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  1. #1
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    Tire Wear Question: Continental Gatorskin 700 x 23 PolyX Breaker

    Hello,

    I searched the Wheels and Tires section before posting but did not find anything specific to my question.

    - My back tire is no longer rounded in the center.
    - It's flat compared to my front tire. Flat as in like a flat surface.
    - Tires have about 750 miles on them.
    - Tire type: Continental Gatorskin 700 x 23 PolyX Breaker
    - I have been putting in 120PSI on my rides. I'm 200lbs

    Questions:
    1. Is this something that needs to be changed out now?
    2. Will i get better performance from a new back tire.

  2. #2
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    Rotate them and you might want to lower your pressure a tad.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    Rotate them and you might want to lower your pressure a tad.
    Terrible advice. DO NOT ROTATE bicycle tires. You ALWAYS want the newest tire w/ the best, least damaged tread on the front. ALWAYS.
    To the OP, at your weight i'd be using a 25mm tire on the back for sure, ideally on both wheels. 100psi tops rear, 80-90psi front. When the rear tire gets worn flat (this will take a lot longer w/ a larger tire at lower pressure) then throw it away. Put the front on the rear, and put a new tire on the front.
    DO NOT rotate tires front to rear w/o replacing the worn rear.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  4. #4
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    The rear tires always wear down much faster than the fronts. It's due to the force of pedaling the bike. The flat tread shows up pretty quickly, but then takes a long time to wear all the way down. You have a lot of life left in the tire.

    Continental tires have two small pits in the tread about an inch apart. When these wear indicators are worn off, the tread is completely gone, and then it's time to replace the tire.

    I throw out the old rear tire, and move the front to the back, then put a new tire on the front. Otherwise the front would never wear down, but just get cuts and cracks from years of use.

    The wear indicators:

    Tire Wear Question: Continental Gatorskin 700 x 23 PolyX Breaker-4664253766_bd2675f28f_z.jpg

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Terrible advice. DO NOT ROTATE bicycle tires. You ALWAYS want the newest tire w/ the best, least damaged tread on the front. ALWAYS.
    To the OP, at your weight i'd be using a 25mm tire on the back for sure, ideally on both wheels. 100psi tops rear, 80-90psi front. When the rear tire gets worn flat (this will take a lot longer w/ a larger tire at lower pressure) then throw it away. Put the front on the rear, and put a new tire on the front.
    DO NOT rotate tires front to rear w/o replacing the worn rear.
    This, as well, is terrible advice. A new tire every 750 miles when it gets a flat surface? Negative. That will happen with ANY quality tire. Are you going through 8-10 tires a year? That is insane and outright retarded.


    If the tire is WORN, get a new one. If you see the cords, or as rm-rf pointed out the wear indicators are gone, then get a new one. If it just has a worn groove in it from being on the back, throw it on the front.

  6. #6
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    OP here.

    Thanks for the advice. I have learned that there is no need to worry. Just ride until the wheels fall off . Then move the front tire to the back and replace the front. Thanks again.

    I just started riding frequently and put 700 miles on my bike in 40 days so I really didn't know what to expect from a tire wear point of view. You guys helped.

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    This, as well, is terrible advice. A new tire every 750 miles when it gets a flat surface? Negative. That will happen with ANY quality tire. Are you going through 8-10 tires a year? That is insane and outright retarded.


    If the tire is WORN, get a new one. If you see the cords, or as rm-rf pointed out the wear indicators are gone, then get a new one. If it just has a worn groove in it from being on the back, throw it on the front.
    You truly do not know what you're talking about. You NEVER want to put a partially worn tire on the front. Read my lips...NEVER. If you flat the rear tire the chances are great you'll keep the bike upright. If you flat the front, the chances are much greater you'll go down. You always want the newest, least worn tire on the front. This is classic bad advice from someone that has no clue.
    You can replace the rear when it's flat across the tread or you can wait til it's truly finished, you make the call. To answer the question in your PM, no...i don't work for a tire company.
    But...
    I am a professional mechanic and i'm very interested in keeping the racers and customers whose bikes i work on upright to the best of my ability.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  8. #8
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    I appreciate your insight but a heavier person will wear a tire faster. If it's WORN with cords showing you shouldn't rotate it but if it has 750 miles on it and is barely squared off it will not suddenly flat at the sight of gravel. If they want the case I'd have to replace my Pro4 SC 25s rear tire every 1000 miles. Should I just because it has a square off profile? Hell no.

    Also, I respect a lot of mechanics insights but you just never know. I've had more than a fair share that insist I ride at 120 psi on my tires and we all know that is just folk lore now. It's just going to take time to get the "no rotate" thinking out of the LBS as well. I know you will agree with me that tires have changed an insane amount in the last five years and old wives tells just don't apply as a blanket rule anymore.

  9. #9
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    I appreciate your insight but a heavier person will wear a tire faster. If it's WORN with cords showing you shouldn't rotate it but if it has 750 miles on it and is barely squared off it will not suddenly flat at the sight of gravel. If they want the case I'd have to replace my Pro4 SC 25s rear tire every 1000 miles. Should I just because it has a square off profile? Hell no.

    Also, I respect a lot of mechanics insights but you just never know. I've had more than a fair share that insist I ride at 120 psi on my tires and we all know that is just folk lore now. It's just going to take time to get the "no rotate" thinking out of the LBS as well. I know you will agree with me that tires have changed an insane amount in the last five years and old wives tells just don't apply as a blanket rule anymore.
    Yes, i'll agree w/ you on the technology. But i'll never, ever rotate a rear tire to the front wheel. This is not an old wives tale, it's just common sense.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Yes, i'll agree w/ you on the technology. But i'll never, ever rotate a rear tire to the front wheel. This is not an old wives tale, it's just common sense.
    Common sense was 3k oil changes for your car as well.


    Regardless, should I ditch my front as soon as I notice a flat groove?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hertz2much View Post
    OP here.

    Thanks for the advice. I have learned that there is no need to worry. Just ride until the wheels fall off . Then move the front tire to the back and replace the front. Thanks again.

    I just started riding frequently and put 700 miles on my bike in 40 days so I really didn't know what to expect from a tire wear point of view. You guys helped.
    That's about 120 miles a week. Good job. You were wondering if you would need a new tire every two or three months! I think my tires last about 3500 miles or more.

    I weigh 175, and use 105-110 psi rear, and 95-100 psi front. You can try 110-115 rear, and 100-105 front. That's a smoother ride. And it's no less efficient than rock hard tires.

    If the pressure is too low, the steering seems a little mushy, and there's a bigger risk of pinch flats--that's where the rim bottoms on on the edge of a pothole. The tube is pinched between the pothole-tire-tube-rim, and gets one or two "snakebite" holes from the edge of the rim.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    Regardless, should I ditch my front as soon as I notice a flat groove?
    You never will. At least, I have never seen a front tire wear that way. They just wear so slowly compared to the rear that, as some other posters noted, front tires almost always succomb to cuts or cracks before there's significant tread wear.

    The front-to-back rotation (wear out the rear, toss it, move front to back, put new on front) really makes the most sense. Moving a partly-worn rear tire to the front makes no sense.
    Eppur si muove.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    Common sense was 3k oil changes for your car as well.


    Regardless, should I ditch my front as soon as I notice a flat groove?
    As JCavilia also posted, you'll never see this happen. Your front will get cuts and the the tread will dry out/crack from age before it ever wears that much. Most people will never actually "wear out" a front tire on the road. After you've gone through (3,4, maybe 5 rears, depends on weight, road conditions, mileage) you'll just replace the front because it's "old"...it's up to you to figure out when that happens.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  14. #14
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    So, its better to keep a front tire that is "old, dried out and cracking" than to rotate a rear that has 750-1000 miles onto the front?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    So, its better to keep a front tire that is "old, dried out and cracking" than to rotate a rear that has 750-1000 miles onto the front?
    A front tire will never get "old, dried out and cracking" if you rotate it to the rear, as advised by cxwrench. Also, they don't square off nearly as badly when you ride a tire appropriately sized for your weight and at a lower pressure to achieve an appropriate sag.

  16. #16
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    So, its better to keep a front tire that is "old, dried out and cracking" than to rotate a rear that has 750-1000 miles onto the front?
    Jesus, you're just being difficult to be difficult. I NEVER said to keep the front 'til it's old and cracked. I said "Your front will get cuts and the the tread will dry out/crack from age before it ever wears that much." Maybe i wasn't clear enough when i said you'll have to replace the front when it's old, but that's up to you to figure out.
    To repeat...again...
    If you wear out your rear tire and move the front to the rear, and mount the new tire on the front, you'll never have to worry about any of this crap. Everyone except you that's replied to this thread has agreed this is the way to do it. It's easy and it makes perfectly good sense. Why wouldn't you do it? So you could be argumentative on a forum?
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  17. #17
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    See that is the issue. At my weight the front does wear. If I kept the front on until the rear wore I'd get probably 2500 miles from a new rear and then maybe 1000 from the old front tire on the rear.

    Sorry for being argumentative I guess but it just doesn't make sense to have a tired tire on either wheel.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Jesus, you're just being difficult to be difficult. I NEVER said to keep the front 'til it's old and cracked. I said "Your front will get cuts and the the tread will dry out/crack from age before it ever wears that much." Maybe i wasn't clear enough when i said you'll have to replace the front when it's old, but that's up to you to figure out.
    To repeat...again...
    If you wear out your rear tire and move the front to the rear, and mount the new tire on the front, you'll never have to worry about any of this crap. Everyone except you that's replied to this thread has agreed this is the way to do it. It's easy and it makes perfectly good sense. Why wouldn't you do it? So you could be argumentative on a forum?
    Your input has all made perfect sense to me.
    Hey you, Whitehouse, ha ha charade you are.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    See that is the issue. At my weight the front does wear. If I kept the front on until the rear wore I'd get probably 2500 miles from a new rear and then maybe 1000 from the old front tire on the rear.
    I'll take that bet. Tires wear (lose rubber from the tread) due to power transmission. On the front that can only happen from braking forces. I weigh 180 lbs. (82 kg) and have weighed front tires with 6,000 miles (10,000 km) on them. Zero weight loss.

    cxwrench is offering good and correct advice. You simply don't want to accept it. There is a lot of experience on this board. You would do well to acknowledge it rather than being obtuse in your arguments.

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