Last winter I picked up a few sets of Hutchinson Flash tires. For $5 each, I couldn’t resist! (I needed them for indoor training.)

But since I quit using a trainer and only use rollers, the tires didn’t wear out that fast. I actually used the same pair of tires for two winter seasons without noticeable wear. So, I decided to use them for some spring training this year to finally wear them out.

And wear them out I did!

Not only did all the seams start to rip, but the tread wore so thin that the tire started to deform! I had to get a picture of this…

deformed tire closeup

It really did look like an “S” curve. Once I removed the tires, I realized the tread was thin enough I could almost puncture it with my fingernail!

deformed tire

I think once the tread wore down that much, the casing couldn’t handle the extra abuse it was getting, and simply stretched or ripped apart, allowing the tire to deform.

Still want the pros and cons?

Pros of $5 tires:

  • They are only $5 each.

Cons of $5 tires:

  • No traction, especially in wet weather.
  • They’re heavy.
  • They will rip, deform, and otherwise fall apart when riding on the open road.

The only reason to get them is for indoor training, and for that, they are perfect!

(These Hutchinson Flash tires are sometimes available at Nashbar for a mere $5 each.)

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  1. Gosh that is some wear and tear. For $5 though, you would be happy if they lasted a season. For indoor training they would be perfect.

  2. Yep, perfect for indoor training. I bet you could get three or four “indoor seasons” out of them!

  3. Ahhhh the casing must have torn and can’t hold the tire in shape. That can happen with cheap tires.

  4. So true! My 2008 Scott Speedster came with Hutchinson Flash tires (it’s a total price-point bike) and I got the exact same deformation of the front tire. “S Curve” perfectly describes it. Amazing.

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