Preventing 2001 rubber band decay

Hey guys! I'm (mostly) back from extended leave! College apps have been going nuts, and... well, yeah. Not much more to say on that. But with the season pretty much over for that, I at last have more leisure time to get back into my hobbies, like LEGO.

And this would be where my problem arose. Whilst fixing the display shelves with my 01-03 collection in my room, I noticed something... troubling. Basically all of my black rubber bands had decayed and snapped on many of my sets- the nui rama, nui jaga, the Muaka and Kane Ra... the bands had all either frayed extremely to the point that I fear so much as touching them will cause them to snap, or already snapped entirely. I found a (decent, but still pricey) deal on bricklink to get them replaced, but I don't want this to happen again and don't know what has caused this decay.

For starters, sun exposure isn't an issue- they are in a cool, dark place on the shelves in the corner of my room. They get little to no sun exposure (for the sake of preventing the yellowing of my 01-03 white pieces), are well maintained and dusted off frequently, and not exposed to water. Furthermore, I live in Colorado- so just standard humidity is not an issue.

Anyone have experience with this, and maybe a solution? I would rather keep my sets as original as possible (using none of the newer white bands, which are my temporary fix to keep sets like Muaka & Kane Ra together), but don't know how to go about this. Thanks for the help!

Tl;Dr- My rubber bands are all snapping, but only the old black ones. How can this be prevented, and what are causes of it? I've never had this problem before and would greatly like to prevent it.

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It's very sad :weary:
I have experienced this issue with my Tarakava; a true shame that the green bands couldn't have been implemented earlier.

I usually just replace them with normal elastic bands, until those break, and then the cycle continues.

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All my rubber bands are solid and veery brittle.

I would just use the newer bands tbh, easier maintenance and better quality, it's like replacing parts of a car, don't replace them with parts from the same lot.

there's not really anything you can do to preserve rubber bands aside from not stress them, age and use causes the rubber to degrade.
aside from lego's newer bands which are pretty much unstressable, in my experience.

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The type of rubber used in the bands in sets like Muaka and Kane-Ra is very sensitive to humidity and temperature changes, so unfortunately it isn't going to be preserved forever unless kept in a vacuum, even when kept in clean environments away from the sun. However, there is a quick and easy solution to this problem!

You can buy packs of colored and black bands that tend to last longer than Lego's and that are a little more resistant to wear at your local department stores in the jewelry and/or hair accessories sections that work really well on sets. Look for ones that stretch easily and don't restrict motion on sets, though! Buying these should give you a large, flexible (pun intended) supply of rubber bands to help with all your Lego needs. Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the tip!

you should check you're visorak rubberbands if you still have them. because those have all decayed too on my sets :confused:

That sucks, man. I rarely use rubber bands in Moccing, so I never really have this problem. But yeah, the best thing to do would be to either replace them with the newer white ones or get more offbrand bands.