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Below is a picture of two Continental 5000's that were kept in their boxes for about two years: enter image description here

They were kept out of direct sunlight inside a house that was not climate controlled.

The tires feel very flimsy and don't seem to hold form.

Is it safe to ride these tires on a 200+ mile bicycle ride?

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    In my mind they're fine. But but BUUUUTTTT I don't take any freshly mounted tire on a big effort without a couple of shake down rides. I recommend you mount these up immediately and try to put some "close to home" time on them first.
    – Paul H
    Aug 5 at 16:22
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    gp5000's are supposed to be flimsy - its a big part of what makes them roll so fast.
    – Andy P
    Aug 5 at 16:29
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    @ShawnEary yes, you need the newer 'S TR' version and not the 'TL' version for hookless rims.
    – Andy P
    Aug 5 at 16:45
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    With folding tyres, at the very least I like to unpack them and hang them as straightened out as they'll go, for a couple of days. Ideally, and if I've got a bad feeling about mounting skinny ones, I'll put a lightly inflated tube in them to make them hold shape for a few days
    – Chris H
    Aug 5 at 17:05
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    Hooked rims is most rims. Of newer carbon rims, some are hookless. The instruction to mount only on hooked rims isn’t an issue, unless you have hookless rims
    – Weiwen Ng
    Aug 5 at 19:01

2 Answers 2

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I would have no qualms about using those tires. I agree with Paul H in the comments that I would not use any new equipment for the first time in a big event—it always needs a shakedown.

Tires can degrade in storage, but that degradation should be visible, in the form of cracks in the rubber. I've got a pair of Conti GP 5000s that I rode for a while, removed, and have hung in my un-conditioned garage for over a year. They look fine to me.

I'll also mention as an aside that back in the old days, there was a myth that aging tubular tires improved them.

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A GP5000 tire is flimsy and doesn't hold form. The reason is that they unfortunately are available only in Kevlar bead form.

Long time ago, you had a choice between steel and Kevlar bead. The idea was that your main tires had steel bead, you used them for their ease of installation and cheaper price. Then if you went on a long tour, you brought one Kevlar bead spare tire with you. The Kevlar bead tire compresses to a smaller size so it's easy to carry it in a small bag as a spare tire.

Unfortunately, with weight weenies being as common as they are today, the high-end steel beaded tires disappeared and today it's all Kevlar bead if you want to buy a slick road tire with a low rolling resistance. That disappearance of steel-beaded tires made fixing punctures so hard that today people are making various strange inventions to avoid fixing punctures, like replacing the time-tested inner tube with a slimy fluid that expires in less than a year, and requires certain compatible rims and rim tape, making all of your existing stock of rims and rim tape obsolete.

Two years of storage is fine. I had bike tires bought in 2009 or 2010 (don't remember which year exactly), and after a break for cycling resumed using them in summer 2020, although quite rapidly I replaced them with better tires (they were UltraGatorSkin and I replaced them with GP5000 -- not because 10 year old tires would be very unsafe but because GP5000 has much lower rolling resistance).

In car tires, the usual rule of thumb is that if you have a tire that's older than 6 years, you don't install it to a rim. If you have a tire that's older than 10 years, you remove it from use and replace it with a new tire. I have used on a car little-driven 22 years old studded winter tires, they had poor traction but still plenty of tread depth. On a bike used in winter I wouldn't do the same because the consequences of lost traction are more severe on a bike than on a car.

But 2 years... that's like yesterday. By all means, use them!

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    In many contexts, tubes are so much less reliable than tubeless + sealant. Good riddance to tubes, I say.
    – Paul H
    Aug 5 at 17:40
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    "your main tires had steel bead, you used them for their ease of installation" You must live in an alternate universe to me. I used to run wire-bead Contis all the time, but regularly (>20% of the time) broke tire levers trying to get them on and off. Even the guy at the shop broke a lever trying to mount one of them. If I was going on a weeks-long trip I'd take 2 sets of levers! Great tires, but wow they were tight.
    – DavidW
    Aug 5 at 17:49
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    You can mount kevlar beaded tires, it just takes the correct technique. It's true that there are some kevlar beaded tires that are very tight fits to some rims, but that problem should decline with the new tubeless rim standards. The digression about steel vs kevlar beads wasn't helpful to the answer, and it was also factually incorrect.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Aug 5 at 19:33
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    I don't see why this answer has so many downvotes. It offers an answer to the question and compares the topic to car tires, a market which at least seems to be based slightly less on guesswork. That aside, I've never known about the material of the bead, but I've come to prefer foldable tires for my faster bikes, and these aren't really any harder to mount than their non-foldable counterparts.
    – jayded-bee
    Aug 5 at 21:14
  • @jayded-bee it has a lot of unnecessary ranting and most of it is not only not related to question but factually wrong
    – ojs
    Aug 8 at 8:07

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