At the last two tours I attended, (one in France and one in USA) there were a large number of tire and tube failures. Two white 30 x 3.5 tires had bulges in the sides. One had a split along the top of the beaded edge when removed so the driver was lucky it had not blown yet.
Three tubes (all rubber stem) failed due to the valve stem becoming detached from the tube. In one case, the brand new replacement tube carried on board was useless because the stem was already half detached from the tube. I must point out that none of these failures occurred on my car but on cars belonging to friends on the tour.
Is there a worrying trend developing with the quality of clincher tires and tubes available at the present time? Have any others experienced similar problems?
There was a bad run of tubes about five or six years ago. Lots of people had trouble with the stem peeling where it was attached to the tube (I caught a couple of unused ones doing that prior to installation) and also splitting along the mold line down the center once in service. Once those finally went away (after a lot of complaints to the tire outfits selling them) I noticed the rubber on the new tubes was quite a bit thicker, as the old tubes used to be.
Really haven't seen any of that as of late. It would be interesting to know when those tubes you saw fail were originally purchased.
and what the tires were inflated to?
Comment on tubes:
I've had problems with the stems failing after a few years on the Snyder's tubes. I just ordered new tubes from Lucas; they're much heavier physically, seem better made, and the prices is better. I'll stick with Lucas tubes going forward.
As to the tire problems. It sounds as if the rims may have been fairly rusty at some time, to the point where the edges have become sharp, allowing them to cut the clincher bead thereby creating the bulge.
Torn out stems can be caused by under inflation or by a rim that has a very smooth finish, (e.g. after they've been powder coated). Either condition, or both, can lead to the tire gradually slipping on the rim until the valve stem is torn out. 30 x 3-1/2 should be inflated to 55 - 60 psi, (or 379 - 413 kPa if you wish).
OR, as others have suggested, they may be lousy quality tubes...
The last tube I bought was about as thick as a bicycle tube! At least half the thickness of their predecessors and still relatively the same price. Put it on a car that is being restored so I have no idea how it is going to hold up.
The new brass stems that are vulcanized to the tubes are not correct. If originals had been used they wouldn't peel off!
I had also problem with stem not being correctly vulcanized to the tube. It was a brand new Michelin tube not T size but also for clincher tire. I put an old style screwed valve.
I too have suffered from problems with some clincher tires.
The tires on my 1909 T and 1904 A (so far with about 500 miles on the A) seem to be fine.
The tires on my 1907 K, however, are another story. I tried two different brand tires made by two different companies in two different countries....all without success. My rims are nearly perfect where the they contact the tire at the bead. I monitored the tire pressure like my life depended upon it. Nevertheless, I suffered bead separation repeatedly between 300 and 500 miles.
The irony was that Rob was running the same tires on his K, with rough sharp edge rims and did not encounter any trouble. I was completely perplexed. And then the fog lifted.
The tires that Rob was running, and purchased from the same vendor at the same time I purchased mine....had been manufactured 15 years earlier....and the internal design had been changed. Simply put, the "old" tires that Rob was running had significantly more material (cords and rubber) inside the tire where the bead connects to the tire. The tires that I received, that were newer but appeared on the outside to be identical to Rob's, were made more like the Model T tires with less material.
The manufacturer investigated the matter and determined that the design of the larger car tires was changed to make the tires more like Model T tires as the old heavy duty design made the tires difficult to install and people complained. Their engineers concluded that if the newer lighter design tires were properly inflated they would hold up fine. Such is not the case.
The bottom line for me and other owners of large heavier cars running clincher tires AND driving the cars, more than around the block, have experienced many problems. Those with whom I have spoken have given up and had straight side rims made for their cars.
The manufacturer advised me that future production of larger car clincher tires will likely be made in accordance with the "old" design. But since so many "new" design tires are in stock, a new run isn't expected to happen anytime soon, at least in the size which fits my K. So, I have joined the crowd and am having new wheels made so as to be able to run straight side tires on my K.
Moreover, as further evidence, at least in my case, that my problems have been a design issue, I installed "older", old design used Dunplop tires on my K late last Fall and have run those tires nearly 1,000 trouble free miles....with no discernible wear. If only I could have found a stash of those tires...my tires problems would have vanished.
This just proves, DON'T CHANGE THINGS! I suspect that is why we have to use flaps in our T clincher tires now, because someone decided they could save a buck by eliminating part of the original bead in the center of the tire. When Firestone made tires in the USA, and Monkey Wards too, we never had to use flaps, but now we do to avoid pinching. Is that progress?
Remember the old Hush Puppy ad where the portrayed people to be japanese said [We can build it cheaper but we can't build it dummer!!!]Bud in Wheeler,Mi.