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How can I save these NOS stiff & Dry Tires?

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OK I have these 24" NOS yellow label Comp IIIs. They're not rotted at all, but super dry and stiff (so much its hard to separate the beads to insert a tube).


I want to try and save them obviously, somehow condition or moisturize them so to speak. Has anyone used any products that worked well?


I searched the site and found a couple years ago Panda420 used a product called Pedros Bike Lust, it looks like it worked for him, but the thread fizzled out.


Any input would be useful. I'd hate to lose these. They are beautiful otherwise.


LMK what you guys have tried and what kind of results you got.


Thanks! :OSThumbsUpPeace[1]:

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yearsssssss ago, i work as a kid at a gas station ( remember thoes ) and we had rubber lube. it was used on used ties to clean then up and condition the rubber on the sidewalls. also used to lube the bead befor mounting. you might check with a tire shop. in the cycle shops we use to get it in a tub and mix a little with water so you might be able to get a small handfull from a tire shop (bike or car)

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:ThumbsUp: Vaseline works great to 'recondition baseball gloves'...don't see why it

wouldn't work well on bike tires! Spread a medium-thick layer over the

'entire tire'-inside & out-and 'fold the tire' into a 'lazy figure 8' and put it

into a king-sized pillow case and let it 'sit in the warm direct sunlight' for

a couple of hours!


Wipe it down completely-again,'inside & out'...and then check your work!

Depending upon the 'overall condition' of your tire,you MIGHT have to 'do

it again!' Obviously this can't be done unless there's 'warm sun light',so it's

'probably NOT a Winter project!'


Whenever I re-condition a ball glove,I use a thick coating of Vaseline,and

just throw the pillow case-tied in a knot to keep the glove inside-in the Dryer

for 'a complete cycle' on LOW heat! When the glove is 'cooked' all that's

needed is a thorough 'wipe down' with a clean soft rag! Do this 'once a season'

and you'll be able to 'pass the glove on' to your son when he's in high school!


One other thing,be sure to tie the pillow case in a knot with your tire as well...

not to 'keep it in the bag'...but to 'keep the heat in!' DON'T put your tires in a

clothes dryer...even on low heat! Too much threat of a fire...or 'breaking down'

the rubber compound of the tires! Be patient and let the Sun 'do it's work!'




PS: Use a large flexible rubber band to 'hold the tire' in the 'lazy figure 8'...if

your tire is small enough (20"?) to fit inside the pillow case without folding...

then don't fold it...

a 24" or 26" tire probably won't fit without folding! Do what works!

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I wonder if sitting in some really thin oil would help? Like the oil they use on bowling alleys or even thinner.

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i have seen people use wd 40 with fantastic results...have never tried it myself but cant see a reason it would hurt to try....my friend was restoring a 67 camaro and bought 4 original spare tires from misc people on the net..never ran on road but 40 years old......he applied several coats of wd 40 over a few days then had them dismounted of old wheels onto his refurbished wheels....all 4 survived but maybe he got lucky?????????????

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Here is one for ya Carbiz :)






Try Varn Super Rubber Rejuvenator...any print shop has this, and you can buy a little bit of it from them. It only comes in gallon cans and you probably don't need a whole gallon. This stuff is magic in its ability to soften rubber.

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Armor-All is not a good idea. You have to keep re-applying it often once you start using it or it will dry them out and start cracking when you don't keep them coated. Alot of car guys I know use unscented baby oil on their cars instead of Armor-All, it's suppose to breath better and not dry out the natural moisture.


I would go to a good parts store or paint store and see what they have. There are numerous vinyl, leather and rubber conditioners on the market that would probably work best.


I had some Comp II's that were real dry and I sprayed them down with soap and used a brass bristled brush on the tread. It seamed to remove the fine layer of dried out rubber, they looked great when I finished.

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I've been experimenting with baby oil on an old Comp III I have. It defintely made the tire more pliable. The sidewalls still leave a little to be desired, but they're not torn.


Guyster, oddly, I've tried original lemon Pledge on vinyl and plastic pieces in the car. It does work great and oddly enough, other products like Endust or Old English (spray) don't seem to do the job. Only Pledge seems to work. That said, I haven't tried it on anything with bikes as of yet...

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alot of good info, A fellow member sent me a a PM saying he had good luck with vegetable oil....


What worked for me was generously soaking the tires in vegetable oil. What I did was work the oil in from the inside-out, and then soak the sidewalls from the outside as well. Be careful and don't flex the sidewall for a few days until after they are soft again...they will regain flexibility but their strength is basically gone thanks to the dry rot. While I did end up saving the tires and have done a few rides, I don't anticipate putting too many more miles on them as I don't want to damage the sidewalls any further.


I use Pedros Bike Lust all the time on my bikes for detailing...its awesome stuff. But I still prefer the veg oil as it penetrates the dry rubber and seems to extend it's life (when dry)

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I agree... NEVER use Armor All on anything. I think the problem is the Koresene in it that dries out rubber.


I wonder what old Schwinn collectors, or old vintage antique car collectors do? There has to be propper a way to preserve rubber.

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Honestly, it's a big no-no using armourall, in time it will dry and and severly crack rubber or vinyl products. I always look for silicon based products, they seem to work best on rubber/vinyl situations.

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same problem here.Ive got a set of skinwall 26'' Schwinn maximizer tires that the side walls are a little dry.What do you guys think to use on skinwalls without making them super dark?

Baby oil might be a good option.....

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Haha! I had to laugh at that!!!


But this is something i've been wondering about for a while. Is tire maintenance something we should all be doing regularly and is dry rot gonna happen one way or another over time?


Do tires last better on a wheel or left alone in a box?


Crazy to think of us all with bikes with no original tires on them ten or twenty years down the line.

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