aggressive chemicals species.

    IT does not happen by itself and ozone concentrations are higher in towns and cities than area away from roads. Air pollution is a cause of premature rubber dregrdation (air pollution from traffic results in ozone production). Its well worn chemistry but unless your going to live on top of a mountain like a hermit its not a problem that easily solved.

    Grippy compounds do seem more suseptible to this possibly because they are less cross linked or have additives that interupt the cross links (hense softer).

    That the best way I can explain this. In short there is no solution or anything any one can do to stop it.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • sgt.peppersgt.pepper Posts: 300
    I had to swap my 4 seasons as the rear was getting squared off, but after thousands of miles they're looking pretty good otherwise. Maybe it's storage? I keep my bikes in a cool garage.
  • mugensimugensi Posts: 558
    I've just checked mine and theyre perfect. They've been on the bike since March 2016 and have done very little, maybe 1800km in total as I was out for a year with a back injury and theyre on my best bike which gets used very little. They still look like new, the bike is kept in the garage which is unheated and is pretty damn cold in the middle of winter but it doesn't appear to have done them any harm.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 4,323
    tyre degradation has enviromental causes. UV and Ozone are two ways which rubber degrade. Heat not so much as what has to happen is the cross links that bond the long molecular chains together get broken. That requires radiation (infra red has insufficent energy) or aggressive chemicals species.

    IT does not happen by itself and ozone concentrations are higher in towns and cities than area away from roads. Air pollution is a cause of premature rubber dregrdation (air pollution from traffic results in ozone production). Its well worn chemistry but unless your going to live on top of a mountain like a hermit its not a problem that easily solved.

    Grippy compounds do seem more suseptible to this possibly because they are less cross linked or have additives that interupt the cross links (hense softer).

    That the best way I can explain this. In short there is no solution or anything any one can do to stop it.
    There is a bit of truth in this, but there are probably enough platicisers, flow agents and the like in the tread compound they use for heat to be a significant factor, causing shrinkage and cracking, as the material effectively "dries out".
  • davep1davep1 Posts: 753
    Pilot Pete wrote:
    I’ve been using GP4000sII tyres since they were first launched and I’ve never seen anything like that with them. What I do find (and it’s making me consider changing) is the sidewalls seems particularly prone to damage, even with no obvious contact with anything. I don’t mean a specific nick or tear, I mean more like a worn patch revealing the threads. The rubber seems extremely thin on the sidewalls. I take particular care how I look after the sidewalls, really making sure I don’t put them into contact with anything like a kerb, the sides of a rut etc. Last two sets have been changed before reaching the wear indicator limits on the tread due to sidewall damage.

    PP

    I had issues with my Contis getting tears in the sidewalls, with the inner tube then pushing through them. I then tried some Vittorias which were ok but I just didn't have the confidence in the grip of them. I had a nasty crash on a downhill descent, breaking my shoulder (which still isn't happy on longer rides nearly a year later) so went back to the Contis. It's easier to think the grass is greener, and I may have had the same crash if I had been running Contis, but I just don't think so.
  • apprent1ceapprent1ce Posts: 86
    davep1 wrote:
    I had issues with my Contis getting tears in the sidewalls, with the inner tube then pushing through them.

    DaveP1, I had this happen Monday and of course it was on the new back tyre, not the degraded front. Because of the circumstances I also had to get the new tyre from LBS which was top dollar £49.95, so this is getting kind of expensive!

    Regarding the initial query, I contacted Conti and sent the photo and the initial response was:

    "Given the mileage you have done on these tyres it is reasonable to expect some kind of degradation of the tyre"

    I then pointed out that I had ridden similar mileages over several years and not witnessed this effect on Gators, and the next reply was:

    "Tyre degredation is not specific to any compound, it’s possible that over this winter the tyre went through more frequent changes in temperature or experience more chemicals on the road causing a more noted degrade on the tyres than other times"

    I don't think the temperature changes have been significantly different year on year, I have been riding audaxes in all weathers throughout winter for a few years. It could be there's more road salting going on? Beginning to think 4 season is maybe a misnomer - my thoughts are I'm riding Conti 3 Seasons at best!
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 4,323
    Feeble response from Conti, given that a tyre for the road should be able to cope with chemicals which are present on a normal road. But it might well be what you would expect, depending on how much information you provided them with.

    But why do people keep writing to manufacturers rather than the people they bought defective products from?
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