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.