BMF Technical Notice: Tyre Safety
During 2016, the BMF was made aware of a number of instances of unusual and unexplained tyre deflations. The matter was bought to our attention by a BMF affiliated owner’s club. The tyres were manufactured by a corporate member of the BMF, Avon Tyres. The problem affected the Road Rider range of Tubed/Tubeless fitment tyres.
The tyres, fitted appropriately to classic spoked wheels, had punctured inner tubes, with no apparent external cause. Following inspection, it appeared that the only visible cause of deflation was abrasion by the labels fitted to the inside of the tyre carcase during manufacture. The labels were of a plastic construction, whose edges, over time, abraded the inner tubes.
The club bought the matter to the BMF, seeking to open a dialogue with the manufacturer to resolve the issue, as it appeared to be a potentially serious safety issue. The extensive research into the matter, undertaken by a club member, led to the BMF supporting them in helping Avon to resolve the problem.
The approach taken was twofold:
As of August 2016, the labels were no longer fitted to the inside of the Road Rider range.
It was felt that the art of fitting tubed tyres, to classic spoked wheels, was possibly unfamiliar to tyre fitters and mechanics used to working on tubeless tyres fitted to cast wheels. Therefore, Avon collaborated with the BMF in reminding owners and the trade that ALL labels should be removed from within tyres to be fitted using an inner tube. They also collaborated in the production of an educational video:
Anyone using Road Riders manufactured before August 2016, which are fitted with inner tubes, who is uncertain as to whether the labels were removed, should inspect them.
To locate the date code: find the DOT stamp on the sidewall of the tyre, the last four digits will contain the week and year of manufacture. E.g. 1517 equates to week 15 of 2017 or 10th to 16th April 2017. For more information on determining the age of a tyre, click here.
We would like to thank Avon and the club for their efforts in resolving a potentially hazardous situation for users of Road Rider tyres. We would also urge Avon to do all they can to publicise the importance of label removal, from within tyres to be fitted with inner tubes, from stocks held by the trade pre-dating August 2016.