The importance of "Bedding In" tyres

Tyres are manufactured using a mould (or mold if you are from the USA), which imprints the tyre tread and sidewall to the tyre as it gets squeezed into the mould surface under high pressure and heat. After the tyre is made the mould is opened and the finished tyre removed from it.

But prior to making the tyre, the mould surface is coated with a spray of release lubricant which keeps the tyre from sticking to the metal mould, after the hot manufacturing process at temperatures of 175 degrees Centigrade along with some 350psi of pressure. The mould release agent on the surface allows for the tyre to be removed from the mould without the tyre getting bonded onto the surface of the metal mould, so cosequently there will be some remnant of this lubricant squeezed on to and in to the top surface of the tyre.

Motorcycle riders seem to appreciate something about this, knowing that after fitting new tyres their motorcycle should be driven with more care during the initial bedding in / scrubbing in / running in period while the tyre tread surface gets abraded, to get to the tyre itself. Obviously bedding in on a wet road takes longer. Drivers who race cars also know of the need to bed in tyres (and simultaneously give the tyres their first heat cycle) but for some reason the majority of people with cars don't seem to appreciate the need for this, even though the cars owners manual also instruct the owners to be aware of this. The last car I had new was a Mk1 1600cc Golf GTi, and the VW manual states:

- "New tyres must be "run in" because they do not have the maximum adhesion at the start. This must be taken into account by driving carefully during the first 100km"

- New brake linings should also be run in and do not have the optimum friction properties during the first 200km."

Blockley Tyre Co. was started only because we were unhappy with what was available from the Classic car Tyre Wholesalers, even with the "named brands" like Dunlop, Michelin and so on that they offered, and we were only interested in making the best product that can be made. Unfortunately our lower prices make some people mistakenly think these must somehow be inferior, but we are able to do this because we sell our products direct to the end user or garages without the extra layer of a Classic tyre wholesaler. And our reason for starting up was not profit motivated. Our Vintage range of tyres is well known, as is the beaded edge / clincher tyres we have latterly produced, but many do not even realise Blockley also makes a huge range of radial ply tyres for the later "Classic" cars, all with authentic tread patterns. And with these radial tyres we tell customers,"scrub in the tyres for 30 miles or so, drive for 1,000 miles or thereabouts, and if these Blockley tyres are not the best tyres they have driven on we will refund." These Blockley tyres are truly exceptional in addition to looking period authentic to the cars.

But whenever something good comes along there are always the detractors. Our wholesaler competitors go to alot of effort to point out how useless our tyres are by translating tyre tests and pushing the word! But all that these tyre testers are doing is checking on mould release lubricant, and not the tyres! Cars on Blockley tyres have outright won the Pirelli Marathon Challenge, and won the RAC Rally of the Tests - something that is just not possible unless these Blockley radial tyres are excellent. But the participants for these events were asked to scrub them in first, which they did by driving on the road for a bit first. The people who have done tyre testing were also instructed to scrub in the free of charge tyres supplied, at some length, but for reasons known best to themselves chose to ignore our instruction.

For interest, going on Google and searching the term "Tyre scrubbing in" shows plenty of advice, some of it from professionals, so the need to bed in / scrub in / run in (there are many terms for this) tyres is a well known requirement - it is just that for whatever reason not many car owners seem to consider this, and that would go for the people deciding to test Classic type tyres as well. Although perhaps in fairness to them, when they ask a manufacturer for free tyres to test against rival brands, they may be getting something that has been prepared that doesn't need to be scrubbed in.