Earlier this year a couple of our rides were brought to an early conclusion; the first because of a defective inner tube and the second the result of a defective tyre. However, these were not manufacturing faults. The first incident started out as a simple puncture and the recipient of the thorn decided to just replace his inner tube. Unfortunately he couldn't get any air into it.
In fact, there were hairline cracks all the way around the part of the tube that was folded in the packet, indicating fatigue rubber. This was a tube that had only been bought six months previously from a major retailer.
So from now on every tube we buy gets an inspection to see if any part of it is stuck or has any tiny cracks in it !
Thinking about it, it is quite surprising that there doesn't seem to be any information about the length of time an inner tube should last for in its packet, or any clues as to when it was made.
At the moment the tyre is still being ridden on with some insurance in a bike bag, in the form of a piece of spare sidewall in case they split suddenly occurs.
So, the same question appears: when were each of these tyres made and how long could you expect them to last without perishing if they are stocked in a back room of a small bike shop ?