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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was checking out the tires a couple weeks ago on my single speed. I was getting it ready to ride for the first time this year and honestly...I rode it very little last year. I noticed some cracking around the sidewall just below the tread. I'm assuming dry rot. Tires have been on the bike 2 years...maybe 3 but have almost new tread. I've ridden them a few times since and so far no issues. I'm just wondering if there's any product that you use or recommend to put on the tires to prevent this from getting worse and to use on other tires to prevent it from even happening in the first time in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Concrete yes...carport. Chemicals...no. But all my bikes are on the carport and I've not noticed the cracking on other tires. My gravel bike has the same tires for going on 3 years now as well but they see much more use. Actually they need replaced very soon as they have 2500+ miles on them and it shows. But no dry rot issues. The tires in question have maybe 100 miles on them in 3 years.
 

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Best prevention is to ride it more often. That way it wears out before it dry-rots.

I'm only half-kidding. My biggest fear isn't that i need to buy new parts because i wore them out or broke them, but that I replace them due to age. Because that shows I didn't ride enough. So go out and ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I hear ya...I definitely neglected my single speed the last couple years. I was riding mostly gravel...reason being I don't really have anyone to mountain bike with and I'm not crazy about going out alone. It's just more fun with something else...you know...kinda like sex.

Anyways...now I have a new riding buddy that's borderline obsessed with riding which is awesome for me. So my mountain bikes will be seeing a lot more miles this year than they have in the past.
 

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What brand tire? I had this problem with multiple sets of Continental X-Kings the first time I actually reached out to the and told them I had the tires less than a year and they had cracks all over them. They replaced them under warranty. I just noticed that the replacements are cracking as well, but it’s been about 3 years for those. That is the only brand I have seen this issue with. No problems with Specialized or Maxxis.


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What brand tire? I had this problem with multiple sets of Continental X-Kings the first time I actually reached out to the and told them I had the tires less than a year and they had cracks all over them. They replaced them under warranty. I just noticed that the replacements are cracking as well, but it's been about 3 years for those. That is the only brand I have seen this issue with. No problems with Specialized or Maxxis.

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Maxxis Icon is the one I noticed it one. Front is a Nobby Nic and I didn't see any dry rot issues with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Find a way to store the bike inside.
No possible. I can get them in the shed but they will still be exposed to the temp. changes between winter and summer. They are on the carport now and not exposed to sun or weather...but the temp changes between seasons and from day to day.

We might be getting a new shed sometime soonish...if that happens half will be dedicated to my bikes and hopefully I'll have some temperature control to a point but it won't be like keeping them in my house. But better than just out on the carport.
 

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What brand tire? I had this problem with multiple sets of Continental X-Kings the first time I actually reached out to the and told them I had the tires less than a year and they had cracks all over them. They replaced them under warranty. I just noticed that the replacements are cracking as well, but it's been about 3 years for those. That is the only brand I have seen this issue with. No problems with Specialized or Maxxis.

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I had the problem with a pair or Panaracers on a road bike, they were cracking when a year old. Performance gave me a full credit. I think Panaracer had a bad batch of rubber.

Anything around that could have caused ozone cracking?
 

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I doubt temperature is the problem. Cars are outside much more and tires are fine for many years. After maybe 7 years or so they become problematic. But you have to drive very little to be not wear them out before.

Bicycle tires may be built to lower standards in that respect, though. But many tires are old and stored in unconditioned spaces and are fine.
 

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Tires don't dry rot, there's enough zinc in them to prevent that. They DO oxidze and potentially crack for these main reasons:
1. Ozone - biggest issue so NEVER store your tires anywhere near an electrical motor (next to the furnace is a VERY bad place to store your bike).
2. UV light (probably the case for the OP). You can protect the sidewalls with a product like this (I actually use it to both protect AND cover the ugly yellow Maxxis lettering): https://www.amazon.com/SunBlock-Tires®-Tire-Protection-Kit/dp/B001FCB5BK
The US military uses this on aircraft.
3. The rubber simply wasn't formulated with enough anti-oxidant or they forgot to add it to a batch (I sell these).

Have FUN!

G MAN
 

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Another product you can put on it is 303 Protectant. I use it on tires, vinyl convertible auto tops, vinyl auto interiors (dashes, etc.). It is like sunscreen for rubber and vinyl.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=303+aerospace+protectant&i=automotive&crid=OVLXZ2VUC0CD&sprefix=303+%2Cautomotive%2C165&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_4

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_CAds=&_ex_kw=&_fpos=&_fspt=1&_mPrRngCbx=1&_nkw=303+Aerospace+Protectant+Vinyl%2C+Rubber&_sacat=&_sadis=&_sop=12&_udhi=&_udlo=&_fosrp=1

The stuff really does work. It wouldn't be as bad as Armor All to put on a bike seat (I learned that lesson 40+ years ago when I racked my nuts on a top tube), but I still wouldn't put it on a saddle. It rejuvenates rubber and vinyl, without making it extra shiny and slick, like Armor All does.

I haven't had a problem with my bike tires cracking, but if I did, I would use this stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Tires don't dry rot, there's enough zinc in them to prevent that. They DO oxidze and potentially crack for these main reasons:
1. Ozone - biggest issue so NEVER store your tires anywhere near an electrical motor (next to the furnace is a VERY bad place to store your bike).
2. UV light (probably the case for the OP). You can protect the sidewalls with a product like this (I actually use it to both protect AND cover the ugly yellow Maxxis lettering): https://www.amazon.com/SunBlock-Tires®-Tire-Protection-Kit/dp/B001FCB5BK
The US military uses this on aircraft.
3. The rubber simply wasn't formulated with enough anti-oxidant or they forgot to add it to a batch (I sell these).

Have FUN!

G MAN
Whatever it is they are cracked. Shouldn't be an ozone issue. They are on a covered carport so there's plenty of air flow and not next to anything that would generate any type of anything. Just leaning against the wall of my house. They are also not in the sun. It's a covered carport and the bike is shaded 100% of the time. Not to say they don't still see some UV. But the bike is never in direct sunlight except when I have it out riding.

I'll check in to both products. My buddy was just telling me about the 303 stuff and has some but hasn't actually used it on anything yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah. I've been riding them cracked. So far I guess it's not an issue though it is in the back of my mind that they are weakened and could potentially cause a catastrophic failure. Or not. Who knows. I'm just curious what caused it. Ozone is unlikely. If temp variation is out, that leave UV but like I said...exposure is minimal since the bike is always under cover. Or maybe there's more UV getting under the roof of my carport than I realize. But this is the only bike and only tire I've had this issue with. The Nobby Nic that I got the same time as the Maxxis and installed the same time is just fine. So perhaps it is just a bad batch. If I can get a product that I can apply a couple times a year...especially to a lesser ridden bike to protect the tires I guess it would be worth it. Cheaper than a tire going bad from exposure to something and failing hundreds of miles before it's actually worn out.
 

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Anything in a carport is getting WAY more UV exposure than you think (especially morning and evening sun). Formula 303 contains a UV absorber that I sell - it's "okay" but if you really want something that works buy what I told you - it is opaque (basically tire paint - 100% UV block) that the US Air Force uses on their 85 MILLION dollar F35's. You apply it once a year vs many times a year for 303. I do this for a living so...

Have FUN!

G MAN

PS - Your current tires with the cracks ARE a disaster waiting to happen - DITCH them!
 
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