Sounds like a treasure trove!
I've recently had some sad failures in old tubulars. Out of four vintage Vittoria CX/CGs, servizio corse and speciale prof, two have had casing threads fray due to abrasion. The sidewalls were protected by a layer of latex, and with age and use this has hardened and flaked off. I should have applied Jevelot tire Life when I got them, but didn't. One had a herniated blow out, and I just caught the second one yesterday. No money in them, but great-riding tires! The bike (early '80s Mondonico) now wears a set of Tufos, and we'll see how those work out.
So for care, I'd recommend a careful look at the casing and rim tapes, and re-coat with Tire Life to protect the casings. None of these tires had tread delamination or cracking, and they all held air as new, so IMHO they would have remained rideable as long as the tread protected the casing from thread breakage. Several had butyl hearts, and one is latex. I may experiment with booting. I have some Jevelot now.
I keep the tires in a basement, either folded or hanging on hooks, with some low air pressure. They get moved every so often, but not based on any plan, rather to re-sort them based on condition and need for patching. Most of my tires are 15+ years old, I haven't had any failures that I cannot attribute to heavy puncturing, ham-fisted repairs, or mechanical failure such as valve attachment or casing failure.
I usually consider a tire suitable for use if it looks mechanically good, can be mounted straight, and holds pressure after minor leaks are patched. I'm not too sure what is added by aggressive surface protection, i.e. coatings or other containment. My old stuff, however, is intended to be ridden, not sold.
Ken Freeman Ann Arbor, MI USA
-----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of email@example.com Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2007 4:24 PM To: Classic Rendezvous Subject: [CR]Silk Tubular Maintenance
I've acquired some period silk tubulars in very good condition which I must maintain for some time until a restoration is finished. They were bought stored flat, uninflated, in a box. They hold air well and have no obvious signs of rot, etc. How should they be maintained, i.e. inflated? On rims? In the dark? In a plastic bag? Will Amour-all help? I've done some reading about this but I would like to get some first-hand advice, too. Thanks for any advice.
George Hollenberg MD Westport, CT, USA
George Hollenberg MD