How to break in new tyres?

How to break in new tyres?

Our experts recommend that you break in new tyres to enjoy a better experience over the many kilometres that follow. All you need to do is take a few simple precautions, which we explain in this article. 

Why is it important to break in new tyres? 

A tyre is a composite. In other words, it is a combination of different materials, some being vulcanized rubber compound, other Nylon or aramid fabrics. When you take it out of its package, it has never yet been inflated, it has never yet stretched to take on its operational shape. It therefore needs to 'work' to reach its final shape. 

If it's a Tubeless Ready tyre, breaking it in will help it adapt to the sealant you're going to use, as each one is different. It will also depend on the local temperatures. 

Breaking in new tyres is an important step, regardless their type, if you want to get the most out of them later on. Once broken in, the tyres will give you a better riding experience. 

How long should you break in new tyres? 

Breaking in new tyres is more a question of kilometers driven than duration. A break-in is considered sufficient when you've driven around 50 km. If you have an odometer, simply refer to this threshold. This distance necessarily implies that the tyre will have been sufficiently stressed to be used to its full potential. 

Breaking in new tyres for 50 km is considered sufficient

But if you don't have such an instrument, don't worry: after a while, changes will be visible to the naked eye on the tyre as it begins to be accommodated.  

In particular, you can see that the tyre has become more homogenous than when it was first unpacked. The tread has become matte. Other areas of the tyre, in particular the sidewall, are done later since they do not touch the ground directly. It's a gradual process. 

When all the different constitutive parts of the tyre have been working, it means that the tyre is sufficiently broken in and that you can get the most out of it. 

How do you break in a new tyre? 

Inflate it to the right pressure 

When you buy a new tyre, you will of course mount it and inflate it. It is not necessary to inflate it to its maximum pressure. Simply set it to the recommended pressure. The tyre will already start to adjust a little, even before you start driving. 

It will reach its final shape after 24 hours if you leave it at the riding pressure. Under the effect of pressure, the carcass is already beginning to stretch and stabilize. 

Precautions to take when riding a new tyre for the first time 

For your first ride, choose a flat, preferably dry road and start by making a few short braking manoeuvres to give the tyre a chance to work. During this initial preparation, be careful not to brake too hard at first, as this could make the tyre perform less well later on.  

Don't take big curves straight away at high speed: start to angle in slowly. The idea is to gradually reach the limits of your tyre. 

Start by a few gentle bends and braking on a dry surface

Let the white waxes disappear 

On some road tyres, small white waxes are visible when the tyre is unpacked. This is a chemical agent in the tyre used to protect it from natural elements.  

Do not remove them by rubbing with sandpaper. These waxes will gradually penetrate the tyre's tread compound and disappear from the surface. This happens progressively during the break-in period. That's why it's important to run in your tyres on dry roads at first. On wet roads, these waxes could cause the tyre to slip when braking. 

Tubeless ready tyres 

When fitting a Tubeless Ready tyre, it's important to distribute the liquid by moving the tyre and riding on it a little. This is what allows the sealant to fill in the micro-porosities in order to ensure a good seal. (See our article on how to use tyre sealant)

It's important to do this breaking-in as soon as possible after fitting so as not to miss this sealing stage. As indicated above, do a short gentle run in on a dry road, a few short braking manoeuvres and a few short bends, that's enough. 

As with other types of tyre, the breaking-in of a Tubeless Ready tyre is complete once the first 50 kilometres have been covered. 

Braking in new Tubeless Ready tyres

Breaking in two new tyres 

If you buy and fit new tyres at the front and rear, the same precautions apply: a few gentle bends and braking, followed by a breaking-in period of 50 km or until signs of homogenisation appear on the tread and sidewalls. 

Is it necessary to break in a tyre that has been stored? 

There may be times when you need to store your tyres for a shorter or longer period. For example, if you go on holiday, or if you only use your bike on holiday. If your tyres have been stored correctly (to find out how, read our article on storing tyres) and have already been broken in, there's no need to break them in again when you mount them on your bike. 

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