Always Inspect Your Tires Closely!

REI had 26x1.8 Michelin City tires at 25% off $28. I was worried about my decade-old tires, particularly the fact that at only 1.4 inches, rim damage seemed fairly likely on a tour. I nabbed the last two tires.

I noticed that one of the tires was missing the cardboard product tag, and that it had some writing inside the tire. I didn't think much of it, and neither did the cashier.

When I got home, I went straight to work. First, I had to figure out the rotation direction. On these tires, it's embossed right on the reflective stripe, so it's quite hard to see. I finally found the embossed arrow and, just as I set the tire down, something caught my eye:

There was the faintest of lines in the sidewall...

With a bit of flex, things got scary fast:

Not only was the tire ply visible, it was cut clean through along at least three parallel lines!

So remember: always very carefully inspect tires before purchasing them. High speed blowouts are not fun.

About Jeff Fitzsimons

Jeff Fitzsimons is a software engineer in the California Bay Area. Technical specialties include C++, Win32, and multithreading. Personal interests include rock climbing, cycling, motorcycles, and photography.
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