Tubular ageing

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
PokojniToza
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by PokojniToza

Every now and then I read about the need to age your tubulars to get proper performance out of them. Is this supported by actual evidence or is just a part of the cycling lore?

by Weenie


bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

I think it depends on the tubs. conti and vittoria tubs probably dont benefit from aging but dugast and FMB tyre might do if they are keep in a dry and sunlight free enviornment. That how I store the shops Dugast tyres. Dugast probably age the tubs anyway so the benefit is probably limited.

RussellS
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by RussellS

I'm pretty sure its cycling lore. Think about what on a tire would benefit from ageing. Rubber? Maybe rubber somehow becomes better with age. Rubber is a natural product so possibly time could somehow cause the rubber to get stronger, tougher, grippier. Maybe. I'm not sure of any other rubber items used by humans where ageing is a benefit. Cotton? Some tubulars are made from actual cotton. Not sure if cotton benefits from ageing or not. I doubt it since I have never heard of linen manufacturers ageing their 300 count cotton sheets. Or Hanes ageing its cotton t-shirts. Latex tubes? Don't know if latex improves with age or not. Everything else on a tire is likely synthetic. Made from petroleum or some chemical. That does not benefit from age. So today, if not always, ageing tubulars is folklore.

mattr
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by mattr

RussellS wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:57 am
Think about what on a tire would benefit from ageing. Rubber?
Yup.
Rubber needs vulcanising to finish it off, this needs heat if you're going to do it in a manufacturing environment. i.e. quickly.

Lightweight cotton or silk carcasses don't like to be made too hot. Also best to do it in the correct shape of the tyre, so with a tube included. 150degC+ isn't going to do your latex tube any favours. So you have to do it cooler, which takes ages. So leaving it to age after purchase makes sense. Rather than a room temperature warehouses full of hundreds upon thousands of slowly aging tubs.

I've also heard that tyre rubber is a bit of a bugger as it needs to be tough and grippy at the same time, which is difficult to do with conventional vulcanising. As you just gas out everything, rather than just the bits you want. This might be urban myth though.

On the flip side, most tubs today use polycotton casings (much tougher), far more synthetics in the tread compound (less actual rubber) and adhesives are much better, so at a rough guess, i'd say that 99.9% of tubs sold today don't need any aging at all.

Other than things like sonderklasse/dugast/FMBs.
And they probably sit on the shelf long enough at the importers/bike shop to not need aging anyway.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

I think that's what I said.

Marin
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by Marin

I bake my Veloflexes (Open) in the oven, 30 min at 60°C.

Stinks like hell, only do it when the wife's away. I think it helps, no cuts at all.

Geoff
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by Geoff

Like most folklore, there is always some truth in there. I still age all my tires, even thE Contis. People always say it doesn't make a difference, but they are always surprised how different aged tubulars feel. I believe that they get a harder 'skin' on them that does not pick-up road debris the same way as fresh, 'sticky' tires do.

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Calnago
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by Calnago

Geoff wrote:Like most folklore, there is always some truth in there...
You mean like BigFoot?
I don’t know... if there is a change due to aging, I believe it’s not a good one. Rubber degrades over time. It dries out, gets hard, and ultimately gets brittle and starts cracking. I think the most supple and best riding they will ever be, is when they are new. Or at least not 10 years old. Car tires have an expiration date of 6 years I think after which they are not to be sold. What is so special about bicycle tires that they could possibly get better with age. Maybe if they harden up they will be harder to puncture, but I don’t buy nice tires to hold them until they get hard.

The oven bake is a new one to me. Is that like a substitution for letting them dry out in the desert under the hot sun to “harden them up” quicker.

To each his own I guess. No harm done. Ok... gotta go. Full moon tonight and I’ve got to gather my wooden stakes.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
Unlinked Builds (searchable): Colnago C59 - 5 Years Later; Trek Emonda SL Campagnolo SR; Special Colnago EPQ

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LouisN
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by LouisN

I stretch all my tubulars and let them sit for a few months minimum, up to 2-3 years, depending on the use.
I'm on the ''humid environment for slow curing'' camp BTW. It gives a nice flavour to my wines in the cellar :P .
It would be nice to have an interview on the subject from the artisans themselves, François Marie, or Mr. Dugast.
I had a discussion with Mr. Marie about the cotton cloth used fo his ''carbon'' model tubulars. He wasn't satisfied with the cloth manufacturer who made the black cloth, so he ended up using only his original tan cloth. The carbon model has the tan sidewalls ( badly) colored in black...
Louis :)

mattr
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by mattr

Calnago wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:56 am
Car tires have an expiration date of 6 years I think after which they are not to be sold.
Car tyres use a metal mesh/fabric and are vulcanised at well over 150 degrees, probably nearer 200, nothing in the tyre will be damaged by high temperatures. They also use a lot of synthetics in the tread.
Calnago wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:56 am
What is so special about bicycle tires that they could possibly get better with age.
Fresh, unvulcanised rubber you can chop up with your fingernails. Terrible for grip (as it balls up), terrible for durability, terrible for puncture resistance. And you can't bake *very good, high quality handmade* tubs at 150 degrees (or 200). So you do them at a lower temp to get them passably ok (hour at 90 degrees for instance) then they need another x months at room temp to finish off.
Calnago wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:56 am
The oven bake is a new one to me. Is that like a substitution for letting them dry out in the desert under the hot sun to “harden them up” quicker.
Probably a joke ;)
bm0p700f wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:36 pm
I think that's what I said.
No you didn't. You said that you aged them. Without giving any justification. "Just because".

PokojniToza
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by PokojniToza

So it turns out we a paying quite a lot for semifinished goods?

mattr
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by mattr

:D You could put it like that, yes.

Bit like buying bread in pieces or a tube of cookie dough.

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kgt
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by kgt

IME ageing in a dark, humid environment works. I have not discuss it with a chemical engineer to know why it does but it does.

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PinaRene
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by PinaRene

I keep my tubular tires ( about 15-20 * at the moment ) in a stored dark, and well ventilated room. I keep them by brand in a wheelbag without any pressure in them. A few of them are used, most of them are brand new stock. Don't know if ageing helps but I'm sure it won't hurt them.

* Have some Continental Competition Pro LTD - Vredestein Senso T - Vittoria Corsa Grapheen - Dugast.

by Weenie


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LouisN
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by LouisN

Or you can put it this way: Lots of ''Grand Cru'' wines ( at least some of them) have to be aged to mature and be drank at their best potential.
This kind of product is not for the ''I want to use the product immediately because I paid a high price for it....'' type of client.
Doesn't mean the wine will be undrinkable if you open the bottle when ''young'', but it will be better with time.
Not many people commited in buying lots of artisan tubulars, or Grand Cru wines, and store them ( that means having the right facility-room) to be used later in time.

Louis :)

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