How long before Apple Sport Band loses its suppleness?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Accessories' started by Luba, May 1, 2017.

  1. Luba macrumors 6502a

    Luba

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #1
    I have had the Apple White Sport Band since September 2016 (7 months) when AW2 came out. I recently noticed it has lost some of its suppleness, which I know will eventually happen. I am curious if you all have noticed and experienced something similar after 7 months.

    Ever since I've been using the White Sport Band I've been very happy with it. Usually cleans up easy like new, but recently got some yellow color that won't wash off. Any idea on how to wash it out. Seems like the color is embedded. I also noticed during some recent hot days that it's not as comfortable to wear, so I recently bought the Black Nike Sport Band. The Nike Sport Band has holes all round which hopefully will make the Sport Band comfortable to wear during hot days. :)

    I had the Milanese which was very comfortable to wear during hot or cold days, but also after about 7 months it lost some of its magnetic hold, so much that I had to tighten it a few times day. When it was new I never had to tighten it.
     
  2. SDColorado macrumors 65816

    SDColorado

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    #2
    Fluoroelastomer, like silicone, suppodely has a shelf life of 20 years. I wouldn't even think it would begin to become brittle sooner than 15 years. It is pretty durable stuff, which is why it is used in o-rings, fuel hoses, crankshaft seals, tire valve stem seals, oil seals, gaskets, and for chemical resistant gloves.

    I have had my original Gen 1 Apple watch for 18 months. I can't say I have noticed any difference between how the strap that came with that one feels compared to my new SBSS sport band.

    While Fluorolastomer is very chemical and heat resistant, there are a few chemicals that do react poorly with it. I believe Acetone for one, benzene is another. I am sure there are several more that can react poorly with it and may cause it to become brittle.
     
  3. Luba thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Luba

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    #3
    It's not brittle in any way, it's just not as soft and supple. :)
     
  4. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015
    #4
    The Sport band on mine is still in better shape than any of the leather-strapped watches I've owned for just as long... and more comfortable than my G-Shock's "resin" strap.

    Honestly, if I didn't tell someone that I've had my AW for.. lessee... 20 months, they'd think it was almost new.
     
  5. SDColorado macrumors 65816

    SDColorado

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    #5

    Either way, really the point I was trying to make is my 18 month old one is pretty much indistinguishable from the new one. My wife has the white band on hers (also 18 months old) , still very white and feels the same. Something isn't right if it is not as supple and yellowing. It should not be doing that, especially so soon.
     
  6. CarlJ macrumors 68020

    CarlJ

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    #6
    I've not seen any discoloration at all on any of my sport bands, but I don't have the white one (my lightest would probably be the original green and blue ones, no problem there). For summer wear, I would strongly suggest trying out one of the woven nylon bands. They're really comfy (yes, they are spendy "for nylon", but I've had nylon bands for other watches before, and none were this comfortable).
     
  7. Luba thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Luba

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    Apr 22, 2009
    #7
    I need to write more clearly. It's not "yellowing". I had on a yellow wrist band and it rubbed its color onto my White Sport Band. I tried to wash it off but it wouldn't come off. Any idea how to get the yellow color off?

    It's still supple, but not as soft and supple when it was new (7 months ago). It's just something I noticed. And was wondering if others notice the same thing. When it was new it was particularly soft and supple.
     
  8. SDColorado macrumors 65816

    SDColorado

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    #8

    Hmmm... was the yellow one Apple or 3rd party? Wait, OK, wristband, not watch strap. Got it.

    For colored stains, Hydrogen Peroxide may be the best bet. I would be afraid bleach might be too strong, but you could always try a 50/50 dilution of bleach and water.
     
  9. Luba thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Luba

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    Apr 22, 2009
    #9
    Ok, I'll get some hydrogen peroxide and give it a try. It's an Apple Sport Band. I'd get newspaper ink on the White and it would wash right off. Somehow this yellow color is stubborn.

    I also just got the black Apple Nike Sport Band because I wanted a band that would be more comfortable to wear in the hot weather. Interesting that the holes don't line up. It fits differently. Also, the Nike band isn't as soft and supple as the White when it was new. When new the White was almost spongey soft and supple. Maybe that's why it weighted the most??
     
  10. bopajuice macrumors 6502a

    bopajuice

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  11. Luba thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Luba

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    Apr 22, 2009
    #11
    No, not at all. That's what makes the Sport Band so comfortable to wear. It's what polymer scientists do research on, seriously. Do you have an Apple Sport Band? Third party bands look like Apple bands, but I wonder if they feel as good?
     
  12. RadioGaGa1984 Suspended

    RadioGaGa1984

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    May 23, 2015
    #12
    I would use a Mr. Clean magic eraser to get the yellowing out.
     
  13. myrtlebee macrumors 68010

    myrtlebee

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    #13
    The op is right. They lose their "suppleness" (softness) a bit and become tackier/ more rubbery feeling because Apple uses a thin, subpar coating on every sport band that wears away.

    Don't believe me? Take your new sport band and put a bit of water on your fingers, then rub your sport band between your fingers for a bit and you will see the coating wear away and feel the texture of the band change. It is a thin, milky white coating. It looks as if the band is peeling on darker colors like black and midnight blue when it comes off. Unfortunately, once this is done, the color of the band will change slightly, and the band will "catch" a bit on itself where the two sides meet under your wrist.

    No idea why Apple went this route with a coating like that- my guess is they wanted the texture it gives the bands but were unable to produce fluoroelastomer itself with that texture, so they added a coating. Doesn't do much good though if it wears away anyway.
     
  14. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    Colorado
    #14
    I have midnight blue and yeah there is some "wear" especially where the loop enters the hole repeatedly. But i have had mine for over a year now...still same...yeah, maybe not as glistening as when first bought but plenty soft/supple. Compare to silicone bands, the Apple bands are light years better.

    And yes, Mr. Clean Magic stuff works wonders on my white sport band!!
     
  15. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #15
    For example, this is my Nike band...the end tip where the band inserts into the hole has some "wear" (same as on my midnight blue). For me, this is expected and unavoidable. But as noted above, my midnight blue has not lost much of anything in over a year. My brother's black Sport band is around 2 years of age...shows the "wear" like below but still supple.[​IMG]
     
  16. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #16
    I agree with the White band...i think that Apple made the White band secretly its flagship Sport band (just my opinion). It's suppleness and soft (yet thick) feeling is unrivaled to other colors (including Nike bands). I like the Nike band because it is pretty soft/supple but also very lightweight-feeling.

    Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will make it like-new again!! I bought some and it is truly some sort of voodoo magic!
     
  17. myrtlebee macrumors 68010

    myrtlebee

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    #17
    Nice. I wasn't so lucky with my sports bands when I had a Watch back in 2015. Maybe the durabilty of the coating varies from band to band. Just got my black sport band with my Watch a couple weeks ago and it already has the coating worn in the normal spots (like in your pic in your second post). If that's the extent of the coating wearing after a year I'll be happy.

    Also, the magic eraser will remove the stains, but it will also remove the coating, so fair warning.
     
  18. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #18
    I don't believe that it is the coating...it is just rubber/fluoroelastomer marking from repeated friction. I could be wrong though since i have zero knowledge on these fancy rubbers.
     
  19. SDColorado macrumors 65816

    SDColorado

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    #19
    I am wondering if it isn't a mold release agent from the manufacturing process wearing off. Such as this product, for fluoroelastomers and other rubbers, described as "semi-permanant."
     
  20. myrtlebee macrumors 68010

    myrtlebee

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    #20
    It's not- it's the coating. I thought it was just wear too (even though "wear" after two days is pretty silly) until I removed the rest of the coating simply by the method I mentioned earlier when I had a sport band in 2015. It will come off almost like eraser crumbs and you'll be left with a uniform surface (albeit with a different feel).
    --- Post Merged, May 8, 2017 ---
    I don't think so. Third party sport bands do not have this coating. It seems intentional on Apple's part. I think it's a coating to give it the great, soft feel the bands have when new. Unfortunately, it just doesn't stay like it should. I could be wrong on this point though.
     
  21. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    #21
  22. CarlJ macrumors 68020

    CarlJ

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    #22
    That picture a few posts up shows the band becoming worn / smoothed down - its not the removal of a coating, it's the surface of the band getting polished/sanded. Mold-release compound possibly, but I've not found any coating on any of my sport bands, and my sample size is greater than two.
    Please post a link to a third party fluoroelastomer band. Every third party sports band I've seen is silicone.
    --- Post Merged, May 8, 2017 ---
    Agreed - that thread shows a defective band.
     
  23. myrtlebee macrumors 68010

    myrtlebee

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    #23
    Sorry, that's wrong. They all have a coating that comes off. It is not wearing the band itself, it is wearing of the coating. If you have a new one, try what I said above. You will see a coating you're able to remove.
     
  24. Luba thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Luba

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    Apr 22, 2009
    #24
    Great clear pic demonstrating what happens over time, the markings and how it won't lay flat as when new. I too feel it's expected eventually, but when. I noticed changes with my White in less than a year (7-8 months), but I washed my White often with ordinary hand soap. That could have speeded up the "aging". My White is in better condition than the band in your above pic, but that band in the pic is 2 years old? How often did you wash your band with soap?
     
  25. Thai macrumors 6502a

    Thai

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    Colorado
    #25
    My Nike band is 1-2 months old. :D

    Of course it won't lay flat...it is wrapped around my wrist some 20+ hours everyday! You guys have high expectations!!

    Not sure about you guys, but I find nothing wrong with my bands. Now, if my band was literally PEELING like in links i posted above, then yeah, i agree. But what you guys consider as excessive wear is normal IMO.
     

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