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Are five-year-old race tyres past their best?

Q. I recently bought a pair of new Metzeler Racetecs off eBay for my track bike. Now it's my own fault because I should have asked how old they were, but when they arrived I realised they were made in 2007.

Will they be OK for me to potter around in the intermediate group or do they want putting in the skip?
Steve Ward, email

A. Quite possibly the skip. Race compound tyres in general, which are identified with the coding K3 on your Racetecs, start to lose performance after they have been used the first time and they don’t take kindly to being over-wintered either, with a definite fall-off in performance.

So if they are K3s they should be slung, but you will get some use out of K01 or 02 compound rubber.

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