Dry rotting tires are a common issue for those that don’t ride their bikes too often! So many people like having bikes, but irregularly take them out (at no fault of their own). However after that amount of time, they may come out to a nearly new bike and find dry rot and cracks throughout their tires. In this article we are going to talk about how that happens, and what you can do to keep it from happening.
So how do I keep my bicycle tires from dry rotting? The best way to keep your bicycle tires from dry rotting is to keep it out of the weather. Other things will include riding the bike a little bit more often, keep the tires full and to make sure you are keeping your bicycle off the ground when in storage.
Let’s dig a little bit more into these four things you can be doing to keep your bicycle tires from dry rotting.
1. Keep them out of the weather
By far, the main reason why bicycle tires dry rot and rack is because they have been left out in the weather. The constant change from rain, snow and sun will cause the rubber in tires to break down. This is especially caused by the UV rays from the sun.
The best way to fix this, is to store your bicycle in an indoor space such as a shed, garage or indoors! Alternatively, if that isn’t something you are able to do, a bicycle cover like this one will be a best bet to at least keep it mostly protected.
2. Ride your bike every once in a while
Giving your tires a chance to heat up on a good bike ride every once in a while can make a huge difference in the longevity of your bicycle tires. Heating up the tires on a ride, will allow the compounds to stretch out in the way they are supposed to and will allow them to last longer.
A side effect of this, is that you might find that you want to bicycle longer, and enjoy the sport!
3. Fill up the air in your tires regularly
Bicycle tires are built to be in a specific shape, so make sure to keep them aired up to keep them from being deformed. If there isn’t enough air in the tires, they will squat down and will crack at the point where it is bending abnormally. If left for long periods of time, this is one of the main ways you will get dry rot and cracks.
I would just keep a bicycle pump like this one sitting next to your bikes, and every once in a while do a check to make sure they are pumped up and pump them up if necessary.
4. Store your bike with tires off the ground
Finally, another great way to keep bicycle tires from dry rotting is by keeping the bicycles off the ground in storage! This can be done via hanging bike racks like this one, or just by using those screw in type bike hangers right here.
When you keep the bicycle tires off the ground, it takes the weight off of the rubber, and allows them to stay in their ideal form, rather than squatting down.
Another huge benefit of this is space savings! Hanging your bicycle up off the ground, allows for a ton more floor space, especially in the case of an apartment.
What can happen when your tires are dry rotted?
If your bicycle tires are dry rotted now, I would highly recommend purchasing some new tires before riding. Dry rotted tires have a tendency to go flat, as the tires structural integrity has been compromised. Air will find its way through the path of least resistance, and in this case that is the cracks.
These tires, even if not flat, can also be dangerous for your ride. They generally are not able to conform to the road as well, and you may find yourself not able to take corners in a way that you used to be able to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bicycle tires (if taken care of) can last up to 10 years! This will only happen though if you take the steps to maintain your bike. Don’t think you can leave a bike in storage for 10 years and expect that they will be fine upon your arrival.
Unfortunately dry rotted tires are unable to be repaired. Make sure to take care of your bike, and maintain those tires, otherwise you will be replacing them when you are ready to cycle again.
Taking all of precautions in this article such as keeping the tires at the right PSI, storing it off the ground, riding it regularly, and keeping them somewhere out of the weather will all help bike tires last longer.
So there you have it! There are thankfully many ways you are able to keep bicycle tires from dry rotting. If you are someone that doesn’t use your bicycle very often, make sure to take these additional steps to make sure you don’t come back to a bicycle that needs some extreme maintenance to get it ridable again.
No one wants to be ready for a nice ride, only to find they have to work on it before they get a chance to.